ACT leader David Seymour seems to think he is dancing with the stars once more. Whether he’s in step with the music is somewhat uncertain.
At any rate, he’s boldly putting it about:
“We can win in 2023.”
Point of Order has received from him a note on how the latest polls are trending in which he asserts the gap between the Government and the Opposition is closing.
He cites the latest Taxpayers’ Union Curia poll, in which ACT is steady on 16%, while Labour is down 6 points to 39%.
“In the last 12 months, National has regained its election night polling and we have doubled our support.Two months ago, the gap between the centre-left and centre-right was 19 points. It’s now just 6.
“In the most important barometer of the mood of the country, more New Zealanders now believe the country is heading in the wrong direction than the right direction”.
And then comes some fancy footwork aimed (presumably) to lift his share of the spotlight and win more audience plaudits:
“Also notable is that only two individual politicians have a net positive approval rating: Jacinda, who’s falling, and me, rising”.
In yet another poll, this time from Talbot Mills, ACT’s rise continues to a new all-time high for that poll of 17%.
Seymour says that in 2023
“.. we need to change not just the government, but the direction of our country. This can’t come soon enough.
”With everything going on in New Zealand right now, Labour’s priority, he says, is scrapping a law that’s keeping Kiwis safe from violent criminals.
“Labour’s out of touch and we need it out of office”.
The problem for Seymour is that National and ACT might be united in their sentiments about the government, but they are not yet convincing the voters in that vital segment, the middle, that they have the answers to shape the country’s future.
That’s not surprising, given that, apart from Seymour, ACT’s MPs are all newcomers and National, for its part, is still suffering from the aftermath of its of its rapid leadership changes. Moreover, the Covid pandemic has submerged or obscured Labour’s policy failures: think of the commitment to build 100,000 houses, eliminate child poverty, get rid of homelessness.
Now the country’s problems (and Labour’s difficulties) are compounded by ones familiar to an older generation: soaring house prices, rising inflation, and deepening inequality.
What many New Zealanders are looking for is a clear and positive alternative to the welfarism and bumbling inefficiency of the Ardern government. There is also growing concern about what looks like a significant shift to Maori sovereignty as outlined in the He Puapua report.
So it’s up to Seymour to tell us what he can do, not just to change the government but also to steer NZ back to safer waters. Even better, he should be promoting a formula for real economic growth, low inflation and higher living standards.