The notion of a Labour Greens government fills my heart with fear. For all their mischief and duplicity, I’m grateful that New Zealand First has been in a position to ankle-tap and obliterate some of their more odious polices, whether it be CGT or the EVs rebate.
The dilemma some centre-right voters will have to face, is whether they keep the faith with the National Party given its most uncustomary turmoil – or do they swing their wagons behind Winston, to torpedo the gross excesses of a full-throated left wing agenda. Some may simply choose to reward ACT for remaining focused and creative.
History favours this government not being rolled in September. We haven’t chucked out a one term government since 1975.
But Judith Collins gives National new hope. She has an established brand. She has steel, she has spark, she has the smirk. But she’s only got ten weeks to make a fist of it.
Is she in it to win it? Of course. But it’s a formidable challenge. Collins has to galvanise the party base and its factions. The squishy Labour light crowd and the right wing rump. She has to galvanise middle New Zealand and rip apart the warm and fuzzy culture of complacency that has proliferated under Ardern’s silvery spell. Can she cut Jacinda’s lunch?
Well Collins certainly won’t suffer from stage fright. But National now needs to make all the running and grab the election agenda by the scruff of its neck. I wouldn’t write Collins off. It’s been a year of surprise turns and shocks. The inconceivable is the new normal.
But as election day nears, I see suspect a chunk of centre-right voters will forensically examine the polls, to ensure National is well into the 40s. If they’re not, and those voters don’t hold confidence that National can viably muster the numbers, will they still vote for the party they believe in, or will they vote tactically for NZ First, simply to blunt the left wing excess?