The Dim-Post

November 25, 2011

Election wrap up, It’s kind of like a torture, to have to watch the show edition

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 9:59 am

I love this potential post-election scenario laid out by Audrey Young today, based on the last poll of the election: National gets a bare majority, but there’s an overhand and they need the Maori Party to form a government, while Winston Peters gets back in with 5.2% of the vote.

Anyway, here’s my last-minute summary of the campaign and general thoughts:

National:

Ran a surprisingly inept campaign. That opening mock-town hall address debacle. The ‘Stop/Go’ posters, which were a clumsy reprise of their 2005 posters presenting a binary choice between National and Labour (why even mention Labour?). The whole tea-pot tapes saga – not even Clark and Cullen were arrogant enough to pick a fight with the media during the midst of an election campaign. And whose dumb-ass idea was it to have Key robo-call everyone in the country during dinner-time?

That National might drop below 50% and Peters might get returned to Parliament is testament to Steven Joyce’s hubris. He thought he was a master of the universe moving chess pieces around on a board – but Peters isn’t a pawn. Loathsome though he may be, he is also the most talented politician of his generation, and tens of thousands of National voters still trust him. Giving him media oxygen was a stupid, pointless move.
Still, they’ll be government for three more years – partly because there was simply no credible alternative. I think many voters are still optimistic that Key has a plan, or a vision – that his financial genius will kick in and save us all. But there is no vision – or rather, Key’s vision is simply of a country in which he is Prime Minister. The gradual erosion of public services and transfer of wealth to the already wealthy will continue, because it’s what Key’s supporters and many of his Ministers want, and the Prime Minister will remain indifferent to these trends unless they directly threaten his popularity in a way his media team cannot manage.

Labour:

Ran a surprisingly strong campaign. But who cares? Even now less than half of the people voting Labour want Goff as their Prime Minister. They’re facing a Massacre of the Innocents – the loss of many of their most gifting and promising new MPs due to public revulsion at the quality of the party leadership.

In terms of opposition politics the Labour Party made all the wrong choices during the last year – supporting illiberal legislation proposed by National but dying (pointlessly) in a ditch over compulsory student unionism (also an illiberal institution).

Labour’s brand is now so distinct from National’s that we forget how nowhere they were for most of the last term. In 2009 their flagship policy was a plan to cap the salaries of public servants. In 2010 it was GST free fruit and vegetables. They stumbled from one debacle to another, and the public saw time-and-time again that Goff’s judgement was poor and that he could not be trusted. But Goff isn’t the real problem. Failure to replace him as leader at the beginning of the year – after the Darren Hughes affair – revealed deeper problems within the Labour caucus. A dearth of talent. A lack of leadership. The pretenders to the throne – David Parker and David Cunliffe – calculated that they were better off keeping their heads down until after the election, even though it’s led them to this point and many of their junior colleagues losing their seats.

Labour’s policies are more popular than National’s with the public (and with me). But I just don’t have any faith in these people to implement these policies effectively. Or, frankly, at all.

ACT:

What’s left to say? Banks was not the panacea the party expected. The few times I saw him fronting the media he seemed . . . inexperienced. ‘Banksy’ just repeated the same couple of phrases over-and-over again, regardless of context. Paul Goldsmith might not want to win Epsom, but by benefit of not being a babbling imbecile, he may fail in this goal.

Green:

Ran a low risk, policy-focused campaign, with their usual daft, media-friendly gimmicks (swimming with sharks) so the gallery could dust off their repertoire of puns. They were the most effective opposition party. I’m giving them my vote this election – the first time I’ve ever voted for the Greens.

New Zealand First:

There is a non-zero chance that Winston will get, like 4.9%, demand a recount, try and take legal action to prevent National from forming a government, ect.

I expect National to win – I don’t think it will be a big deal if they need support from the Maori Party. The asset sales legislation will still get passed, probably with some kind of tiered sales process in which iwi, state funds and KiwiSaver providers get first dibs. That wouldn’t be a bad thing.

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65 Comments »

  1. Brilliant wrap up, couldnt agree more.

    Comment by Hakawai Online (@hakawaionline) — November 25, 2011 @ 10:15 am

  2. I think Goff ran a surprisingly strong campaign, but I wouldn’t say the say for Labour, no sign of unity. Ironic, the weak leader as a one man campaign band.

