Referendum imbalance

Voting in the asset sale referendum closes this Saturday. So far about 1.2 million votes have been returned.

There has been a major imbalance in promotion, all No and no Yes. One side wants to make something big out of it, the other side wants to bury it.

The result is widely expected to strongly favour the No vote. This is partly because opinion generally leans that way.

And the Green and Labour parties are very actively campaigning for a No vote. They are treating it like a mini election, with hoardings, advertising, direct promotion from MPs and extensive social media campaigning. This is backed by left leaning blogs.

In contrast virtually no one is promoting the Yes vote. It is seen as futile.

Knowing they will ‘win’ easily the No promoters are trying to make a victory out the number of votes they can get. They are targeting a vote in excess of the number of votes National got in the last election – 1,058,636.

If they achieve this they will claim that National didn’t have a mandate to part sell the assets. But it will be too late, most of the sales programme is complete.

And everyone knows the referendum will be ignored by the Government. Timed leading into Christmas and the holidays National no doubt hope the referendum will quickly be forgotten. Greens and Labour will try to extend their campaign into election year and the expected Genesis float will give them something to campaign around, but by the time next year’s election campaign kicks off asset sales are likey to be just history.

Unless Labour campaigns with the Green proposal to buy back assets. Would that be an election winner? Or flogging a dead horse?