Andrew Dickens: The election will be close - National needs to stop moaning

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 10 Feb 2020, 12:21PM
Awkward: National Party leader Simon Bridges and NZ First leader Winston Peters at Waitangi. Photo / John Stone

Andrew Dickens: The election will be close - National needs to stop moaning

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 10 Feb 2020, 12:21PM

The Newshub poll last night confirmed what we all know.  This election is going to be very very close.

This poll suggest Labour and the Greens could lead alone together.  Earlier polls suggest that national and Act could lead alone. So it’s swinging back on forth on a knife edge.  The swinging voters and the strategic voters have never been more important.  As few as 10,000 voters will effectively decide the next government.

So there was debate on the radio this morning about the government and time and time again callers returned to the old fallacy that somehow this government is undemocratic because the party that got the most votes last election did not form a government.

When National Party voters get that resentment out of their system, they will have a clearer mind on how to support their party. To make it perfectly clear, a sizeable majority of New Zealand voters last election voted against a National Government. 

Labour and the Greens campaigned against the government.  But so did New Zealand First. They campaigned against high immigration numbers, just like Labour, unlike National. They campaigned for rail, just like Labour, unlike National. And on many other fronts.

To make it perfectly clear to you, the New Zealand First slogan was “Had Enough?”. Obviously of a National Government and the constant refrain was that it was time, after nine years of National, for a change.

Throughout it was clear they were going to change the National Government’s policies. Either by joining them in a coalition and effecting change that way.  Or joining another coalition and getting rid of them entirely. Which is what they did.

From what I heard, National was very loathe to change their policy settings for New Zealand First so there was never a point to it so off they went to a party they had more in common with..

But this makes the next election fascinating in that New Zealand First will be campaigning against change. They’ll be campaigning for their policies rather than against someone else’s. That’s not their natural position so what will they do? We’ll find out.

Meanwhile, rather than moaning about New Zealand First’s decision two years ago I wish that National and it’s supporters got over it.  Realise where they went wrong.  Stop blaming others and start figuring out a way to ensure they get back on the treasury benches