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Pollwatch: Colmar Brunton, October 23rd

Written By: - Date published: 8:42 pm, October 23rd, 2018 - 100 comments
Categories: act, greens, Judith Collins, labour, maori party, national, nz first, Simon Bridges - Tags: , ,

We return to Pollwatch for the first time this quarter with almost two months since our last political poll, and a major scandal on our hands. If you’d like the raw figures, head on over to One News for the text or video versions of their coverage, as we don’t have time to go over the raw numbers too much, other than to say the most likely government now shows us not needing New Zealand First for a left-wing coalition. If that’s a trend that continues to the next election, I predict a lot of hugging.

So in a fit of terrific rounding from TVNZ that gives us 101%, we have a projected seatcount of between 61 and 73 seats out of 121 for the left wing bloc, making a right-wing government only possible at a snap election if this poll were a rogue, (odds similar to NZ First’s share of the vote) and a Labour-Green government the most likely outcome given my current coalition and electorate assumptions. Hardly surprising  given there’s been a scandal for the opposition, but amazing that even with such a small shift from the National Party, (suggesting a shake in confidence but not a move in political support) they’re so roundly out of power, showing how weak they are in reality.

The shifts are likely National eating ACT’s residual vote, Labour eating most of National’s departed support and some minor party votes, or possibly some NZF support with NZF gaining roughly equal numbers of departed Nats, and the Greens gaining some of Labour’s former support and some residual minor party votes.

Obvious factors effecting this other than the scandal itself: a perception government parties are hard at work while the opposition is squabbling among itself, Labour shutting up during National’s scandal and putting its money where its mouth is on being slightly kinder and focusing on ordinary kiwis in a very Green Party-esque strategy,  and New Zealand First looking like vindictive children.

Compare this to National’s previous lowpoint in MMP, it looks superficially quite good: They have 43% here vs 30.5% the first time Bill English ran, but you have to remember that the 43% represents virtually the entire center-to-right spectrum in New Zealand with NZF in coalition with Labour, arguably representing centre-left conservatives, and ACT all-but-gone, only 2005 pre-election polls were more disastrious than this, with a 37.5% poll for centre-right parties, and 9.6% for a New Zealand First party that wasn’t aligned with the then-Labour government. Even attributing a third of New Zealand First’s votes in 2002 to the left, the worst pre-election poll still gives a better poll for the right than this one- far from being in a position to be relieved it’s not so bad, as Bryce Edwards argues,1 Bridges has arguably just presided over the worst poll for the New Zealand right since MMP came in, as well as the second poll this year where they’ve been overtaken by Labour in the party vote, despite Labour having two electable allies and National having no significant backup. Looking at National’s consolidated result as a party that’s eaten up all the right-wing ideological space conceals that the Right is simply de-energized, more so than even during Bill English’s racist, Cadbury-parody of a first campaign.

Add to that only a 2% support for his handling of recent events, a result weaker than climate science denial, and his previous gains in Preferred Prime Minister being split with Judith Collins, and we have a National Party that’s desperately trying to look united and ready to cease back government, while showing obvious cracks and a leadership vacuum.

I would actually be surprised if National ever gets significantly below 40% without supporters having fled to some other perceived conservative or right-wing party, so there really isn’t so much further down to go before the united front shatters.

At this point, even a divisive and disastrous run by Collins for the leadership is looking attractive to the party base, although they’re obviously still cautious about changing leaders in opposition after seeing how poorly it served Labour pre-renewal. And even at the nadir of centre-right support in MMP politics, ACT still can’t drum up any significant party vote support.

Assumptions: ACT win Epsom, New Zealand First will coalesce/align with Labour if possible, Labour will ditch NZF in favour of the Greens as a coalition partner if possible, no overhang seats for National or Labour, no new parties or parties out of Parliament for more than one term are elected to Parliament.

1I suggest a new minimum standard for New Zealand political commentary on polls: the ability to add together blocs of political parties in your analysis. Perhaps show producers shouldn’t invite any commentator who engages in more superficial coverage than that?

The Greens were over threshold in 100% of simulated margins of error from this poll, NZF were only over threshold in 46.2% of them. (That number should be approach 50% as we increase the number of simulations with them on exactly 5%, so this is a bit of a run of bad luck for them.) There were no quirky Labour governing alone or hung parliament scenarios cropping up this time.

On reading graphs: The “seat variance” shows what assuming the extreme left- and right-wing variants of the margin of error delivers our political parties, (yeah, I keep categories open for parties that currently have no chance, as I needed them open in the past) currently placing NZF in the left bloc. The ” Government probability trend over time” graph on the right shows the shifting possibility of various parliamentary scenarios since  I started simulating likely government results, with the distance from the previous line colour on the key indicating share of probability in each poll. (a lack of lines at the bottom indicates a probability of a National(-Act) government existing, the dark grey line dropping indicates an increasing chance of Labour-Green coalition or Labour minority government)

100 comments on “Pollwatch: Colmar Brunton, October 23rd ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    That is a real pretty circle …

    • Matthew Whitehead 1.1

      If it still looks like a circle next election campaign I’m gonna be one happy chappy. 🙂 This is only the second time since the election we’ve had a 0% chance of a National Government. (assuming Peters doesn’t choose one, ofc)

      • patricia bremner 1.1.1

        Thanks Mathew. I can’t see Winston choosing National ever again.

