Watkins on the state of the parties

August 2nd, 2014 at 8:07 am by David Farrar

look at the state of the parties now the House has risen:

National 

Prime Minister John Key and his Government defy convention and are more popular now than they were on election night 2011. 

Heading into the campaign, National is polling in the stratosphere, which, perversely, means it could  lose if complacency takes root and its voters don’t bother to turn up. 

But looking like a done deal to win the election has some advantages, particularly when it comes to getting businesses to open their chequebooks. 

National starts  with a huge war chest and a slick campaign team that knows how to win elections.

Labour 

Still only part-way through the revolution imposed on the caucus by the grassroots, Labour has been too busy warring with itself to take the fight to National. 

It has plenty of foot soldiers and a plan to mobilise the vote in  areas like South Auckland, but it is not clear whether the grassroots are motivated enough to give the plan any grunt.  

Labour’s poor polling has also turned the focus of many MPs inward to their  survival in previously safe seats that could turn if the tide continues to go out, meaning the crucial party-vote message is not getting through. 

We hear, meanwhile, that money is tight, though it is not clear whether that’s because party president Moira Coatsworth has failed to knock on enough doors or because those doors are firmly closed. 

The secret fear that keeps Labour MPs awake at night is an old-fashioned rout.

I think those doors are closed.

The Greens 

The Greens’ leaders, Russel Norman and Metiria Turei, are more match-ready than any of their allies in Opposition. 

They also have a strong team.  The Greens have some of the most talented and energetic people in Parliament working for them. 

Never short of creative capital, they are noted for running slick campaigns, though their  Love New Zealand billboards may have missed the mark.  

A lot of work has gone into matching the creative side with a better-run effort on the ground this election. 

The biggest threat to the Greens is being starved of oxygen by the likely focus on smaller parties like Internet Mana, because of the Dotcom factor, and NZ First,  through its potential importance to National.

NZ First

Winston Peters had plenty of fire in his belly when he launched his comeback on the 2011 campaign trail.

Motivated by pride and thoughts of revenge, he was a formidable and indefatigable opponent.

But did those three years of  fishing and relaxing in his semi-retirement  give Peters a taste of what he has been missing since his return to Parliament? 

Peters will have to scrap hard to raise his party above the 5 per cent threshold yet again. 

Now knocking 70, the Lazarus of New Zealand politics must be wondering whether it is all worth  it.

The NZ First Party list will be interesting.

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27 Responses to “Watkins on the state of the parties”

  1. adze (2,106 comments) says:

    Any complacency within National (or, crucially, its voters) will be to its detriment, especially if the latest Roy Morgan is indicative of future pre-election polls. They need to run a strong campaign to win in 2014.

    Edit: Off-topic again I see hj.

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  2. hj (6,927 comments) says:

    Chinese sign deal to acquire big farm
    Hat tip Colin Craig
    Shaaaaaame National Realestate
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/251185/chinese-sign-deal-to-acquire-big-farm

    http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/04/rbnz-slams-the-population-ponzi/
    Where’s Andrea Vance?

    [DPF: 20 demerits off topic]

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  3. Nostalgia-NZ (5,121 comments) says:

    Pretty much right. The talk about the Greens being match ready may be true – but it doesn’t look evident in their campaigning where some of their better policy isn’t getting much traction, probably as Watkins says because of distractions by Mana and IP. He gives Winston a fair analysis. Winston looks on top of things more recently, even if his party does not. Labour seem to be like the old V8 that won’t start or when it does isn’t firing on all 8 – may they should call AA – that’s either Alcoholics Anonymous or the Automobile Association. Still tight though, no one appreciates that more than JK and Winston I suspect – with Winston not saying that he will or won’t go with Labour causing concern. Like it or not Winston is at the big table this election.

