Audrey Young writes:
The Greens may have had their worst week in politics since Rod Donald died, but it could get even worse.
It is conceivable they might not even make it back to Parliament after September 23 if they fall below 5 per cent.
The next round of public polls could be very interesting.
It is possible the party will recover some support now that Turei has resigned, but it may also suffer more because of the shows of disunity and ugly public attacks on the two MPs who stood accused of bringing the party into disrepute for resigning on principle (they had been asked by co-leader James Shaw to keep their principles on hold until after the election).
Those who have elevated Turei to martyrdom claim that Turei was forced to resign because of her actions 20 years ago which is patently untrue, or even more simplistically, that she was forced to resign for telling the truth. The mob didn’t get her.
She need never have resigned at all if she had managed her confession properly. She could have explained it without turning any person who cheats the system today into a hero.
But everything has been mismanaged including her own resignation. She has resigned as co-leader and will leave politics but is still going to be a Green candidate in Te Tai Tonga.
One of the problems the Greens have is they have no one that doesn’t share their fervant belief that welfare should be a lifetime entitlement with no obligations. So no one spoke up to say “hey if you confess you lied about your income, people will ask what your circumstances are”.
The party other than Labour that may gain from the Greens’ misfortune is Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party.
He is polling close to where the Conservative Party was polling before the last election – around 2 or 3 per cent – and which eventually landed on 3.97 per cent at the election.
Anything but Conservative, Morgan’s 2 or 3 per cent will give him appearance rights and exposure in television debates and the potential to build on the momentum he has largely generated himself.
Given that National’s vote is largely unchanged, Morgan appears to be taking votes from the left.
Yep Greens are losing support to both Labour and TOP. The socialists are going to Labour and the environmentalists to TOP.