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Winnie’s big chance

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, April 18th, 2011 - 58 comments
Categories: election 2011, greens, labour, national, nz first, polls, privatisation - Tags:

The TV3 poll has the NACT vs Lab/Green/NZF gap at 22% vs 9% in the latest Roy Morgan. I’ll tend to pay attention to the company that polls every fortnight to the one that polls once in a blue moon. Nevertheless, the story of both polls is the same: Labour struggling to make headway + Nats potentially with a majority = opportunity for Winston Peters.

Phil Goff has allowed his leadership to come into question in the past few weeks. We’re seeing a powerful meme develop that if he can’t lead his party properly, he can’t lead the country. There’s a pretty straightforward solution to that: get a strategy. That means not floundering when events happen but dedicating the run of play by having solid policy announcements flowing and keeping your MPs active with on the ground campaigns, like the stop assets sales campaign, which Goff needs to be hyping.

With Goff looking a bit like Helen Clark did in 1996 (remember, Clark survived three coup attempts in her early years and nearly won in 1996), voters are looking for alternatives to National other than Labour.

I don’t think anyone can argue that National’s agenda or performance have been incredibly popular. On the economy, people (wrongly) believe the government is doing the best it can in a bad situation but they are angry at the bailouts, the favours for mates, and the elitism exemplified by the BMW saga. People are pissed off about the cost of living and falling wages, which National promised to improve. They believe some cuts may be necessary but what is cut matters – see the first in Mike’s series ‘Spending cuts I would like to see‘. And getting further into hock to foreigners through borrowing and asset sales is deeply unpopular. Indeed, National itself tends to rate far more highly than the popularity of its policies and performance – as shown in the Roy Morgan polls by the confidence in government numbers which have dropped nearly 30 points in the past year and a half.

That’s down to a perceived lack of credible alternatives, which means the Greens and New Zealand First need to put their hands up.

The two parties have surprisingly similar platforms: no asset sales, retention of public services, monetary policy reform, and economic sovereignty. People say that Winnie is too indifferent to the environment but remember NZF voted for Labour’s ETS.

With National and ACT determined to embark on a wholesale sell off of Kiwi assets in a second term (and the conversion of a lot of other Crown capital into operating spending) the time has never been better for parties that are resolutely opposed to sales. The Greens and NZF are both excellently positioned for this, Labour less so after they muddied the waters of their own state assets policy for no reason last year.

On top of that, the public has shown itself very wary of electing a single party government. The last time a single party got a majority was in 1951. Mike Smith likes to recount how Labour fell 15% in the 2002 campaign as voters deserted the sure winner looking for parties to control its influence. In 2002, that gave us the UF nutters. In 2011, NZF and the Greens could be the answer. Without any real partners, National is in deep trouble if it can’t poll over about 48% but (TV3 poll notwithstanding) voters are unlikely to vote it a majority. That’s quite a tightrope walk.

A lot will come down to where Peters chooses to stand. Epsom has got to be high on that list. Already he is attracting remarkable attention for his fiery speeches around the country. Standing in a pivotal seat against another party leader, who is also his nemesis, would be media gold.

In essence, I’m coming around the the thesis proposed by ChrisH. That a Labour-led government is a viable possibility but it would be one where Labour is much more one among equals, as should be the way in MMP, rather than a behemoth with a couple of tag-alongs. Labour 33%, Greens 10%, NZF 8% – now that would be interesting!

58 comments on “Winnie’s big chance ”

  1. PeteG 1

    With National and ACT determined to embark on a wholesale sell off of Kiwi assets in a second term

    That sort of gross overstatement may be a major part of Goff’s and Labour’s credibility problems.

    On top of that, the public has shown itself very wary of electing a single party government.

    I think that inclination will see the vote for National pegged back a bit by election day, but it could be more no votes rather than voting for an alternative.
     
