The first surprise might be found in the possible reasons for Labour’s disastrous loss of one fifth of it’s vote. The chattering class is going on and on and on about the obvious culprit, Labour’s abortion of a Capital Gains Tax but more than half, that is four of those seven points, of its loss went to the Greens who also heavily promote the CGT.
I think there is another more deep seated and less obvious reason
Labour’s strident and mendacious campaign against state asset renewal actually has exploded in its face. More of that in another post but suffice it to say Adolf thinks middle NZ, including Maori and Pacific Islanders, don’t like being told by Labour they can’t have the privilege of personally owning shares in their own power companies.
Labour is treating the whole electorate with the sort of patronizing arrogance which goes down well only in those parts of NZ where the most valuable household asset is the family pack from KFC. National has picked this up and is flogging it hard and successfully as “Labour doesn’t trust New Zealanders.”
The next surprise is the one fifth increase of its party vote by the Maori Party. Of the 700 basis points lost by Labour, 140 migrated to the Maori Party. Why?
I believe this too, largely might be due to Labour’s clear attack on Maori mainstream aspirations to own large chunks of the nation’s power utilities via their various IWI companies and trading trusts. The Maori Party has signalled this desire clearly many times during Question Time but Labour has not been listening.
Further, I believe Labour has miscalculated the attitudes of the large sector of Pakeha NZ who have some degree of Maori ancestry and are damned proud of it. Many of these people will have been swinging voters and some will have felt alienated by Labour’s capital gains tax and subliminal Kiwi bashing. Their support has moved to what has become a mainstream party rather than a party of radicals. (Don Brash’s fatal mistake with his appalling advertisement was the implication that ALL Maori people are radicals.) Since the ejection of Harawira, the Maori Party has become very ‘mainstream,’ where well educated ambitious and industrious Maori people can feel at home. These are the people who personally will buy shares in SOEs – and hang on to them.
Then there is the meteoric rise of the Greens. This, I think is almost entirely due to the persona of their leader Russel Norman. Make no mistake, Norman is the leader. He is the driving force. Madame Turei is nothing more than an air headed token who couldn’t attract a blowfly to vote for a dead sheep.
Norman has spear headed the parliamentary battle over the CGT. He has looked like a leader, sounded like a leader and acted like a leader. I believe the Greens will continue to prosper in the polls over coming weeks and as Whaleoil says, somewhere over at his bear pit, ‘Norman is within striking distance of being Leader of the Opposition.’
So, all in all, it will be a more interesting campaign than one might have imagined. I will post later today with my predicted result and will update and bump that post on the release of each respective Roy Morgan poll between now and November.