National – the Natural Party of Opposition

Whaleoil, the right-wing blogger, has been warning National that it risks just such a defeat. Under MMP, he shrieks, National could become “the natural party of opposition.”

Hubbard picks up on this in the Sunday Star Times, though he misses the point. This election is a forgone conclusion. It is every election from now on that National will not be able to win with if MMP is retained.

Under MMP National need coalition partners. It is running out of them fast, with the Maori Party and ACT looking doomed. New Zealand First is gone, and no party has made it into parliament without a sitting MP defecting from another party since MMP began in 1996.

This leaves National with the near impossible task of regularly winning 48 to 49% of the vote to become government.

John Key - The last National Prime Minister???

National are being strategically stupid on this referendum. They do not want the referendum to mess up their message for now, without thinking about what happens in the future. They are saying the party will not take a position, yet individual MPs can. Labour and the Greens are strategically smart, they are firmly in the pro MMP camp, guaranteeing them long periods in government in the future.

With this strategy is is highly likely that John Key will become known not for what he has achieved but rather as the “The Last National Prime Minister“.