        • Matthew Whitehead

          Oh I can see it, I just don’t think it’s a smart move right now.

          • WILD KATIPO

            Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah !

            Winston taken enough garbage from that neo liberal dirt bag party. He’s not likely to go back for seconds after the slurs and the insults and the leaking of his personal information to the public.

            As well as a great smile , a lightning wit , the mans got values. New Zealand values of the Kiwi way of life. Unlike the current mess that’s called National.

            And their $100,000 donations buying a place in their caucus.

            • cleangreen

              100% Wild Katipo.

              I couldn’t say it better.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              You do realize that New Zealand First declared none of its donations for the election year, right? It’s frankly not credible that they had no donations large enough to clear the threshold.

          • BM

            He will if Collins is Leader.

            • You_Fool

              He will if they offer him the role of PM, and that is it… There are no other scenarios where that happens

              • BM

                So how’s that going to work if he decides to go with Labour?

                • You_Fool

                  He doesn’t need that from Labour, he can actually work with them… He can’t work with National, so the Nats need to offer him something huge, bigger than what they tried to bribe him with last year… and that is the PM-ship

        • bwaghorn

          Jones would though and gunner Mark’s

  2. Carolyn_Nth 2

    Welcome back to Poll watch, Matthew. And it’s an interesting result, because, on the main left wing blogs currently few are speaking up for the Green Party – and in at least one case, some vicious hammering of a GP leader.

    Yet, for all some people are saying the GP is weak and lost, and with little mainstream media cheering them on, they are polling very well, as you point out.

    • Matthew Whitehead 2.1

      Yep, this is the highest the GP have ever polled while supporting a government IIRC?

      edit: *spoiler voice* It was not.

      • WILD KATIPO 2.1.1

        Aint it wonderful?

        And all it shows is that Labour, NZ First and the Greens know how to get it on and make a govt work WITHOUT devouring their support partners. What a wonderful time it is for NZ .


      • Dukeofurl 2.1.2

        Ahhh the polls.

        Actual results may differ – especially that Greens dont quite reach their polling numbers on election day while NZ First does better than their polls.
        Its down to the demographic that support each party and the likely hood of actually voting

  3. Kat 3

    Don’t be too harsh on NZF, Winston and Jacinda work well together and I for one don’t mind that he has her back covered. NZF need to get across the line in 2020 and be part of the continuing coalition. By election time current ministers and present portfolios will likely be refreshed as the coalition adjusts to the inevitable changing political demands of long term governance. I don’t see any chance for National winning in 2020 or 2023 while Jacinda Ardern is Prime Minister and presides over what is shaping up to be a very cohesive coalition.

    • Carolyn_Nth 3.1

      NZ First is basically conservative and old style National. It will hold a left wing government back in the long term: e.g. Winston saying he sees no problem with the funding arrangement for political parties – he calls it “market forces” and says that is democratic. But there is nothing democratic about market forces.

      • Kat 3.1.1

        Or you could now regard NZF as just as representative of conservative Labour. Better to eyeball them around the table than have them making a nuisance scratching at the door to get in. Winston is a canny old polly and is playing a significant role in the changing of the guard. Much to the chagrin of those on the right of centre and the anti Ardern brigade.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          Before the last election I thought the current parliamentary Labour was more inclined towards NZF than the GP. This is part of Labour being continually dragged rightwards.

          To me this is the problem with the current Labour government at a time we need a truly left wing government. They are too concerned with appeasing the middle and business classes to truly be a party bringing the changes needed to low income people.

        • Matthew Whitehead

          NZF is definitely Muldoon-style conservative National Party politics. There are some things Muldoon-style politics has in common with modern left-wing politics (it’s not averse to spending government money, but it is averse to collecting revenue at a reasonable rate)

          They are not a left-wing conservative party, (I’m not sure there’s even enough votes in that constituency for such a thing to exist, tbh) even though they are currently aligned with the left, and fit with us better than with National. They are fundamentally a conservative, centrist force. (although centrist in that odd “we’re leftist on some things and rightist on others” way, rather than being moderated in their economic policy)

          • WILD KATIPO

            Its interesting that in an article written some time ago , Muldoon and his policy’s on welfare were closer to MANA than even the Greens are today. And thus Peters walks a similar path.

            THAT ,… is how far this country has fallen ,… from the original social democracy that this country was well known ( and admired ) for.

