I’ve been out and about over the last few days talking to people from the left and the right as well as a few apolitical types and the sense I get is that people didn’t get what they expected from this election.
Just last night I was out to dinner with a group that included a primary school teacher and an environment officer. Both had voted Green but had done so out for cultural reasons, they are young professionals who are concerned about the environment and, from what I could gather, they found the Green brand was something they could identify with. Neither of them would be able to provide a clear explanation between left and right. In short they are typical of a lot of voters under 35.
Interestingly, neither of them had been too concerned about a National government either. In fact one of them was almost going to vote National instead of Green.
On Monday both of them read the policy for their respective areas of work and both of them were shocked.
On Sunday I went to watch a motorsport event with some National supporters. To be honest I wasn’t looking forward to it as I thought they’d spend the whole time gloating. They didn’t. In fact they seemed a little concerned at the result and like so many rightwingers who commented on the “Change to what?” thread they didn’t know what they wanted other than to see the back of Clark.
While we were on the way to get a beer one of them told me he didn’t even like John Key and was concerned about ACT.
It’s going to be a hard three years for the National/ACT government.