Over on The Standard, the redoubtable swordfish - anyone who names themselves after a Tom Waits album is alright with me - brought an analysis posted on Politik NZ to my attention. Apparently, some Dark Forces within National have spotted that if the Greens fail to make the 5% threshold, and Gareth Morgan's TOP take a couple of percent, the combined wasted vote will mean National will manage to govern alone, or with minimal help from the Usual Suspects.
Also fuelling National's strategy is polling it has which shows the Greens on around three per cent and Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party on two per cent.From here, it follow logically, that smearing Winston Peters is a political power play. He isn't needed as a coalition partner, and if NZ First can be beaten down a few points, with some of that support switching to National, Bill's yer uncle.
That was reinforced yesterday with a One News Comar Brunton poll showing the Greens on 3.6% in Whangarei.
The strategy then is clear; to try and boost National's vote --- thought to be in the mid-40s – by two per cent or so, and then to rely on a high wasted vote from the Greens, TOP plus ACT to reduce the percentage it needs to get half the seats in Parliament.
Last election the so-called wasted vote was 7.15%; that meant that to get half the seats in Parliament a party needed to get 46.4% of all the votes.
National got 47% and got 60 seats but because there was a one seat “overhang” caused by Peter Dunne it didn’t quite have a majority.
It's an attractively Cunning Plan, but I think National would have to be a bit daft to try that strategy, to be honest. It relies on the Greens not getting into parliament, alienates a significant potential partner and relies on Boring Bill managing to be more appealing to voters than John Key, and on Ardern not having much of an impact.
Of course, this is New Zealand politics we’re talking about, which seems to be going through one of its mad phases, so who knows?