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Luxon’s first year

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 am, December 4th, 2022 - 56 comments
Categories: benefits, Christopher Luxon, national, same old national, superannuation - Tags:

This week marked the first anniversary of Chris Luxon’s reign.

And on the day itself he did something which should cast severe doubt on his ability to actually become Prime Minister.

That day he chose to announce that National would stick to its policy of increasing the retirement age to 67.  But when asked what the rate of payment for a single person on Superannuation was he was unable to say what that was, even to hazard a guess as to what it might be.

This is rather surprising.

It was not a case of an attempted gocha question which Adam Bandt had the perfect response to.

This was a core feature of the policy, what will kiwis lose by the change.  Presuming there was a briefing paper it was probably the third bullet point down.  This is how much someone relying on National Superannuation receives.

It is also one of those facts that people should know anyway.  The amount is broadcast yearly and forms a major part of Government expenditure.

Based on the current rate a single person living alone would lose $48,152 in Government assistance.

And what was Luxon’s response when this was pointed out to him?  Absolute gibberish.

But he said the amount and how they survived off it was a different issue.

“That gets us back to economic mismanagement in this country and why we need a strong economy that drives into higher wages and creates more wealth so we can actually afford to support people in a better way.”

The incident highlights how out of touch Luxon is with the way that ordinary New Zealanders live.  And news that he receives about the same amount per year from the Government for renting an office to himself highlights how out of touch he is.

Luxon’s super blooper was the sort of event that would normally attract wall to wall coverage for a few days.  But it is clear our partisan media including this guy ignored it for all of their worth.

But it highlights a major problem for National.

Luxon is brittle, he is not across the detail and there is an increasingly strong impression that he relies on overblown rhetoric as opposed to proper analysis to justify National’s policy positions.

I am not surprised that his preferred PM ratings are so bad.

To his credit he has instilled discipline in National’s caucus.

The question will be can he improve New Zealand’s impression of him.  Somehow I don’t think so.

56 comments on “Luxon’s first year ”

  1. aj 1

    Bandt, not Brandt?

    [Damn now fixed – MS]

  2. MickeyBoyle 2

    Raising the age of super eligibility used to be Labour policy, and rightly so as it needs to happen.

    Luxon for all his faults has done a good job of uniting his party and holding this government to account. National were an utter shitshow before he became leader. So credit where credit is due, he's doing a decent job for them.

    The real outstanding performers for the opposition, are IMO Erica Stanford, Dr Shane Reti, ACTs Karen Chhour, Brooke Van Velden and David Seymour.

    Whether many here like it or not, there is a good chance there will be a change of government next year. All we can hope for if that does indeed happen is that the people taking over are capable of making kiwis lives better.

    For all their faults, National and ACT have some very good MPs in their ranks.

    • bwaghorn 2.1

      Act and National have never made kiwis lives better to my knowledge why would that change?

    • Nic the NZer 2.2

      There is zero reason the retirement age needs to be raised and never has there ever been any such reason.

    • MickeyBoyle. Wow!! Unicorns. You are painting these characters as Reformed? Caring? Informed?

      They are hardly even doing more than slogans and stirring up factions.

      This kind of promotion of Luxon "Taking New Zealand forward". (To destination???)

      Our Superannuation is affordable and even future projections show it to be cheaper than other countries. Low administration costs and simple rules are part of that.

      The last Government by National raised ACC costs and made ACC have a fund for all future known liabilities. Then it tried to turn it to a private scheme. (Smith) Even with funding in place, there was no commercial gain for the Insurance players, because it is a social model. Superannuation is in the same realm.

      We are supporting it with Kiwi saver and the "Cullen" fund.

      As someone who lost many work friends in their early sixties it makes me sad to hear we will push the goalposts out again. As many will not own homes, and do the more demanding and dirty work, this policy is racist and clearly affects Polynesian people and women.

      Labour left this policy in the dust because….equity.

      • MickeyBoyle 2.3.1

        I should have realized pointing out that I believe their are some decent politicians in the opposition would trigger some.

        You need to get a grip and get out of your echo chamber. The overwhelming majority of people in parliament will be there to do the best for the public and are decent, friendly people.

        Where we will differ is in the way they want to achieve that. But have no doubt, NZ MPs want what's best for NZ.

