In the main the election result and sub-results were quite predictable.
Polls were a reasonable indicator but only look backwards so show trends that have happened. They can’t predict to late campaign shifts that are common.
This election was peculiar in that many decisions were put on hold until Kim Dotcom’s big reveal. When it came to nothing it strengthened resolve of swing voters to ensure National retained it’s hold on Government.
Labour dropping below poll results was not surprising. They were obviously not going to do well and non-committed voters either change their minds or simply don’t bother voting.
Claims like “but Cunliffe ran a good campaign” have been proven wrong. As David Shearer said, the end result was tragic for Labour. Cunliffe may have appeared to be campaigning strongly but he puts on a variety of acts. While they might be slick acts voters see through this lack of genuineness. Cunliffe also has a problem that is probably unresolvable – too many people simply don’t like his persona (or personas).
Greens will be disappointed to have struggled to maintain their level of support while Labour were shedding votes. Greens weren’t able to pick them up. This suggests that 10-12% is the upper limit for them. This also shouldn’t be surprising outside the Green bubble. People like to have a party promoting environmental issues but most don’t like the extreme Green stances like no drilling, no fracking, no motorways.
And Greens misread public sentiment if they think that handing out more money to poor people with no responsibilities applied will be popular. Middle New Zealand see this as imposing costs and taxes on them. Socialism is fringe ideology these days.
Winston Peters is adept at picking up protest and shedded votes. NZ First gained vote, gained MPs but otherwise gained nothing. Most of the 91% who didn’t vote NZ First will be happy with this outcome.
The 5% threshold always looked a very high hurdle for Conservatives and so it proved. This was a failure of MMP. The threshold should be no higher than 3%. I don’t personally support the Conservatives but their missing out is a travesty of democracy.
Hone Harawira losing his electorate was a bit of a shock but not really surprising given the severely compromised position of Harawira and Mana hitching their ambitions to Kim Dotcom. Dotcom’s expensive disaster was Harawira’s failing.
Internet-Mana was always a high risk alliance. They might have succeeded as a combined party but Dotcom realised too late that his brand was toxic and he couldn’t resist being prominent. His final week failure to deliver on his promises to hit John Key compounded the problem.
Laila Harre severely compromised her credibility and was still blind to this yesterday, blaming everything but reality. Her political future is very limited.
The Maori Party lost two of their three electorates as widely predicted. For the first time they had sufficient party vote to pick up a list seat to go with Te Ururoa Flavell’s retained seat. Flavell was a minor star of the campaign but will have a difficult job keeping the Maori Party afloat.
David Seymour retained Epsom as expected but also as expected ACT failed as a party. Jamie Whyte failed to step up as leader in a challenging attempt to rebuild a battered brand.
Peter Dunne held is Ohariu seat. That didn’t seem to surprise anyone but unrealistic Labourites from the electorate. As a party United Future was nowhere to be seen, and accordingly votes were nowhere to be seen, dropping to a third of the low return they got in 2011.
Just two more seats for National but this strengthens them substantially, giving them a majority vote on their own as long as they don’t lose any seats this term. They also have ACT, Dunne and Maori Party support options on standby.
Just two less seats for Labour and this weakens them substantially. The result is tragic for them and the outlook is no better. They have done very little to move on the old guard and bring in new talent. They seem out of touch with their constituency of last century. They have yet another failed leader with no obvious replacement. This was also predictable.
Labour have failed for six years to rebuild from the Clark/Cullen era. Unless someone out of the ordinary steps up their future looks bleak.
National campaigned on ‘steady as she goes’ and the voters delivered the platform for National to be a little more politically steady than expected providing outstanding issues don’t impact too much.
Judith Collins has already been sidelined and is expendable should inquiries further damage her.
Now the election is over ‘dirty politics’ should be addressed by Key. And by Labour. And to a lesser extent by Greens. Peters won’t change from his habit of attack without evidence but he will be largely impotent unless the media keep pandering to his baseless allegations.
Some embarrassments may emerge for Key and National out of surveillance and GCSB issues but they look to have been overplayed, and most people accept the need for some surveillance protection.
The simple fact is that most people don’t feel threatened by surveillance and they are concerned about about terrorism.
And it’s ironic that the supposedly net-savvy who campaign strongly against surveillance must be aware that the Google and Twitter and Facebook social media tools they willingly use are tracking what they do far more than any government.
But we can predict they will continue to fight for a free internet that gives them far more public exposure than they ever had. They claim that privacy is paramount in a very public online world.
Otherwise we can predict have much the same Government as we’ve had over the past six years. Most people will be comfortable with that.
It’s harder to predict if Harawira will make a comeback or if Mana will survive their battering and their harsh reality check.
If Dotcom pulls the plug on Internet Party funding it’s demise can be predicted. If that happens it can also be predicted that Laila Harre will find it very difficult to find another party that would risk being tainted by her lack of loyalty and sense.
It is not hard to predict that Labour’s struggle to be relevant and their lack of connection to anyone but some special interest groups will continue.
John Key has shown he is aware of the dangers to National of complacency and arrogance – it can be predicted that some of his MPs will struggle to heed his warnings. But most likely things will continue much as they have.