Paul Little writes in the HoS:
Most political polling this year has shown Labour support going up slightly in a predictable version of the bounce you will get when you throw a dead cat from a high building. The Greens have also gained support in many polls. Naturally, the Government is losing support – that is what governments do when they govern. The Labour vote should be hitting the ozone layer by now.
On the contrary one Labour MP has been boasting that they will win the 2014, 2017 and 2020 elections.
Things are changing for Labour because since the last election, the Green Party has emerged as a credible alternative, with credible leadership, competent MPs and policies worth considering.
Unlike New Zealand First and Act, its leadership is untainted by associations with the old guard. (Experienced politicians would say they are also untainted by reality or experience.) The Green Party was clearly one that opposed the old ways of doing things, not just on the issues but in the way it did politics.
And voters are ready for an alternative party that can work outside the old right/left, he said/she said way of doing things.
The historic social conditions that brought Labour into being haven’t gone away; but their response to them has evolved into a watered-down free-market philosophy that is no different from the guiding principles of their historic foe. Which is why, despite every poll increase and every intelligent policy that Labour doesn’t have the firepower to sell to the electorate, we are witnessing the long, slow and inevitable death of the Labour Party.
What happened in Canada at the last election was interesting. The Liberal Party was the major centre-left party and almost had been the natural party of Government. They shrank to third place, losing official opposition status to the fairly hard left NDP.
Could it happen here?