    For Peters to be a credible party vote he needs someone else in his party. No sign of that yet. But there’s definitely a vacuum there for the filling.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      National want to sell Kiwibank.
       
      Kiwibank pisses off Key’s banking mates no end, and especially the Australian bankers who have figured out that Kiwibank is costing them millions in profits every week.

      • idlegus 1.1.1

        This may be just my little conspiracy theory, but it seems to me that National are trying to destroy Kiwibank, Kiwibank are at the moment lending out low interest 90% home loans & are borrowing alot of ‘hot money’ to do it, its very risky. And now the closure of the Postshops, but hopefully I’m wrong.

        anti spam – signs

    • With National and ACT determined to embark on a wholesale sell off of Kiwi assets in a second term

      That sort of gross overstatement may be a major part of Goff’s and Labour’s credibility problems.

      Ummm how much proof do you need?   The Nats propose selling off significant parts of our major electricity companies.

      Of course you will reply by saying “oh but we will retain a majority share” but that is frankly bullsh*t.  Once the companies are listed and sold then they become corporate monoliths, are totally incapable of acting for the public good and will spend all of their time maximising short term profits to keep their mostly overseas shareholders engorged on what should be publicly owned and controlled assets.

      • PeteG 1.2.1

        Ummm how much proof do you need?
        Ummm, how about seeing the sky falling in rather than a few wee clouds floated.
         
        I don’t really care if no power comapnies are part sold, and if they are I doubt it will change much. If people see it as potentially minor they won’t take doom and gloom parties seriously.

        • Lanthanide 1.2.1.1

          If you think National are ‘floating’ the idea and don’t have any serious intention to follow through on it, then I have a bridge to sell you.

        • felix 1.2.1.2

          Either Pete George is the only person in NZ who doesn’t know that National firmly believe in selling as much of our asset base as is electorally possible…
           
          … or he’s lying.

          • MrSmith 1.2.1.2.1

            Felix In my opinion peteG is a troll that plays his part.
            He or she plays the middle of the road, the not quiet sure, the undecided voter, then every now and then throws in a bit of I’m from down south or I agree with you, but his under (lieing) message is a softly spoken whisper National,national,national!
            I know this person and could very well have been him or her.

  2. Carol 2

    Yes, I think the Greens and Peters are pointing towards where kiwi thinking may be moving generally in the future:

    The two parties have surprisingly similar platforms: no asset sales, retention of public services, monetary policy reform, and economic sovereignty. People say that Winnie is too indifferent to the environment but remember NZF voted for Labour’s ETS.

    Where I see a difference between NZF & The Greens is that the Green focus is on economic sovereignty, whereas NZF tends to blur that with a general xenophobic, anti-immigration position.  I think it may be difficult to disconnect these 2 issues in the minds of the majority, but think it is important to do so.

    IMO, there’s a big difference between a relatively powerless immigrant (whether from China, other parts of Asia, Europe, the US etc), who aims to become a Kiwi and contribute towards this country in some way, and an overseas-based corporate that aims to exploit NZ and invest here in order to siphon off the profits, leaving NZ the poorer for it.

  3. Peter 3

    I’m an interested by-stander in all of this, , without any campaign experience, but given the dominance of National is there any merit in NZ First, Greens and Labour promoting their common ground (eg no asset sales) to the electorate?
     

    • The Voice of Reason 3.1

      Certainly, in my opinion there is, Peter. It is common in Europe, Latin and South America for pre-election blocs to be formed around common policies. This allows voters to choose which bloc they’d prefer and which party within the bloc they will specifically vote for. That is, I would vote Labour knowing that I get a Labour led Government with the Greens and Winnie without the tedious post election negotiations.

      In NZ terms, an explicit undertaking from Labour, the Greens and NZF that they would form the next Government in partnership together would make voting this year really easy. Vote the bloc or vote National.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        I think if they came out and said “we will form a coalition government around our jointly held belief against asset sales” then it also highlights this as a serious issue to the electorate. It makes it very clear that these parties really see this as a problem with NZ. They can just keep it to these 3 core parties also, and Hone/Maori Party are free to agree with the sentiment, but are not formally included in the bloc pre-election.
         