            Glad Peters if Deputy PM , glad Adern is PM , glad Labour , Greens and NZ First are the coalition govt. Imagine the odious alternative.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              Peters is not closer to Mana than the Greens are, lol. He is the big obstacle to the welfare reforms the Greens want, for instance, and the Greens picked up Hone’s feed the kids bill.

          • Kahu

            The division within the party seems to be two-thirds right-labourist & one third left-nationalist. Old-time Labour party people socially conservative but economically left & old-time Muldoonist left wing of the Nats, also more socially conservative than Nat Right-Liberals but not so economically right wing. Labour is basically Left-liberal these days, not so workerist/labourist.

      • patricia bremner 3.1.2

        Don’t bite the hand that put you in Government LOL.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          I’m not in government. And it is not the government I had been hoping for over the last decade. It’s not the government of real change that we need right now.

          In the long run, it could set the NZ left back a decade or so.

          It’s good to see the back of the Nats in the short term….. but….

      • WILD KATIPO 3.1.3

        Well Winston was ‘old time conservative national’.

        I see no real probs with that after a fashion,… but lets address the real cause of angst: the soft power inclinations of the Chinese Communist party and their successful penetration of the NZ political scene.

        It was timely that all this has now come to light. And let us not forget either that Peters has spoken out loudly and clearly about just this sort of thing descending on NZ. He alone, in the direct political spheres has been for decades, – the lone voice crying in the wilderness.

        And he was repeatedly trashed for doing so.

        And he was trashed precisely because of the neo liberal ideology of globalism and open slather immigration. Full blown, irresponsible immigration that was non discriminatory and was designed to lower wages, advantage the moneyed rentier class , provide National with a steady stream of new voters , – and weaken the concept of national sovereignty, irrespective of from where those immigrants came.

        Which served international free trade deals, with punitive conditions that meant mere corporations could sue a govt if it passed legislation that curbed their avarice.

        But Peters has been vindicated.

        This is what New Zealanders voted for in their gullibility, rush towards riches at the expense of fellow New Zealanders and ignorance of geopolitical forces.

      • Kahu 3.1.4

        I’ve always seen NZF as being left-nationalist but I don’t know …am I wrong to think that?

    • ScottGN 3.2

      I agree Kat. I think that the current 3 partners in government have the potential to form a very durable governing arrangement.

      • Enough is Enough 3.2.1

        You think they do, or you hope you do?

        I think the antics of the past couple of months will be irrelevant in 12 months. We are certainly due an economic retraction in the not to distant future. We are at the tail end of, what has been by historic standards, a long economic expansion.

        Something has to, and will give in the next 18 months.

        It is how this government deals with that slowdown/recession which will determine whether they get back into government. Neither this government, nor the one lead by Helen Clark has had to deal with a financial crisis so no one really knows how they will perform.

        Blind Freddy can govern when the economy is booming. It is during the tough times that governments really show their worth.

    • Matthew Whitehead 3.3

      I in fact make a constant effort to be kind to NZF, National, and ACT in these posts because I am trying to give you all a fair (if obviously left/Green aligned) analysis. This is me toning down the harshness. (:

      I’m an unashamed liberal though, so you can’t ask me not to be pleased by the idea of not needing a conservative party to pass legislation.

      • WILD KATIPO 3.3.1

        Perhaps not ask you to be pleased but certainly recognize that same ‘conservative party’ enabled the current govt to be formed. As has been pointed out, the odious alternative would be unthinkable . NZ would have imploded if that was the case.

        We just could not have kept going under the duplicitous agendas of Nationals angling to sell off and privatize this country any longer, it had to be stopped in its tracks…


        … ” We don’t like extremists, – we believe in laws and policy’s that support the mass majority of New Zealanders , and not just a small elite ,… who may have gotten control of the political system and the financial funding of political party’s , … shows that in this campaign ” …

        – Winston Peters.


        Peters said the sell off of New Zealand interests to overseas buyers was the “continuing story of this country’s decline since the 14th of July, 1984”.


      • cleangreen 3.3.2

        Nah I don’t see that Matthew, you love sticking ‘Greens’ up front of the que and trash the others; – always.

        You said;
        “I in fact make a constant effort to be kind to NZF, National, and ACT in these posts”

        • Matthew Whitehead

          I am honest that this is a good poll for the Greens. You will actually note that despite an ongoing trend to Labour being able to drop NZF being the big news here I spent most of my time talking about the opposition.

          • WILD KATIPO

            And,…. if Labour were foolish enough to ‘drop’ NZ First and snub them,… do you really think that’s wise to cut off yet another potential party that A ) seems to work well with Labour and B ) potentially ( though it would never happen ) gift National a support partner ???.

            All for the sake of a short term temporary 3 year stint that could implode later on leaving options limited ?

            I think not.

            ATM , we have a well balanced govt , PRECISELY BECAUSE we have Labour, NZ First and the Greens.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              Dropping them from coalition is not the same thing as not working together with them in areas you want to. Effectively we’d just reverse the relationship Labour had with each of its support partners.

