When even the Herald is admitting this is a crappy government, less than two years after being part of National’s campaign propaganda, it’s safe to say Key is a disappointment to all. But where’s the opposition?
As the Herald’s editorial says:
“In truth, this increasingly looks like a Government driven by polls rather than principle. It shelved plans to lower the drink-driving limit for adults – despite official advice that such a move would save lives – because, as Key said, “we need to take people with us.”
It is a depressingly pallid response and an Opposition that had its wits about it would have made mincemeat of it.”
The polling numbers show that people are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the Nats, and that’s happening not because of a concerted opposition campaign or a media that has gone feral on the government but organically, from people looking at the government’s record themselves and seeing it for what it is. But the numbers also show that Labour is failing to capitalise – its support is still lower than on election night last year. The net increases in support as National’s polling falls are going to the Greens – who always poll well in the Roy Morgans but are higher than ever – the Maori Party and New Zealand First – now at the brink of 5%.
Labour has, to date, failed to give the people who voted for it 3 of the last 4 elections a reason to come back. But that doesn’t mean all is lost. The Left is not just Labour. What matters is whether a left coalition can for, the numbers to govern after 2011. To put it another way, will the Maori Party be a true kingmaker?
Currently, Labour + Green equals 40.5% to National + ACT’s 51%. A 5% shift, the same scale as the shift that has already happened this past year, would be all it takes to get those numbers even and make the Maori Party – or maybe Winston – kingmaker. There would be tremendous pressure from the base for the Maori Party to return to its values and be part of the Left government.
But before that can happen the Labour + Green vote needs to go up and it is up to Labour to start pulling its weight, I can’t see the Greens pulling 15%.
Victory is within reach for the Left in 2011. the numbers are far closer than a simplistic Labour vs National comparison suggests. Will it happen? I think that has a lot to do with the Goffice and its will to win.