        They could even get a lot of media airplay on it if they hold a joint press conference of all the leaders of the parties, and announce it to the media at 8am on the day, and set it for 2pm. Much like the media went bananas when Key called the press conference with hints about the election date.

        I guess that could also tar them for people who are pro asset sales – but they would probably be voting National already anyway.

        • PeteG 3.1.1.1

          That sounds like betting just about everything on one policy, very risky even if you could manage to get the other parties to go along with such a narrow approach.
           
          Don’t confuse assuming “great, here is a clear differentiation between Labour and National that we can campaign on” will flow to the electorate seeing it as a major deciding issue.

          • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1.1.1

            Where’s the rsk, pete? We already know the majority of Kiwis oppose asset sales and if the 3 parties chime in with additional policies specific to their own voter bases’ wants and needs, there is a good chance of gaining enough ground to win power.

            Oh, wait, now I see the risk you’re worried about.

            • Bright Red 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I think it’s probably stronger if the three of them all make asset sales a major issue without forming a formal bloc. Because who would the media turn to to talk on behalf of that bloc? Mr Goff.
              Better three strong voices than trying to become one even louder voice.

              • PeteG

                That’s not looking likely.
                 
                The Greens are likely to promote their own mix of priorities. They may have a strong message but they have multiple voices, and none that are particulalry strong.
                 
                Peters will smell an opportunity for Peters to regain a presence in parliament. He will do what he thinks will promote Peters. He may see ways of using Labour to help, but don’t rely on too many favours from him, especially if competing for the same protest votes.
                 
                And Labour need a strong voice, they don’t have that now. Actually they need a number of strong voices, leaving everything to a weakly overstating voice puntuatd by the occasioanl outburst of frustration from others is not going resonating.

                • Samuel Hill

                  Well how strong a voice is depends on where you are listening. If you have been watching parliament, you will know that Robertson, Cunliffe, Jones and a few others in Labour DO have strong voices. But for those who only watch the news for 30 minutes a day, you only have Phil Goff, who try as he might will not cause a paradigm shift in this country. If the left are to govern after the election it will be due to NZ First taking votes from National. End. Of. Story.

                  • Yes, one of the ironies of this situation is that Goff’s personal chances of survival would improve if he made himself less available and insisted someone like Cunliffe or Robertson speak on issues.

                    It’d show Labour as a team, with some strong performers in it, and remind people this isn’t a presidential contest between Goff and Key… because of course it’s in National’s interest to pretend that it is. It’d also – probably paradoxically from the perspective of the Goffice – show Goff as a strong leader, happy to show off a team of whom he’s proud.

                    The only credible way to be unavailable is to be in a place where the TV channels are unlikely to have a crew (and of late, that seems to be pretty much any place below a regional city-sized centre) but that too would help Goff – let people see him face-to-face and not via soundbite.

                    That this isn’t a strategy being followed suggests to me one of three possibilities: either Labour are too stupid to have figured this out; Goff’s ego likes being in the limelight too much to let it go; or the party is so destabilised that the mere conducting of an interview by someone other than the Leader causes the Chicken Littles to think there’s a coup on.

              • Peter

                Right now three voices get minimal attention yet for many asset sales are a big issue.
                My original thought was to find more than one area of common ground, foreign investment and oil exploration come to mind.
                I agree with the suggestion that such a ploy would attract MSM interest.  If the Center-Left could show they are already jointly organised it would at least be a change from the usual scenarios.  They know they need each other after the election so the time could be right for the approach taken by other countries as mentioned by VofR.

                • Jim Nald

                  The bloc approach needs a bit more thinking. An attraction about the bloc approach is that it goes beyond, and is not constrained by, the established or perceived categorisation of left-right politics. The MMP system could make the bloc approach a bit more interesting and not strait-jacketed by traditional left-right polarisation.