    I think Labour made a mistake putting so much effort into one issue, sure asset sales aren’t popular with the voters but the big hit being a negative doesn’t say much for what Labour could do.

    I agree that National’s campaign seemed like it was run by Clayton – but in fact it may not have been as bad as it appears. They were basically campaigning on more of the same steady governance without major upheaval or risk. And the end result (as per the polls) seems to have been rather successful.

    Greens deserve success but their over idealistic policies – and party backbone) would be severely tested if they got the chance to take part in government.

    Comment by Pete George — November 25, 2011 @ 10:16 am

  3. You’re 100% spot on. It’s desperately sad.

    We continue our steady slide into the Third World. And the stupid voters will grease the slips. The 99% have the power to turn it around but they’re too ill-informed to understand the cynical party-based manipulation.

    I don’t want to vote for any of them but that has the effect of a default vote for National, so I’ll hold my nose and vote Grreen for party and ACT for my local MP (Whanganui).

    I can’t understand why we don’t have the makings of a revolution. I voted National last time in the hope that they had a cunning plan. they didn’t and they never will.

    The Treas. Sec. last year forecast 400,000 Kiwis to Oz by 2025. The New Zealand Institute extrapolated the trends in per capita GDP and figured we’ll be overtaken economically by Botswana and Khazakstan by 2025.

    I think they’ve underestimated the mayhem.

    Comment by Alan Vallis — November 25, 2011 @ 10:20 am

  4. “Three more years, boys. Three more years.”

    Comment by Neil — November 25, 2011 @ 10:22 am

  5. > There is a non-zero chance…

    So there’s a chance…surely the non-zero is redundant…unless you want to say there’s no chance?

    Comment by Ross — November 25, 2011 @ 10:29 am

  6. The Greens have by far run the best campaign, even if it has been somewhat safe. 2014 will be interesting to see if they stick to this strategy or go for broke to try and become the major opposition party.

    Comment by alex — November 25, 2011 @ 10:35 am

  7. “Labour: Ran a surprisingly strong campaign.”

    Labour Party HQ should repeat this to themselves, not to make themselves feel better, but as a reminder that it wasn’t the campaign but the terrible first 2.5 years in Opposition that put them in this hole. They should have hope for 2014 if they don’t botch the leadership change. We’ve known for a while that Key is questionable under pressure, but this campaign he was worse than questionable even though the pressure was low. He can’t spin forever, and National desperately need the economy to improve by 2014, yet it’s anathema for them to take any active steps towards improving it. If they rely on world conditions to get better, it’s going to be a rough three years.

    (Also: No way will there be six overhang seats.)

    Comment by bradluen — November 25, 2011 @ 10:59 am

  8. I think the campaign has been dreary because, as a series of tests, it has been trivial compared with the tests the government (and opposition parties) faced in the last three years. While all the guff about character being revealed in a campaign and in reaction to campaign events normally has some validity I doubt that voters have discovered a single new thing about any of the leaders or their parties since the campaign began compared with what has been revealed for good or ill about their characters, instincts and policies over the preceding three years. The GFC (and associated events or programmes like the collapse of SCF and the Govt’s fiscal policy), the Canterbury Earthquakes and the Pike River mine tragedy plus all the other more minor events with political implications have given voters more than enough information to make a choice. Dealing with Duncan and Patrick at TV3 and the almost incoherent journalists at HOS are hilariously trivial matters by comparison. Reactions to the latter are not signs of character to other than the most narcisissistic media junkies. And the debates have been poor substitutes for the conflict over substance that has taken place in the last three years. Hence the lack of overall centre right/centre movement in the polls over the course of the campaign. The only real volatility has been within the centre left as voters keep scurrying around looking for a tactical voting solution that hobbles or defeats National. This election hasn’t been about the campaign but the years preceding it.

    Comment by Tinakori — November 25, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  9. Frankly I will be relieved if National were to win. The train-wreck that is the global economy will finally show them up for what they are – inept, able only to ‘muddle through’ what will almost certainly be a protracted period of declining living standards and growing social friction. Key certainly proved to be flaky under some modest pressure – it will be interesting to say the least to watch how he and his cronies deal with the pressures about to be exerted. Three more years – yeah right, and they are welcome to them.

