Reassessing NZ First

Most of the political attention yesterday was on the Green’s continued implosion, on the Green slide in two polls, and on the dramatic rise of Labour and Jacinda Ardern.

But also significant was the NZ First poll slide.

  • Newshub/Reid Research 9.2% (down 3.8)
  • UMR 8%

This is around the level of support NZ First got in the 2014 election (8.66%) but Winston Peters has recently been claiming would beat Labour and could contest the top spot with National.

These polls suggest that support of NZ First above a core is fickle. It seems that as soon as Labour looked good many deserted NZ First.

Peters has struggled to attract media attention, with Labour and Ardern, and the Greens and Turei sucking up all the available oxygen.

NZ First are still in a good balance of power position, with it looking unlikely National can keep defying the odds and getting enough to form a government again with a few minnow parties.

And while Labour are resurgent they are still well short of a majority. The Green crash means combined they are still short of not needing NZ First.

However the size of NZ First support could make a big difference in their bargaining power, as generally power in a coalition or governing arrangement is proportional.

If NZ First get under 10% it should also makes Winston’s ambition of Prime Minister or deputy PM much hard to attain.

A problem now for Peters is if the media focusses on a head to head contest between National and Labour, and between English and Ardern, the incumbent versus the fresh young challenger.

Peters will contrast in particular with Ardern. He is at risk of looking like an old has-been beside her.

He has been trying to poke a stick at a number of hot issues, or what he hopes can be heated up, but the media has had more exciting things to cover.

Peters is at risk of looking like a stirrer of cold porridge.

He will no doubt keep trying hard, but it could be hard yakker for him now.

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15 Comments

  1. Ray

     /  August 10, 2017

    And I am not sure he can do the hard yards anymore, he is an old man and he is looking stale.
    All the other parties have changed leaders this year maybe NZ First will too. Though it would take something pretty drastic in the health department to achieve that, as I said he is an old man.

    • And the protest/pox on both their houses vote will be harder for him to milk now.

      • sorethumb

         /  August 10, 2017

        That is right Winston is looking old, but last election Labour’s Ilam candidate was James Dann of Multicultural Aotearoa, so there is likely a difference on immigration.
        Message is the key. EG MT is resigning because of scruitiny on her family -victim; MT is resigning because family members called her out on the characterisation of her circumstances – liar .

      • My take on Peters is that he’ll continue to put the boot into the Nats. Every commentator literally lumps him in with Labour, (Paddy last night included) and Peters does nothing to counter this. I believe he sees himself as better off electorally to allow this perception. Many of his voters are working class nationalists, whose home is fundamentally more ideologically aligned to Labour. The last thing he wants is to ruffle their feathers pre election.

        It’ll all come down to the best deal after election. He’s in a far, far better negotiating position with Labour if the Greens vote is lower than his. He worked very successfully with them under Clark. Both Labour and Nats will give him Deputy and cut a strictly percentage deal on Ministerial positions. If we were to base the slice up on current polling and Labour’s hungriness to get the Govt. benches AND with the help of Clark and Cullen, Labour is better able to negotiate with the mercurial and very vain Peters, espicialy if they do the usual trick of broadsiding/sidelining the Greens.

        I think though that the Labour vote will slip back to below the 30% – certainly no higher. The reality is that when Nat/Lab floaters see the potential damage to a rallying economy and coffers and the Nats campaign reminds them of Labour flip flops, the copious leadership changes and Jacinda’s lack of intellectual rigour the Nats will get exactly what they got in 2014 46-47%. If Peters could rid the Nats of Seymour and the Maori Party he’ll go that way.

        • Blazer

           /  August 10, 2017

          pure comedy this morning…the ‘Rockstar Economy’ is now a ‘rallying’ economy.You may find Aderns intellect far superior than that of many of Nationals front bench.Keep under estimating.

    • Blazer

       /  August 10, 2017

      As if that matters. How old are you? Too old for us to take you. ..seriously.

    • sorethumb

       /  August 10, 2017

      I joined NZ First and got not one phone call – that’s organisation. Now I waver between NZ First and TOPS. TOPS I like because they have analysis rather than retroactive response to issues but I am a working class nationalist.

  2. Gezza

     /  August 10, 2017

    All he seems to be doing at Question Time lately is banging on about Todd Barclay! Nobody givesa damn. He’s just embarrassing himself!

    • David

       /  August 10, 2017

      He needs to go after Ardern and quickly to stem his losses, if he thinks his support is coming from the regions then Labours policy announcements yesterday give him the chance to immediately go into bat for the farming community. You are right G Labour have stolen a 3rd of his support and he needs that back, she won that on relentless positivity not muck raking innuendo.

      • sorethumb

         /  August 10, 2017

        Adern is like fancy gift-wrapping but what is inside? Last election DC apologised for being a man and Bryce Edwards explained that two issues were very important to them: rape culture and identity culture – Eh?
        Adern did say she wants migrants to be able to enjoy the quality of life New Zealanders have (or something) which I read as: too much migration = no quality of life, no NZ.

    • sorethumb

       /  August 10, 2017

      Yes I forgot about that. Also do we really need Maori seat issue now? Maori have that right and so has to be ripped off them and that is not an issue to be slogged out in the few weeks before an election. It has to be discussed in a wider context and something has to be offered Maori in compensation. I would go for a united New Zealand and sell the value of quality of life (already breached, plus national identity etc. The Ranganui Walker doctrine.

      • Gezza

         /  August 10, 2017

        Yeah, but at the core of the debate about whether we’re all New Zealanders, thumbsta, is whether – depending on what the issue is – there’s anything wrong with wanting to consider yourself Maori first & kiwi second. I contend there simply is NOT.

        Those arguing there is something wrong with it never seem to realise they are almost always arguing, in reality, that they are Pakehas first, & New Zealanders second – & they think everyone should be happy to be Pakehas – but they’re too dense & / or too blinded by their often unrealised prejudices to realise that!

        • Gezza

           /  August 10, 2017

          And I further contend there is nothing wrong with being a 4th, 3rd, 2nd or even first generation Pakeha first & New Zealander second. I’m a 4th generation Pakeha New Zealander of mostly Irish ancestry. And I’m proud of that!

    • Both he and the SAS mechanic seem to be reduced to screaming inanities at the Nats.
      And waving paper while insinuating that they have ‘the goods’ on any and all other Parliamentarians.
      Time for them to go and allow younger fresher cleverer people in

  3. sorethumb

     /  August 10, 2017

    I mostly agree with that. The problem (I think) is that 90% of the politicking (media etc) is by people with higher education or smart business people (National). I recall the first time I noticed concern about house prices on Public Address. Which was rather like water getting to the upper decks on a sinking ship.
    NZ First’s main claim to fame is that it is outside the consensus on immigration and national identity. But it is opposed by most journalists and the state has an active program to promote globalisation and immigration (as seen in TV One’s The New New Zealand and RNZ’s A Slice of Heaven. Not to mention Susan Devoy: “the Chinese have always been here”. NZ being small doesn’t have The Sun or whatever, nor does it have a Peter Hitchen’s (and others). It does have Michael Reddell however.
    Which brings up another point that Labour has been making noises about immigration as has TOP’s so on the surface that is perhaps becoming redundant (as the environment is to the Greens).
    The media is key. If you have an interest you concentrate the message.