National’s mating dance with the Conservatives II

Written By: - Date published: 8:39 am, September 8th, 2014 - 30 comments
Categories: act, colin craig, conservative party, david cunliffe, john key, labour, national - Tags:

I blogged on this before.  Previously it appeared to be possible that National would try and gift East Coast Bays to the Conservatives to make sure that Conservative party votes were not wasted.  But then Colin Craig’s unusual position on matters such as whether or not man had actually been to the moon caused Key to review things.  Now it appears possible that the Conservatives may break the 5% and National is again eyeing them up as a potential coalition partner.

Why have the Conservatives surged?  Basically because Dirty Politics has shaken some support loose from the main parties.  Voters are heading towards the Conservatives and NZFirst.  National’s unjustified attempt to brand Labour as also being involved may be working to a limited extent.  And the lack of media oxygen for David Cunliffe is not helping.

Act appear to be terminal.  I am not sure why National is bothering.  Of course by gifting ACT the Epsom seat and by ACT absolutely tanking in the party vote the right’s interests are being served.  Unless ACT can get other MPs through on the coat tailing provisions then the best result is no party votes and one electorate MP.  Then the right gets a disproportionate boost.  This may explain why ACT’s campaign is so dire.

National has had a short term boost in the polls from the sacking of Judith Collins.  I do not expect this to last and the next round of polls will be interesting.

National’s recent policy releases show a pattern.  It has resources coming out of its ears and it uses focus groups extensively.  In the past few weeks two policies have been released, the first proposing clean rivers by paying large amounts of money to the polluters and the second proposing plentiful fishing spots by paying large amounts of money to the commercial fishers.  With both policies we get a feel good environmental policy with a good dose of corporate welfare.  We have what Crosby Textor would call a win win because farmers and the Tally Brothers will not be upset and National get a bit of environmental plausibility although not much.

But the reality is that National is going to need friends if it wants to form the next Government.  I would be very surprised if it was able to poll as well as it did last time and I would think that it would be below 45% once all the party votes are counted.  It will need friends.  And not the ACT sort.

Obviously New Zealand First will be considered.  But Key’s options will obviously improve if the Conservatives make it into Parliament.

The prospect should have us all very afraid.  A National-Act-Conservative-Peter Dunne-Winston Peters Government would be scary at many levels not to mention unstable.

And imagine the effect that the Conservatives would have on policy formation.  Responses to climate change would become even more dire, the women’s movement would be set back a decade, the education curriculum would be seeded USA like with creationist ideas, Criminal Law would become even more reactive and punitive and the thought of any further advances in gay and lesbian rights would be a pipe dream.  After all in the Conservative top five are such enlightened liberals as Garth McVicar and this guy who thinks that the anti smacking law had caused an increase in youth suicide.  The only problem is that the youth suicide rate is going down, not up.  Using evidence to design policy is such a drag sometimes.

The best result would be for the Conservatives to fall short of the 5% threshold thereby wasting a large number of right votes.  The election result may depend on whether the Conservatives make it or fail to make it into Parliament.

30 comments on “National’s mating dance with the Conservatives II”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    All the more reason to get the left vote out: Conservatives on 4.9% 😈

  2. Anne 2

    And don’t forget the Conservative line-up includes Christine Rankin who is as mad as meat-axe.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    There were a lot of interesting tid-bits this morning on MR:

    1. Richard Prebble thinks ACT are going to get 7 MPs, because they do “polling on the internet” because you can’t trust phones any more, and so he thinks that result is likely. The ACT supporters at the campaign launch thought 2 MPs was attainable.

    2. Winston Peters says that ACT won’t have any MPs in the next Parliament, and as usual refused to answer the question as to whether he could work with them in government by saying it was an irrelevant question because there won’t be any ACT MPs to work with.

    3. Winston Peters says that because recent polls have put them around 7%, they’re likely to get over 10% on election day.

    4. Winston Peters isn’t scared of the conservatives because Colin Craig on The Nation on Sunday re-negged on his policy of binding referenda, while it’s been NZ First’s policy for over 20 years. He thinks support for the Conservatives has peaked and will fall from now on.

    5. John Key said he won’t be doing a cup of tea with David Seymour and probably won’t be sending any more official signals at this stage as their polling shows ACT will win Epsom as it is.

