09 October 2010

John Key should be very worried

Going by the valid votes cast and counted by today (Saturday 9th), Len Brown won just short of 49% of votes for Auckland mayor, and John Banks 35.7%. That's a margin much larger than opinion polls had indicated prior to the Election. Let's be honest, the mayoral race was a proxy Labour-vs-National contest in (rather thin) disguise. And let's not forget that political parties can win or lose power depending on how Auckland - especially South Auckland - turns out to vote.
To make matters worse for Mr Key, his accustomed "I'm relaxed about that" attitude (which serves the needs of his conservative voters not to get too wound up about such matters) has worn rather thin this week as public opinion has turned against Henry Paul's inappropriate comments on TV. That is, public opinion has also run against the PM's apparent "relaxedness" about it all. Let's recall, the PM himself was actually there, and was complicit in, the comments Henry Paul made about the Governor-General, and he failed to challenge those comments at the time. Since then, he has avoided any outright condemnation of the discriminatory implications of the conversation that he was a party to, even as it began to turn into a diplomatic row with the Indian Government.
In a year's time there'll be a General Election. If ACT fails to get a seat in the House, and if South Auckland voters get mad and get active again, then we could very well see a situation where the National Party, even if its traditional support stays solid, is unable to form another government. (Mind you, I've never been good at predicting the future!)


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