        Labour won't govern forever. Don't be a partisan hack all your life.

        • solkta 2.3.1.1

          what's best for NZ

          Are bottom feeders part of NZ?

          • MickeyBoyle 2.3.1.1.1

            Yes. So are the "river of filth".

            • solkta 2.3.1.1.1.1

              So you are wrong then.

            • Louis 2.3.1.1.1.2

              Minister Wood didn't refer to people as "river of filth" he was referring to ideology.

              "The words I say now I say with some precision and I say really carefully because I think we need to take great care with this," he told the House.

              "Out the front of this place, there are people who I think we all feel for. There are some people who are confused, there are some people who are scared, there are some people who have been manipulated by an avalanche of misinformation.

              "There are some people who have been hurt over the past couple of years and they're lashing out.

              "We feel for those people. But underneath all of that, there is a river of filth.

              "There is a river of violence and menace. There is a river of anti-Semitism. There is a river of Islamophobia. There is a river of threats to people who work in this place and our staff."

              "I would say that there is a river of genuine fascism in parts of the event that we see out the front of this Parliament today,"

              https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2022/02/labour-s-michael-wood-warns-mps-who-want-to-support-anti-mandate-protest-it-has-river-of-filth-running-through-it.html

              • Shanreagh

                Thank you Louis.

                I have corrected this a couple of times on here.

                Just shows that a combination of relying on incorrect media interpretations and perhaps a person's inability to read this almost Churchillian-type speech can cause mistakes in comprehension.

        • observer 2.3.1.2

          It's not a neighbourhood fund-raising committee who welcome you with a nice cup of tea. No doubt there are "decent, friendly people", but that means little. A government is policies.

          The policies of the alternative government will be well to the Right of all previous governments since 1999. If you haven't grasped that basic fact yet, you really need to start paying attention.

          Here's a list to start with. Seriously, read them all and decide if that's what you really want. It's not Key plus impotent lapdogs, it's an ACT-National government. Seymour knows what he wants and Luxon will put up all the resistance of a wobbly jelly

          https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/466730/act-s-alternative-budget-cuts-to-taxes-and-public-services.

        • Mansplaining does not suit you at all, Mickey Boyle.

          politicians want what is best for NZ is not correct. Many are there as Sharma was, thinking they can dictate, co-operating being beyond them. Act's policies are Ruth Richardson again, and Luxon is trying to be Key.

          “Hack for the rest of my life” lol Personal much.

        • theotherpat 2.3.1.4

          bollox….Act and National only benefit the top 5% period…….the will also sell everything we have left and probably put GST up as well…..they are documented liars and benders of reality.

    • Muttonbird 2.4

      The ACT party would destroy my industry by removing the NZSPG

      How would that make my life better?

    • Mike the Lefty 2.5

      I regularly get (unsolicited) Facebook feeds from National MP Simeon Brown. Just about always he is photographed in front of diesel guzzling Ford Rangers or some 98 octane petrol sporty mobile. Today he is bragging about filling up his car outside of Auckland to avoid the regional petrol tax.

      Big deal. Does he think he is the first one who ever thought of doing that? When I asked him why he is always photographed with cars his supporters got upset. (I'm ever so f…..ng sorry!)

      If they send me unsolicited feeds then they shouldn't be surprised if I don't say what they want to hear.

      If I judge National MPs from the photo ops and feeds then I would say that that most of them only go where they think they will find admirers, not opponents. There is very little information in them, just superficial whinging with no alternatives.

      But that is what you get from National.

      If Luxon is doing a good job then the job requirements can't be very stringent.

    • SPC 2.6

      The age was raised from 60 to 65 during the 1990's. The problem was the number of people who lost their jobs in the late 80's/early 90's and who were on benefit income well below super levels until age 65.

      There will always be people unable to work because of declining health and every age increase to super age exacerbates the risk of real poverty and hardship.

      It does make sense to increase super to age 70 for those working (66 2030, 67 2035, 68 2040 69 2045 70 2050), but not so much for those unable to work. That however undermines some of the universal nature of it. One way around that is to increase the age, but provide the same rate of income support for those not in work from a younger age (say age 65 and even back to age 60 for those unable to work sickness/disability).