    6. John Key said they won’t be doing any sort of deal with Conservatives, because he said (strangely) to have credibility when a party first comes into government, it needs to get over the 5% threshold. This raises the question of how exactly 0.1% Peter Dunne has any credibility.

    I have to say, NZFirst getting 10% of the vote really would shake things up quite a bit.

    • aerobubble 3.1

      Epsom voters are going to give Seymour a seat at the top table, yet dont know what he stands for, he has no history, the guy could be anything from a libertarian to an authoritarian. That’s just wacko. A total novice gets a seat on the Intelligence committee like Banks and Dunne did, as a bauble.

      • Hami Shearlie 3.1.1

        I’ve been looking at photos of David Seymour and Ruth Richardson and they sure do look alike – Could they be secretly related? LOL

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      8% top side; more likely between 6% and 7% I reckon…

    • SPC 3.3

      He means the parties that National works with have historic credibility as they each reached the 5% threshold in the past.

      Until the Conservatives do the same, the no electorate deal line makes sense.

      To bring a new party into parliament via an electorate deal would be without precedent.

  4. heather tanguay 4

    The thought of Colin Craig and Christine Rankin and Garth McVicor and their other cronies makes the blood run cold. We think that things have been bad under this present National Government, this has only been the beginning. With the licence of winning the election and partners like the above New Zealand will be a different place for those who have any care for others less fortunate than themselves and for the environment.

    • David H 4.1

      But with that sort of a mashup I can’t see em lasting 2 years let alone 3

    • aerobubble 4.2

      Garth McVicor, what a creep. I bet if victims of crime were to vote for who should represent them McVicor would be the last on the list with less than 1%. Its complete astounds me he gets so much media attention.

    • millsy 4.3

      I think it would be fair to say that MicVicar (who wouldnt be out of place in 1930’s Mississipi) and Rankin (looks good until she opens her mouth) are out to roll back every single progressive gain made since the war (the US Civil War, Crimean War, WWI, WWII, take your pick).

  5. Puckish Rogue 5

    If everyone is worried about the Conservatives (they shouldn’t be as even if they get in they won’t get many of their policies through) the best solution is to give your party vote to National so they don’t need the Conservatives

    You know it makes sense

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      RWNJ advice: Vote for the corrupt group so as not to get the loony group.

      • Puckish Rogue 5.1.1

        Ackshully you raise an interesting point, is (percieved) corrupt better or worse than (percieved) loony?

        • Lanthanide

          There’s no “perception” as to whether National are corrupt or the Conservatives are loony.

          We have a lot of documented evidence of National behaving in a corrupt fashion (not enough to win a court case, just yet). We also have a lot of documented evidence of Colin and other candidates for the Conservative party saying nutty crazy things that go against accepted scientific fact:

          The anti-smacking law is to blame for youth suicide, youth prostitution and even sexually-transmitted infections, a leading Conservative party candidate claims.

          Edward Saafi, who is fifth on the Conservative list and would be elected if they break the 5 per cent threshold, has delivered the striking message during recent speeches at Tongan churches, Fairfax has learned.

          “We are starting to recognise the incidence of suicide going up in Pacific communities, especially the Tongan community and people are starting to understand the lead-on from this legislation.

          “Once you pass it, children, rather than doing what mum and dad says, they go and commit suicide. It opens up another thing they could do,” Saafi, who holds a doctorate in biomedicine, said.

    • aerobubble 5.2

      The Green party have gotten many kiwis to recycle, get their hands dirty sorting their rubbish. They deserve a chance to take that ability into government since either you believe they can do no good and so be crushed by the experience, or like me the fresh air will change our nation for the better, finally. Our finance sector is the largest of any western nation, its dominates and indebts us all, running a risk premium on everyone backs, its has to be taken out and given a good bathe because it stinks. Party vote Green

      • Deb Kean 5.2.1

        You don’t help matters by lying about Colin Craig, given that he has stated that he has no problem with the Moon landing.
        Voting Green is absolutely out of the question, not least because of their mad pro-abortion policy.
        What does that leave? For me, Labour.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Unless ACT can get other MPs through on the coat tailing provisions then the best result is no party votes and one electorate MP. Then the right gets a disproportionate boost.

