There are (or should I say should be) three realistic options among the political parties in New Zealand for the conservative voter.
Obviously, the main one should be the National Party, if only it would get back to its conservative principles and stand for something instead of the wishy washy, woke, politically correct, all things to all people, ineffective, irrelevant, political nothingness it has become. As it stands today, the National Party needs a miracle to retain sufficient seats to remain relevant, a pretty serious problem that everybody except them seems to get.
ACT is the self-appointed and proven ‘real’ opposition during this term. With sound leadership arguably a bit on the corny side, but with a record of sound, sensible thinking behind it, looks stronger than it has in years. Rapidly becoming the obvious default option and the polling is showing more and more voters thinking that way. They will bring extra seats to the table in September.
New Zealand First still presents itself as the handbrake albeit with some loose cables connected through very worn and often intermittent solder joints to a slightly confused conservative background.
Unfortunately with its credibility totally in tatters as a result of dreadful judgement shown at the last election, the only way NZ First can play a role of any kind depends on what rabbits the leader is able to pull out of the hat. Five percent is looking like a bridge too far and I wouldn’t bet my house on Jones winning an electoral seat to keep them in. If Winston wants to secure any kind of a legacy in what will probably be his final term, he will need a miracle of substantial proportions, and let’s be under no illusion about it: No Winston = no NZ First.
I know many will tout the New Conservatives as an option but the electorate isn’t even close to giving them five percent and we need to be brutally realistic about it.
At a time when the National Party desperately needed strong, dynamic leadership and a clear point of difference, they selected a leader who looked like bland wallpaper and struggled for relevance from day one. That was Simon Bridges. Without revisiting the entire story, it took them way too long to accept, acknowledge and deal with that mistake and what did they do to fix it?
They selected a leader who looks like bland wallpaper and has struggled for relevance from day one. This time though, they’ve done it on the eve of an election. That’s confidence-inspiring isn’t it?
I’ve tried really hard both with Bridges and Muller to look for the positives. I have been as successful at that as Bridges and Muller were and will be as leaders.
Despite what the polls have been saying, this election is far from decided. There is simply no way that Labour will get 57%. If you believe that you are completely deluded. There has been no shallower group of politicians in power in the history of this country than this current Labour led government. Shallow puddles have a way of drying out when you least expect them to. Their already shallow puddle is getting shallower by the day. By September they’ll be lucky to poll in the mid thirties and their coalition partners could both end up below the threshold to get back.
As always with politics, polls, predictions and speculation mean nothing. The vote on election day is the only one that counts, but remember that polls can, and often do, influence the vote on the day. If you think a party hasn’t a show of getting in, you won’t waste your vote. That’s why NZ First faces obliteration.
Weigh up the options. For NZ First to get back into parliament they must produce something unique and earth-shattering. For National to have any chance of becoming the government, they need something earth-shattering too. The leadership change, while it may be gaining them a couple of points, won’t significantly alter anything. They also need coalition partners. ACT won’t be enough.
Here’s an earth-shattering thought that solves all their problems and would create a major one for the “princess” Jacinda Ardern. A public dissolution by NZ First of the coalition agreement and an announcement of a pre-election formation of a new coalition with National and ACT (assuming either or both would be willing to go along with it).
There you go chaps. Job done. Everybody’s bacon saved. Otherwise, we will just have another lottery in September.