Big News: Stdunned!
Peter Dunne must be happy. People are taking notice of him now that he may have power in the formation of the next coalition. United Future has stunned everyone by polling more than 6 percent. Peter Dunne’s reaction on Sunday night when rung to be told about the poll result was “Good Lord, that’s great news”. Good Lord indeed. Now Dunne is the focus of minor parties who are dredging up his past voting record in the House, showing he voted against the Government, meaning he is a National clone.
Yet Dunne is happy to work with both National or Labour in government despite admitting the party is right-leaning. Minor party leaders maintain Dunne is pro-right but not so pro-family as he makes out to be. Yet many of the potential United Future MPs do not support the prostitution reform bill, are against decriminalisation of cannabis and want the abortion rate down.
ACT, the Alliance and even the Christian Heritage party have all had a go at United Future this week. Well, at Peter Dunne anyway as they dont appear to know anything about the other United Future candidates. Guess who will be in Parliament after the election. Well, it won’t be the Alliance or Christian Heritage.
Labour and the Greens also had go at Dunne. Steve Maharey questioned Dunne’s voting decisions, while Jeanette Fitzsimons said those who were voting for Dunne’s party may as well vote Labour for all the use in Government Dunne and his mob will be.
But If Helen Clark is to be believed, Dunne and co are a more likely coalition partner than the Greens. Clark prefers a coalition with Jim Anderton and has promised him a front bench seat already while ruling out a coalition with the Greens – at least until July 27, when she may change her mind. Meanwhile Richard Prebble had said he could not work with Winston Peters, but then changed his mind the very same day Clark said she wouldn’t work with Peters. Therefore Prebble’s turnabout face is also worthless. Bill English said he’d form a coalition with like-minded people, which at the moment consists of his wife and about half the National caucus. That leaves United Future and the Progressive Coalition to form a Government with Labour – or the Greens if Clark changes her mind.
But don’t read too much in the Herald snap poll. Remember that it was a poll of a five hundred voters with a margin of error of over 4 percent. Meaning that a handful of people indicated they would vote United Future. But a poll is a poll and could shape public thinking that parties such as United Future are gaining popularity. Which is why more than 1000 people rang the United Future office this week to find out about the United Future candidate in their electorate.
Many people, aware that United Future has a strong Christian presence, are switching their vote to the party from the CHP so as not to waste their vote and possibly get more Christians in parliament. Now that must be a bit of a concern to the liberal Labour mob of Margaret Wilson, Helen Clark and Tim Barnett, who favour same sex relationships and the liberalisation of prostitution laws.
But United Future New Zealand claim they are not a Christian party, despite most of the candidates being Christians. Their common sense family based policies and ideas are provided at the flick of a mouse on the United Future website for people like Richard Prebble who claim the party has no policies.
One thing is true – United Future is the party that has thrown the election wide open with a tiny poll, and is the first party to increase their polling by more than 600 percent. The real poll, though is on Saturday.
- Dave Crampton is a Wellington-based freelance journalist. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org