Should We Fear Judith Collins?

Written By: - Date published: 10:34 am, February 12th, 2019 - 130 comments
Categories: class war, Deep stuff, election 2020, Judith Collins, leadership, Politics, polls, same old national, Simon Bridges, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

The Newshub/Reid Research poll is clearly devastating for National and its current leader, Simon Bridges. It’s even worse than the last Colmar Brunton poll, which also had Labour leading the Tories.*

The trend is clear; National under Bridges are stuffed.

The question facing the Tory caucus when they meet this morning is exactly what to do about it.

Logic would say Simon’s had his run. He went on a limo tour of NZ last year to introduce himself to ‘ordinary New Zealanders’. Turns out New Zealanders think Bridges is very, very ordinary indeed.

Letting simple Simon continue as leader is simply cruel.

However, the difficulty is two fold. First, they have to work out the timing of his dumping. Too early and the Nats risk the new leader having their honeymoon period when nothing much is going on. Too late and Bridges will have dragged them even further down in the mire.

Remember, this is a man whose electoral strategy is entirely based around popularity. Bridges is relying on no mates National achieving a 47% vote, something unheard of under MMP.

But its the other part of the equation that is most vexing for National. 

Who is going to lead them to inevitable defeat in the next election?

Frankly, it has to be Judith Collins. There’s no one else with even a skerrick of positive name recognition out in voterland.

And that change should worry the left not a jot.

Collins is past her sell by date. Any chance of her really achieving anything politically was under the last Tory Government.

She’s had a past, but at present, she has no future.

But, she’s still National’s best bet. Like Mike Moore for Labour in 1990, she can save the furniture. But that’s as good as it gets.

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it here. The next National Prime Minister has not yet entered Parliament.

That’s the real task for the Tories.

Start scouting now, National, and you might have a shot in 2023.

Or, just hang on to Simon and see how bad things really get.

 

 

 *Correction: The October CM poll had Labour on 45, Nats 43. The December CM had National on 46, Labour 43. In both polls, National fell well short of being able to form a Government without NZ First support.

 Thanks to Alwyn for spotting the error.

 

130 comments on “Should We Fear Judith Collins?”

  1. Kat 1

    Judith Collins like Simon Bridges will never be PM of this country. The Nat helicopter is still on standby for that potential role……sometime in the very distant future.

    • woodart 1.1

      the nat helicopter will be funded by the chinese, so whoever they parachute in, will be bought and paid for well before delivery.

      • patricia bremner 1.1.1

        That is another problem for them, authenticity!! Who? Why?
        Everyone will look at any new National Party Leader and ask, who do you answer to?
        The bad taste of the “Donation” and the “Discussion” of candidates lingers.

        MP Collins was stood down by John Key, now Teflon John did not like making decisions… he generally delayed, so you know Collins had a case to answer.

        MP Mitchell, now he is tarred by mercenary status and lacks finesse. He won’t do.

        MP Adams is too close to the 1%

        Mp Smith? Too many dirty rivers under too many bridges.

        May be Teflon John has a friend? Hang on that didn’t go so well before.

        As they realise their millions have been for naught, their backers will fold the tent and like all Money men, invest elsewhere.

        A Green Blue Team? Now there’s an idea ……

  2. Enough is Enough 2

    It is looking more and more like it will be a two horse race next year.

    As is the case with most minor parties in government, they bleed support. NZ First is going the same way it did the last two times it was in government, dipping below 5%. The Greens are heading south as well.

    This is not surprising and is simply history repeating itself. Look at ACT, the Alliance, United Future, Maori Party etc etc. With out a safe electorate seat those monor parties disappeared (or should have in the case of ACT)

    So we will have an old school two party election which will simply be Jacinda v Simon/Judith.

    Judith is so divisive that I don’t think they will gamble with that option. For that reason I think they will stick with Simon.

    • Sacha 2.1

      There wil be more than two parties in the next parliament, despte the Nats’ wet dreams otherwise.

      • You_Fool 2.1.1

        Could be as many as 6-7, especially if Labour decide to do electoral reform to the recommendation of the last commission…

        Doing so will be a killing blow to national, but may save the right… If the % is dropped to 4% or 3% it will give new parties a better chance, so support for National will drop and other parties pick it up on issues that matter to that specific 3-5% (the so called new conservatives (4%), the sea-greens (3%), a JC led new act party (2.5% + Papakura), a JLR new new act party (2% + Botany), plus OG Act hanging out in Epsom with their 1%) all mostly out of Nat support (Nat ~30%), Greens and NZ-first climb at some loss to Lab… (~10% greens, ~8% NZF, ~35% Lab)

        Then we get to see the real colour of the sea-greens, is it green or is it blue….

      • Enough is Enough 2.1.2

        This poll suggests it would be more of a wet dream for Labour. In a current two horse race they would destroy National and be rid of the toxic and bigoted Peters.

        • patricia bremner 2.1.2.1

          Enough is Enough, Be more respectful.