  4. BM 4

    I slaughtered a chicken and read its guts, it’s not looking good for Ardern.

  5. SPC 5

    It might be wise for Labour to have a talk with the two other parties about the next government being Labour led and having relationships with both parties, even if it could form a government with either.

    This would reassure both NZF (and Greens) and voters (into making it so on election day).

    Greens would be a more equal player with NZF in such a government but it would be seen as a continuation of the status quo.

    • Carolyn_Nth 5.1

      We need change, not a continuation of the status quo.

      • SPC 5.1.1

        But then again the fiscal straight jacket the coalition is under is a result of a Labour-Green commitment to

        1. not spend more than 30% GDP
        2. meet a debt to GDP target
        3. finance $2Bpa out of tax revenues for the Cullen Fund

        So what particular change would you expect?

        Neither Labour or Greens is proposing to stop paying those over 65 still working super ($4B gross and $3Bpa after tax adjustments).
        Nor to put in place a CGT that taxed gains on historic cost (backdated decades) – thus raising significant revenue
        Nor collecting 1% from the employee and the employer to place into the Cullen Fund

        Yet anything less would not provide functional public services – hospitals, schools and state housing could take a B pa each. And then there is dental care and mental health into MSM health delivery, better rehabitilitation/including community houses, better Pharmac funding, better support for those in poor health (outside ACC) etc. Then there is child poverty …

        • Gabby

          I notice nobody is even hinting at mentioning that possibility – only paying a pension to retirees. Much better for manual workers to cripple themselves working to 67 than for shiny arses to forgo their bach heated pools.

      • Left_forward 5.1.2

        Britain and US certainly got change in spades a coupla years ago.
        A few people questioning ‘change’ now.

        • Incognito

          Yes, when “change” means “anything by status quo” it can have unintended if not perverse consequences. My idea is to develop an alternative idea, a vision, and then implement it and be the change you want to see AKA prefigurative politics.

    • Matthew Whitehead 5.2

      Labour will no doubt keep its options open. Its degree of commitment pre-election to NZF will likely mirror their own degree of commitment, as will their willingness to offer favourable terms reflect favourable treatment during the campaign.

      Even a Labour-Green coalition government won’t burn bridges with NZF, there would likely be some things in it for them commensurate to the usefulness of their support. (assuming they stay above threshold)

  6. Labour- Green government after November 21st 2020 ( last date for the general election ) please with a larger Green vote i hope.
    It is time the Greens got a real share of a possible governing arrangement and not have to take third place without a place or places in cabinet.

    • Dukeofurl 6.1

      Thats because their supporters say in the polls they will vote for them but then dont cast a vote at all.

  7. Song from Johhny ,…

    Johnny Cash – The One On The Right Is On The Left – YouTube

  8. patricia bremner 8

    JACINDA has given many hope again. The coalition is an example of cooperation to be admired. Together they are tackling problems on every side while trying to erase 9 years of bad governance.
    A coalition means compromise. A huge effort to be inclusive has been a hallmark.
    Socialism has to be tempered. As does Capitalism.
    This Government has tasked all working groups with the measuring stick of ‘Is it good for NZ and New Zealanders?’ A huge improvement on ‘Does it make money?
    We are fortunate indeed.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Socialism has to be tempered. As does Capitalism.

      And to think I frittered tens of thousands of words trying to say the same thing you managed in 8 🙂


    • Left_forward 8.2

      Its not that I disagree with your main point, but tell me why does socialism need to be tempered?
      Its like saying justice and equity need to be tempered.

      • Doogs 8.2.1

        No leftie, it isn’t like that. Justice and equity are absolutes. Socialism is a spectrum, where extreme versions of it are just as damaging as capitalism, but in a different way.

        • Left_forward

          No doogie, Socialism is a political philosophy based on tenets of justice and equity for all. I assume the ‘versions’ that you are referring to are something else.

          • Doogs

            Socialism is a very broad term.

            Dictionary definition –
            “A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

            And now a comment regarding this definition. Not mine, but from a reliable source –
            “The term ‘socialism’ has been used to describe positions as far apart as anarchism, Soviet state Communism, and social democracy; however, it necessarily implies an opposition to the untrammelled workings of the economic market. The socialist parties that have arisen in most European countries from the late 19th century have generally tended towards social democracy.”

            If that isn’t a fairly wide spectrum of ideology, then tell me what is.

            • Left_forward

              Perhaps PB means that that the extreme positions that have used ‘socialism’ to justify something else need to be tempered – communism for example. At least in NZ they seem to have been tempered long ago.

              So… going back to my first question… why does [your dictionary definition of] socialism need to be tempered today?

              It seems very reasonable to me to oppose the ‘untrammelled workings of the economic market’. If this is socialism, lets have more of it!

    • Carolyn_Nth 8.3

      JACINDA has given many hope again. The coalition is an example of cooperation to be admired.

