The Tide is High

I’m pleased about the Roy Morgan result. The last time the All Blacks won a World Cup it was worth 2-3% in the polls to National. Enough to get them over the line in 2011 election, in fact. This RWC … nothing. In fact, less than nothing; a one percent drop.

Perhaps its because Andrew Little showed Key up by paying for his own trip to the UK for the finals. Perhaps it’s because the PM’s usual matey relationship with our leading rugby players seems to have lost its lustre. Perhaps it’s just that Kiwis are getting tired of endless diversions and their interest in Key is, ahem, flagging.

Now, polls change all the time and the next one from Roy Morgan will say something different, I’m sure. But it’s encouraging that the Greens and Labour have taken support off National at a time when they should be riding high.

According to my wise fellow Standardista Ad, here’s why Labour currently looking good:

Labour does not now have visible internal fights that are leaked to the media.

Labour does not have a caucus that is obviously divided and attacks its leaders from within.

Labour has finished with its new leadership-choosing process for a while.

Labour now has a leader that can deliver a coherent speech.

Labour actually has MPs who can sustain reasonable headlines.

Labour can hold a conference in which the Members and MPs leave encouraged.

Yep! While cowards flinch and traitors sneer, we’ll keep the red flag flying here. However, I guess the media’s pet Blairites will keep attacking the party from the right and no doubt social media’s Red Guard will keep poking the party with the blunt sticks of irrelevance from the left.

Sadly, it appears the days of class conscious voting are behind us and our democracy relies on appealing to the unappealing middle. But a Labour led Government, no matter how imperfect, remains a better option for the majority of us. It’s up to all of us to help make that happen, whichever one of the three potential coalition parties we prefer.

As Ad pointed out in the comment linked to above, the tide ran out on Clark surprisingly quickly when it started to move. This week’s astonishingly cringeworthy attack on the brave women of the Labour and Greens’ caucus may prove to be Key’s red mist peak. We’re used to Key embarrassing us at home and internationally, but this is something different. It was an emotional misfire, factually wrong and compounded by his henchman in the chair punishing the women who had the temerity to speak up.

Frankly, guys, if women want to tell us their stories of abuse, then the right response from the men in the room is to shut the fuck up and listen.

Key doesn’t get it, Carter doesn’t get it, righty bloggers will never get it. But I trust women voters do get it.

And here’s the point; Helen Clark won three elections anchored on the solid support of women voters. Key has taken a stance which directly challenges his own reasonably high popularity with the same voters. His mildly pervy hair pulling fixation was a weird look, but shouting down actual victims of abuse, while trying to portray himself as being hard done by is sick making. And don’t be surprised if we see a few articles in the women’s mags and the likes of North and South over the next few weeks as those brave MP’s tell their stories. By the way, if anyone doubts what women politicians are capable of when they work together, here’s what clever, cooperative and strong leadership can do.

One of the reasons I like the Roy Morgan polls is because of their volatility. For mine, I reckon they accurately reflect the fluctuations of the voter’s mindset. People’s opinions change all the time. However, it only takes an issue that is personally felt for a voter to go off a party long term or to embrace a party they haven’t recently supported. If National have missed out on the RWC bounce and appear to have a ranting, misogynist fool as a leader, things are not going to plan for them.

Key warned his MP’s about third term arrogance. He probably should have warned himself, too.

As the song says, the tide is high, but I’m holdin’ on.

 

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