              • Anne

                Well said Bright Red.

                I would also hope they did at least confer (in private of course) about the best strategy for each to follow so they don’t end up contradicting one another.  It makes so much sense and between them they could save this country from a potential god-awful mess. Surely that needs to take precedence at this point in time.

      • Monty 3.1.2

        The problem is that Goff does not have the leadership not the managerial skills to manage the co-alition of the Damned.  Neither does the public have any faith in Goff’s ability in this department.

        the situation is made worse of course by MPs saying to Journalists that “Goff can take the bullet for the 2011 election loss”  ie Labour have given up on winnig the 2011 election.  Excellent – this will be a walk in the park for he Nats.

        • Jim Nald 3.1.2.1

          Fantastic! Nationals can be absolutely confident of winning and count on having the 2011 election already in their pockets.

  4. Josh 4

    Just thought I’d draw your attention to this interesting column that appeared in the Bay of Plenty Times yesterday: http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/have-your-say/news/winston-peters-ambulance-needed-up-top/3948567/

    Peters’ proposal is very similar to that of Retired Family Court Judge Graeme MacCormick in a 2006 paper, who argued for a ‘universal risk assessment’ program. That seems to be the jist of Peters’ Life Register, and it would appear to be a serious policy proposal.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Capitalism must regain its human face,

      Ah, Winston, capitalism never had a human face – it has always worn the face of the jackal.
       

  5. FYI folks – my considered opinion on this matter (which I have just posted on Kiwiblog)
    I’m VERY busy so I’ve just cut and pasted it – is that ok?
    Penny Bright
    Interesting how the NZ Herald’s CHIEF Political Reporter’s analysis of the only poll that matters – an ELECTION result – in this case the recent Botany by-election, plus the election result itself, somewhat differs from these ‘opinion’ polls?
    Botany byelection loss holds silver lining for Labour Party
    By John Armstrong
    5:30 AM Monday Mar 7, 2011
    At last, Phil Goff has something to smile about.
    Exactly why the Labour leader is smiling might not seem immediately obvious given that National’s Jami-Lee Ross won Saturday’s Botany byelection in a canter, securing almost double the number of votes of his Labour counterpart.
    The answer is that everything is relative in politics. Labour did better than it hoped. National did not fare as well as it would have expected.
    …………
    It is questionable, however, how meaningful conclusions drawn from a byelection can be, let alone one as stifled by circumstances as this one.
    Still, the debut of the New Citizen Party and National’s failure to lift its vote would seem to pour cold water on the possibility of National securing a majority alone.
    The complicating factor is Saturday’s abysmally low turnout. However, the non-vote would more likely be weighted in Labour’s favour.
    The 36.6 per cent turnout – half that of a general election – meant both major parties got fewer votes than at the 2008 election. Labour’s vote proved more robust. National’s vote halved from more than 17,000 to just over 8000. In comparison, Labour’s vote fell, but far less dramatically – from around 6500 to just over 4000.
    The net result is: Labour increased its share of the candidate vote in the seat from 21 per cent in 2008 to 28 per cent on Saturday.
    Moreover, it did so in the face of a number of handicaps – notably the party’s candidate, Michael Wood, committing one of politics’ great sins early on by saying he would not win the seat.
    ………………”
    Did ‘the polls’ before the Botany by-election predict the 36% turnout and the MASSIVE ‘no show’ of 9000 (former?) National Party voters?
    DID THEY?
    It’s a fair question isn’t it?
    If I were a Labour Party member (which I am not) – I would ignore these ‘polls’ and keep campaigning on the issues – especially opposition to asset sales.
    It seems that asset sales, especially of electricity assets, is HUGELY unpopular, and despite (shonky?) John Key’s best efforts to make this political ‘goat sh*t’ smell like honey – significant numbers of voters haven’t had a collective frontal lobotomy.
    We have learned that what groups like the NZ Business Round Table are advocating, isn’t usually in the best interests of the majority of the NZ public.
    Big business interests support ‘partial privatisation’, John Key/ National supports ‘partial privatisation’ (oops! the ‘mixed ownership’ model’.
    Phil Goff/Labour thinks ‘partial privatisation is a ‘dumb idea’ – apparently so too do significant numbers of the general public.
    Big business /National carry out a concerted corporate media campaign to help undermine Phil Goff/ Labour?
    Darren Hughes / Phil Goff’s ‘handling’ of the Darren Hughes matter / Damien O’Connor’s ‘undisciplined’ comments/ the PNth intersection anti-asset sale picket ‘beat up’ …. etc.
    I confidently predict that there will be constant ‘picking’ / ‘beat ups’ all through this election campaign, to attempt to undermine support for the main political party – Labour – which opposes what the majority of big business openly want – more privatisation of key public assets.
    Where did we see this before?
    Oh yes, before the 2008 election with the campaign to discredit and undermine Winston Peters and NZ First, so that they wouldn’t make the 5% party vote threshold.
    The aim?
    For National to get enough votes to govern alone.
    Want to see the FACTS and EVIDENCE that I have researched to support my considered opinion?
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com
    Penny Bright