    Comment by thawed-out — November 25, 2011 @ 11:07 am

  10. Labour’s defeat could very well just make the logjam at the top of their leadership worse.

    I’ve nothing against David Shearer but he’s hardly the future of Labour whereas someone like Adern is. But he got the (extremely) safe seat.

    I think the opportunity for Labour was lost directly after Goff’s Nationhood speech. At that point the younger MPs could have come out and said this is not the way we should be heading.

    Comment by NeilM — November 25, 2011 @ 11:10 am

  11. Re: NZ1
    You know that old joke about 1-in-3 being mentally ill; look at two friends and if they’re ok it must be you?
    I’ve tried the same thing with 20 friends/family/colleagues – i can’t spot one that i would consider to be so very mentally derranged that they might even consider voting NZF.
    Where are these people hiding?!

    Re: ACT
    I think there’s legitimate breathing space for a party to the right (economically and liberally) of National. ACT need to find a way to jettison all the reactionary law-and-order bullshit if they’re sustainable in the long-run.

    Re: National
    Why even mention Labour? Because the red team are so deeply unpopular at the moment that entrenching your brand as the direct opposite is just good marketing.
    Why pick a fight with the media? Because Joyce knew that the media wouldn’t make the story about National and ACT, the media would make the story about the media – and if you could name two occupational groups treated with more distrust and suspicion than politicians, it’s used-car salesmen and political reporters.

    Comment by Phil — November 25, 2011 @ 11:12 am

  12. The Standard is running a thread http://thestandard.org.nz/who-were-voting-for that suggests there could be quite an exodus of Labour votes to NZF to ‘kick National in the cods’.

    Not sure if it will work that way, although if Labour is decimated they may actually try and rethink and rebuild next term, depending on who’s left with any gumption.

    Comment by Pete George — November 25, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  13. or three years ago…

    Comment by merv — November 25, 2011 @ 11:50 am

  14. @ phil – or three years ago… (you’ve got to be quick to post here with Pete around).

    Comment by merv — November 25, 2011 @ 11:51 am

  15. ah fuck it, lets just watch another Key led government – suprisingly good comedy to come folks, 3-6 years of it, Key’ll be phucked at the end !!

    Comment by Cnr Joe — November 25, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  16. And another twist in the tail end of this election: Peters an illegal candidate for NZ First?

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/11/exclusive_peters_an_illegal_candidate_for_nz_first.html

    Comment by Pete George — November 25, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

  17. Why would you vote green?? that wont make a bit of difference to who the government will be…..a wasted vote!

    Comment by Kerry — November 25, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  18. Yeah man Phil Goff has definitely betrayed the revolution.

    Anyways looking forward to the dividends when they finally sell off those SOEs. In NZ good assets are either closely held or owned by government. This time the people will win.

    Comment by Simon — November 25, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  19. @Pete George (#16)

    Hmm, if this is so, do you think this might actually *improve* NZ Firsts’ chances of being a protest vote target? It doesn’t say NZ First isn’t allowed in parliament, just that Winston might not be…

    Comment by kimshepherd — November 25, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

  20. @kimshepherd – who knows? There could be a few twists yet in this election. NZF without WP would be an interesting challenge.

    Comment by Pete George — November 25, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

  21. One thing a would like to see in a new MOU between the Greens ands National would be a revival in the govts support for geothermal develpoment. Not just in NZ but in exporting of our skills overseas.

    We used to have a strong presence in countries such as Indonesia but we’ve been replaced by Japan and Germany. NZ contributed greatly to the exploration and development of gethermal resources in Indonesia but it all went unexploited and the last Labour govt stopping funding of the Geothermal Institue did not help.

    But Auckland Uni have just announced a new chair in geothermal reservoir development sponsored by Mighty River Power.

    It’s a good time to try and regain some of the lead in this area we have lost.

    Comment by NeilM — November 25, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

  22. Kerry wrote: “Why would you vote green?? that wont make a bit of difference to who the government will be…..a wasted vote!”

    not true – the Greens have always said their preference is for working with Labour. The larger the combined Labour-Green vote is, the more likely this will be possible and the more likely it will happen.

    Comment by Kahikatea — November 25, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

  23. @ Alex: “The Greens have by far run the best campaign, even if it has been somewhat safe.
    2014 will be interesting to see if they stick to this strategy or go for broke to try and become the major opposition party.”

