The election is National’s to lose?

General political wisdom claims that elections are for the incumbent to win or lose.

They have a significant advantage in resources and in public recognition because they attract much of the news during a term. But some things even up in an election campaign.

National and Bill English could still plod to victory on the back of their record, especially on the economy. But they are vulnerable on other key issues such as housing, growing concerns about poverty, and health.

They have had to rapidly reassess their campaign after Labour switched leaders, Jacinda Ardern is very different to Andrew Little and Labour’s campaign has been changed and revitalised.

English versus Ardern will be an intriguing contest.

In the past few elections National tended to have low key campaigns with few significant new policies.

Their main point of difference this campaign is their proposed tax cuts, due next April. This could be a powerful difference as Labour’s policies miss the middle voters, while tax cuts target them.

The one policy that will affect me personally the most are the tax cuts.

But against that is National’s stale pale male dominance. And they may have overestimated Paula Bennett’s appeal outside parts of Auckland.

National need to find a way of combating both this and the contrasting youthful energy exuded by Ardern.

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76 Comments

  1. …growing concerns about poverty…

    Despite all the media pimping of the poor, the government has a pretty strong record in the poverty area. They could have reduced WFF when the Global Financial Crisis hit, but instead borrowed to protest entitlements. They are the first government to raise core benefits above the rate of inflation since 1972, and then there’s the Family Assistance Package in this year’s Budget that will leave the vast majority of families better off.

    National’s record of getting people off benefits and into work is strong, and the social investment approach is a ground-breaking way of tackling generational dependence issues, rather than simply throwing more money at the problem.

    Reply
    • Yes, in some areas they have a solid record, but that doesn’t get much media attention in a very competitive environment.

      I think the leaders’ debates will be key.

      And I expect to see demands for NZ First and Green leaders to take part to fade away. The media love simple one on one debates.

      Reply
      • Brown

         /  August 10, 2017

        ”doesn’t get much media attention”

        Leftie media explains that.

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  August 10, 2017

      Nationals record of making NZ’ERS tenants in their own country, giving away state houses, increasing homeless numbers and putting millions into the hands of motel owners and rapacious landlords trumps those minor bandaids. History will show this Government as a wrecking ball one that trashed NZ’s reputation and widened. ..inequality. Shame, shame.

      Reply
      • Trevors_elbow

         /  August 10, 2017

        Blazers record of…. complaining is unparalleled.

        I invite PG to allow you a guest post covering how National should’ve dealt with the gfc .. …would …make… illuminating… nay blazing… good……………reading

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  August 10, 2017

          hindsight is no good to anyone.I suggest the causes of the GFC are more interesting….and guess what ,much the same scenario still exists.All the QE has a world awash with ‘currency’ seeking a safe haven in property, in a stable nation.National flung the door wide open,rolled out the red carpet and still act like they don’t know how to stymie house price super inflation.

          Reply
          • Trevors_elbow

             /  August 10, 2017

            No. Your whine is in how it was dealt with blazer… but u never explain how they could have handled it without borrowing… tax rises would have made it worse. Austerity would have made it worse…

            A bag of air seems to be your are dare vs response

            Reply
    • Andrew

       /  August 10, 2017

      Given that between 2011 to 2015 the number of children living in material hardship in New Zealand dropped from 220,000 to 135,000, and now the rate is below the level of 2008 under the last Labour govt.

      And still the media is pimping the poor rather than reporting the success.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  August 10, 2017

        produce your evidence instead of making things…up.

        Reply
        • Andrew

           /  August 11, 2017

          https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/household-incomes-continuing-rise

          “Child material hardship numbers have decreased from the 220,000 peak in the GFC to 135,000 in 2015 and 2016 – that’s a drop from 20 per cent to 12 per cent, using the less severe threshold. The numbers in more severe material hardship are down from 100,000 (nine per cent) in 2011 after the GFC to around 70,000 (six per cent).”

          And from the budget:

          “Child Poverty Action Group estimates that National’s changes to the Family Tax Credit will bring between 35,000 and 50,000 children out of poverty. ”

          You were saying?

          Reply
  2. Alloytoo

     /  August 10, 2017

    Jacinda walked into the job shackled to To a rotting corpse. She should have thrown off that shackle on day one. Now it’s too late.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 10, 2017

      Ignoring them & staying right out of their implosion is not gonna hurt her in the least.

      Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  August 10, 2017

      Do you not think Jacinda’s first order of business was to put an extra few bullets into that corpse to reassert herself and get some momentum?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  August 10, 2017

        She has asserted herself and has momentum…National are the enemy..the Greens are now …immeteria l.