      Yes yes. We’re constantly being told that. For some of us who have reservations about how much the current government will do for the struggling classes, it becomes a bit tiresome to see the constant uncritical cheerleading of Ardern government.

      The Greens, on the other hand, are getting constantly hammered in the mainstream media, and on some left wing blogs. Bradbury rarely says anything good about them, and is currently hammering Davidson.

      The postings on this site now tend mostly to be in support of Labour, and the Greens have been marginalised. It almost seems like many on the left are in first past the post mode: hammering the Nats, and cheerleading Labour.

      Yet, in spite of this, it’s interesting to see the GP is holding their ground in polls.

      • Carolyn_Nth, “Yes yes. We’re constantly being told that.’
        No we are not. On this blog I have seen more photos of Judith and Simon than Jacinda… just saying.

        ‘Uncritical cheerleading of the Ardern government’ Is that meant to mock me because I rate her?
        I admit to being a card carrying Labour person. That does not mean I don’t think or see areas still to be tackled or improved.

        “The Greens have been marginalised” The lack of postings may be felt since Weka left. Perhaps the Greens on this site need to communicate more to give Green views for better balance?
        Bradbury gets bees in his bonnet and now and then he Rants.
        As you point out, your improving poll ratings must be giving him a lesson.

        Your comment about “struggling classes.”
        Yes, Labour and National widened gaps.
        This Government has begun the arduous task of cleaning up.
        Living and working in Rotorua, I couldn’t help but be aware of the problems caused by both L/N . Paul East Nat with his $80.00 a day allowance(560!! per week), on one hand, and a newly widowed father of two managing on $80.00 a week was when I started to become active.

        Tell us the issues you want discussed here. You might be uplifted.

  9. Meanwhile,… back on the farm , and far away from the inanities that mark our current inwards looking perspectives,…

    A closer look at – Guy Chases Bigfoot In The Woods – YouTube

  10. WeTheBleeple 10

    There’s an awful lot of self interest tied up in the left still. Many can’t wait to throw Winston under the bus, or the greens, or labor isn’t good enough.

    Tribalism. Sad shit.

    Shame on you all for missing what you have, just to continue whining. What we got isn’t perfect – so remain critical where it is relevant…

    Much of this is just whining and bashing. You do yourselves no favors.

    Without differing views you basically get a dictatorship disguised as a democracy. We have a bi-partisan government working together. The news is not filled with their fighting and follies, despite media absolutely gurning to make it so. We have the opposite where the one party left to its own devices is imploding, while these disparate souls are rolling their sleeves up.

    We have politicians doing their jobs.

    Greens keep labor honest, labor keep greens on the planet.

    Winston has a shit ton of experience and can be relied on to put shit talkers in their place if it’s required. Winston who understands a generation most of you obviously don’t. Manners, humor, a little class even.

    This is freaking rad man. This is how society is meant to work. This is how government is meant to work. We get all parties to the table and hammer out what is best for all.

    We disagree, we learn why the objections, we learn about each other. We learn things we did not know. We grow.

    Or we cross our arms and act like petulant children cos it seems the left want all the toys to their respective selves too.


    • Cinny 10.1

      Have never voted NZ First, but am very pleased they are part of our current government, as I hold Tracey Martin in high regard. Her work and efforts towards education and children among other things has been and is outstanding.

      Also, I feel Winston has been fantastic as a caretaker PM and am very pleased he is minister of foreign affairs, he shines in that role.

      • OnceWasTim 10.1.1

        I get the impression that those who identify with being progressive and left of centre generally don’t see change happening fast enough or going far enough.

        I sometimes feel the frustration myself over quite a few issues (public service reform; public service broadcasting; housing; commodification in the tertiary education sector; etc.) but there is quite a bit going on in the background, and ‘big bang’ changes more often than not, historically seem to go tits-up.

        The gNats clearly hate it that NZF and Labour are getting on just fine, and given their agenda – that’s a good sign.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          I get the impression that those who identify with being progressive and left of centre generally don’t see change happening fast enough or going far enough.

          Exactly, because we’ve been here before too often in recent decades.

          Gradual is not going to cut it anymore. eg The Clark Labour government gave us some relief, but, in retrospect it just served as maintaining a holding pattern. over time, meanwhile, the centre of politics mainstream keeps getting shunted sideways. And this is because Labour Parties are still operating within the neoliberal framwork.

          Now more than ever, we need decisive change for the future.

      • Carolyn_Nth 10.1.2

        I also rate Tracey Martin after having seen her talk at events a few times. Of all the NZF MPs, it seems to me she is the best fit with Labour. I think she wouldn’t be out of place in the Labour Party, albeit, the more conservative wing of it.

