Party prospects

What are party prospects leading up to next year’s election? It’s a long time in politics until we vote again so there’s many things that could affect the overall outcome and the outcome for individual parties.

Has Been and Never Been

The 5% threshold is making it pretty much impossible for a small or new party to get into Parliament on party vote. This is by design by the large parties, successfully keeping small parties shut out.

Mana Party

Mana took a punt on Kim Dotcom’s big money last election and crashed badly, losing their only electorate and failing to attract combined party vote. Hone Harawira seems to have disappeared from public view, and the Mana Party website seems to have also disappeared. Their chances of revival look unlikely, and their chances of success again are also unlikely.

Internet Party

The Internet Party had large funds and little credibility last election. Dotcom acknowledged afterwards that he was politically toxic. Without his money and presence and media pulling power the party continues – their website remains – but is ignored and will find it difficult to get anywhere, which is a shame because they had some interesting ideas on inclusive democracy.

Conservative Party

With heaps of money and media attention last election Colin Craig and his Conservatives could only manage about 4%. After last year’s major upheaval it’s unlikely they will get half that next time. Craig is severely damaged politically and socially and would struggle to lead the Conservatives to 2% next time. There is no obvious alternative leader.

The Strugglers

UnitedFuture

As a party UnitedFuture has faded just about completely. It is still operating but without a major input of money and new personal I don’t see any change. The only option for UF is for outsiders to see an opportunity to use an existing party to get a foothold in Parliament rather than start from scratch, but even then success would be dependent on Peter Dunne  retaining his Ohariu electorate. I think Dunne must be close to considering retiring, and if he does UF will retire or expire.

ACT Party

ACT have defied critics and survived the Don Brash and John Banks disasters due to the success of one person, David Seymour. I think Seymour is odds on to retain Epsom next year (deservedly) so ACT is likely to survive. National and possibly Conservative vote must be up for grabs, but it will depend on ACT coming up with additional electable candidates to make an increased party vote attractive. Jamie Whyte didn’t work out, but with Seymour anchoring the party they may attract strong candidates who would then stand a good chance of success through an improved party vote.

Maori Party

The Maori Party continue to be quiet achievers. They should be able to retain at Te Ururoa Flavell’s electorate seats and their first list MP Marama Fox has made a quick impact. They stand a chance of picking up ex Mana Maori votes so have some chance of getting more seats via their list. Further electorate prospects will depend on candidate quality. The Maori Party could also be impacted negatively by a Labour resurgence if that ever happens.

The Over Threshold Parties

New Zealand First

It’s difficult to predict NZ First’s future. It is very dependant on Winston Peters. He had a major success early last year by winning the Northland buy election but hasn’t dome much since then. He could just be pacing himself, rebuilding energy and drive for next year’s election campaign. Or he could be running out of puff – that’s been predicted before but so far he has managed to keep coming back.

Installing Ron Mark as deputy could be a problem for NZ First. The rest of the party has been generally out if sight, but Mark is an ambitious attention seeker, and the attention he gets is often uncomplimentary. He could deter voters.

But if Winston remains NZ First should remain after next year’s election. Peters may or may not retain Northland, but the party should be good for 5-10% party vote if he is still in the race.

Green Party

The Green Party have successfully weathered another leadership change. They had built their vote and presence but were disappointed to not gain ground last election despite Labour’s vote shrinking. Greens are assured of retaining a place in Parliament but may find it challenging to increase or even retain their current numbers if Labour recovers and increases their vote. And Greens need Labour to improve substantially to give them a chance of having their first stint in Government.

Greens should be able to stay above 10% but may be cemented as a good sized small party rather than becoming the growing force they have ambitions of being.

Labour Party

Labour have to improve their support significantly or it will either be difficult for them to get back into Government or it will be difficult for them to govern with Greens and NZ First pulling them in different directions, possible apart.

It would be unlikely for Labour to switch leaders yet again, that would be damaging, so they need Andrew Little to step up. That hasn’t happened yet. They are playing a risky strategy of keeping a low profile while they consult constituencies and rebuild policies. They really have to be looking like a possible alternate Government by the middle of this year. They need to somehow get back 5-10% support.

They are banking on Little growing into his leadership role. He can only be a contrast to John Key, but so far he looks more out of his depth rather than swimming competitively on the surface.

Labour are also banking on their ‘Future of Work’ policy development. It’s a good focus for a labour allied party, but a lot will depend on whether it results in something seen to be visionary or if it is perceived as a Union policy disguised by Grant Robertson.

Labour could get anywhere between 25% and 40% next election. It’s hard to tell what direction they will go at this stage.

National Party

National have been very successful since they won in 2008. They have increased their support since then, most parties in power bleed support. This partly to do with John Key’s continued popularity, and increasingly by Bill English’s capable management of finances in sometimes very difficult circumstances (GFC and Christchurch earthquake).

