Sorry #teamkey, they won’t get 50 percent. But only just. This is National’s election to lose, and John Key doesn’t only hold all the cards — he’s dealing… in his casino. National, with support from United and Māori, should bring it home, albeit with vulnerabilities. Just as Labour’s 2011 paralleled National’s 2002, look for this to be a reverse 2005. It will be tighter than punters are predicting, but the safe money, along with all the other money, has to be on John Key and his many Merry Men.
Too harsh? Many would say too optimistic. It’s not that Cunliffe has been terrible — quip for quip, he’s up on Key. It’s more that, as with Goff, National have played man-to-man defence, whereas Labour needed to go for an open-style game. Don’t write them off, because as Winston Peters proved in the last election, polls don’t account for good grassroots campaigning. That said, ‘Prime Minister Cunliffe’ looks increasingly like a birthday surprise from his wife.
Stay your cries of “ya must be dreaming” and bear in mind that the Greens have steadily increased from 5.7 percent in 2005 to 11.1 percent in 2011. Their MPs have been heavily active in Parliament, but the more successful they get, the more the depth of their list will be challenged. Fifteen percent is a stretch, but it also continues the left-voting trend in the post-Clark era. What could stop them? Laila? Winston? Dolphins?! They wouldn’t have it any other way.
New Zealand First: 5%
Of course, 5 percent — New Zealand realised last election that without Winston (70 next year) there’s nothing much to be interested about in politics. That said, his party has always been shaky and there’ll be many voters who will feel they’ve made their point with the last election. But he’ll be back — because voters can’t resist their guilty pleasures.
So there’s hope for the Left(ish) — with 51 percent against National (no pressure, Greens)… but this is where it gets complicated. Let’s look at how the minor parties can shake things up.
Yeah. He’s still there. Like a hermit with a bowtie, Peter Dunne will cede you Ohariu from his cold, dead hands. What does he have to do to be unseated? Even Key doesn’t know. So sleep easy, Johnsonville: the more things change, the more they stay the same.
The retirement of Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia, and Parekura Horomia’s untimely death, mean there’s a distinct lack of kaumātua in Parliament. That should see Te Ururoa Flavell maintain his seat, but might make it pretty lonely. At 59, there’s still time for him to rebuild.
The chances of Labour’s Kelvin Davis upsetting Hone Harawira are about the same as Mana’s Annette Sykes upsetting Te Uruoa Flavell. If the party that loves to party find themselves missing their quota, they might as well look at Kim DotCom, who should have kept a lower profile and filtered things through the excellent filter that is Laila Harré. At least the election-night entertainment should be great.
Perhaps it was David Seymour’s puppy-dog face that finally swayed John Key, but no party can claim to be as lucky as ACT, since Paul Goldsmith could easily have won Epsom if Key had just let him. Jamie Whyte and co. have, in a word, been ‘weird’, but weird is still less embarrassing than anything Brash and Banksy brought. In that sense, National may view this as an upgrade. Strap in, Mr “Hi!” is going to Parliament.
No. From everyone. You have to admire the bullish way Colin Craig has ignored the immensely poor decisions he’s made. Although a household name, his air time hasn’t exactly instilled confidence. An apt lesson, perhaps, that money can only take you so far.