The two most recent polls are good news for the right of centre parties in the sense that both show the gloss is coming off Ardern and Labour. The slide is on and, like Mallard’s one in Parliament’s grounds, it could prove to be expensive.
In further good news and predictably, it appears Labour sees no need to do anything other than carry on with their reforms. These are the same reforms that are responsible for their slide in the polls. So mentally deprived are they and so wedded to their Marxist dogma, that they think it is simply that we are Covid weary. In taking that tack Labour is living up to the certainty that Oppositions don’t win elections but Governments lose them.
The really interesting subject matter to come out of the polls is what is happening on the right. ACT has benefitted from Labour’s demise more than National. I think there are several reasons for this. Seymour has the advantage of having a small caucus. They are new and enthusiastic. They are a tight-knit bunch. They are very supportive of their leader. They can all articulate points of view well. Nicole McKee on Newshub Nation last weekend was a good example. She handled her interview in a way that put Labour ministers to shame. Above all of these reasons though, they are constantly on the road holding public meetings. Not just Seymour, all of them. They are getting their policies out there.
This is where I think at the moment they are getting the march on National and this needs addressing. Plans are afoot. There are those in the media who point to Judith Collins as being the problem: Tova O’Brien, Claire Trevett and, somewhat surprisingly, Heather du Plessis Allan. Claire says in the ordinary world Collins would be rolled tomorrow. My question is: Who would then be the replacement? Heather’s answer is Simon Bridges. Not in my book. Deputy maybe. Too much emphasis today is placed around the leader. No Opposition leader rates highly. Helen Clark rated 2 per cent when she became leader of the Labour party.
Some very good advice was given by Bruce Cotterill in the Weekend Herald. In an article entitled ‘Getting National back on the winning track’ he said the number one thing National needs is visibility. The whole team needs to show up and the leader needs to be everywhere. Be open and honest. In other words the exact opposite of Ardern (my words). Cotterill says that’s how you become trustworthy. Don’t try to fudge it. If you don’t know, say you don’t know. Ditch the PC stuff, the spin and the falsehoods. Have some fun along the way. If you’re smiling you look better and it all gets a bit easier.
There were other points in the article I agreed with. If you’re not charismatic, be bold and strong, and he cited Helen Clark as an example. Choose your topic, pick your battles. He says Winston Peters is a good example of this. Cotterill says repetition is critical. He cites Trump as being brilliant at picking a few topics and repeating them so often the information became believable. Another good piece of advice was to take the message out to people who are prepared to give you another chance. Start with the farmers who walked away last time but are now far from happy. Do different stuff like ‘Demand the Debate’ but not necessarily in isolation.
I think Cotterill has more or less given National their path to victory for free. It is vital that they get the message out with public meetings particularly in the rural heartland to begin with. These meetings should be a mix of politics and entertainment whereby those attending do have some fun, where people are smiling. The political messages have to be succinct, believable and what people want to hear. There needs to be an air of authority in their telling so the audience is left in no doubt that what is said will in fact happen.
National has a path to victory in 2023 with Judith Collins as leader. I believe the next election will be more focused on policies than the leader. Ardern is losing voters because of her policies. Now the Covid pandemic is losing steam, people are starting to concentrate on the things that matter to them. They are waking up to the Marxist ideology that is being forced upon them. They are becoming more aware of the lies, the deceit and the corrupt practices of this Government. This is what National needs to take to the streets and vehemently oppose. They cannot afford to let ACT suck up all the oxygen. National needs to become the party that promises to repeal the Marxist policies that voters dislike and introduce policies that will appeal to them in 2023.
Repeal to appeal.
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