    Which would be another reason why National failed to implement the recommendations for electoral reform one of which was to can the increase in parliament seats from such over hangs.

    With both policies we get a feel good environmental policy with a good dose of corporate welfare.

    Pure National – subsidising the rich through bait and switch.

  7. Paul 7

    Yes and as soon the powers that be decide that they need the Conservatives to get in power, crime stories rush to the top of the news agenda…to fit the profile of the Conservative Party.
    The NZ Herald is now running with a story about Nia Glassie and a murder in Tauranga.
    Just waiting to hear from Garth McVicar on both subjects
    10, 9, 8, ………..

  8. Pete Kane 8

    It will be interesting to watch Peter Dunne serve as a Minister along side Ms Rankin (and Collin) when he inferred in several DomPost articles (not a partisan blog – and these were news stories not commentaries) that she was morally unfit to serve on the Families Commission (given the policies of the CP there is the H word after all ).
    Maybe not too pleasant but interested to see MSM comment, since in the past, they have.

    Great show,
    (Several others at Stuff) 4.5% for the conservatives = 40/50000 cheap votes for labour/Green block!

  9. Tigger 9

    The Conservatives being part of government would be what NZ deserves if it chooses to vote in that scenario. Sick of the sheeple in this nation. You want a corrupt PM and some religious fanatics making the rules? Then go ahead – live with that but don’t whine when they come for your freedoms.

    Meanwhile, those of us who can will leave.

    • Pete Kane 9.1

      That’s an understandable response.
      It’s not just the fanaticism that gets me but their hypocrisy – as the articles about Rankin I linked to above indicates. Some of us remember her crusade against the poor, while turning the then WINZ, at the corporate level (her own principality), into a place of Wall Street like excess.

  10. Thinker 10

    And what about recalling National’s 1990ish government? Bolger formed a coalition with Peters, thereby forming a government. Later, Shipley tore up the coalition, and somehow National was still the government.

    I was too young to really understand the detail of how that all worked. Is it something they could do again? can anyone explain, please?

    Didn’t seem fair, then, because if Peters had known what was to happen, he might have enabled a different coalition.

    • Hanswurst 10.1

      At that stage, Peters hadn’t been out of the National Party for too long, and those at the top, like Bolger and Birch, were also associated with his old mate Muldoon. The National party also aligned more strongly with the conservative views that appeal to NZ First’s support base; We had senior figures like Doug Graham fronting up on national television saying unequivocally that they wouldn’t support gay marriage, because they didn’t see homosexual love as the same.

      Prior to the 1996 election (the eventual results of which meant that NZ First could have gone with either National or Labour), Peters deliberately set out to hoover up Labour votes by suggesting that he would get rid of the “toxic trio” of Bolger, Birch and Shipley. He then used that support to prop up a National government, probably because he new that his core conservative support base would be more likely to bleed away under a Labour government. The neoliberal wing of National, fronted by Shipley, may have been anathema to him on the level of economic policy, but Peters has proven over the decades that electoral expediency trumps political principles every time.

      The situation is different now. The neoliberal strain within the parliamentary National Party is much more dominant, and the socially conservative aspect much less so; Also, the personal ties that Peters had to National during the 90’s are no longer really there. Peters also has established history of propping up a Labour government without its appearing to cost him too much electorally (the failure of NZ First in 2008 an be attributed to the fallout from the Owen Glenn affair). It is also notable that he hasn’t ruled out the Greens point blank, as he did in 2005.

      Unfortunately, all of this is also entirely consistent with the strategy in 1996 of sucking up the left-wing change vote with the intention of propping up a National government after the election if that is at all possible. Any left-wing voter should be aware of that, and therefore consider a vote for NZ First to be a vote for the National Party.

      • Clemgeopin 10.1.1

        Very fair summation of events.

        Peters is primarily a very smart wily politician for himself,his policies and his party. His enigmatic position is what makes him so powerful.

        I admire his intelligence, wisdom and wit and respect him a lot, but I will still be giving my own two votes to Labour.

  11. Clemgeopin 11

    Craig is showing himself to be no better than any principle lacking two bit cheap flip flopping politician.
    While any votes now for the nasty Nats are just dirty ticks, any votes for the conservatives are only wasted votes.

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