          Winston Peters had figured out the money for list seats scam” when he warned of Chinese influence. He was NOT being racist He was being a realist.

          Further “Toxic and bigoted” Harsh indeed for the man who wisely handed the reins to Jacinda Ardern.

          • Enough is Enough 2.1.2.1.1

            He is toxic and racist and the sooner he is gone the better.

            He will be gone next year and it will be a great day for progressive politics when he does.

          • Unicus 2.1.2.1.2

            Absolutely

            WP has served parliament and New Zealand with great distinction

            I’m struggling to think of a Green MP of remotely equal calibre

    • That_guy 2.2

      Here we go again with people saying the Greens are stuffed. Seven straight elections.

      • Enough is Enough 2.2.1

        If you look back at my 7 years of posting on The Standard you will see I have consistently voted for the Greens and most likely will do so again next year.

        My point is more around minor parties in general once they are part of government. They fail to survive unless they have an electorate seat.

        • veutoviper 2.2.1.1

          “My point is more around minor parties in general once they are part of government. They fail to survive unless they have an electorate seat.”

          If that is actually the case, by your own logic, then there goes the Green Party next year unless they win an electorate seat. They seem to have a policy these days of not seeking to win electorate seats, and concentrating on winning party votes not electorate votes.

          So why would you – or anyone else – bother to think about wasting your vote(s) by voting Green next year?

          • Enough is Enough 2.2.1.1.1

            Yes that is my logic. That is the basis of my first comment if you had read through.

            The Green Party is the one that aligns most closely with my own values so that is why I vote for them. If it appears in late 2020 that my vote will be wasted then I am not really sure what I will do to be honest.

            I am not convinced that Labour has the capability, or even desire, to push through real meaningful change. They talk the talk but seem pretty useless at delivering results. The Kiwibuild fiasco is the clear example of that.

            However if it is a two horse race then the choice will be clear and I will be voting for Labour.

            • veutoviper 2.2.1.1.1.1

              I think you need to keep an open mind.

              The type of change that both Labour and the Greens (and even NZF) campaigned on is not the type able to be put in place instantly or even in a year or two.
              Some small incremental steps towards the bigger goals can and have been possible in a short time (eg the energy payment) but others require considerable planning, new infrastructure, changing mindsets etc. Many of the changes once in place will then not show instantaneous results.

              We live in a world of instant responses – eg emails, tweets etc, etc. and now mistakenly think this applies to everything. But this is not possible in all areas of life or governing of a country. It is a bit like turning around a massive cruise ship. Sure some mistakes will be made, but you shouldn’t immediately judge things on these hiccups but on what is done to accept these and move on to find other ways of achieving the same results wanted. Where there is a will, there is a way.

  3. mac1 3

    National at the moment seems to have a culture that does not attract good leaders, or even in some instances, good people. Perhaps the good people stay away because of this toxic element.

    While those such as Collins and Bennett, Ross and Dowie, Mitchell, Smith and Barrie and are the best contenders, then National is more than friendless.

    Is it all to do with why people go into politics?

    Somehow, I don’t get the impression that this group are there to make a difference for any but the elite and their socially mal-adjusted mates.

    • patricia bremner 3.1

      +1 Mac

    • Chris 3.2

      The nats currently have nobody, so for as long as that’s the case they’ll be playing musical leaders until someone comes along who’ll win them an election. But that’s the point – they won’t be leaderless forever, and they will be the government again. Labour needs to get cracking and make hay while they can. The biggest task they have is to recreate a caring and compassionate society by undoing the demolition job the nats did on our values in the 1990s. Without that the nats will be free once more to run amok when their leader finally arrives and it’s their turn to govern.

      • mac1 3.2.1

        Very true, Chris. And that’s why we should, as good people, be involved in politics.
        Save ourselves from these predators. In all parties. If enough people got involved, not just the single-issue nutters, power seekers, sociopaths, criminals, then we’d get more people like Jacinda Ardern who know what empathy is.

        And stay in, even when our party of choice seems to have lost its way, and the SINPSSC seem to have got some traction.

        Because at some time, so our history tells us, the Nats will be back. I hope their supporters have by then seen enough to select good and honest candidates and officials. As must we………….

        • Chris 3.2.1.1

          Yes, I agree, but I’m having less and less confidence in this government’s commitment to real change. Last year Labour passed the Social Security Act 2018. It was introduced by National who claimed it was policy neutral and designed solely for the purpose of removing complexity that had built up over decades of piecemeal reform. The trouble is that the new Act is far from policy neutral, and is more complex than the previous legislation. For Labour to adopt a National government introduced welfare Bill and pass it as their own says a lot, and begs the question are they really interested in making things better for those on the lowest incomes? The answer must be no. Since 1999 those on the left began waiting for the reforms of the 1990s to be wound back. They weren’t and Clark’s Labour government made things worse. Then we had the Key government which kept chipping away even more. The Labour opposition even voted with them on one of their “war on the poor” Bills. Then people saw hope in Ardern’s government – maybe this time it’ll be different? But no, Ardern’s government has adopted National’s complete rewrite of the Social Security Act and passed it into law as a government Bill. With a track record like that it’s no wonder this lot don’t deserve a jot of trust. That’s the problem. They will continue to tell us otherwise, but this government really doesn’t care. Their actions over the past 20 years speak for themselves. Their arrogance in believing people won’t notice beggars belief. But then again, the demolition job National did on our values in the 90s and then again from 2008 has caused very few people to care. So if nobody cares why should Labour care? Simple really.