    What has given the Greens the tactical edge this election is that it is a product of a long term strategic position – specifically the structural differences they have as a party – and it’s what Labour will need to learn if it doesn’t want to be eclipsed by them in the future.
    Through an obsession with democratic, consensus based processes they have undergone two changes of leadership, the retirement of most of their current caucus and a long term repositioning in the last few years without the bad press, backstabbing, factions or backroom deals that Labour has shown.
    As a party they are packed with specialists and technocrats and their party structure merges tactics, strategy and policy through a democratically elected equally ranking 6 person executive formed of parliamentary co-leaders, party organisation co-presidents and policy co-leaders. This approach of policy driving party strategy driving parliamentary strategy is the main reason they campaigned so positively and effectively and have completely set the agenda this campaign.
    By comparison Labour has a leader, appointed undemocratically, that most of the party haven’t backed and whom some MP’s have actively undermined, they swapped their fundraiser in chief party president for a career unionist and faction leader with parliamentary leadership ambitions and the elements of their policy platform not directly ripped of from the Greens (which is not much) give the impression of gimmicks which tested well with focus groups and directly contradict some of the previous positions of the MP’s selling them.
    The reason the Greens have flourished as a political movement under MMP compared to the assortment of minor party ego projects (Winston, Dunne, Hone, the Act party circus) and what will sustain them into the future is the idea that the party’s principles and processes decide the political objective and not the other way round as is too often the case.
    Here’s hoping tomorrow night reveals the emergence of the third ‘major’ party of the New Zealand political landscape.

    Comment by Richard29 — November 25, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

  24. I think this talk about Labour’s generation of bright new things being wiped out is a bit over-hysterical. No reason they can’t just come back in in 2014 if the election result is good for Labour. (And if in 2014 Labour aren’t picking up a lot of new seats they have way bigger problems than not having Jacinda Arden around)

    Comment by Hugh — November 25, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

  25. oh well maybe the Nats will just do it on their own:

    Geothermal energy has been given a boost with 25 new scholarships available next year for international postgraduate students to study the subject at The University of Auckland.

    The scholarships are being funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Aid Programme.

    http://www.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/home/news/template/news_item.jsp?cid=445370

    I’m surprised they haven’t made anything of this in their campaign. It’s the sort of thing that would have wide appeal.

    Comment by NeilM — November 25, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

  26. Richard29, I think the structural problems in Labour’s constitution are absolutely an important factor. Unfortunately these very problems make reform problematic.

    Comment by Stephen Judd — November 25, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

  27. “…And another twist in the tail end of this election: Peters an illegal candidate for NZ First?

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/11/exclusive_peters_an_illegal_candidate_for_nz_first.html…”

    May I direct you and DPF to section 199A of the electoral Act 1993…

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0087/latest/DLM310074.html#DLM310074

    “…Publishing false statements to influence voters

    Every person is guilty of a corrupt practice who, with the intention of influencing the vote of any elector, at any time on polling day before the close of the poll, or at any time on any of the 2 days immediately preceding polling day, publishes, distributes, broadcasts, or exhibits, or causes to be published, distributed, broadcast, or exhibited, in or in view of any public place a statement of fact that the person knows is false in a material particular.

    Section 199A: inserted, on 28 February 2002, by section 81 of the Electoral Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 1)…”

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 25, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

  28. Anyone who thinks that the increase in Green party popularity is down to an inteligent campaign is wrong.

    It is simply the Bradford effect. If you don’t have hated fucktards like Bradford or dope smoking drongos like Nandor in plain view then potential middle class Green voters (those who know what a bar of soap looks like) are happier to take the plunge.

    Comment by King Kong — November 25, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

  29. @ King Kong

    The Bradford effect is part of it but there’s also the fact that they’re almost without exception a collection of people who are ready to stand on principles.

    I have great difficulty swallowing their socialist welfare policies and big spend-up plans but I’m voting for them anyway because I trust the rest of the buggers less. And, as has been pointed out, my initial plan of a protest vote for “none of the above” under the current circumstances is as good as a vote for National.

    Comment by Alan Vallis — November 25, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

  30. @ King Kong

    You are partially correct.
    But don’t confuse the medium term strategic choice of ditching dead wood (Bradford, Kedgeley, Locke et al.) with an absence of intelligent campaigning.

    One was part of the other.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 25, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  31. Trust and politicians are words thta shouldn’t meet in a sentence Alan. I’d chose again if I were you using slightly different criteria such as who is the least likely to fuck our economy over in the next 3 years.

    Comment by merv — November 25, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

  32. Every person is guilty of a corrupt practice who, with the intention of influencing the vote of any elector… a statement of fact that the person knows is false in a material particular

    If true, then we’re going to need another 120 cells in Mt Eden…

    Comment by Phil — November 25, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

  33. Kerry: “Why would you vote green?? that wont make a bit of difference to who the government will be…..a wasted vote!”

    Yes! Vote National because it’s obvious it’ll form the government anyway!

    Comment by MikeM — November 25, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

  34. @ merv,

    They’re going to fuck the economy no matter who gets back. ACT are the only party with any economic credibility, but Dr Brash aka Mr Magoo has made them a laughing stock.

    It’s a tragedy.

    Comment by Alan Vallis — November 25, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

  35. @ Alan

    I think you give politicians too much credit.
    Policy tweaking courtesy of Team Red or Team Blue will make very little difference to NZs economic performance over the next 3 years+.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 25, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  36. @Alan
    Good call on the Green vote, I wouldn’t worry too much about the ‘socialist’ element, Labour is toast this election and the kinds of Green policies that the Nats will let through will be the common sense ones that are unlikely to break the bank or turn the country red overnight.
    What they’ll get through in exchange for their Confidence and supply abstention will probably be things like:
    - Country of origin labelling –> fairly harmless, difficult to argue against more information and choice for consumers.
    - Public option for Kiwisaver –> as recommended by the savings working group, pays for itself, the guardians of the super trust have the expertise and may have a Kiwibank like effect of encouraging the banks to trim their margins and lower fees overall.
    - A price on commercial water use in rural catchments – as recommended by the OECD, provides an important price signal and raises revenue at a time when we have a debt problem.
    - Reinstate study allowance on DBP –> Should probably never have been scrapped, it’s not massively costly, would help soften the Nats welfare package in the eyes of the public and it’s been shown to pay for itself over time by reducing the length of time mums spend on the DPB and their income (and tax take) when they return to the workforce.

    Comment by Richard29 — November 25, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

  37. …oh and of course home insulation (and possibly the minimum insulation standards for rentals) but that’s Green policy that’s so common sense I don’t think theres a party in or out of government who would oppose it.

    Comment by Richard29 — November 25, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  38. “…Publishing false statements to influence voters”

    You must be joking Sanctuary. I’ve heard plenty of those at every election meeting. And all over the ‘net. And debates. Etc etc.

    Comment by Pete George — November 25, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  39. @ Pete

    I think Sanc is referring to the 2 day cutoff pre election.
    Particularly naughty if you are a candidate for another political party.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 25, 2011 @ 3:18 pm


  40. “Why would you vote green?? that wont make a bit of difference to who the government will be…..a wasted vote!”

    Because you want a strong opposition?

    Comment by George D — November 25, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

  41. Ok Gregor. Just as well I didn’t “place a statement of fact that the person knows is false in a material particular”.

    Would saying something like “National’s paid bloggers” be illegal?

    Comment by Pete George — November 25, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  42. “Because you want a strong opposition?”

    The Greens have a Memorandum of Understanding with National. Labour doesn’t. Who’s the strong opposition again?

    Comment by Hugh — November 25, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

  43. @Pete: Maybe, when you’re as young as Gregor is, you’ll understand the laws of the country you purport to be fit to govern.

    Comment by Hugh — November 25, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

  44. Yeah Hugh. Are you young enough to tell me how honest “Labour says if National wins an absolute majority, they will abuse it” is?

    And can you point to anything I’ve posted that is deliberately misleading?

    Comment by Pete George — November 25, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

  45. @Hugh “The Greens have a Memorandum of Understanding with National. Labour doesn’t. Who’s the strong opposition again?”

    If you judge them on their voting record then nobody has been more opposed to National over the last three years:
    http://theyworkforyou.co.nz/parliaments/49

    The Greens may have been effective at getting some policy gains via their MOU, but they have not sold out their support base with their voting record.

    The fact that the Maori party voted with National more often than they voted with the Greens might explain why one of their party members quit and fractured off the left of their party.

    If not having any memorandum with the government that achieves policy gains for your supporters but still voting in support of government bills 42% of the time makes Labour a ‘strong’ opposition then I’d hate to see what a weak opposition looks like.

    Comment by Richard29 — November 25, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

  46. I think John Key and National will get over the line. Just and I must admit I’m more nervous now than I ever have been the last three years. I can’t help but see parallels with Helen Clark and 2002. From that election the seeds of weariness and distrust with the media began and the media were never as onside with Labour again. It was slow at first simply because how unpopular National and Bill English were. The point really came to the fore once Don Brash became leader. John Key needs to do some type of mea culpa or otherwise once Labour sort themselves which they will. The media will concentrate ever more negatively on what John Key and National do.

    I suspect it will simply be too late.

    I also believe Labour has focused too much on Asset Sales and attacking John Key at the expense of their other policies. They’re strategy has been somewhat confusing in saying they were going to focus on policy and not the typical presidential campaigns we’ve had in the past. Instead they dropped that by the second week prior to the Tea Tape saga and attacked John Key. Thus the push went back towards Goff versus Key. One can only suppose this was done deliberately for the fight in 2014.

    The Greens have done well. But I’m a bit over their constant pulling of emotional manipulation.

    Comment by gingercrush — November 25, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

  47. More blatant electoral dishonesty – is this the sort of thing you meant Sanctuary?

    Standing in front of the Whakamaru dam in Mangakino, Goff said: “If they got an absolute majority, then they would sell the whole of these assets, not just 49 per cent of them.”

    “There is no mandate to sell but John Key is determined to sell and if he got an absolute majority he’d sell the whole dam lot. Literally. No pun intended. Much.”

    Comment by Pete George — November 25, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

  48. Pete it’s kind of difficult to evaluate that statement purely on a factual basis because the term “abuse” is very subjective.

    Comment by Hugh — November 25, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

  49. Opposition is such a bipartisan FPP concept! =P

    If I voted for the Green Party, or for any party, it’d be because I liked that party’s policies and wanted to give them more representatives and therefore higher influence in the house and a stronger message to whichever combination of parties actually governs.

    Comment by MikeM — November 25, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

  50. Standing in front of the Whakamaru dam in Mangakino, Goff said: “If they got an absolute majority, then they would sell the whole of these assets, not just 49 per cent of them.”

    Goff’s gone into clutching at straws mode.

    The police recruitment thing was so stupid. First off he was wrong and kept on with it even when shown it was wrong. Secondly, who is he trying to convince that National would cut Police numbers. And trying to out law and order National isn’t going to get back the sort of Labour supporter that’s gone over to the Greens.

    perhaps his “reliable” source was Mallard.

    Comment by NeilM — November 25, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

  51. Think as has been said- Labour has left its run to be Labour until the last month or two. They were MIA for the first two years and this has hurt them.

    Comment by sheesh — November 25, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

  52. Labour’s ads kicked Nationals to the kerb !!!

    If only Goff were as handsome as Key eh ?

    things’d be different…

    Comment by pollywog — November 25, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

  53. Even now less than half of the people voting Labour want Goff as their Prime Minister.

    FEWER than half, LESS than 50%

    Yes, it DOES matter.

    Comment by jb — November 25, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

  54. Labour’s ads kicked Nationals to the kerb !!!

    If only Goff were as handsome as Key eh ?

    things’d be different…

    Ummm, I doubt it.
    There’s a lot more wrong with Labour than Goff’s lack of charisma.

    Saying that, there’s a lot more wrong with the Nats too but it’s their contest to lose.
    They don’t have to impress anyone. They just have to be not Labour.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 25, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

  55. And trying to out law and order National isn’t going to get back the sort of Labour supporter that’s gone over to the Greens

    Did you proof-read that sentence before publishing it? Do you actually think Goff would attack National on laura norder issues in order to woo Green voters?

    Comment by Simon Poole — November 25, 2011 @ 9:00 pm

  56. There has only ever been two single term governments in New Zealand history. The writing was on the wall when Clark lost in 2008 – Labour were never going to win in 2011. Even if 2008 had been really close (which it wasn’t), there was just no way that they were going to take it unless National completely screwed up.

    I think brand Key has been tarnished though. If you look at ‘strong’ support numbers, as opposed to just support, those in opposition to Key have strengthened over the past three months. This is what happened to Clark around 2006 – so it is much earlier in terms of the political cycle.

    Comment by Tim — November 25, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

  57. United Future happy to score some last minute undecided votes if there’s any out there. A safe sensible option.

    Comment by Pete George — November 25, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

  58. Looking forward to watching Labour get exactly what it deserves on Saturday. Helen Clark really did sow the seeds of Labour’s own destruction.

    Congratulations must really go to John Key. He’s so popular right now.

    Comment by OECD rank 22 kiwi — November 25, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

  59. Congratulations must really go to John Key. He’s so popular right now.

    You must be a fucking riot at cocktail parties.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 25, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

  60. Standing in front of the Whakamaru dam in Mangakino, Goff said: “If they got an absolute majority, then they would sell the whole of these assets, not just 49 per cent of them.”
    Not much different than Key saying: “Phil Goff wants to spend all your money like a drunken sailor”

    Comment by marshall — November 26, 2011 @ 12:52 am

  61. Phil Goff has always been a night watchman and I feel some sympathy for him because the Labour Party have hung him out to dry by not getting rid of the time serving geriatrics and dead wood clogging up the party list when Clark left.

    Comment by will — November 26, 2011 @ 3:53 am

  62. Ran a low risk, policy-focused campaign, with their usual daft, media-friendly gimmicks (swimming with sharks) so the gallery could dust off their repertoire of puns.

    They faced little scrutiny from the media. How about a little scrutiny around such policies as their electromagnetic radiation health policy. As Liberty Scott asked

    How does the Green Party plan to implement its policy to ”Minimise exposure to electromagnetic radiation especially for children and pregnant women”? How many TV and radio stations would you shut down? Will you want to close wifi networks at schools and home? Will you demand children and pregnant women not use laptops, TVs or any other electrical appliance? Will you demand all homes with children and pregnant women to be outside mobile phone coverage? Does the party understand how pervasive EMR is and has been for decades? Does it understand that visible light is electromagnetic radication, and if not, how can anyone trust the Greens on science in other fields?

    I would add that do they realise that the application of the fundamentally conservative precautionary principle which they would want to apply to emf policy if applied in the past would have severely retarded the incredible technological advances made in telecommunications. The same applies to other technologies. As others have argued they should apply the precautionary principle to itself and ask how much harm are you failing to prevent with its application and what harm may you do to human progress and flourishing. Progress requires risk and by continually advocating the precautionary principle (which is all over the green’s website) they put that progress at risk/ Along with their attitude to genetic engineering it gives me a sense of an uneasy relationship between the green party and technological progress.

    Comment by Quoth the Raven — November 27, 2011 @ 12:12 am

  63. Well National kicked ass. Lets sell some assets!!

    Comment by OECD rank 22 kiwi — November 27, 2011 @ 12:33 am

  64. @ OECD – where’s ya mandate? Scraping together a 3 or 4-headed hydra National coalition? Because Key and National didn’t even get a majority? With all polls showing a clear majority of Kiwis opposed to state asset sales?

    Democracy means a bit more than electing a 3-year term of dictatorship, OECD…

    FWIW, has anyone noticed that if the Greens and Labour had not stood electorate candidates in Epsom, Banks may not have won, and if the Greens did not stand Gareth Hughes in Ohariu, Dunne should have lost there too? (assuming those Green & Labour voters voted for Goldsmith and Chauvel resp.). Just saying. The tories pulled off tactical voting better – again, dammit!

    Sigh. 3 more years.

    Comment by bob — November 27, 2011 @ 2:27 am

  65. Ooops. Point of above last paragraph was to note that a little more pointed tactical voting/un-candidacies by Labour & Greens could have wiped ACT and United from Parliament, leaving Key unchanged on 60 seats out of 121.

    Meaning Key would have *needed* Maori Party support, so they could have killed off nasty Nats welfare changes. Or, better yet, that would have put the blowtorch on the Maori Party & NZ First to support a LabourGreens-Mana coalition govt.

    It actually is that close.

    Comment by bob — November 27, 2011 @ 2:31 am


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