        Reply
  3. David

     /  August 10, 2017

    English in speeches often say the welfare reforms which are being watched and studied globally need another couple of terms to settle in and improve. The infrastructure work and forward plans same again, the new hospitals will show further incremental improvements as will the new school building projects, same with some of the prison rehab moves.
    Look its all very unglamorous next to the media darling promising loads of taxes with no details but you can see her coming unstuck with her dreamy wishlist to make the country all eye flutteringly perfect.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  August 10, 2017

      Reforms. .being watched. ..really! Shades of 80’s…nonsense.

      Reply
  4. Corky

     /  August 10, 2017

    National can only but concentrate on their solid performance,and contrast the cost to voters should Labour gain power and upset that stability.

    Polices like making farmers pay for irrigation, and too much focus on Aucklnd rail solutions.

    National must look for any chances to turn Labour factions against each other. For example Charter Schools.

    And National must ask the lodge to force JA to break the drought and shoot herself in the foot.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 10, 2017

      Well, they’ll just have to hope that some people who don’t intend to vote will change their stupid minds and bloody vote for them, won’t they!

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  August 10, 2017

      Ps- National must also highlight JA greeness when dealing with Maori. JA is already talking about Maori and water. Not a good combination. If JA thinks she will set the agenda on this issue she has another thing coming.

      The only thing greener than JA are people who vote for Maori parties, especially white people.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 10, 2017

        They’ll probably do a lot more good than idiots who don’t vote for anyone for stupid bloody reasons. Luckily there probably aren’t that many of them & they’re probably nut jobs.

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  August 10, 2017

        When you have no imagination, or are incapable of ruminating the facts, you vote.

        WARNING- some foul language.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  August 10, 2017

          I rest my case. Every non vote looks like it might now be a vote for Labour. But, we’ll see.

          Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 10, 2017

      I keep harking back to the 1969 election but even though it was a FPP election National was in a very similar position – going for a fourth term with a fresh looking Norman Kirk led Labour party looking odds on to win.

      Muldoon as finance minister simply added all the promises up Labour had made which clearly showed they were totally unaffordable without massive tax hikes. Chuck in the seamen’s strike (the left shooting themselves in the foot) and the election was turned on it’s head.

      Labour are suggesting more taxes (many of which will also push up prices for consumers), reversing tax reductions that would have fixed the issue of over-taxing workers (tax creep), and borrowing more money when National has said it’s now time to start paying down debt.

      Throw in Ardern’s threat of a CGT post-election, the Greens still being needed to form govt, & an emphasis/urgency on light rail between the CBD & airport which will improve the lives of bugger all people (whilst downgrading the East-West link that would have a far larger impact on congestion & on the greater number of people) and surely plenty for National to attack there?

      Reply
      • Bill wipe the floor with Ardern on their promises

        Reply
        • Bill will….. 🤗

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  August 10, 2017

            the only floor Bill will wipe is his kitchen…if he remembers where…it is.

            Reply
        • Blazer

           /  August 10, 2017

          yes Bill will promise to keep enriching the top 10%.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  August 10, 2017

            Your’ve keep an even keel as of late….Blazer. Unfortunately that keel….as expected…is moving left in JA strong current. Please remember no current lasts forever. Be kind to those posters you meet on ther way up…they are the same posters you meet on the way down.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  August 10, 2017

              *kept*

            • Blazer

               /  August 10, 2017

              they have kicked all the rungs out of the…ladder….lonely at the top….fucken crowded at…the bottom.

  5. PDB

     /  August 10, 2017

    Even under Key National only scraped into govt so the situation they find themselves in is not a new one.

    Winston will decide the next govt – that hasn’t changed for a few years now. Centre-right supporters can only hope he goes with Labour considering how toxic he is. In fact he is likely to side with what will likely be a large opposition National contingent on quite a few matters so Labour will be hamstrung on many issues it wishes to pursue.

    Maori water rights would be a major bone of contention between Ardern/Winston if Labour wish to put a price on water – that alone could cause the govt to internally combust.

    If that happens Jacinda becomes a one-term PM (she isn’t up to the job anyhow but timing has been kind to her) and the country can continue on the right track economically with a rejuvenated National-led govt come 2020.

    Reply
    • ..albeit with yet more Labour debt to pay for

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  August 10, 2017

        Hilarious…this Govt have borrowed more in 8 years than the cumulative total of all govts for over 150…years!

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  August 10, 2017

          And Labour has promised more borrowing (not to pay for an earthquake or two or even a GFC) and National has promised to start paying off debt – what do you think of that Blazer?

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  August 10, 2017

            I’m a fan of Steve Keen and Michael Hudson’s economic principles.The GFC caused by the venality of the likes of our ex P.M,shows what a magic show international finance really is.The debt swirling around the world can never be repaid.Artificial interest rates and debt repayment goals are a feature of the clever game of the titans of central banks.Reform urgently needed .The moneychangers need to be cast out,they are parasites on productivity.

