How did it all go so wrong for the Nats. Their pollster David Farrar was calling the possibility of a narrow win for the Nats just before the selections. So what happened.
- Key forced an outsider on the local activists.
- Their local organisation was never that good but it wasn’t involved in the campaign as it had been for the general election. You can’t win if your few activists don’t vote for you.
- Lee started making mistakes right from the start.
- She wasn’t well supported. Jonathan Coleman doesn’t have the political experience or the street smarts to mind a candidate on a daily basis.
- Coleman gave up on Lee
- Key gave up on Lee.
- The Nats tried to turn it into a referendum on Goff – and then got hammered.
- We got a very good candidate – and the others who put their names in worked hard for David.
- The organisation worked well – better and better as the campaign went on.
- There was an amazing number of young people involved (say under 30 or 25) mainly from Auckland Uni and AUT including a minibus load who came up from Wgtn for the week before the event. That experience and the willingness of electorates to toss a few hundies at the minibus bodes well for the future.
- ICT usage hit new high.
- Key’s mishandling of motorway issue.
- Key’s handing the supercity issue to Hide.
- The budget – a bit of a slow burner but there is bitterness at the lies told about tax cuts in December and late in the campaign more awareness of the cuts – some of which have gone down badly including those for gifted kids and night classes both areas valued by Nat supporters.
But remember it was just a by-election, great result but don’t read too much into it. Key did badly but he might learn from it.