  3. "New Zealand’s impression of him"

    I don't think that even matters to a lot of voters.

    They are into listening to any propaganda dished out that they will still vote for National.

    Not because they want National IN but because they want Labour OUT.

    • It is not over… or even begun….

      Imagine him being interviewed or talking with knowledgeable people who would see through his slogans and narrow focus in seconds.

  4. Ad 4

    So from what age will people see their retirement horizon stretch out 2 years more?

    Does his policy say?

  5. Stephen D 5

    Let’s not make the same mistake about Luxon that we made with Key. The left underestimated him, and he won 3 terms. Take Luxon seriously, and maturely rebut the ideas.
    Also tie him relentlessly to Seymour’s privatise everything policy.

    • Hanswurst 5.1

      No, Labour should ignore Luxon, talk about Seymour as finance minister if National were ever to form a government, and refer to him, not Luxon, as the leader of the opposition. The Greens should work out who the weakest and dumbest ACT MPs are, what ideas they particularly promote, and put out press releases questioning those ACT policies that deal with those ideas, while specifically referring to those MPs by name, giving the media a smorgasbord of irresistible crazy and stupid, with a side-helping of political relevance.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        100% correct. Thankyou Hanswurst.

        Seymour is the dangerous politician in the current climate. ACT's policies would be dynamite if they were ever implemented. Fully concur that is what the Greens should be doing. As the Left's equivalent to ACT, highlighting their caucus nutbars should be the Green’s responsibility.

        One of the reasons the media is negatively concentrating on the government is because the Nats and ACT are providing them with the fodder. Its high time Labour returned the favour and produced some fodder against them. Doesn't have to be true. Lord knows, none of the stuff coming out of Seymour's and Luxon's mouths is true.

  6. Muttonbird 6

    I knew without looking it's about $400/week after tax.

    $48,000, that's how much the National Party would steal from me by raising the age to 67.

    They'd also steal about $9000 from each of my two kids who are finishing school soon, by removing 1 year fees free.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    Mickey, don't you think your analysis highlights a major problem for Labour as well?

    If you are correct about your analysis of Luxon, then it must be concerning for Labour that their poll numbers continue to slide despite this. Therefore, things could really turn bad for Labour if Luxon starts to get his act together.

    • Incognito 7.1

      Luxon already has his ACT together: National has no decent policies to speak of other than stall repeal, and regurgitate and leaves the thinking & acting to ACT in order to keep its hands & ‘conscience’ clean and sell it to the voting public. It is a cynical admission of political failure, cowardice, and a shambolic lack of vision for Aotearoa – New Zealand. The only real vision National has is for itself: to regain power and put the Trussian razor gangs to work to achieve its Trumpian outcomes (i.e. confusion & chaos that benefit the already-rich).

      • tsmithfield 7.1.1

        That misses the point of my post. I wasn't arguing whether National's policies were good or not. Only that if Luxon gets better at selling them then Labour will be in trouble if they are already sliding in the polls as things are now.

        BTW, I don't actually agree with all National's policies. I think the "bootcamp" idea this time is improved from the point of view that it is more long-term (2 years) and has a community support element for those who complete the term. I think community support is sadly missing not only in this type of intervention, but for when people leave jail as well.

        My biggest concerns with it are; firstly whether the community support side will be a token effort, and whether enough money will be devoted towards it to enable more than a handful to go through it. So, if it is in depth enough to make a true difference it will likely be seen as too expensive to roll out in a large enough capacity to make a real difference.

        • lprent 7.1.1.1

          Perhaps you should look at the actual polls. Basically National finally found a presentable lineup as the covid-19 pandemic waned. That was last year.

          Since then, the political polls have been showing a reversion to political business as usual – ie the 2017-2019 norm of the Labour / National running neck and neck with the smaller parties picking up or losing votes to them

          I haven't seen a slide in the polls since April/May this year relatively between National and Labour after National rebounded after their piss-poor and tone-deaf performance through covid-19.

          Since May both Labour and National have been shedding small amounts of support to smaller parties, which means that the possible coalitions are the deciding factors.

          Umm.. Looks up the aggregate polling page on wikipedia.

          Yeah since May (ie 7 months), National hasn't managed to gain any more traction on Labour. There is a small recent movement to ACT – probably where the National is leaking votes to, and to NZ First (still well below threshold).

          Looks like a tight election next year just as it was in 2017, with (as usual) the incumbents holding an election year advantage. Quite simply you can't predict at this point based on these polls who could form a government unless it is a grand coalition. I simply can't see a grand coalition between Labour and National ever happening outside of times of war. They are invariably a bad choice where ever they are tried in times of peace.

          You can understand why National aren't articulating any coherent and viable policies at present. They're in their usual opposition dithering "don't scare the horses" mode. Which means that they're too scared to articulate policy – thereby allowing their probable coalition party to score and scare voters instead.

          The problem with that National strategy under MMP is it doesn't translate that well into decisively winning a tight election. It just leaves them vulnerable to charges that the ACT is driving their policy.

          National generally don't do well in elections when ACT is in the ascendant in the polls. It makes a probable coalition far too easy to attack (the same isn't the case with the Greens any more). I am sure that National are aware of that. But they're caught between Labour and Act at present and not making any traction relative to either.

      • tsmithfield 7.1.2

        That misses the point of my post. I wasn't arguing whether National's policies were good or not. Only that if Luxon gets better at selling them then Labour will be in trouble if they are already sliding in the polls as things are now.

        BTW, I don't actually agree with all National's policies. I think the "bootcamp" idea this time is improved from the point of view that it is more long-term (2 years) and has a community support element for those who complete the term. I think community support is sadly missing not only in this type of intervention, but for when people leave jail as well.

        My biggest concerns with it are; firstly whether the community support side will be a token effort, and whether enough money will be devoted towards the program to enable more than a handful to go through it. So, if it is in depth enough to make a true difference it will likely be seen as too expensive to roll out in a large enough capacity to make a real difference.

        So, I think, either it will be window dressing that is ineffective, or it will be successful for those who go through, but the numbers will be very small.

        • lprent 7.1.2.1

          Only that if Luxon gets better at selling them then Labour will be in trouble if they are already sliding in the polls as things are now.

          In the last 7 months Luxon has National steadily sliding in the polls as well. Also with his personal polling if I recall correctly.

          He managed to catch the wave at the effective waning of the pandemic at the end of last year as the vaccination program completed, and as National didn't look like the complete plonkers that the statement by various leaders amd spokespeople made them look from the end of 2019.

          But after the natural resurgence to the usual poling division, National has made no further traction. Nothing that I am seeing indicates that National are doing anything recently in policy except for trying to undermine Acts support. If you think about the recent specific policies, super age, boot camps, 3 strikes – these are tactically designed to undermine the Act support that is based on simpleton slogans.

          Luxon shows no signs of getting better at doing his job. It isn't hard to argue convincingly that he is actually getting worse as the role wears him down.

          Which is what the post essentially says.

          • tsmithfield 7.1.2.1.1

            They were doing OK in last night's poll.

            At the moment, he doesn't really need to do anything. Labour seems to be doing Luxon's job for him at the moment by, for some strange reason, being fixated on pursuing unpopular policies, and defending them badly. Willy Jackson's recent interview on Q&A for example.

            As Napoleon said: "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."

            • lprent 7.1.2.1.1.1

              They didn't doing badly. They also didn't do well. The movement was well within the margins of error.

              Labour seems to be doing Luxon's job for him at the moment by, for some strange reason, being fixated on pursuing unpopular policies, and defending them badly. Willy Jackson's recent interview on Q&A for example.

              As Napoleon said: "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."

              So the question that you have to ask is why they have spent the last 7 months effectively level pegging between Labour/Greens and Nat/Act.

              Labour is actually pushing relatively unpopular policies forward because they need to be done. They're still level pegging the parliamentary opposition at better than they were in 2016 at this time.

              Fixing water systems and fixing the 50% hold in our climate change response are two policies that National hasn't managed to anything on except dither for the last two decades. Not to mention doing some fixes to the RMA after National dithered helplessly on that for 9 years, and a pile of other policies.

              Not to mention that we're heading into a little inflationary recession albeit with effectively full employment.

              National / Act should have been creaming it for the ast 7 months. So why are National / Act not doing better?

              • James Simpson

                I think National/Act are peaking. They are at roughly 47% combined support now, which is the same as they had at the 2014 election.