    • Left_forward 10.2

      It depends how deep you look Bleep. It certainly is a kind of tribalism, but scratch the surface and underneath is some pretty important stuff about humans and the things that are important to us.
      For example, it is important for blue tribe members to not contribute anything to help others, take from common resources, build walls, and help the rich get richer. Its a kind of religion.
      The black one wants NZ to be the way it was and likes walls too.
      The red tribe are working hard to forget that they changed colour a few years back and many want them to go back to sharing and looking after each other. They are trying hard to do this.
      The green tribe want to share too, but also wants to look after the natural world that the blue tribe wants to rape and plunder.

    • Matthew Whitehead 10.3

      NZ First are reluctant allies to the Left. Don’t get confused that they’re a permanent part of our bloc.

      • WILD KATIPO 10.3.1

        There was a prominent commentator not so long that did an article on a NZ First regional meet, ( may have even been an AGM,) that was suprised and heartened that it had the same sort of cross section and ‘feel’ of society that Labour had in the early /mid 1970’s. People from all walks.

        And rather than the usual standard fare of identity politics and side issues, the topics were those of concern for the people of this country. Immigration, anti – neo liberalism, labour laws , housing, taxation etc… in other words, – all the issues directly pertaining to peoples concern of this country .

        I think the commentator was Chris Trotter though I’m not too sure.

        At any rate, NZ First , … because it is reminiscent of so many values from pre 1984 , is by definition more left than one would notice at a cursory glance. This is why NZ First and Labour can work together comfortably. And why they also can work in with the Greens as well.

        And this is why National, being the largest party sold out to neo liberalism is so antagonistic to Peters and NZ First, – the duplicity of which they both insult Peters/ NZ First , – yet ,- if push comes to shove will become all smarmy and consider them for political partners.

        Something that NZ First and Peters would never consider after 3 decades of Nationals neo liberal rorting.

        • Dennis Frank

          Yeah it was Trotter, I remember that one. Often called `the caring conservative’, that strand of the NP tradition that Winston represents. Your analysis seems accurate as to why he does pragmatic support of Labour where common ground can be established. Commentators who have framed this as a leftist stance in the past are just doing spin. Winston would be quick to reject that labelling. He uses nationalism. A rightist ideology from the 19th century.

          • Kahu

            She’d be my vote for next leader of NZF but sadly it seems Shane Jones parachuted in for that. Nationalism is not inherently rightwing. You can be a Left-Nationalist or a Right-Nationalist.

        • Matthew Whitehead

          Trotter is a left-wing conservative. NZF are centrist conservatives. Of course he sees in NZF the things he liked in old-school Labour.

          This “prominent commentator” is the same tyre fire who supported the “free speech coalition” to promote neo-nazis that didn’t do anything to support actual free speech from people like Renae Maihi.

          • Kahu

            He’s fallen a long way from his Socialist Action League Days, now a useful idiot for the establishment, unfortunately Bryce Edwards is following the same trajectory from his Revolution Group days to sellout apologist for status-quo.

      • veutoviper 10.3.2

        If they are reluctant, why did they choose to go with Labour?

        Sorry Matthew, but your bias shows through. Like Cindy and OWT (and others), I believe the current arrangements are working well.

        For most of this century, I split my votes Labour/Green until 2017 when I two ticked Labour.

        I have no regrets on that decision and have yet to be convinced to reinvest a vote in the Greens, who I think still have a lot to learn about the realities of actually being part of government. I am trying to stay open minded and this may change by 2020 but I will wait and see. But quite frankly, if there was an election tomorrow I would either two tick Labour – or if needed, probably split vote Labour/NZF.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          Reluctant because Peter’s home team, the Nats, have constantly worked to undermine him and get him out of politics. NZF is not a left wing party, but they do not like the current neoliberal frame of the Nats.

          • WILD KATIPO

            [ but they do not like the current neoliberal frame of the Nats. ]

            And that’s good enough for me.

            • Carolyn_Nth

              Well, the neoliberal frame is more embraced by the urban Nats. NZF is more rural, capitalist conservative. And that’s a fault line down the centre of NZ’s right wing.

              • Well yes you could be quite right, and while I support a fair amount of ‘left’ type policy’s, I don’t tend to support identity politics. The fault line for me was the historical line drawn in 1984, … as it seems it was for Peters and many others.

                I can think of no other outside of Jim Anderton that has campaigned so vigorously against neo liberalism and for so long as Winston Peters. Its a shame Anderton didn’t live to see this time.

                I see elements of conservatism in NZ First , – but I also see plenty of the old social democracy too. And that has nothing to do with neo liberalism. And I think that is also why NZ First , Labour and the Greens can work quite amiably together. I think its a great win / win combination.

              • Kahu

                He’s fallen a long way from his Socialist Action League Days, now a useful idiot for the establishment, unfortunately Bryce Edwards is following the same trajectory from his Revolution Group days to sellout apologist for status-quo.

          • veutoviper

            The Nat Party of 25 – 35 years ago, when Peters was one, was a very different beast to what the Nat Party has morphed into today.