  6. Samuel Hill 6

    Greens – Liberal Socialism
    NZ First – Conservative Socialism
    Labour – Confused Socialism

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Labour – Confused Socialism

      It appears that I’S has found out Labours problems.

      Until two weeks ago, Pagani was one of Goff’s senior advisors. If this is the quality of advice he was giving – that Labour should just shut up, sit on its hands, and wait its turn like good little careerists – then Labour is well rid of him.

      Apparently, Labours advisers were telling them to be more like National.

  7. Samuel Hill 7

    In the end this election will be National (and the Maori Party) vs everyone else.

    • Peter 7.1

      Agreed, so change the narrative which is now being set by Key and the PR media machine.

      • Samuel Hill 7.1.1

        Winston seems to me to be the only person capable of causing a major vote grab in this election. Its a pity the rest of his party are so anonymous, but perhaps they don’t have anything enlightening to add to the discourse.

        Perhaps the Greens have left the door open to National because they believe they can steal some of National’s environmentally aware voters, who will be convinced that National will win and that giving their vote to the Greens in hope of a National-Green coalition.

        We shall see.

    • Yes, this is shaping up to be a very polarising election.

      It’s as potentially polarising as the pro-tour/anti-tour groups in 81.

      I imagine, therefore, that in 25 years time John Key won’t be able to remember which side he was on in this election.

      • Samuel Hill 7.2.1

        Haha! It would appear that there is major (relatively) social disruption in NZ every 30 years.. So this election I would expect some discontent to be exposed!

      • PeteG 7.2.2

        It’s more likely to be a Rip van Winkle election – National sleep walking to victory, Labour still dreaming of a Hail Mary issue to rescue them, while the electorate yawns.
         
         

        • felix 7.2.2.1

          OK.
           
          Hey everyone, there’s no point. Just go back to work (if you’re lucky if enough to still have a job) and forget all about it.
           
          Politics is yawn. There’s no point complaining. Nothing makes a difference to anything and everything is under control.

          It’s all just the way it is so keep watching tv and drinking your beer and ignore the growing realisation that something is very very wrong.

          Don’t be a wierdo. If you hear anyone talking about politics, inequality, the economy, social issues or the growing gap between the rich and the poor, please change the subject as quickly as poss. Politics is icky.

          And boring. OK?

          • higherstandard 7.2.2.1.1

            Fuck off you bore,  I demand to know what the lotto numbers are and who’s where on the Super15 points table.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 7.2.2.1.2

            And if you arev poor enough to be manifestly affected by political decisions, you probably don’t vote anyway- so politics is probably irrelevant to most voters.