                This is as popular as they will ever be so I don't think they will do better

              • tsmithfield

                "They didn't doing badly. They also didn't do well. The movement was well within the margins of error."

                But not so much with the Roy Morgan poll just released. Labour would be deeply concerned if this poll reflects reality.

                "So the question that you have to ask is why they have spent the last 7 months effectively level pegging between Labour/Greens and Nat/Act."

                I don't see it as level pegging, but a clear downward trend for Labour. But, the biggest concern for Labour in this is that we haven't started to feel the economic pain associated with the RB tightening cycle yet. Harsh economic conditions is seldom great for a government seeking reelection. So, the future conditions don't bode well for Labour.

                "Labour is actually pushing relatively unpopular policies forward because they need to be done."

                Sure. Sometimes that sort of thing needs to happen. But it is the way it is being done. For instance, so far as 3 Waters is concerned, the government is framing this as a binary proposition from what I can see. So, opponents of 3 Waters are framed as being accepting the status quo, and by implication, accepting of problems such as sewage running down the streets.

                However, that is simply not the case.

                Opponents often are unhappy with some of the trappings of 3 Waters. For instance, councils effectively losing ownership of their assets, as in losing control and losing the ability to earn income from the assets. Hence, ownership is in name only. Also, the co-governance element is seen as unnecessary for improving the water system. So, I think most of us would want to see the water system better managed nationally. But that doesn't mean accepting that the government proposal is the only option available.

                "Not to mention that we're heading into a little inflationary recession albeit with effectively full employment."

                The full employment aspect you refer to is often trumpeted by the government as evidence of success. But I see it as artificially contrived due to the constraints put on immigration that artificially drives up wages without any relationship to productivity. So, the government has been restricting the labour flow needed desperately by companies to improve their productivity. So, companies are paying more in wages, but are getting poorer because they can't increase their output due to labour constraints.

                We have been trying to employee a new tech down south for over six months now without any success despite leading the market in terms of wages and conditions.

                The government certainly isn't making things easy.

  8. observer 8

    It's tiresome when political debate is reduced to "well, you would say that, wouldn't you?". As though we were all incapable of critical thought.

    I think most of us can see the difference between a) "I strongly disagree with that party", and b) "I can see that party's leader is good for that party".

    I think that Seymour is a shit. And that he is good for ACT.

    I could see back in 2006 that John Key was going to be much better for National than Don Brash. Obviously that didn't make me like him or vote National. But partisan blinkers did not blind me to the obvious.

    I honestly cannot see anything in Luxon that makes me sit up and think "Oh, he's good at this". If anyone does, I'd love to know what it is. Saying "because government bad, Jacinda bad, let's change" does not answer the question. That answer is not about Luxon, it could be about a lettuce.

    What is Luxon good at?

  9. What is Luxon good at?

    He is a man.

    He is a business man and businessmen are the economic equivalent of the annointed

    He will stay and be steady

    He does not have a high bar ( the jokes are only part wrong about Southlanders and other high Nat voting areas possibly voting for dogs sitting on letterboxes wearing blue ribbons).

    From my experience the Nat electorate has less of a grasp of a wide set of issues so w are not unduly self critical on issues

    The most important is he is male and an 'annointed' business man.

  10. Thinker 10

    Where his lack of detail will show up is in the election debates.

    Until now, he can laugh it off by flippant responses in the media or in the house, like a fresh coat of paint on an old banger car but the time is coming when people will want to see what's under the bonnet and how much tread is on the tyres.

    But I agree with another respondent – given Luxons such a non-event, the left should be polling higher than they are.

    • Obtrectator 10.1

      "Where his lack of detail will show up is in the election debates."

      Won't matter. He'll find (or have found for him – maybe by Crosby Textor) a slogan that's a latter-day equivalent to JK's "show me the money". Which he'll keep banging away with. And it'll be enough to convince a sufficient number of waverers/.

      • Hanswurst 10.1.1

        Then the onus is simply on Ardern to reply swiftly. It doesn't need to be a brilliant reply, just something to keep the debate going back and forth. If the Crosby-Textor line doesn't stick out for a few seconds and disrupt the debate, then nobody will even notice it was there.

        (Reposted from below, since either I or the software failed to get the reply in the right place the first time around.)

