Labour is the Inner Party.
National is the Outer Party.
This isn’t about their current polling, it’s about their position in society.
The Greens are desperate to become the Inner Party.
They are trendy progressives. They have politically correct opinions. They even have some businesspeople who support them.
But the median voter does not take the Green Party seriously.
So, because the Green Party is hungry to become the Inner Party, they’ve done something that has gone on in the UK for ages – they’ve aggressively targeted local body politics because they have a highly motivated base and can use that to soften up the wider electorate for Green-friendly policies.
The Len Brown sex scandal has shown how useless the right wing is at political hit jobs. They suck. John Palino as a mayoral candidate was a complete joke and there are a lot of strong left wing – Inner Party – people who would be able to trounce any right wing challenger.
Demographic reality means that National will always be the Outer Party.
For confirmation of their inability to actually roll back anything done by the Labour Party beyond a cosmetic level, look at how they haven’t touched Working For Families, automatic rises in the minimum wage, interest free student loans and other progressive policies.
Labour is the Inner Party for at least the next decade because there are a lot of older people who always vote Labour and would never vote Green. But National can never become the Inner Party – everything they try and do can be rolled back or watered down by the public service and the judiciary.
This is why I don’t understand why the left wing gets all frustrated. Losing a battle (an election) certainly does not mean losing the war (the long run trend of history is more progressivism).
But this sort of enlightened thinking makes analysing the right far easier – they’re angry Tea Party types because they realise that they have no power, no one capable of changing policy would ever accede to their demands and whatever changes they do ram through will be rolled back or implemented in such a way that they embarass whoever sponsored them.