Some Labour strategists may agree with Peters that the election should be delayed

NZ First leader Winston Peters today said he wants the election held on November 21,  Radio  NZ   reported.  He says he believes  the health system would be under the pump in September with the winter flu season and the country potentially still dealing with the impacts of Covid-19.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the September election date before the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Peters said he had fought for the November date originally, because his party believed summer elections were better, but given the pressures of Covid-19 he will again raise delaying it by two months.

“Having a good look at it now and with the compounding problems of coronavirus and all the distractions and efforts going in elsewhere, perhaps the sound thing is to say November 21 is the right date and we should go ahead then,” he said. Continue reading “Some Labour strategists may agree with Peters that the election should be delayed”

Are German political ructions signalling a sea change in European politics?

It’s not made many headlines outside Germany, but the resignation of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Angela Merkel’s handpicked successor as leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, may be the first step in a broader European political realignment.

Ostensibly she is stepping down because of the mismanaged response to a minor political squabble.  Last year’s state election in Thuringia delivered the usual stalemate.  Two parties got more than half of the votes between them: the Left party (a successor party to the former East Germany’s communists) and the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a newer right of centre party.  Both are customarily labelled ‘far left’ and ‘far right’. Continue reading “Are German political ructions signalling a sea change in European politics?”

How centre right parties win and lose elections these days

As New Zealand’s politicians contemplate a September election, are there lessons for them from the successes of right of centre parties in Australia, the US and UK – and their failure in Canada?

Caution is needed in drawing conclusions, given a few well-placed ballots can be the margin between radiant success and crushing failure.  Reference the election of Donald Trump with fewer votes than Hilary Clinton in 2016, and last year’s defeat of Andrew Scheer’s Canadian Conservatives despite winning more votes than Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party.

But one thing to reflect on is what right of centre parties stand for – and what the median voter thinks they stand for. Continue reading “How centre right parties win and lose elections these days”

Lucky Boris – now the long game begins

Napoleon demanded that his generals be lucky.  Conservative PM Boris Johnson, as he surveys a thumping victory in the British general election, would meet that criterion.

His luck bears a resemblance to that of Margaret Thatcher.  Like her, he has made a decisive break with orthodox establishment thinking. That presents both unique opportunity (assuming the break is in tune with a developing public mood) and acute vulnerability (assuming that the mood takes time to, well, develop). Continue reading “Lucky Boris – now the long game begins”

Boris’s last hurrah before Britain votes on Thursday

Election rallies ain’t what they used to be.  Boris’s election eve shindig was an invitation-only event for party faithful. The location (at a smallish venue in the London Olympic park) was disclosed to attendees only on the day (presumably to head off the risk of protest). Continue reading “Boris’s last hurrah before Britain votes on Thursday”

Another hung Parliament in Britain’s election? Unlikely.

With the Labour party making a late surge in the opinion polls and getting some good headlines, some pundits are wondering if Britain’s general election on Thursday will end in a repeat of 2017’s hung parliament.

Never say never, but this time feels quite different to 2017. Continue reading “Another hung Parliament in Britain’s election? Unlikely.”

British election: a surprise is possible – but would be surprising

Some elections arouse eager anticipation. Not this one.

There’s almost a lassitude before Britain’s voters go to the polls on 12 December.  Sure, campaigning has its usual vigour and the media is abundant. But there is also a pervading detachment, as if voters are not convinced that an election can shake the country out of its pre-Brexit stasis.

Perhaps this is one reason why the parties have put forward clear, distinctive – and in some parts compelling – visions for the future.  Continue reading “British election: a surprise is possible – but would be surprising”