March 29, 2015
The magnitude of Winston Peter's shock win on Saturday can not be ignored. To turn a 9000 majority for National into a 4000 majority for NZ First is a like the American Rugby team beating the All Blacks by 30 points.
The reason for such a dramatic sea change can be understood when you actually take time to listen to the anger of local residents. The lack of investment, educational opportunities and increasing poverty has left those in Northland well outside the 'rock star' economy story.
It's a situation being reflected in many regions outside of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
National's refusal to acknowledge poverty or have a specific focus on anything other than the Christchurch rebuild and milk powder production has left large chunks of NZ behind, even conservative seats like Northland who have been in National party control for almost 7 decades.
Winston's appeal is that he isn't Labour or the Greens. Conservative NZ have had no where to go (other than to the very religious Colin Craig) when they feel they've been ignored by National, and minus the lightening rod of Kim Dotcom, voters get to concentrate on National's dirty politics.
Deceiving an electorate by not telling them why their last candidate had to step down 'for personal reasons', bribing them with 10 bridges, threatening to take away road construction if they don't vote the way you want them to and then finally trying to blackmail local residents into being silent over unsealed roads is the sort of campaign Tony Soprano would run, not a political party in NZ.
The reverberations of this win can not be misinterpreted. It impacts every party in the political spectrum now Winston has robbed Key of his idealogical majority.
This could well be the high tide mark of the Key Government.
Editor – TheDailyBlog.co.nz
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