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  4. EAD (1,002 comments) says:

    Tracy should be a real political journalist and instead of writing on “the state of the parties” she should write about “the differences between the parties”

    In particular, I’d like her to focus on the following areas an explain to someone as stupid as myself what are the differences between National, Labour & The Greens on:

    Maori separatism, government borrowing, house price inflation, political correctness, Nanny statism, mass immigration, green taxes, inflation and radical social changes or are they all the same and it’s just a matter of degree?

    I mean, what if all 3 are leading us down a path to a Brave New World/1984 type future but just at a different speed?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-30/aldous-huxley-vs-george-orwell

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  5. bringbackdemocracy (426 comments) says:

    Watkins needs to find a new job.
    She lists nine parties in her diatribe and leaves out NZ’s 5th largest party the Conservatives.
    She even includes Brendan Horans party
    Totally unprofessional.

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  6. thePeoplesFlag (242 comments) says:

    “…I think those doors are closed…”

    Good, come September 21st the new – and radical – Labour/Green government won’t owe the capitalist class anything, and they’ll make policy accordingly.

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  7. starboard (2,523 comments) says:

    Exactly what I was going to say BBD. The left are absolutely shit scared of the Conservatives and it shows thru their biased reporting…Watkins also needs to go on a diet , she looks like a sloth and a cowsbody.

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  8. ChardonnayGuy (1,199 comments) says:

    Winston, the “Lazarus” of New Zealand politics? “Walking Dead” is more like it.

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  9. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    ChardonnayGuy (1,137 comments) says:
    August 2nd, 2014 at 9:14 am
    Winston, the “Lazarus” of New Zealand politics? “Walking Dead” is more like it.

    But in the walking dead cartoons, and the television series, which is the group that is most prolific in numbers?

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  10. G152 (305 comments) says:

    Chinese sign deal to acquire big farm
    Hat tip Colin Craig
    Shaaaaaame National Realestate

    ————————————
    That reminds me
    Any-one ask Whinebox Winnie lately about the sale of Huka Lodge

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  11. rouppe (967 comments) says:

    The deceit of the Greens is showing again.

    Through the election campaign it is always ‘save the environment’, ‘save the dolphins’, ‘no mining’.

    Outsude of that time it is ‘tax rich people’, ‘more money for [pick your favourite lobby]‘, ‘more rail where people don’t go’ etc…

    Can’t vote for them…

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  12. Jack5 (5,055 comments) says:

    What G152 said at 9.18.

    For those who oppose foreign sales of NZ land and wouldn’t vote for Peters, Craig has made his party an alternative to a blank party vote.

    Pressure is on to shut down discussion of the Lochiner station sale to the same Chinese mob who bought the Crafar farms. Racism will be the chant against those who oppose the sale.

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  13. OneTrack (3,027 comments) says:

    thePeoplesFlag – “and they’ll make policy accordingly.”

    Punish the rich. Tax businesses out of existence. Make it uneconomic to employ anybody. Strikes on the Cook Strait ferries every Christmas. Ports of Auckland shutdown – permanently on strike. Compulsory Te Reo, optional English. Carbon Tax to put petrol on $5 dollars a litre. Shower head size inspectors. ….

    What could go wrong?

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  14. OneTrack (3,027 comments) says:

    Chardonnay Guy – ““Walking Dead” is more like it.”

    Brains! Brains! :-)

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  15. adze (2,106 comments) says:

    @Onetrack;

    Baubles! Baubles! ;)

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  16. wat dabney (3,726 comments) says:

    Many here will know of Steven Landsburg, known for his clarity of thought not only in economics but also in moral philosophy.