      • Barfly 10.1.2

        Ardern may be able to use "show me the money" as the National is prone to use the 'magical efficiency tree' where they promise tax cuts and increased services cos 'National'.

    • lprent 10.2

      But I agree with another respondent – given Luxons such a non-event, the left should be polling higher than they are.

      It is really hard for the main parties to poll higher against each other under MMP in NZ outside of state emergencies or gross instability in the other main party in the middle of a term. If they look even minimally competent (ie like National at present), they revert back to closely tracking each other.

      I suspect that the effective undecided vote is very high at present. That is why we see movement in the protest polling – which is what I see with the recent shifting in Act, NZF, TOP, Maori Party, and even the New Conservatives.

  11. Hanswurst 11

    Then the onus is simply on Ardern to reply swiftly. It doesn't need to be a brilliant reply, just something to keep the debate going back and forth. If the Crosby-Textor line doesn't stick out for a few seconds and disrupt the debate, then nobody will even notice it was there.

  12. swordfish 12

    .
    Micky:

    I am not surprised that his (Luxon's) preferred PM ratings are so bad.

    But they're not.
    .

    In a recent post, you argued that:

    there is this really, really major feature that the media is not highlighting. The recent Newshub poll confirmed that Luxon is going backward at a fast rate. Which is a terrible result for an opposition leader.

    The latest Newshub in fact had Ardern's Preferred PM rating down 6.4 points vs Luxon's down 2.4 points … suggesting (at least in the context of this pollster) that if anyone's personal support is plunging it's Ardern's.

    .

    And the latest Curia poll also had Luxon in decline …

    He was down 1.4 (margin of error territory).

    .

    And from that same recent post of Micky’s:

    Ardern is still performing strongly … But Luxon is in trouble.

    Well, let’s look at the evidence:

    (1) Curia

    First Curia Poll after Luxon becomes leader: Ardern 39.1% Luxon 20.4%

    Latest Curia Poll: Ardern 35.0% (down 4.1) Luxon 21.1% (up 0.7)

    (2) Newshub Reid Research

    First Newshub Poll after Luxon becomes leader: Ardern 43.3% Luxon 17.8%

    Latest Newshub Poll: Ardern 29.9% (down 13.4) Luxon 21.5% (up 3.7)

    (3) 1 News-Kantar

    First 1 News-Kantar Poll after Luxon becomes leader: Ardern 35.0% Luxon 17.0%

    Latest 1 News-Kantar Poll: Ardern 30.0% (down 5.0) Luxon 21.0% (up 4.0)

    (4) Talbot-Mills

    First Talbot-Mills Poll after Luxon becomes leader: Ardern 47.0% Luxon no data

    Latest Talbot-Mills Poll: Ardern 40.0% (down 7.0) Luxon 24.0% (no data)

    Hence, compared to the first polls after Luxon became leader … Ardern's ratings are down anywhere between 4.1 points & 13.4 points (averaging a fall of 7.4 points) … while Luxon is anywhere from 0.7 to 4 points up.
    .

    Or, looking purely at Preferred PM polling this year (rounding for simplicity) … and still responding to Micky's proposition that:

    Ardern is still performing strongly … But Luxon is in trouble.

    Newshub = Ardern down 13 points on the first poll of the year & down the same on her apex this year / Luxon up 4 points on his first ratings in 2022 & down 2 points on his apex this year

    1 News-Kantar = Ardern currently down 5 points on both her apex & initial poll this year / Luxon up 4 points on his first poll of 2022 but down 4 points on his apex

    Curia = Ardern down 3 points on the start of the year & down 6 points on her apex in July / Luxon up 3 points on the start of the year but down 8 points on his apex in Feb & April

    Overall suggesting Ardern's falling rather more precipitously than Luxon.
    .

    Is Luxon as popular as Key was a year out from the 2008 Election or as Ardern was immediately before the 2017 Election ? … Nyet.

    But he's much more popular than Bridges, Little, Cunliffe & Goff were a year out from their respective elections.

    He's also mildly more popular than Brash at the same point before the 2005 Election (the election that the Nats came close to taking) & equally Ardern is significantly less popular than Clark was then (so the gap between PM & Oppo Leader was much greater in the run-up to 2005 than now).