National’s support must fall at some stage but it’s difficult to judge when that might start happening. Left wing activists have been predicting it in vain for seven years. Much will  depend on whether Labour can step up as a viable alternative alongside Greens and probably NZ First.

Next election could see them get anywhere between 40% and 50%. Their political fate is in their own hands to an extent but also reliant on possible alternatives.

Leave a comment

30 Comments

  1. Pantsdownbrown

     /  22nd January 2016

    “The 5% threshold is making it pretty much impossible for a small or new party to get into Parliament on party vote. This is by design by the large parties, successfully keeping small parties shut out”

    In hindsight a good rule considering that without it the Conservative party would’ve made parliament at the last election……

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  22nd January 2016

    Labour need to get Lynton Crosby…cost apx $1.5 mil.

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  22nd January 2016

      They would need more than that – new faces, new policy, new ideas, less union influence, less negativity for a start.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  22nd January 2016

        if the things you mention mattered neither Key nor Cameron would have won!

        Reply
        • Pantsdownbrown

           /  22nd January 2016

          It’s good lefties like yourself think that way as whilst they continue to do so they continue to lose……..

          Reply
  3. rayinnz

     /  22nd January 2016

    Government benches are lost rather than won, so it really depends on when the centre voters decide the “other guys” deserve a chance
    The Left plus Winston have to look as if they can run the country and every day that passes is a day closer to them starting to do that
    I think Little can look like a leader unlike his predecessor though National calling him angry Andy is a nice stopper
    Winston is the n***** in the woodpile, which way will he jump
    He will be able to change NZ with that decision, just as his death will.
    A smoker and boozer, he could go at any minute and that will really change things!

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  22nd January 2016

      Angry’ is a nic the Natz are promoting,but it signals they regard him as a threat.Its the typical,puerile approach that has been so successful for them…think…Labour did it too,I forgot,and the dog ate my homework.

      Reply
    • @ rayinnz – I hate to agree, really, but I more or less do. Imagine a politician’s perceived ability being “stoppered” by the words “Angry Andy”? Are we single-cell organisms or human beings?

      The only thing I disagree with is your use of “Left” and its implication any party is actually “Right” (with the possible exception of “pure centrist or ever so slightly right” Conservatives and ACT).

      National is slightly Left of Centre and Labour-Greens slightly Left of them, or slightly Left of slightly Left of Centre.

      To seriously consider any of the aforementioned parties will pull the plug on ‘welfare’ is to forego thought. ‘Welfare’ is the finger in the dyke (embankment constructed to prevent flooding) of free market capitalism.

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  22nd January 2016

        Andrew Little as a threat? That’s what they said about Cunliffe and look how far that got them. In previous elections Little has taken what used to be a relatively safe electorate seat of Labour (New Plymouth) and made it into a stronghold for National, in the process seeing his personal vote drop 16-17% & the party vote 10-11%

        If his ‘hometown’ don’t want/like him then I’m sure the rest of the country doesn’t either.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  22nd January 2016

          its a stretch calling New Plymouth a relatively safe Labour seat.The record shows its not.

          Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  22nd January 2016

            Before Labour’s Harry Duynhoven lost it in 2008 (only by 100 votes) & Little took over Duynhoven had won the seat in the previous 5 elections (15 years)! He also won it between 87-90 so in the 7 previous terms Labour had won it 6 times (18 out of 21 years).

            How much safer did you want it to be??

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  22nd January 2016

              Since 1960 till now National have won the seat 10 times to Labours 9,and of course the Nats have prevailed on the last 3 occassions.

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  22nd January 2016

              Now you are being silly going back that far – the fact is the seat prior to Little being the Labour candidate had been neck and neck in terms of national/Labour support, prior to that it had been a Labour electorate seat for the 5 previous elections. Since Little took over he has increasingly lost support whereby the seat is now safely Nationals. Your ‘messiah’ is an election dud.

    • kittycatkin

       /  22nd January 2016

      The nutter in the woodpile ?

      Reply
      • Timoti

         /  22nd January 2016

        No…..Noggin in the woodpile.

        Reply
        • I can’t believe we’re doing this …….. Nancy in the woodpile? Or is it Nitwit?

          Nugget! That’s it, Nugget. It’s an expression from Gold Mining days, right?

          Hide your Nugget in the Woodpile or the Ch***man will find it.

          Reply
          • jamie

             /  22nd January 2016

            The Chairman? The Chiefman? The Chartman? Come on man, don’t be a ****!

            Reply
  4. Zedd

     /  22nd January 2016

    The threshold should be dropped to 2%.. then the parliament would represent the broad view of NZ. as was the idea of MMP.

    btw PG; you excluded ALCP again

    Reply
    • Excluded perhaps cos they got a “disappointing” 0.41% in 2014 and people like me had to Google ALCP to fnd out who they were.

      Reply
  5. kittycatkin

     /  22nd January 2016

    i had imagined that a party called Internet would be considered old hat, as the internet is so much a part of daily life. But a young friend didn’t think so-this surprised me. He didn’t support the party,, but didn’t think that name would make people think that it was a bit old-fashioned.