  4. Sacha 4

    Collins will never be PM. She might make a loud leader of the Opposition but the factional rifts in her party would be put under so much pressure they might break it. Let’s see if their caucus, officeholders and donors will go for that.

  5. True, sadly simon is their best. The rest are a rabble in disarray. Daft judith ain’t saving them.

  6. Fireblade 6

    Judith has lost her mojo. She looks bored and tired. It’s like she’s just waiting for her 65 birthday so she can retire.

    Judith reminds me of my grumpy old grandmother, in the rocking chair, knitting socks and watching Coro Street.

    She’s represents the past, not the future and that’s why the stale old National voters like her.

  7. JohnSelway 7

    Collins is about as warm and electable as a cold bucket of sick

    • Myrtle 7.1

      Well a bucket of sick is very attractive compared to the usual dropkick candidates that National sends to the blue regions. Examples of the top of my head include Sarah Dowie, Nick Smith and oh who was that Queenstown MP who liked secret recordings?

  8. UncookedSelachimorpha 8

    I certainly hope they give Collins a suck at the biscuit. The contrast with Ardern will be fairly stark, and should keep NAct safely out of contention for a little longer.

    A Collins-Brash ticket would be even better!

  9. alwyn 9

    You poor old thing you.
    Your memory is clearly going. You can’t even remember things that happened less than three months ago. It is a very sad thing to see.
    The last Colmar Brunton Poll, at least according to you, had Labour ahead of National. Can I enlighten your failing memory? The last Colmar Brunton poll had National on 46% and Labour on 43%.
    Just to remind you I have provided a link. I’m sure you will welcome the reminder.
    https://www.colmarbrunton.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Prelim_24-28-November-2018_1-NEWS-Colmar-Brunton-Poll-report-.pdf

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      And National’s internal polling had the party on 36%.
      Quite accurate, it turns out.
      I wonder what figure Bridges is hiding from his caucus at today’s meeting?

    • Yes, quite right, Alwyn. It was the October CM poll that had Labour ahead. The following month’s polling, as you note, reversed the order, but still saw Labour on 43%. So the trend is clear; National are well short in the three latest polls and Judith Collins is as good or better than Simon Bridges in the preferred PM section without actually being one of the party’s leaders.

  10. rata 10

    Labour should fear the fact that despite
    a perfect storm against National
    the blues still have a strong support base.
    The Prime Mumester and her smile honey moon will fade.
    NZ has not had a one term Gov’t since the 1972 Kirk Gov’t
    so a minimum of 2 terms is usually a given.
    But Labour only govern by dint of 73 year old Maverick Winston Peters.
    I fear a one term Labour Gov’t unless they beef up the support cast.
    Labour needs simple strong themes to present a united front or else
    they will be picked off by National the past masters of minority bashing.
    Labour needs strong Lieutenants like National’s Stephen Joyce
    to shield Ardern other wise she will burnt out and implode
    well before the next election.
    Some one like bodyguard Iain McKay to toss aside annoying reporters 🙂

    • Robert Guyton 10.1

      “Labour should fear”
      “I fear”
      Fear enough, rata.

    • Stuart Munro 10.2

      She has one though – Winston has her back, and none of the Gnats can get a serve past him.

    • ianmac 10.3

      “The Prime Mumester and her smile honey moon will fade.”
      Key “smiled” his way through 9 years. The difference is that Key’s smile seldom reached his eyes.
      Jacinda’s smile seldom leaves her eyes.
      One day rata someone will explain to you just how MMP works.

  11. Muttonbird 11

    Simon won’t want to book an overseas holiday anytime soon.

  12. BM 12

    Bridges is a smart guy, but if the voters don’t like him then he’s a bit fucked really.

    Bridges, unfortunately, is like Kiwibuild, he’s copped so much bad press and negativity it’s going to be a herculean task to win over the voting public.

    From opposition that probably impossible, like Cunnliffe he’s got skills and intelligence but is prone to the odd brain fart, not liked by the media, talks a bit weird and just doesn’t resonate with the public.

    I don’t think the result for National was that bad as it was done around the same time as Davo’s and the media was rimming Ardern for all they were worth, but a terrible result for Bridges.

    Colmar Brunton poll will probably show Bridges on the same level of support but National neck and neck with labour, that will probably spell the end for Simon.

    Next up will be either Collins or Mitchell.

    • Incognito 12.1

      Bridges, unfortunately, is like Kiwibuild, he’s copped so much bad press and negativity it’s going to be a herculean task to win over the voting public.

