Can the Conservative Party win 5% of the Vote?

It is hard to predict how a party that has almost no footprint yet will go. Current polls wont take into account the Conservative Party, and probably won’t until very late in the campaign when voters are engaged in politics instead of the World Cup.

The simple equation is that the Conservative Party needs to win about 120,000 votes. Or close to 2000 votes in every electorate in the country.

Winning 120,000 votes is not easy. To win this many you need money, good media coverage, good candidates and a good network of people across the country asking people to vote for you. The final factor is a good team of professionals running a competent campaign.

Each of these factors is important, with money being the most important. Without money campaigns are very difficult. They make it hard to bring good people into the party, and make it difficult to get free media coverage as the media don?t think a party has a chance so ignore it. Good candidates asking people to vote are crucial, because if there is not someone making a case to vote for a party on the doorsteps of the electorates then voters also think the party is not credible and won’t vote for them.

From the outside the Conservative Party has the money to fund a good campaign. If it links in with some of the supporters of Colin Craig?s other causes like referenda and smacking, and has the support of churches, it could have a very good network of candidates across the country and the potential to win votes in good numbers in a large number of electorates.

The christain lobby in New Zealand has been highly ineffective, mainly because it has had a bunch of total plonkers running for office. Lee, Tamaki, Capill ? none of them inspire confidence, and none have done very well. That is why the best result for christians was in 1996, when the Christian Coalition won 89,716 votes or 4.33%, narrowly missing out on getting into parliament.

Competent campaign professionals are crucial to stop even experienced politicians doing stupid things on a campaign. Colin hasn?t said to who his campaign manager and campaign team are, leading to the suspicion that there are not experienced, effective campaign professionals driving the Conservative Party. We don’t expect the All Blacks to run on to the field without competent professional coaches so why should we expect political parties who want to be involved in running the country to be strictly amateur.

Mana has campaigner extraordinaire Matt McCarten, Len Brown had Conor Roberts, the Greens have paid staffers, National likewise, Labour of course is the only one in?the?field with a distinct amateur and it shows. ACT has a fundraiser trying to chair its campaign committee. Political parties need professionals to win consistently. To do otherwise is folly and ultimately a waste of donors money.

Colin is setting out to prove that a party without an MP can make it into parliament under MMP. This has never been done before, and is very tough to do. If anyone can it will be Colin, but I reserve my judgment on its chances until Colin?s campaign professionals are named.