    Zedd, rather than having a party with one issue, it’s probably better to lobby within those who have a chance of doing something. One issue parties can take votes from a party or candidate with a sympathetic attitude to the issue and won’t be voted for by those for whom it’s not their main concern.

    Reply
    • In 2017 I predict their will be an App Party – a coalition of the Facebook, Twitter, Redditalin and Pinteresque Parties – the first political party in history where members will never once meet each other in person unless they get elected to Parliament.

      This will be the trendiest party ever, the first to make “arty-ethnic-style” tattoos compulsory for members as well as a Wearable Art dress code and a minimum “carry” of 3 cellular gadgets. People will say, “You packin’ man?” to signal iPad22 capability.

      Unfortunately for policy, the App Party won’t be any use to the likes of ALCP because App followers don’t believe the law as it stands is any hindrance to partaking of almost any substance they can lay their hands on.

      Once elected as government, the App Party will give a whole new meaning to the term “Lookin’ good doin’ pretty much nothing” except they will invoke internet voting, which is good, to go along with their “Social Media Conference Virtual Parliament” allowing the Beehive to become NZs biggest party house.

      Reply
  6. Timoti

     /  22nd January 2016

    Given the above summation, New Zealand First is the most important, and most fragile, of all the political parties contesting the next election. Oh dear, who will pay for Winstons life support? Will he survive until the next election?

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  22nd January 2016

      As long as Winston gets through then NZL first will always get 6-7% – maybe more if Labour again looks like sinking and like the last election many of their supporters jump on board Winston’s train.

      The real joke though is the thought that NZL 1st will side with the left and make Little PM if they are ‘king-maker’ – I think that to be highly unlikely.

      Reply
      • Timoti

         /  22nd January 2016

        Agreed. It would probably be the King Makers last hurrah. He will want plently. And he will want no problems. He’s to old to stomach Labours factional infighting. With National he get’s a one shop deal. With a fine bottle of whiskey and a Havana.

        Ah, home again at last.

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  22nd January 2016

          He was an MP before David Seymour was born or thought of. If you look closely at the names on the Treaty of Waitangi….

          Reply
  7. Brown

     /  22nd January 2016

    Its interesting to look at this summation and as a hater of politics I have a slightly different view.

    The Nats do OK because they offend the least. I think they would do better if they offended the left more.

    Labour are stuffed because the Nats occupy the centre left spot. Having to move further left (ideology allows no other option) frightens most voters so doesn’t help them.

    The Greens are wasting space and scare sensible people even more than a hard left Labour. They will never have a meaningful say in policy apart from poster causes like gay stuff and assisted suicide. Even that “say” will only look meaningful because the Nats agree anyway.

    The Maori party look good because everyone sucks up because they are brown and all us white folks are racist oppressors and feel our guilt must be dealt with. If we got rid of race based politics they would vanish quicker than tax money at WINZ.

    NZ Fist has Winston who talks trough but does nothing. When he goes NZ First goes. I like them though because they can disrupt things and make ruling by the elites look more difficult.

    Good riddance to the Conservatives. Christians seem to be hopeless at politics and maybe that’s because they should be focused on higher things like picking up the pieces of humanities best intended moments.

    ACT sound good as far as they go and appear to be working hard but they are still centreish which annoys me.

    The sooner Dunne quits the better – he stands for nothing except standing again and again.

    So, the Nats will win and we will stumble on and crash with everyone else because we are broke but keep borrowing for trinkets we don’t need.

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  22nd January 2016

      The Key/ English stability leading National is why the voters are happy to have National as govt.

      I worry though once those guys go for I can not see, in either National or Labour, who is going to succeed them.

      Reply
    • @ Brown – I like your somewhat cynical take on politics in NZ. Some funny phrases there, whether typos or intentional, “Winston talks trough…” Good line!

      Some comments and a genuine question.
      Firstly, the Nats offend the least?
      Possibly true, but its certainly not for want of trying eh!?

      What you call race-based politics today was instigated to counteract race-based politics way back when. That is, Whites Only politics.

      Tax money at WINZ is what’s holding the whole shibang together mate. Don’t wish too hard on that score. The real shortcomings of the system will be revealed without it. We wouldn’t have enough prisons, which have to be built with tax dollars anyhow …?

      Question: Do you seriously want something further Right than ACT?
      Question: If so, WHY? What do you think they will do?

      Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  22nd January 2016

      Offending people is not most governments’ top priority, nor should it be. I want them to run the country, not waste time being offensive.

      Reply
      • @ KCK – “Offending people is not most governments’ top priority”

        You wouldn’t know it would you, judging by John Key’s and National’s behaviour.

        I won’t make a list, it would take up too much space. Soap and cages comes to mind.
        As far as I’m concerned, there’s a big one fluttering atop the Harbour Bridge as we speak.

        Reply

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