            I had many dealings with Peters over the intervening years when I did stints working in or close to Parliament, and IMO Peters has remained more true to the old style party.

            OTOH the NZF Party and Peters have also morphed. A lot of people seem to have a blind spot and still want to see NZF as an out of touch party of oldies. In fact, as per WK’s comments at 10.3.1, NZF has actually reinvented itself quietly behind the scenes over the last few years, during and since Peters’ three years in the wilderness (2008 – 2011) . There seems to be a very strong structure behind the scenes and a much younger membership now than many people realise.

            ‘Denial’ is not just a river etc, and my perception (rightly or wrongly) is that quite a number of Green Party members in particular are stuck in that mode when it comes to NZF – as per Matthew’s comment above.

            I am quite surprised (pleasantly) by the change in tone of the comments here on this post, compared to the tone of comments on similar posts just a year ago.

            • veutoviper

              Addendum to the above.

              Oh dear. I have just seen your (Carolyn Nth) comment at 10.5.

              My first reaction is that is exactly the type of comment that abounded here 12 months ago that I was indirectly referring to in my last sentence above – ie comments where Green members constantly blamed Labour voters for the drop in support for the GP rather than countenance the possibility that the drop may have arisen due to a bad decision within the GP itself.

              Those types of comments and GP tribalism at that time are exactly why I did not vote Green last year, and will not until I see more maturity on the part of the GP and its members.

              WeTheBeetle says it clearly if bluntly in his/her last sentence at 11.

        • Matthew Whitehead

          Reluctant doesn’t mean they’re not part of our bloc right now. It means they’re not natural or permanent allies like Labour is to the Greens and vice-versa, and that they could leave our bloc and favour National at any point that it suited them to. It also doesn’t mean they aren’t blocking policies we would want. (Luckily for all of us, National are a mess, have made no efforts to establish a positive working relationship with Peters or his party or select someone capable of doing so, and haven’t understood that they need to make more attractive offers than Labour due to their lower economic compatibility with New Zealand First)

          As to why we should want NZF to be an unnecessary element for Labour to govern: They want to cut taxes rather than sustainably fund things, impacting Labour’s ability to pivot away from its straightjacket approach to the BRRs, they oppose protecting queer rights and increasing the refugee quota, they oppose further electoral reform, ending onshore extraction of fossil fuels, they want over-investment in the military and jails, and boy could I go on.

          I have no problem with other people voting Labour and being satisfied with their choice, but convincing yourself that you haven’t paid a price to get New Zealand First’s support that you should want to avoid is bizarre. (Unless of course you’re a conservative left-winger, in which case we have a stark difference of opinion and you are probably enthusiastic about having NZF in coalition)

          • Kahu

            I think is NZF is pragmatic and would trade a higher refugee intake for a lower economic migrant intake. NZF is right to take our defence seriously. They chose to support a party with policy to reduce number of inmates & cancel a billion dollar superprison over one doing the opposite. They traded as pragmatists that aspect of strong on law & order for another aspect …boosting the number of police. How do they oppose protecting gay rights. no where have I seen NZF policy to overthorow gay marriage/civil unions or outlaw homosexuality. Stop being ridiculous.

          • patricia bremner

            I am old, and I remember Winston’s fight against the perfidy of rich listers in the wine box saga. He exposed the crooked use of tax havens and the dodgy behaviour using the Cook Islands. (Fay &Richwhite) Who went on to Ireland
            With more support we would not have had the Monsica case. He is honest, and many times the DP machine has worked to malign him.
            Don’t you think it was strange that his Super over payments were discovered at a time that could have been embarrassing?? Luckily he took his partner with him and filled all papers. NOT trying to get extra funds!!
            In the resulting inquiry it was admitted that a data entry was incorrect. DP???
            Did Paula hope to use that at a pinch?? We can only surmise, but given her record nothing would surprise…. BUT shortly after, she was off WINZ.
            So does that make me a “conservative Labour supporter?” No ofcourse not!!
            I just take as I find, and I know Winston has NZ’s’ best interests at heart.
            Some members of NZ First are very conservative, I give you that.

    • JanM 10.4

      Well said, WeTheBleeple, and Cinnie too!
      I think this coalition government is working very hard and showing great wisdom in the way they are working to try and right all the wrongs that have been visited on us. There is no point at all in going farther and faster than most in our society can handle – that would probably result in societal destabilisation and a one term government. Then where would we all be?

      • WILD KATIPO 10.4.1

        Back to the era of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson and the colossal damage and upheaval they caused. To unpick that damage , change must be slow and steady and methodical , though many would like to see change overnight.

    • Carolyn_Nth 10.5

      Well, if more in Labour could get over their tribalism, and stop resenting and marginalising the GP, maybe the left could be more united.

