In politics nothing lasts forever. That is it seems, except the Rt Hon Winston Peters. The latest Roy Morgan poll has National (49%) and Labour (33%) down, with the Greens (7%) and NZ First (3%) on the rise.
This is the first time in more than a year that National has dipped below the 50% mark, and it seems the “mining effect” along with a series of Ministerial fiascos might actually be starting to take its toll on the government. Good show too – it’s the price you pay for talking about the destruction of New Zealand’s natural heritage. Long may the decline continue.
But take a look at the beneficiaries – NZ First and the Greens.
Now, let’s be clear. This is just one poll, and the shift so far is small. But there’s more to it than that.
Peters has been making small yet significant headlines lately (think Foreshore and Seabed, Whanau Ora), and apparently has been travelling around the regions drawing reasonably sized crowds. And as National continues to suffer mishap after mishap, maybe NZ First is a good bet for the disillusioned voters?
We shouldn’t necessarily expect that the voters leaving National will be drawn to Labour, since the 2008 election loss is still fresh in people’s minds. Maybe instead they’ll go for that suave smiling man who sounds like he knows what he’s talking about – Winston Peters (after all, it beats “smile and wave” Key).
Just to make it clear, in no way do I support NZ First’s stance on most issues – especially Maori and immigration. Yet you’ve got to wonder. Peters is good. Very good. It’s not far fetched to think he might pick up the extra 2% (on current polling) needed to get back into Parliament in 2011.
Rodney Hide’s worst nightmare may yet still come true.