- Date published:
8:45 am, March 27th, 2017 - 51 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, bill english, election 2017, jacinda ardern, john key, labour, national, Politics, same old national - Tags:
John Key has claimed that the transfer of power from himself to Bill English was flawless and designed to ensure continuation of National’s rule. Based on the last couple of opinion poll results he should reconsider his optimism.
And National caucus members must be thinking about 2002 when English led National to its worst ever electoral result when it achieved 21% of the party vote. Sure things are not that bad right now but National’s hold on power has always relied on third parties support and it tends to shed support during a campaign.
At this stage the situation as far as party support appears to be stable. Last night’s Colmar Brunton poll suggests that apart from a shift from New Zealand First to the Maori Party everything is stable, at least as far as the parties are concerned.
But the interesting feature of the poll is Bill English shedding
56% points in support for preferred Prime Minister since February. He is now 10 % below John Key’s ratings in both the Colmar Brunton and the Reid Research polls.
The right will try and present the poll as some sort of crisis for the left in that Jacinda Ardern is now ahead of Andrew Little. But Little’s support is steady and Ardern’s surge appears to be at English’s cost. Give me surging support for Labour MPs as potential leaders and declining support for the National Prime Minister any day.
National’s basic problem is that Bill English is no John Key. I have seen him recently at two public events. On both occasions he was totally underwhelming. There was no excitement surrounding him. People were courteous to him and that was all.
And his approach to politics matches his personality. Putting off action for decades on important issues such as climate change and clean rivers and rail to the airport suggests a completely faltering will to achieve anything. This is a major weakness for National.
The circumstances exist for a fascinating election campaign. Where National is unable to do anything about its slowly ebbing support because its leader is so Meh.
National looks tired and out of ideas. I suspect that more and more of the electorate will realise this is the case as the election approaches.