            Reply
            • PDB

               /  August 10, 2017

              In other words don’t actually answer the question because Labour are doing the complete opposite to what you are wanting? Labour not only want to spend our surplus on untargeted spending but they actually want to borrow more and tax us higher.

            • Blazer

               /  August 10, 2017

              @PDB…the Q is answered….in these times…Keen recommends running deficits and presents a compelling argument.So Natz NFI…as usual.

            • Brown

               /  August 10, 2017

              Blazer is partly correct about the money changers in my view but when they go there would still be the need to work and competition wouldn’t go away so if you want to sit under the trees smoking a doobie I’m not sure things would really change for the better. Hard work and self discipline would still be what gets you ahead but that is a foreign concept to a fair wack of the population today.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  August 10, 2017

              So were National right to borrow or not then? You seem to want it both ways in your argument…
              Nat’s borrowed to fund the earthquake rebuild and support welfare during the GFC.
              Now, having successfully grown the economy and returned to surplus (overturning Cullen’s “decade of deficits final budget) they are paying down that debt.
              Labour want to take that borrowing and double down on it while upping taxes at the time time.

            • PDB

               /  August 10, 2017

              Blazer: “What GFC/earthquakes??”

            • Blazer

               /  August 10, 2017

              @PDB…I hurt you and then help you get better…..am I blameless?

            • Blazer

               /  August 10, 2017

              @HFD…as I have an open mind…I now believe they were.Keen makes some compelling arguments that I have yet to see challenged in any robust way.As you know the public are not sophisticated about monetary policy.Basically they understand borrowing has to be paid back and the ludicrous comparisons about household spending…i.e running a surplus..have stuck.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  August 10, 2017

              Debt only ever has to be manageable.
              Households pay down debt because at some stage people retire and need savings and lower costs to offset the loss of working income.
              Countries don’t retire, so debt can be maintained indefinitely at a manageable level and not necessarily repaid. With increased growth there can be increases to debt, as long as the % is kept at a reasonable level.
              As the GFC and CH CH earthquakes showed, it is good to have a buffer so that if a major event occurs there is capacity to borrow more without tipping over. Even with the borrowing to date our Govt debt is at a comfortable level. National want to pay some debt down and get the buffer back in place.
              Labour want to spend more now and push back the buffer.
              Both policies are defensible, but extra taxes tend to stifle growth and that is where the equation gets messy for Labour.

            • Blazer

               /  August 10, 2017

              @HFD…a bit of a simplistic summary.As you appreciate interest rates,terms,and forex rates have a huge bearing on repaying debt.As these are an artificial construct,they are subject to great …variation.

            • Gezza

               /  August 10, 2017

              HFD’s point about any increased taxes stifling growth (& just generally pissing voters off) is a valid one tho, imo, Blazer.

              And hiding them in user pays charges, gst increases (looking at YOU, National 😡 ) or govt levies is one thing that really hacks me off, whichever government does it.

            • Blazer

               /  August 10, 2017

              @G…depends how you look at things….is paying a liveable wage in effect a ‘tax’…on employers?They argue it is and affects shareholders..profits..their raison d’etre.

            • Gezza

               /  August 10, 2017

              I haven’t resolved that issue in my own mind yet Blazer. There are bound to be some employers for whom that level of increase creates a business viability problem. Is it better to have them just close up shop & lose minimum wage jobs in that case? Employers can’t all be just lumped into a single basket of rapacious capitalist swine bent on screwing their employees for every cent’s worth of production they can ruthlessly exploit out of them.

        • Andrew

           /  August 10, 2017

          have not. stop repeating bullshit.

          Reply
          • High Flying Duck

             /  August 10, 2017

            Labour talked about “increasing the investment into NZ”, are “delaying the repayment of debt” and have announced spending initiatives beyond the Governments current revenue so will need to borrow., They have also introduced 2 new taxes as their first two new JA announcements.
            Which part is BS?

            Reply
            • Andrew

               /  August 11, 2017

              was to blazer who is yet to understand debt, not you.

  6. duperez

     /  August 10, 2017

    The election has always been National’s to lose.
    I think it’s reasonable to expect that they won’t, but as an aside, isn’t it reasonable to suggest that with recent events some of their supporters seem to be “losing it’? 😊

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 10, 2017

      “I think it’s reasonable to expect that they won’t”

      Why would you think that?

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  August 10, 2017

        The prevailing views about people in their team, the willingness to overlook the foibles and misdeeds of them, people’s reluctance to do something extreme, the likelihood of a big percentage not voting, the pitch to stability and of course the possibility of Peters being in the deciding position.

