Labour surges, National drop following terrorist attack

In 1985, when France attacked the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland, the French Government calculated that it would divide New Zealanders. They calculated that the New Zealand people would lose faith in the Labour Government and its nuclear free stance. They could not have been more wrong. Labour was returned to office in 1987. More significantly, when National finally did win the 1990 election, despite concerns that we needed to repair our relationship with the U.S., the policy survived and is still in force today.

It is too early to tell whether this Labour led Government will enjoy such a bump in support as a result of the terrorist. However in the immediate weeks that have so far passed, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s decisive handling of the new firearms legislation, her empathy and warmth shown to the Muslim community have caused Labour to surge in the latest Colmar Brunton poll, which shows the Sixth Labour Government at an as yet all time high.

If an election were held today that would give the following seats to the parties in Parliament:

  • National; 51
  • Labour; 60
  • Greens; 8
  • A.C.T.*; 1

The results are clear. Labour and the Greens could comfortably govern as a left of centre coalition. National and A.C.T. would be resigned to watching legislation pass through the House and hope that enough people are following through the media to be aware of what is happening.

Assuming no seats are won by its M.P.’s, New Zealand First would not be in Parliament, having failed to make the 5% threshhold. A.C.T.* would re-enter Parliament on the assumption that its sole Member of Parliament David Seymour retakes Epsom.

National Leader Simon Bridges remains unchanged on 5%, which is probably okay given he has barely had a look in in the last few weeks as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s leadership basks in the praise heaped on her by national and international media. That said, Judith Collins, well known for her more conservative outlook and popular with the right wing of the National Party is thought to be agitating for a crack at the leadership. More ominously for Mr Bridges, she is in the Preferred Prime Minister stake at 5%, which is the same as him.

It is perhaps New Zealand First who should be the most worried. Despite their record of comebacks in elections, M.P. and Minister for Regional Development Shane Jones is widely viewed among the voting public as a bit of a loose cannon. This combined with a party that failed to ignite support among South Island voters at the last election, will would have proved a serious hindrance if not a fatal blow in a hypothetical election.

But this is all hypothetical. What it does not show is the significant number of issues that this Government faces, the problems it is having with its Ministers and the middling economy. Soon they will make themselves known.

2 thoughts on “Labour surges, National drop following terrorist attack

  1. Hi Robert
    National, via MP Judith Collins, when they were still the government, rejected all the recommendations of the Electoral Commission’s last report. Lowering the threshold to 4%, stopping the ‘coat tailing” wherein winning an electorate seat gets MP proportional to the party vote, among other recommendations.
    Now that we have a coalition government that is working well together one would hope that they take up those recommendations and make them a reality.
    One would like to think that rather than rejecting the diverse opinion of the population we would welcome more third parties into the house so that many more voters could have their opinions known, and that those 200,000 or so voters voting for them would not be disenfranchised.
    Your acceptance of the prospects of the ACT party getting in by gerrymandering is a worry as it is patently unfair.
    Your dismissal of the NZFirst party is unrealistic as, as Professor Jennifer Curtin rightly said on Q+A last night, they are doing much better than traditionally expected mid term, is a moot point in your discussion.
    Despite your contention that the South Island vote for NZFirst failed to ignite, I will differ on that as my analysis of the 2017 election (below) showed no significant difference.
    Category Average percent of Party Votes.
    2014 2017
    North Island 8.90 7.24
    South Island 8.37 6.81
    The average percentage of North Island Votes compared to South Island Votes is not significantly different.


  2. My comment about A.C.T. getting in has everything to do with expecting David Seymour will probably be given a clear path to Epsom by National not actively supporting a candidate in that electorate.

    Liked by 1 person

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