      • Dennis Frank 10.5.1

        I would agree with that, if the GP were really left. If GP members who are motivated by our common interests pulled out, leaving only those who are partisan, the GP wouldn’t ever make the 5% threshold again. Better that we don’t fall into the old partisan trap, focus on what we do actually share…

    • patricia bremner 10.6


  11. WeTheBleeple 11

    Thank you for pointing out yet another exemplary person working for us.

    I’ve not voted NZ First but if the greens keep insisting on shoving Winston out I’ll campaign for Winston.

    The number of greens I’ve met who know squat about ecology, other than some bumper sticker quotes…

    I’m very Green, and wont have a bar of them till they learn to play with the other kids.

  12. cleangreen 12

    Maybe this will make BM happy.

    Now that the warning that Winston Peters had sent us at the time of his joining the labour coalition, when he warned that “soon the beginning of GFC would come” is now finally here; – so how are we going to cope with the ‘reliance of cheap money’ from China?

    Thank God we have Winston Peters here among us today, as he is the only one with history to recall how to tackle this.

    China freely prints free money for it’s own global investments and we are now addicted to their money.


    Billionaire Carl Icahn told CNBC on Tuesday there are too many exotic, leveraged products for investors to trade, and one day these securities are going to blow up the market.

  13. Pete 13

    The perceptions resulting from relatively superficial events get to be critical. Mary and Joe Bloggs having the confidence to say “Yeah, they’re going okay. I’d support them,” can be destroyed very easily.

    Like behaviour and events such as those around Clare Curran and Meka Whaitiri. Joe and Mary go to work and around the morning tea cuppa someone says smething nasty and the impression walks out the door to all over.

    Most people simply want competence. One yobbo out of a crowd of 20,000 doing something dumb will get the attention. When even good, sound ideas and behaviour are attacked, one MP doing something dumb is manna. The good efforts of the mass can be sunk without trace in moments with the residual effects lasting for years.

    • Dennis Frank 13.1

      “Most people simply want competence.” Probably the key point in regard to the future of the coalition! Would we be likely to get it from a real Labour-led govt? Unlikely.

      Provisionally, an impartial appraisal of current Labour ministers in respect of portfolio performance and delivery on promises would not produce a report card that impressed many – however some seem to be trending well. On a good day I’d give Labour 6/10 and the coalition 7.5, on a bad day I’d compare either with how well National are providing good competition at the time. By that I mean who’s currently looking better, dumb or dumber?

  14. SaveNZ 14

    Good news. Also I seldom watch MSM but saw Newshub last night.

    Jacinda and Andrew came across really well, sincere on the $$$ for MP’s and reforming the donations system, which clearly needs major reform aka ban political donations before NZ turns even more corrupt than we already are!

    The amount it would take for the public to fund political parties, is minuscule like $10 million every 3 years, in the context of all the other routs like America’s cup for $200 million plus that apparently we need and they can’t use private money to fund (even though it is a billionaire sport???)

    Noticed that Natz Goodfellow was there spinning. What a joke if he’s investigating the complaints from women against Ross and reforming Natz against women, as a little bird rumour is that he has been in trouble for beating up his wife. No charges of course and of course might not be true at all, Ieave it up to someone else to investigate that one. Go figure. With twists like that, no wonder the Natz are in decline.

  15. Aaron 15

    Thankyou! – finally a blog that discusses that fact that the National Party vote represents the entire right wing vote and only looks big because there are no other viable right wing parties to shave their vote.

    I’ve been leaving comments for ages about this issue but I’m too unimportant for anyone to take any notice. Thank god an actual blogger has spotted this issue. Hopefully others pick up on it now.

  16. WeTheBleeple 16

    I enjoyed throwing a cat among the pigeons yesterday. I called out the Greens for being antisocial pedantics. It was duly noted, my sentiments are widely understood. I was also calling out anyone/everyone who is merely complaining, rather than rolling their sleeves up. Doing nothing but bitch and moan is current National territory.

    Green members responded with counters, rather than seeing the pattern of general feeling they are leaving behind them, they doubled down on what’s wrong with Winston. To be honest you did well I was expecting some of your ferals to come out of the woodwork.

    Please believe the rest of us in that we understand your frustration. Nothing seems to be moving fast enough but history has proven those making sudden large scale change typically disappear. Humankind unfortunately knows little of recalling history and we love ‘the next thing’. The market is full of instagram idiots influencing immature idolisers…

    We do NOT want this instant shit mentality in Government. That’s a National attribute. We want slow steady change where business gets dragged kicking and screaming with us. We can all help each other we’ve just been fractured. Imagine if we leapt on and financially backed some of the hair brained shit people have come up with for carbon capture.

    You know, I know, plant trees, restore topsoil, divest from oil and destructive ag.

    Too little too late? Hell, we’ve all seen too little too late for our entire lives. Yes it’s frustrating but the alternative is knee jerk instability. And yes, we’re all aware the status quo stifles progress at every turn. ALL of us know this. You aint special.

    You want more done roll your sleeves up and do it.

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