      False equivalence but nice try.

    • David Mac 12.2

      Yep, if a rock star like Sir John doesn’t rise up I think the Nats are entering their Goff, Cunliffe, Shearer, Little season of discontent. Bloody mayhem. It’s not so much the contenders, they’re generally capable and strong. It’s the back-stabbing, conniving wannabes and blood seeking media that destroy public confidence.

      I’m scared of Judith, I think she could land a left hook on my chin that would see me sailing down the hallway. After Nicky blew the Whale apart, she has been the only MP to visibly stick close to Cameron. I think this was foolish. Hands up everyone that wants a tight mate of Cam’s running NZ….Anyone?

  13. Gabby 13

    More smart arse than smart guy BMmer.

  14. Judith Collins ‘not even interested in National leadership’.

    Something she has in common with the rest of NZ, apparently.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12203033

    • veutoviper 14.1

      But Jacinda Ardern also said that not long before she found herself in the Labour leadership role. LOL. Sorry …..

      Seriously, IIRC, rumour had it that Collins got next to no support last February in the National leadership contest after English stepped down.

    • James 14.2

      Ok. That did make me laugh

  15. Tiger Mountain 15

    “fear and loathing” for Judarth? hardly…

    she is a remnant, 20th Century politician, once a would be Thatcher mini-me–a Crusher, duffed up by Nat “Dirty Politics”, and now reduced to Tweeting dubious material

    but never say never in politics I guess…

    • Robert Guyton 15.1

      Fear her?
      Be faintly amused, perhaps, feel slight pity, but fear her?
      That’d just feed some unholy beast somewhere, that unreasonable fear.
      Why did an image of Paula Bennet suddenly appear in my mind’s eye, I wonder?

    • JanM 15.2

      Many moons ago now my then partner was a parliamentary journalist, and therefore, along with the rest of them, assiduously courted by the Nats – i.e lots of boozy cocktail parties. I was at one just after Muldoon had replaced Marshall as leader of the party. I asked one of their mps why they had done that, as it seemed apparent that he wasn’t well liked. He agreed they didn’t like him much but chose him because he was a populist and they thought he could win for them.
      And that’s the way it works for National – if they decide that Collins would do better than Bridges they would be quite capable of holding their noses and making her their leader, despite disliking her.
      Could be an interesting year!!

  16. Puckish Rogue 16

    Labour labour, what you gonna do, what you gonna do when Judith comes for you…

    Soon she’ll take the leadership, then the country and then the world

    It is known

  17. Puckish Rogue 17

    Labour labour, what you gonna do, what you gonna do when Judith comes for you…

    Soon she’ll take the leadership, then the country and then the world

    It is known

    • peterh 17.1

      And then she may get to 8%, watch out world

    • Robert Guyton 17.2

      Why, “Labour labour” (sic)?
      You do know, Pucky, that the Government is a coalition involving Labour, The Greens and NZFirst?
      Perhaps not. Your political vision does seem very narrow.

      • Puckish Rogue 17.2.1

        I could say it’s because Winstonfirst is stuffed and it’s not looking good for the Greens but its actually to the tune of bad boys 🙂

    • Dennis Frank 17.3

      Apparently propaganda, like advertising, requires two repeats to embed the message. You only did one. Still, two out of three ain’t bad… 😎

  18. bwaghorn 18

    Gee if I was involved in left politics I’d like to think the polls were shifting because of the work being done not because the other party is shit .

  19. Robert Guyton 19

    Y’know, Pucky, I reckon Judith’s nowhere near the play, in reality. I reckon Bennett has her hand on it and the rest is churn. Judith’s just a detraction distraction. A stalking horse.

    • Puckish Rogue 19.1

      Bennett isn’t fit to shine Judith’s shoes let alone carry the party

      • Robert Guyton 19.1.1

        The present Deputy of the National Party? Unfit to shine shoes; especially those of a woman stood down by John Key for unbecoming behaviour???
        That’s low , Pucky and you’ve gotta ask, what sort of caucus chooses such a person for their exec??? (The same caucus who will, Pucky-willing, choose Judith! It’s a mucky biz, Pucky!

        • Puckish Rogue 19.1.1.1

          Jude will drain the swamp!

          #makenzgreatagain

          • Stuart Munro 19.1.1.1.1

            Only to get her paws on the kauri in it.

            • Muttonbird 19.1.1.1.1.1

              🤣

              Whoops! I hit a gas pipe.

            • gsays 19.1.1.1.1.2

              well said stuart, brilliant.

              • mac1

                The word swamp triggered a memory of Jack Nicholson in “Easy Rider”. I located it by his crazy cry “nik nik nik nik nik swamp” as George.

                The following is the dialogue. See how apposite it is to the politics of that day, and this.