    Indeed, Ardern is less popular than any PM a year out from an election going right back to 2002 .. with the sole exception of Clark a year out from 2008 (Ardern's current ratings & Clark's at that time are almost identical).

    Overall then, Luxon is certainly no Key or Ardern … but he is doing better than Brash before 2005 in the Preferred PMs & pretty similar to Helen Clark the year before Labour's 1999 election win.

    In other words, he's neither particularly popular nor particularly unpopular … a middling leader like Clark & Brash in the run-up to those 2 elections … hence his ratings are up there with / or exceeding Oppo leaders who either won the following election or came pretty damn close.
    .

    More importantly, National & the Right Bloc find themselves in a significantly better position in Party Support polling now than at the same point out from the 2005 Election.

    And compared to the same point out from 2008 change of Govt, the Left & Right blocs are almost on exactly the same ratings now as then in the TV3 polling … although the gap is closer now than in 2008 in TV 1 polling.

    Regardless, National is currently leading Labour in all 5 of the latest polls (ie the latest from each of the 5 reputable pollsters) & 4 of the 5 pollsters place the Right Bloc in the lead (the one exception, Roy Morgan has them tied).
    .

    I think Lyn's right that it's going to be a relatively close (though not necessarily knife-edge) Election … but I would say the odds are currently mildly in favour of a change of Govt.

    • swordfish 12.1

      .

      Obviously, this evening's 1 News Kantar reinforces (indeed, intensifies) my point.

    • James Simpson 12.2

      Brilliant analysis Swordfish.

      So much of the commentary on here and elsewhere is made through partisan lenses in that people find a reason to explain why the polls are good for heir team and a disaster for the other.

      Your response is based on data and actual facts so thank you.

      My concern is it is very difficult for a leader who was once popular, but has lost a huge amount of that support, to ever win it back. For whatever reason people are turning away from Ardern, and it is unclear what she could do to have that support come back. Things are not going to get easier for the government in the new year, so how she regains the support is anyone's guess.

      • SPC 12.2.1

        An observation

        Support

        1. Being onside with the peoples safety/security is a positive

        2. That becomes the past, when the issue moves to

        a. threats to freedom (cancel culture and free speech)

        b. concern about the future as to old white people (raised in the era of assimilationism) and terms such as He Puapua (and the future place of Maori under the Treaty and as indigenous group).

        are not positives.

        Leadership

        All popularity fades, and usually over 3 terms, but in the pressure cooker of pandemic, war and looming stagflation (inflation and recession) earlier.

        Then all that is left is competence. Articulation is part of that but diminishes in relative importance to achievement/delivery over time. In that the government has been hampered by the pandemic/lockdowns and thus the up and down of Orr's intervention and correction.

        A year in which all of this weighed in the balance is ahead of us.

        PS I once communicated with the Rt Hon Helen Clark informing her of the risk that she was being promoted by the media as the best thing about the new government. I warned her that this same media would take her down (our current media has a grudge about the year of 2020, where the PM was the peoples champion and not them).

  13. Unless you like Act's policies you'd hope the Government stays.

    The list of things Act want to sell off and do away with means we would be right back to Ruth Richardson's days. Everyone for themselves and never mind the bottom feeders.

    Act, with Seymour as finance minister would be running the show and giving some questionable people their head. There would be few Government Departments and a mantra of "Self help" which really means no help.

    They also do not believe in climate change and will remove all work done and subsidies in this area.

    Those who watch the smile of the wolf remember the lies and the bad treatment of helpless people. We can't afford them.

    • observer 14.1

      So now Luxon has to rule out Winston.

      The last comparable election was 2008. Key gambles, rules out Winston, gamble pays off. NZF 4%.

      • Alan 14.1.1

        This far out from the election and with about 61% of the electorate expecting the economy to be worse next year, Luxon does not need to rule anyone in or out.

        • observer 14.1.1.1

          He doesn't have to, no. He can continue his "strategy" of being entirely passive. That is what both Peters and Seymour want him to do – a good reason not to do it.

          If he wants to keep hoping that in a real election people will vote Other (i.e. not government) and that National will collect all those votes, then he's a fool.

          The media and the other parties will fill the vacuum. That is MMP for beginners (which he is).

  14. Funny thing about all of Luxon's pronouncements.

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