            Most of the voters who do understand economics and politics probably inhabit blogs like this one- the rest they just want to pay less tax and have fewer poor people in their neighbourhood.

  8. randal 8

    this government is paying off the electorate at the rate of $3oo,000,000 oer week.
    and the lectiorate is suffering from a form of anomie that has two christmasses this year. i.e. the world cup anfd xmas-woweee.
    Kiwis have not tightened their belts and continue to spend as much as they can because spening is the only rememdy for a boring and pointless existence.
    angle grinders.
    leaf blowers.
    hardly davisons.
    trips to nowhere and back.
    this is the age of infantilism.

    • Samuel Hill 8.1

      Well if people were encouraged to think outside the box a bit more, and we weren’t so close minded we might have a bit more creativity and freshness around the place. But no. Milk those cows and dig up those roads. Invest in those shares people. It will all be sweet as! What economic downgrade???

    • higherstandard 8.2

      Life is incomplete without at least two LCD TVs for every room in the house and a new car every 24 months.

    • felix 8.3

      Cut it out you lot. Drink your beer and wait patiently for the RWC please.

    • Nah its got nothing to do with infants – apart from crocodile tears on infant bashing when the NACTs create the conditions for growing domestic violence.
      Its nothing to do with undeveloped intelligence, or mindless spending. The real cause is capitalist alienation to renders individuals powerless unless they organise collectively to resist and overthrow capitalism.
      Capitalist society is disintegrating. Its what happens when capitalism goes into terminal decline, destroying nature and people, social gaps open up, living standards collapse, the rich rob the poor to survive, peoples fears increase, they start fighting among themselves for expensive bread and fast fibre gladiatorial circuses and bombarded with ‘natural’ disasters and ‘national emergencies’.
      The common ground for survival of the working masses in this country is Smash the NACTS! first and then Smash Capitalism! We can see the beginnings of this in the self-organisation of Christchurch East people to survive their quake and fight the creeping fascism of CERA, and the local iwi and activists fighting drilling off the East Cape. Now we need a nationwide fightback to stop the selling of public assets to pay for bosses bailouts, and the destruction of wages, workers rights and social welfare.
      That’s the difference between a working class in itself which is easily a 2/3rds majority of NZ, but which is composed of isolated competing individuals and a working class for itself that stands up to fight for its collective interest. John Key and the banksters and new gentry are a tiny minority but identify as a ruling class and they will continue to rule until the working class stands up and identifies as a the new ruling class.

      • higherstandard 8.4.1

        We must move forward… not backwards, not to the side, not forwards, but always whirling, whirling, whirling towards freedom.

  9. anarcho 9

    this thread is beginning to make more and more sense… keep peeling those layers of the ‘spectacle’ away; just what the hell are we doing all day?

  10. <blockquote>the Greens and New Zealand First need to put their hands up.
    The two parties have surprisingly similar platforms</blockquote>

    But very dissimilar modus operandi, particularly in candidate selection and internal accountability; levels of integrity, morality and honesty; calibre of people; and standing in the eyes of most of the public.

    What’s your next piece of advice Eddie? The Salvation Army team up with the ‘Ndrangheta? I mean there’s many similarities: commitment to the redistribtion of wealth, a focus on youth employment, strong religious underpinnings… 😛

    But seriously, the Greens are still seen by many (most?) as “honest brokers” in the political world, a positioning reinforced by their avoidance of formal coalition deals which would have cost them their principles. Diving into the sewer with NZF (because there’s no way NZF can climb out, even if it wanted to) is the worst thing they can do pre-election.