                “George: You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.
                Billy: Huh. Man, everybody got chicken, that’s what happened, man. Hey, we can’t even get into like, uh, second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel. You dig? They think we’re gonna cut their throat or something, man. They’re scared, man.
                George: Oh, they’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to ’em.
                Billy: Hey man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody needs a haircut.
                George: Oh no. What you represent to them is freedom.
                Billy: What the hell’s wrong with freedom, man? That’s what it’s all about.
                George: Oh yeah, that’s right, that’s what it’s all about, all right. But talkin’ about it and bein’ it – that’s two different things. I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. ‘Course, don’t ever tell anybody that they’re not free ’cause then they’re gonna get real busy killin’ and maimin’ to prove to you that they are. Oh yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom, but they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ’em.
                Billy: Mmmm, well, that don’t make ’em runnin’ scared.
                George: No, it makes ’em dangerous. Nik, nik, nik, nik, nik, nik, nik, nik – Swamp.”

  20. Chris T 20

    There is very little change Collins will be made leader anytime soon.

    a) The jobs is a poison chalice atm, she wouldn’t take it

    b) She has little to no chance she would ever get enough of caucus to vote for her. She ain’t exactly trusted in there

    • Dennis Frank 20.1

      No need for fear then. Not that I’d be fearful of her as leader! Entertained, more like. But I’d be interested to know if you rate any other caucus members as viable replacements for Bridges.

      I’m inclined to go with TRP’s suggestion that Nats recruit the charismatic doctor. However, to become sufficiently competitive at the jousting, he’d have to lance a lot… 😎

      • Chris T 20.1.1

        Mitchell is alright, if he can make it through all the accusations that will come up over his stuff over seas, be they bullshit or exaggerated truth.

        At least he actually has an easy going persona, and is apparently pretty much liked by everyone in the place, so he will come across better.

        • Dennis Frank 20.1.1.1

          That’s interesting. Last year I picked up on that easy-going vibe and agree that such a manner is user-friendly to many voters. Being rated as a contender by colleagues is new to me so thanks for that info. It could suffice to give him the edge over her in a run-off. However he will need to develop more of a public profile in the interim.

      • left_forward 20.1.2

        Lancelot is a maverick and not a team player – I can’t see him surviving long in parliament.

  21. That_guy 21

    I think the focus on leaders is natural but a bit of a red herring.
    The problem is that National is wedded to neoliberalism, neoliberalism doesn’t work, but if they change their stance then they’re just Diet Labour.

    To put it another way: they can’t move because it would change the definition of who they are, but they have to move because who they are isn’t working. So they’re fucked.

    • woodart 21.1

      they are facing pretty much the same internal battles that the english ,aus, and as well as having captain queeg ,american right wing parties there pyramid shaped world is imploding, there brand of economic bullshit is being rapidly spat on by hundreds of millions who have suddenly realised they were sold a pyramid scheme. some of them are disappearing into their own creationist universe, some are pretending to be plastic grass, some are buying weapons of mass distruction to prepare for the coming invasion. some are sitting on large property portfolios, whingeing about a cc tax. shit, they might have to fake caring about the poor…….

      • rata 21.1.1

        @woodart.
        National won more votes than any other party but were shafted by Peters.
        So National at its lowest is still more popular than Labour.
        Left supporters should remember that when the euphoria
        of theses latest polls wears off.

        • Robert Guyton 21.1.1.1

          National failed to bring Peters aboard, rata. Their political skills were insufficient to build the trust and relationship needed, so the fault lies with them entirely. They failed too, to build trust with The Greens, further ensuring their place in Opposition; that’s very poor political behaviour right there. You must feel disappointed that National played the game so poorly and even more disappointed to see them continuing their downward spiral and poor strategy under Bridges.

  22. esoteric pineapples 22

    It’s quite obvious who the next National Prime Minister is going to be – Ritchie McCaw!

  23. AB 23

    I’m expecting Judith to be on the cusp of gaining the leadership when steamy photos emerge of her, Puckish R and James cavorting on a swamp kauri table-top.
    Puckish will have a sheaf of hastily-compiled odes stuffed down his trousers for the purpose of exaggeration, James will be waving an impaled barbecued steak.
    Happy days.

    p.s. from what I have seen of swamp kauri table tops, they look a lot like tree stumps, so lots of painful pointy bits to give a delightfully sado-masochistic twist to the scene.

    • Puckish Rogue 23.1

      Photos are good, the DVDs even better 😉

    • Reality 23.2

      What a sight to behold. Perhaps a crushed car to leap onto from the swamp kauri table. And PR and James squealing like besotted teens as they then pass out from their over excitedness.

    • KJT 23.3

      Still trying to decide if Collin’s fork in Simon’s sausage, is an image to disgusting to contemplate, or, a source of justifiable mirth!

      Chargrill, anyone.

  24. tsmithfield 24

    I think the last poll in a perverse way is good for National.

    It will force them to dump Bridges who just isn’t connecting. I think Collins has too much political baggage to ever be leader. So, not much to fear there.

    But I think the left should be more concerned about Mark Mitchell. He seems to have more of the common touch about him, and could connect better with potential voters.

