What a walloping, and now the recriminations begin for one side and the plans for the successful government start to fall into place.
Starting with National, this is a disaster and their only hope is to realise how and why they got it so wrong over the past three years. It is all their own fault and they should not shift the blame.
It started in 2017 when they failed to secure a coalition partner gifting government to Labour. National supporters blame Winston. But there was little chance after the way the party treated Mr Peters for an extended period of time.
John Key knew this. As soon as the Māori Party started to crumble as their kaumatua retired, Mr Key knew he had no friends left so flew the coop. A smart party would have built a bridge to Winston.
But they didn’t.
After the shock loss the dithering began. They lost Stephen Joyce and with him a number of other talents.
The election of Bridges and Bennett split the party and no Bridges-bridges were built. Simon believed that the party needed to be a bit more aggressive, totally forgetting that Prime Minister’s need to be likeable or feared and he was neither.
So another schism.
The Muller move further diluted the party and more talent left. Muller’s meltdown was unfortunate and left Judith Collins as the last one standing.
National’s faithful somehow saw the 61-year-old who had been discarded in the Key years as a brave new hope to crush the opposition. But that was not shared by the swinging voters without tribal loyalty.
Chris Finlayson was damning of National on Sunday. He called the current party and its politicians arrogant and complacent, infused with a born to rule superiority complex that was unfounded.
That doesn’t stop National and its final core supporters believing the rest of the country has been bewitched by Jacindamania pixie dust, which is so condescending. It doesn’t stop them attacking the media.
To account for the total domination of the party vote by Labour even in rural areas they now speculate that it’s tactical voting to keep the Greens out.
The fact of the matter is that National was basically unelectable. A disorganised shambles with a confused message. A party at war with itself as shown by the Denise Lee leaks.
Up against another party with a multitude of flaws but who did the one big job of the age relatively well.
I say all this as a National voter in 2017, 2014 and 2011. This current mob is a shadow of the party I supported in those years and the sooner they realise it and why the better.