National has four fatal problems that will prevent it from winning the election. Or, rather, it has two problems, both with two parts.
– A large majority of New Zealanders don’t like the policies National wants to implement – they reject privatisation and cutting government spending.
– People were sucked in by the shallow, vague policies which National has offered in place of its real plans but that is changing quickly.
– National is still essentially the same party that pushed hard right policies in the 1990s. Those few senior Nats who weren’t in the 90s government came into Parliament in 1999 or 2002 promising to continue the agenda of the 1990s government.
– The man they’ve chosen to be the reassuring smiling frontman for this old crew actually has their same rightwing instincts, is accident-prone, and has a used car salesman air. Moreover, he is the least qualified candidate for Prime Minister in modern New Zealand history. He is superficially charming and that has worked but more and more he looks like a fake.
Essentially, the problems are the same thing. Kiwis don’t like National – the people and the policies. The innocuous facades they’ve thrown up are losing crediblity and are failing to adequately disguise what’s behind them. Every day, new cracks in the facade appear. And there are still 45 days to go.