    Also, I think NZ First and the Greens are both going to disappear at the next election. NZ First is already polling at under 3%, and is likely to have votes drawn away by a rejuvinated conservative party. If a centralist environmental party arises this will erode the Green party vote which only sits at 5.1% in current polls.

    National has shown a willingness to cough up electoral seats in the past. So, I expect they would happily offer seats to a conservative party, a new environmental party, and ACT.

    So, while the left should rightly be pleased with the latest poll, they shouldn’t be counting their chickens.

    • McFlock 24.1

      Mercenary Mark? I would have thought he was too junior, and has no experience winning from opposition. Might be a compromise leader.

      I think there are a probably few other former cabinet members who still think they are entitled to have a tilt, and they’ll need to be cleaned out.

      Benefit, for example.

      • tsmithfield 24.1.1

        “Mercenary Mark? I would have thought he was too junior, and has no experience winning from opposition.”

        The same could have been said about John Key when he started out. Or Jacinda Ardern for that matter.

        The thing that both John and Jacinda have about them is their ability to relate to the average person. I think this is something Mark brings to the table as well.

        Will be interesting times. Collins is a bit like Peters in that she is a really good stirrer, so would be good in opposition. But not necessarily built for maintaining stability in government.

        • McFlock 24.1.1.1

          Key was the anointed one from the start, nurtured and protected. Mitchell won’t have that any more than Soimon does now.

          Ardern had political experience before she entered parliament, and had more years in Parliament before becoming leader than Mitchell would if he takes over any time soon.

          I think he’s an outsider who might run profit from the favourites interfering with each other, but he’s a bit of a lightweight.

        • Psycho Milt 24.1.1.2

          Mark brings to the table as well.

          Seriously? Mitchell comes across as one of those guys who’s a top bloke exactly as long as he’s getting what he wants. And even if I’m misjudging him, there’s still a question mark over the extent to which someone who’s made a success of killing people for money is going to “relate to the average person.”

      • Gabby 24.1.2

        The advantage with Merc Mitchell from the wealth creator fast following aspirational business leader mob is they know he’s open to offers.

      • Patricia 24.1.3

        Mitchell is not much of a stayer so not sure he’d be good for National in the long term.

    • I’ve been musing on similar lines to yourself, ts. While I’m confident NZF and the Greens will both cross 5%, a deal to gift a Nat seat to a new party might work.

      However, the new party has to do better than ACT and actually bring in coat-tail MP’s. So that means polling around 2-5%. That’s a big ask.

      Then there is the question of which seat should be sacrificed. Epsom Tories are fine with having ACT represent them, but would Auckland Central voters be equally cool about Vernon Tava? I use that seat as an example because I think it’s the only urban electorate in the country that has a high enough National vote and a distinct ‘green’ lean to be on board with the concept.

      There is also the rural Coromandel seat, which has already elected one Green party MP in the past and has, I think, the highest Green Party electorate vote. So, if Scott Simpson stood aside for Tava, maybe that’s a runner.

      The real difficulty I see is that Epsom is a nod and a wink arrangement, which, by and large, the local electors are happy with.

      Sponsoring another cling on party in an unwilling electorate is just going to look desperate. I’m pretty sure that’s why they eventually walked away from the Conservatives last time something similar was proposed.

      • tsmithfield 24.2.1

        Whether or not NZ First get past 5% will depend a lot on what Winston decides to do. There are people younger than him in retirement homes!! He is 73 now. Will be 74 by the next election. So, will he want to hang around in parliament until he is nearly 80?

        Also, NZ First suffers from a major demographic problem in that his natural support base tends to be dying off.

        For the Greens to cross the 5% barrier with the likely competition from a central environmental party, then they will need to decay the Labour vote. So, this will result in a bit of a zero sum game in that proportionally the left isn’t likely to be much better off even if the Greens get over 5%.

        BTW a major selling point for a central Environmental party will be that the environment does well regardless of which party is in power. At the moment, the Greens only really have influence when Labour is in power, which historically is less than 50% of the time.

        • McFlock 24.2.1.1

          He’ll leave when he is no longer capable or when it is no longer fun. And he seems to really enjoy his job.

          As for its support base, it increases as life expectancies increase. My mum fucking hated Winston in 1997. Now she bloody loves him, mostly for the bus pass. And that assumes NZ1 is still a one-horse wonder, rather than a full party with its own core membership. So… good luck with that.

          As for the Greens, we know what % the Greens get when its centrists fuck off because of all the nasty socialism. Over 5%. That’s why the B/G party won’t siphon the greens below 5%. It might take some from Labour, but the biggest party it will take votes from is the nats – the blue voters who have Green pretensions. Hunting, shooting, fishing types who would go green except for all the lefties, want hunting encouraged rather than 1080, want clean water to fish from, but have city-based incomes in consultancies and stocks. Lifestyle block owners, that sort of thing.

