So who are you going to blame Steve?

Steve Joyce has finally admitting that his brains trust are making a ham-fisted effort in Northland and they might well lose.

A week from the Northland byelection, Steven Joyce has acknowledged the possibility National could lose.

Asked by The Nation’s Patrick Gower, “You could lose it if you don?t turn out those votes, couldn?t you?”, Mr Joyce replied, “There?s no doubt about that.”

Three polls have shown Winston Peter neck-and-neck with National in the traditionally blue-ribbon seat.

If Mr Peters does, take the seat it will take National from 59 seats in today’s 120 seat Parliament to 59 seats in an expanded 121 seat Parliament (assuming Mr Peters resigns his place on NZ First’s list, allowing an extra list MP to come into the House for the party).

The immediate complication for National would be its promised Resource Management Act reform, already opposed by UnitedFuture’s Peter Dunne.

Today, Mr Joyce said RMA reforms ?won?t go through? if Mr Peters wins Northland.

However, the NZ First leader offered an olive branch, saying ?If they?re reasonable, yes, they will get our backing.?

It looks like he is playing the blame game already.

The National campaign strategist also distanced the party from a Young Nats attack ad on Facebook Winston Peters, which mocks the NZ First leader’s age. “It’s not something I would do at all? he said, adding he ?might have a chat? to them about it.

Yeah, a chat…they’ll be shaking in their boots..If I was the Young Nats I’d tell him to piss off.

The problem with this course of action though is one of the senior Young Nats has installed himself up north and set about pissing off the locals.

And the real problem is no one is really going to believe the Young Nats derailed the wonky campaign anyway.

Steve rolled in his usual mates who conducted themselves in their usual abrasive manner. There really is no one else to blame if national loses other than Steve Joyce and his “brains trust”.

He might try and go after Todd Muller or Chris Bishop or even Mark Mitchell, but you can’t blame them…if National loses then Steve Joyce’s strategy will be the reason, along with the management of Jo de Joux.

I wonder if John Key will still want her to lead the flag campaign after this effort.