Friday, October 26, 2018

On National's Yet-Unsinking Poll Numbers

Thinking about the National Party's recent woes - there's a funny sort of ... I guess you'd say "symmetry" to a lot of happenings politics; and not simply in the sense that they occur "the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce".

Up until last week, their biggest problem - and the single most important thing that was likely to lose them the 2020 Election - was the fact they didn't have any viable coalition partners. And would therefore spend the next two years either hoping against hope to somehow *increase* their share of the vote to pretty much unprecedented above-50% levels on Election Night, or that ACT would inexplicably undergo an act of meiosis in its Caucus.

Neither were especially likely, for any number of reasons.

Yet as of Monday a week ago, an implosion-process began which could very easily have stood up alongside ACT from ~2009-2011, the Conservative Party in 2015, or United Future at a number of occasions broadly commensurate with "times post-2002 when it's had more than one MP".

Yet this has not - thus far, anyway ... it's still relatively early days - seemingly eventuated.

And while it might seem *entirely* premature to suspect so, a mere thirteen days after the first sign of an actual explosion ... in a curious manner perhaps not unakin to a fire being unable to properly ignite and engulf due to an altogether too densely packed bundle of kindling, the very fact that National is so presently bereft of 'friends', may mean that no large-scale double-digits tumbling in the polls will yet eventuate.

Much of the reason for this, is because there is simply nobody else on the (centre) right of NZ politics whom the average Nat supporter will yet consider switching over to. It's always possible (even perhaps likely) that "swing voters" in the middle will continue bleeding away from Blue to Red, to Labour's net advantage; and perhaps some modest few (with much, likely in their property portfolios, to be modest about) will attempt to re-invigorate ACT.

It is, of course, vaguely possible that should the sparks from last week's incipient explosion manage to migrate into the ship's magazine, that the ensuing larger-scale and ongoing detonations may somewhat 'force' the issue, and render it unavoidable that an array of more numerically significant Nat support gets "blown away" and/or attempts to strike out upon their very own Raft of the Medusa (so-named, not just due to the rather famous painting, but also due to the probability of one Judith Collins - either in person or merely in spirit - being upon its black-tinged sails (that's another classical metaphor - in this case, in the direction of Theseus)).

But barring a sudden endeavour in political necromancy vis a vis the Conservative Party, or the much-talked about (perhaps with a sense of yearning) putative possibility of somebody managing to 'poach'/'re-direct' a few sitting Nat MPs to set up a 'right of centre' party (naming perhaps not coincidental given the previous effort to bear it ..) to assist in 'gaming' MMP ... there is literally nowhere else for anybody who wants to vote against a Labour-led Government to go.

Therefore, as I said - in a curious way, National's circumstances are "symmetrical". Or perhaps we might say that they are a "mirror image", now (hence why things are now the other way around).

The very same insurmountable problem that had them almost certainly consigned to Opposition for the foreseeable future as of up to two weeks ago .. has now, somewhat paradoxically, become the main thing keeping them even *vaguely* in contention for Government (by polling figures alone), for much of the last two weeks.

That is not, of course, to say that I view the former set of circumstances as "tragedy".

But it is hard to avoid the conclusion that what we are witnessing now is, nevertheless, "farce".

No comments:

Post a Comment