          Do you know of any hunting/shooting/fishing types who have city-based incomes and right-wing political and economic views? They might help out the B/Gs when it comes to staying alive…

          • Dennis Frank 24.2.1.1.1

            we know what % the Greens get when its centrists fuck off because of all the nasty socialism. Over 5%. That’s why the B/G party won’t siphon the greens below 5%. It might take some from Labour, but the biggest party it will take votes from is the nats – the blue voters who have Green pretensions.

            I mostly agree. Centrist departure will be due more to shifting to a more viable vehicle for them than aversion to socialism. I wouldn’t rate that shift as more than 1% at present – maybe only half that.

            As regards Green pretensions, that’s only accurate for some. I quoted Sir Richard Branson a while back, when I saw him say in an interview “I spend all my time thinking about clean energy.” Unfair to deny such folk their passion. I have a book called Ecobarons which profiles exactly how a bunch of successful capitalists are spending their money on Green causes. They are genuine.

            What’s missing from your analysis is a substantial group of centrists who are unlike me. In the media often, saying they’d vote Green if it weren’t for the positioning of the GP. As likely to currently support Labour as National. Dunno why non-alignment is so hard for leftists to comprehend…

            • McFlock 24.2.1.1.1.1

              The dude owns a goddamned airline. He might have a “clean” passion, but it’s a pretension.

              And centrist departure from the Greens isn’t a “will be”: with the likes of Kennedy Graham going, for almost all of them I suspect it is a “was”. Hence why I’m not too worried about the Greens getting 5%. If they poll under 8%, I’ll probably vote for them to keep them in, but I don’t think I’ll have to.

              In the media often, saying they’d vote Green if it weren’t for the positioning of the GP. As likely to currently support Labour as National. Dunno why non-alignment is so hard for leftists to comprehend…

              Because if you stand to the side, you’re still picking a side.
              The “non-aligned” going to the B/G is no threat to the greens, because they already don’t vote Green. And if they’re “As likely to currently support Labour as National”, that means that they’re as committed to every other policy area as they are to the environment. So any party that could target their support would be one of zero principle.

              What I suggest is that any committed environmentalists alienated by socialism to the point of voting for nats or labour are probably more likely to vote national than Labour, and that likelihood increases the more committed they are to Green environmental policies. The more they love Green environmental principles, the more they have to hate the left to justify not voting Green. Labour is more left than National. Therefore your “non-aligned” voter is less opposed to National than Labour.

              So, just a different way of calling the B/G a vote-suck on the nats rather than lab/grn.

        • Psycho Milt 24.2.1.2

          BTW a major selling point for a central Environmental party will be that the environment does well regardless of which party is in power. At the moment, the Greens only really have influence when Labour is in power…

          1. How’d that work out for TOP?

          2. The fact that an environmental party only has significant influence when Labour is in power ought to be a red flag for any environment-friendly voters contemplating a vote for Tava’s party.

      • McFlock 24.2.2

        If TOP had had a lot of media benevolence and less polarising people involved, it might have hit 5% in its first election.

        But it’s a big and expensive call for what would essentially be a Nat “Hail Mary we really need friends but we don’t understand the concept”.

      • gsays 24.2.3

        hey trp, what are the chances of labour having an arrangement where it is a lot easier for the green candidate to succeed?
        going to show my ignorance a little here by suggesting nick smiths electorate.

        suggestions for other electorates..

        • te reo putake 24.2.3.1

          Labour has always stood in every seat, gsays. I can only think of three occasions where they really only put in a token effort in order to help someone else win.

          That’d be the Rangitikei by-election in 1978 (Bruce Beetham won for Social Credit), Coromandel in 1999 (?) when Jeannette Fitzsimons won for the Greens, and the recent Northland by-election, where the party effectively stopped campaigning when it looked like Winston could win, which he did.

          Nelson does come up as a possible Green seat, however Nick Smith is personally popular, so it might be a runner when he retires, but not before, in my opinion.

          Personally, I’d like the Greens to not stand in clearly marginal seats. The combined Labour/Green vote in some electorates is higher than the winning Tory’s total, so both parties standing is daft. It wouldn’t change the overall number of MP’s, but it does mean that your local MP could be someone who cares about their community.

    • Robert Guyton 24.3

      “I think the last poll in a perverse way is good for National.”
      Of course you do, but then, you vote for them, don’t you, proving your judgement is askew.

    • cleangreen 24.4

      Agreed TS

      National always use giving a ‘safe seat’ to anyone who is prepared to do their dirty work and ACT have been in the game over the years as being propped up by ‘the rotting bones of national’. Rodney Hide, John Banks and now David Seymour and who’s next? .

      Labour should also play that game now; – to hold onto power.

      “Whats good for the goose is good for the Gander too”!!!!!!!

      You can see that National are scheming this way in 2020.

  25. Gabby 25

    Has anyone asked Pullya for her opinion on the moral example set by a female colleague yet?

