National promised to do a lot of things in their first term such as:
They have broken two of their promises. No State Asset Sales will turn into a “For Sale” sign, and the WFF Entitlement is poised to go if National get a second term in Government.
If the budget next year proves to be a real stinker, will public sentiment change rapidly? Not really as a lot of the budget spending isn’t noticeable until October of the same year, or the following April 1, when tax based incentives and thresholds generally get adjusted.
National are playing a nasty game of rushing through legislation in order to get their business interests aligned, while also making “feel good” legislation that will keep the masses happy. We’ve seen evidence of this with the Crusher bill, and now the Cellphone Drivers = Bad, proposal that is being talked up.
In 2010, we have the first local body elections occurring, assuming submissions on the bill are completed in time (although it’s possible National may try and expedite this).
As LBEs generally have an apathetic turnout, with just 31% voting in Auckland in 2007 a small bloc of voters effectively chooses Auckland Council. If a 30% turnout occurs again in 2010, it will alienate a large bloc of people against National as they start to realise they were hoodwinked. There goes a large portion of Nationals vote.
In 2011, a loss on home soil at the RWC would cause the mood of the nation to turn sour. If a general election were to be held after a RWC loss, National would surely lose.
Alternatively, an election held from May – July 2011 before the RWC starts, will mean that Budget ’10 will have taken effect. As it’s likely that Budget 2010 will be a harsher affair than Budget 09, National will lose on the back of rapid public dissent. So no go, there either.
John Key really wants a second term. The most effective way of doing this is to call a General Election for July 2010 before the LBEs are held in October, while all is still safe(ish) in Auckland. Doing this would effectively guarantee a second term to 2013 (2 years longer than 2011, and only 1 year shorter than a second term from 2011), meaning that National will be able to sell the family silver.