  11. HC 11

    Honestly these polls we get from TV3, TVONE and anyone else do need to be treated with a fair bit of caution. I heard today that these pollsters do only make calls to landlines. So what about all the people that do not have a landline, or who are hardly ever at home and out and about?
    I did myself get some calls from market research and other organisations, who wanted to ask me a range of questions. Usually I tell them to get stuffed, because I have not got the time or patience, let alone the interest, in providing them with information about myself.
    So by only relying on people “prepared” to listen, to put up with numerous questions, possibly sitting at home not having that much to do, and having a landline, what kind of people do we talk about?
    They may be disproportionately older people, people with a stable home (house owners), people that are not too busy (e.g. pensioners, semi retired, house wives, people not too busy working their bums off to get bills paid, people who take such research “serious”) and that are possibly more conservative, who bother spending minutes on giving answers.
    They are less likely younger people that are out and about, that exclusively or mainly use cell-phones, that are too busy or indifferent to bother with surveys.
    Hence I feel there is a chance that the surveys tend to have results coming from a rather older, more conservative, more compliant part of the whole populations.
    It is likely that modern day swing voters would not bother much with giving their opinions.
    Yet recent elections have shown that trends can change swiftly, due to a larger and growing proportion of such swing voters changing preferences.
    Bearing this in mind the election may be much more open than these strange and usually Key- and government friendly surveys tend to suggest.

  12. If anyone is really silly enough to believe that National selling our Power companies will not change anything – um, get help, fast!
    It is so obvious what will happen it’s insane.  Imagine you are one of the “Mum and Dad investors” (Keys favourite term, when of course he means his rich business backers) who buys into the shares when offered.  The first twelve months go past, and you get a moderate at best dividend for your shares.  You start thinking about this, as do all the other investors, and realise that by simply putting up power prices by ten percent, suddenly you will start receiving a much healthier dividend.  So, at the next general meeting what do you think is pushed for, and voted on?
    National knows this is exactly what will happen, and already have their answer well rehearsed “Well, we can’t interfere with what investors vote for in a  private company.”
    Wake up sleepy Kiwi voters, a vote for National this election will be the last nail in the coffin that has the plaque “Here lies the New Zealand we once loved”
    Love or hate Winston Peters, New Zealand First will be the one and only party that will be able to stop National’s sell off plans.  It’s in your hands.

  13. Sanctuary 13

    I am still sticking to my prediction that this election will have tthe lowest turnout on record, down as low as the mid sixty percent. Why? There is little doubt Key is immensely popular with 18-40 year old smug middle class whites whose exposure to politics is minimised to breakfast TV and soundbites emphasising personality driven right wing identity politics. Many of these people are uninterested in politics, so don’t vote, and many who do vote won’t be bothered because a) their uninterest in politics will be exacerbated by the jarring nature of an election campaign so soon after the RWC and b) they’ll assume Key is going to win at a canter so they needn’t bother. National has plenty of money from it’s elite backers, has the white middle class in total lockstep and the media in it’s pocket. Yet strangely, no one is really enthusiastic for Key and co.

    Many Labour supporters who stayed home in 2008 will do so again in 2011. Even more people have slipped into the dispairing embrace of penury, some of whom in their miserable existence of ignorance and poverty probably won’t even know an election is happening.

    The general lack of enthusiasm for Key and disillusionment/lack of credibility of the alternatives will ensure that the undecided voters – around 15-18% at the moment – won’t bother voting. They simply stay undecided.

    This election then will hinge on what percentage of their core vote National and Labour can muster. Labour’s biggest concern therefore has to be the growing disillusionment of it’s activist base with the parties careerist parliamentary elite, who are increasingly perceived as isolated, self-serving and defeatist. Labour won’t have much money this election, so it needs enthusiasm and good organisation to get close.

  14. Jules 14

    This about any pre-election deals from NZF.
     No pre-election deals, no nudge-nudge, wink-wink political horse trading before you the voter have spoken.
    Those who argue for pre-election deals are trying to weaken your vote.   They seek to marginalize your role in democracy.   Don’t let them.
    Instead of doing pre-election deals, we will concentrate on the big issues facing New Zealanders.

    And yes – In my opinion,  the issue of state asset sales is going to be the primary issue in this next election.

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