    His recent effusive piece about ACT’s Jamie Whyte is worth a read

    http://www.thebigquestions.com/2014/07/15/act-now/

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  17. flipper (3,991 comments) says:

    thePeoplesFlag (182 comments) says:

    August 2nd, 2014 at 9:05 am

    “…I think those doors are closed…”

    Good, come September 21st the new – and radical – Labour/Green government won’t owe the capitalist class anything, and they’ll make policy accordingly
    ****

    So, having returned from your holiday in North Korea, please enlighten us by advising which of the following 12 is either correct, or more accurate than any other:

    1. I am unemployed, on a benefit, but seeking work from a capitalist

    2. I am unemployed, on a benefit, in part time paid employment

    3. I am unemployed, “studying” at a “tert”, and living on a interest free student loan.

    4. I am self-employed, selling my services to the down trodden

    5. I am employed by a state-funded NGO

    6, I am employed by a local authority organisation

    7. I am employed by a Government department

    8. I am a paid fifth columnist for the Jong criminal dynasty.

    9. I exist by begging scraps from rich filthy hard working capitalists

    10. I live by robbing others

    11. I am a prostitute selling my body

    12. I am “employed” by the red melons

    …. others may be able to identify other ways how you earn your bread, flag.

    Come now, little flag. Do tell everyone.

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  18. Ross12 (1,413 comments) says:

    rouppe @ 9.24am

    Very astute point. +10

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  19. holysheet (364 comments) says:

    Go Colon Craig you good thing.
    The more you take the wind out of Winston first, the less the chance of both of you getting over 5%. After all, you are both targeting the same vote grouping.
    It would not have taken much for John Key to realize this and could be the reason why he didn’t do a “cup of tea” with the cons’.

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  20. dime (9,869 comments) says:

    Flipper – he is on the bene and plans to stay that way

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  21. hj (6,927 comments) says:

    hj (6,381 comments) says:
    August 2nd, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Chinese sign deal to acquire big farm
    Hat tip Colin Craig
    Shaaaaaame National Realestate
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/251185/chinese-sign-deal-to-acquire-big-farm
    ….
    It isn’t off topic if I had explained that this might make a difference since every other party other than National and Act oppose the sale.
    What’s more Colin Craig says the OIO seems to have tried to keep it secret.
    On that basis it is right on topic?

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  22. Rex Widerstrom (5,349 comments) says:

    I wonder who’s ranking the NZF Party list these days? Given that it started out being the decision of the most reviled (ex)MP in the party and Winston’s secretary, my money’s on Asenati and someone from the Parliamentary mail room this year.

    Or do his members still believe they really get a say?

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  23. Unity (532 comments) says:

    Why on earth are the media so afraid of the Conservatives? After all they aren’t the politicians and I can imagine the latter being afraid. This is why they rubbish Colin Craig at every turn. However, the media also does the same and it’s quite beyond me. I thought the media was there to investigate and report in an unbiased way, not to try and put their own spin on something so as to put us off.

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  24. Boris Piscina (52 comments) says:

    Craig will disappear up his own jacksi this election and rightly so. Hard right religious nutter Parties have never made the cut in New Zealand and they probably never will. They’re a protest at best but the average Godzoner knows they’re too fringe and too flaky to be let loose on the levers of power.

    This time coming at least we have to face the reality that the Government will be a National one which is allowed the numbers by NZF. Like it or not that will be the reality. Winston for all his faults is at least a known quantity and in fairness is dependable. He will stick with any deal that is made.

    There could be many worse outcomes. I think we can live with this one.

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  25. ShawnLH (4,609 comments) says:

    “Hard right religious nutter Parties”

    The Conservatives are neither hard right nor a religious party.

    I doubt they have much of a chance of reaching the 5% mark though. Those campaign hoardings with Craig’s face on them are frightening and will likely turn people off.

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  26. Harriet (4,857 comments) says:

    “……They’re a protest at best but the average Godzoner knows they’re too fringe and too flaky to be let loose on the levers of power……..”

    Well said Boris.

    Key and the rest of the National MP’s are so useless that they will let the Conservatives rule the roost with 5% of the vote.

    You don’t understand elections do you? And you are going to vote?

    just great.

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  27. adze (2,106 comments) says:

    “On that basis it is right on topic?”

    Because the topic is about the electoral state of the parties, don’t be disingenuous. You know perfectly well you were trying to quietly threadjack with your anti-immigration schtick. Again.

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