The Colmar Brunton poll is now out, and things continue to look up for The Family Party. The percentages have jumped around a bit again as they always do for the minor parties, due to the error at these low values, but the latest result is:
The Family Party is sitting on 0.3%, as in July and August. This is not very high yet, we need to push our publicity over the next few weeks, but is steady. We are still the best-supported party outside parliament and are polling higher than two parties with current seats. Family + CH + Destiny (which I have been using to guage the conservative voters that are interested in a Christian party) is once again steady on 0.5%, as it has been for 4 months.
Kiwi is down on 0.1%, once again showing they haven’t a hope this election and conservative voters need to get behind the one party with a chance of actually making a difference – The Family Party. NZ First would be gone if they can’t take a seat, which would make our votes count a bit more. Libertarianz are doing well.
One News has stated that at least one National candidate is telling voters if they won’t vote National, vote for the Maori Party. Winston Peters is chasing the Maori vote too, to try and get over 5%. This is concerning, because if Mr Peters gets over 5%, being ruled out of a coalition deal by National, it makes a change of government less likely.
No National candidate should be recommending people vote Maori:
If we want to fix the poor policies of Labour over the past few years, Maori voters must vote for The Family Party, or failing that National or Act. Voting for the Maori Party will waste votes, and a vote for NZ First is a vote for Labour.
This election is going to be scarily close. It will actually be decided by the votes in several key electorates:
Voters wanting a change of government in these five electorates need to vote strategically. Even if you disagree with Act’s policies, but are in Epsom and want a change of government, Rodney Hide needs your vote. Even if you disagree with Family policies, but are in Mangere or ECB, Jerry Filipaina or Paul Adams needs your vote.
To keep NZ First out, as they will support Labour, Simon Bridges (National) needs your vote in Tauranga, and Christopher Hipkins (Labour) needs your vote in Rimutaka (as the other candidate with the best chance of taking it, the electorate is currently held by Labour) Richard Whiteside in Rimutaka. It doesn’t matter if you disagree with National’s or Labour’s polices – their total numbers will be decided by the party vote, even voting in a Labour candidate here will make no difference to Labour’s total numbers. But candidates make a massive difference to the minor parties.
On the other hand, if Labour voters go for Ron Mark in Rimutaka, that reduces Hipkins chances, and maybe it would be better to vote for the National candidate – this is like trying to play chess 8 moves ahead against 40,000 other players… I don’t like recommending voting against Ron Mark, he is a good man, but unfortunately they will only be siding with Labour this time so he is dragged down by the fact he is in NZ First. Very frustrating. If he jumped ship to National or stood as an independent I could recommend him.
I would also like to be able to recommend Larry Baldock in Tauranga, as a Christian candidate who won’t side with Labour, but ultimately keeping NZ First out will achieve more to change the government than getting Baldock in, and if National voters go for Baldock they risk letting Winston Peters take the electorate. If only Baldock was standing in a different electorate I would be able to recommend him too. But the reality is that Simon Bridges needs those votes more.
We must ensure National has as many friends as possible, and Labour has as few as possible, and that will take careful, strategic voting – and in some cases that may mean voting for someone whose policies you disagree with (such as in Rimutaka). That’s MMP for you.
EDIT: You may note some changes with regard to Rimutaka. This is after I received the following email from Richard Whiteside, the National candidate there, who obviously knows far more about the electorate than I: