Fairfax 2018 predictions

The annual Fairfax political predictions:

1. National retains a polling lead on Labour, but it narrows somewhat, as NZ First’s share of the vote remains low. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stays ahead in the preferred PM stakes.

Astonishing that they are predicting that Labour will not even overtake National in the polls despite being in their honeymoon first year of Government.

2. National leader Bill English announces that after 28 years in Parliament and two election campaigns he won’t stay on to see a third as leader in 2020. As he goes he cites the need for “generational change”.

3. The competition to replace English is fierce but mostly kept away from the prying eyes of the public. Likely contenders will include Simon Bridges, Nikki Kaye, Amy Adams, Jonathan Coleman and perhaps a couple of wildcards. Steven Joyce and Todd Muller?

Not sure how this is a prediction you can score. If English does go, of course there will be a contest to replace him.

4. KiwiBuild – the plan to build 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years – stumbles out of the gate, and the Government aren’t all that clear about how many houses have been built. Estimates have it at less than 300, but the Government insists it will ramp up much more in the following year.

Wow. They are promising 10,000 a year and Fairfax thinks they’ll achieve just 3% of their target!

5. A member of the Trump family visits New Zealand and is met with protest.

6. The prime minister will announce her engagement to Clarke Gayford, delighting many but causing some to dismiss it as a “distraction”.

Hopefully it will delight Clarke most of all!

7. The budget will feature few goodies, much of the cash already being spent in the mini-budget. But there will be one or two headline-catching surprises.

Again a non-prediction.

8. A backbench MP will come under fire for a professional, or unprofessional as it were, indiscretion.

Almost a non-prediction also. A backbench MP will get criticised for something!

9. Kelvin Davis will stay on a deputy leader of Labour, despite a few more bad patches as acting-PM.

Again a non-prediction. Of course Labour won’t dump their deputy leader within a year of electing him.

10. The Green Party will select Eugenie Sage as co-leader, surprising many who assumed Marama Davidson or Julie Anne Genter would take up the role.

Finally an actual prediction.

11. The Kermadec Sanctuary Bill will be pulled from the ballot and cause a major rift between the Greens and NZ First. But after the spat, the Greens will back down and vote along Government lines.

Sadly all too likely the Greens will sell out.

12. David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill will end up narrowly passing following a divisive national debate and some changes in select committee. It won’t go to referendum.

13. The Prime Minister will be forced to require the discipline of a NZ First member of the executive.

Pretty likely yeah.

14. Abortion law reform will not be openly pursued by the Government, despite a promise to take it out of the Crimes Act.

Jacinda promised it in a widely televised debate. It will hurt her reputation if she doesn’t live up to her words.

15. National’s Nicola Willis will enter Parliament when a list MP retires – likely Nicky Wagner.

Nicola is 2nd in waiting on the list so needs two MPs to retire for her to enter. I agree it will be in 2018.

16. Foreign Minister Winston Peters will be involved in international efforts to talk down North Korea.

17. A natural disaster will put the Government books out, breaking the Government’s Budget Responsibility Rules. Steven Joyce will still not have much support for his $11 billion hole.

18. There will be a political bombshell that will see the ousting of a minister.

19. Iwi leaders will take fresh water rights all the way back to the Supreme Court, after a broken promise by the Government to address the issue.

20. Jian Yang will remain on in the National Party pulling in serious donations, but negative stories about possible Chinese Government influence will continue to swirl. An inquiry will be talked about but not actually launched.

No 20 is a bit of a non-prediction also. An MP will remain an MP but there will be further stories on him.

After their low score for 2017, they seem to have gone for quite a few automatic 10/10 predictions.

I’ve yet to do my 2018 predictions but will try and have some riskier ones.

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