        Reply
  7. Only one player matters here and that is Winston.

    Nats + Winston on the worst day are well over 50% and it’s nice and simple, cuts out both the Maori Party and Seymour is sidelined to Siberia.

    Labour needs Greens under any scenario and then Winston. Who will be shafted in that scenario? Hint, it wouldn’t be The Right Hon Gold Card Hero.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  August 10, 2017

      hasn’t the National party got principles?They have demeaned and dismissed him for years….and now want an entente cordiale!

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 10, 2017

        To be fair he hasn’t exactly been showering them with roses either! Usually drops buckets of dung on them whenever the opportunity arises.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  August 10, 2017

          naturellement…Winston wants to convert National voters,they know that.

          Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 10, 2017

      I can’t really see what difference it would make for National to go into coalition with Winston than it would for them to go into coalition with Labour. There’d obviously have to be some hard-nosec horse-trading in either case, & Labour would quite probably be a more stable partner than Winston.

      Reply
  8. PDB

     /  August 10, 2017

    Blazer: “@G…depends how you look at things….is paying a liveable wage in effect a ‘tax’…on employers?”

    Not technically a ‘tax’ as such but definitely is a cost that is passed straight onto consumers, or in the case of local govt passed directly onto ratepayers, with no increase in services or improvement in quality of service.

    You can clearly see the knock-on effects the recent aged care wage increase has made on that industry. Some smaller retirement homes are now hitting the wall, others have hiked their charges onto residents of their facilities.

    Reply
  9. Gezza

     /  August 10, 2017

    10 minutes to Question Time.

    Questions to Ministers today. Wouldn’t be surprised if Jacinda, Bill & Winston are elsewhere today. They seem to be absent for Thursday QTs.
    …. …. …. ….
    1. RON MARK to the Minister of Immigration: Does he stand by all his statements on immigration fraud?

    2. MELISSA LEE to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the outlook for New Zealand’s economy?

    3. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Transport: Does he think Aucklanders should have the opportunity to contribute to the cost of the city’s transport projects, or does he think taxpayers throughout New Zealand should pay all the costs of Auckland’s growth?

    4. JAMES SHAW to the Minister for Economic Development: Does he support the mining of 50 million tonnes of seabed in the South Taranaki Bight where blue whales feed?

    5. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of Education: Is she satisfied that after 9 years of a National Government that all children and young people are receiving all the support that they need to succeed in education?

    6. BARBARA KURIGER to the Minister for the Environment: How will the Government’s changes to the National Policy Statement on Fresh Water, to be gazetted today, improve the recreational and ecological health of our lakes, rivers, and aquifers?

    7. Dr DAVID CLARK to the Minister of Health: Why did he say yesterday in the House, “I do not need to check with DHBs around that”, when asked if he was sure about his claim that every other district health board is currently “managing to deliver the operations that are needed”?

    8. JULIE ANNE GENTER to the Minister of Transport: Does he agree with the Prime Minister’s reported statement that there is no need for a fuel tax to pay for Auckland’s transport?

    9. RON MARK to the Minister of Transport: How much was originally funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency to complete the Brynderwyn Hills Road improvements; and how much is it now?

    10. ANDREW BAYLY to the Minister for Primary Industries: What reports has he received on horticulture’s contribution to New Zealand’s economic and social wellbeing?

    11. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in Hon Dr Nick Smith?

    12. BRETT HUDSON to the Minister for Communications: What progress can he report on the rollout of the Ultrafast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiatives?

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  August 10, 2017

      In House one can’t refer to the absence of members from the House. It now is traditional for the leaders to not be there.

      Reply
    • Pete Kane

       /  August 10, 2017

      Watch 7. Coleman’s got real problems – is a real problem. Seriously.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 10, 2017

        Woodhouse made Marks look like a dinglebunny, & Bridges had a great time dissing Twyford over Labour’s 3 extra new intended taxes.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 10, 2017

        Genter’s gorgeous.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 10, 2017

        “11. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in Hon Dr Nick Smith?”

        Paula Bennett answered for Bill. This one is hilarious. Bennett kept answering any question about why National doesn’t regard water as a resource royalties should be charged on – with insistence rhat Labour should tell NZers what the exact mount of their water levy will be.

        Reply
  10. Gezza

     /  August 10, 2017

    Ron Mark banging on about the the Brynderwyn (?) Hills road project being late costing more than originally costed at without evn bothering to listen to Bridges – who had already answered that. Mark is an embarrassingly sycophantic flunky with not a lot of clues, imo.

    Reply
  11. Gezza

     /  August 10, 2017

    Has Mrs Wilkinson banned Al from the forum for a few days? Anybody know?

    Reply
  1. The election is National’s to lose? — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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