  26. Sacha 26

    “Opposition leader is the toughest job in politics and I’ve seen a few come and go,” Ms Collins said.
    “I’m a lovely sweet person, not given to that sort of toughness at all. I’m just sometimes resolute.”

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/382281/mps-back-simon-bridges-despite-low-polling

  27. CHCoff 27

    There is nine years of disastrous social trends to talk about for the partys trying to be a decent government in their approaches – some will be better than others, but as long as the organisation is able to learn, then progress will be able to be made on those terms with majority support. It’s not rocket science. However a system upgrade is required for sustainability against rapid dismantling down the track when things have run their due course and start becoming stale.

    For the time being though, that being the case the raging 5th column cannot breeze through on trivia like before, nor does it have a leg to stand on in such terms as NZers recognise the shared basics and respect the democratic vote

  28. Stuart Munro 28

    Fear of Judith Collins is maybe a bit much like Fear the Walking Dead – not just better buried and starting to smell, but the tail end of an initially profitable franchise that the owners aren’t creative enough to actually replicate. They go through the motions, and the fans don’t mind too much at first, but the fanbase continues to contract.

  29. Sacha 29

    Collins deserves our derisive mocking laughter, not fear.

  30. AB 30

    Kiwis:
    – love simple suggestions that sound like they’ll fix complex problems
    – love these suggestions even more if they involve dealing to people deemed unworthy, while leaving their own lifestyles and aspirations intact
    – really love it if this package is delivered in a commonsensical way.
    Heaven would be John Key sucking on a beer before uttering some half-plausible, but secretly vicious, gibberish.

    Collins could tick all these boxes.

  31. Pat 31

    should NZ fear Judith?…only if she becomes PM…..a most unlikely event

  32. Muttonbird 32

    Judith says:

    she doesn’t rule out anything.

    I beg to differ. She ruled out honesty and integrity very early on in her career.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/02/revealed-national-voters-prefer-judith-collins-to-simon-bridges.html

    • cleangreen 32.1

      True that is Muttonbird. 100%

      “She (Judith) ruled out honesty and integrity very early on in her career”.

  33. David Mac 33

    Are New Zealanders more likely to vote for a woman that would like nothing more than to leave a legacy of a more encompassing and loving nation or someone known as ‘Crusher’.

    I still believe in us.

    • cleangreen 33.1

      Well said David.
      National are short on good loving souls who want to leave NZ as a loving Nation.

      • David Mac 33.1.1

        Thanks cleangreen. Yep, I’ll take my ol man being able to turn his heater on whenever he wishes over 4 lanes to Puhoi any day.

  34. millsy 34

    Lance O Sullivan seems to be churning over and over in my mind for National,

    • David Mac 34.1

      He’d be a fine score for any party. That’s because before politics, he is genuinely concerned for people.

      I’ve never seen or heard anyone slagging him…oh some anti -vaxxers when he made a stand in the Kaitaia Te Ahu cinema.

    • David Mac 34.2

      Ha, you;ve got me stewing over it too millsy. I think Dr Lance has the potential to lead National to the promised land but I can’t see him selling his soul to the devil to do so.

      He was romancing with the Maori Party but I think he has much broader appeal.

      New Zealander of the Year is a pretty good way to kick any CV off.

  35. David Mac 35

    I think Judith is better suited to being the CEO of NZ prisons. Pay her 10 million a year provided she meets performance targets. Performance = departing prisoners don’t come back. Give her a budget to make it happen. The crim we turn around saves us millions.

    Why aren’t we pouring tilt slab concrete state housing in prison yards? Raw concrete, cedar trim, raw aluminium joinery…styling.

    • Andre 35.1

      Tilt slab state housing? All those carbon emissions from concrete production!

      Put JuDarth in charge of the prisons and she’ll have them breaking rocks to fit them together precisely like the Incas used to do. Build the houses that way.

    • Muttonbird 35.2

      It really annoys regular low income family private tenants who are trying to do the right thing and living in poor quality decades old housing which costs a fortune when people who can’t or won’t put in the same effort get put into tilt slab and cedar housing with aluminium joinery without lifting a finger.

      • David Mac 35.2.1

        Those working battlers renting older housing in the private sector are generally leading higher quality lives than those that qualify for state housing. Those renters aren’t generally confronted with ‘Right, we’ve got $42 for this week’s food’. I hear you Muttonbird but to make it to the top of the state house waiting list…those people are doing it way tougher than me and probably you.

        Solid concrete housing might last as long as the state houses Savage built.

  36. JustMe 36

    Events of the past when there was a National government and they(National)would constantly resort to denial, rejection, refusal and eventually blaming everyone else but themselves indicates to me that we probably shouldn’t trust a single word Judith Collins says.

    Mainly because whilst she may deny something it is highly likely she is considering her next step up the National Party ladder.

    All in all there are not many, if at all, honest National politicians. They are all out for what they can get out of something for themselves at every opportunity.

    As National seem to have lost complete touch with reality especially with their current idiot of a leader I think whomever is waiting in line will have a huge mess to clean up within the NZ National Party.

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