As a result of the relative inactivity of the micro parties this week, weekly watch has been rescheduled for this post which will rank the top 7 micro-parties based on the chances of them getting into Parliament, my reasons for the ranking and a short analysis of their possibilities.
- New Zealand First: New Zealand First rises to the top of the electoral detritus. New Zealand First still has superior brand, most resources, most charismatic leadership and their recent election loss means that they will be hungry to get back into parliament. If/when the recession seriously hits New Zealand they can wheel out their well-worn populist economic rhetoric and get over the 5% threshold.
- The Alliance: The Alliance gets a close second. Like the Byzantine Empire, they can look back to the glories of the old days when they actually mattered. Their brand is well known and recognizable to an older generation of New Zealanders and university students. A merger with RAM and the Worker’s Party could unite the fractious non-parliamentary left and if the economic crisis worsens they just might be able to get back into parliament taking either Jim Anderton’s Sydenham seat or breaching the 5% threshold.
- The Kiwi Party: The Christian Heritage/Coalition’s good electoral showing in 2002 proved that there is a market in New Zealand for Christian Politics. Dissatisfaction of the Religious Right by John Key’s liberalism could provide the perfect opening for the The Kiwi Party. It could cast itself in this mould and either get 5% or Dunne’s Ohariu seat or a combination of both. However, there’s been no new news for them since the election finished and they may be dead.
- Resident’s Action Movement (RAM): The 2007 Local Council elections in Auckland showed their organizational strength in New Zealand’s most important city, the 2008 election election showed that this strength was on the back of a weak centre-left ticket. With the creation of the Auckland Super City, RAM has the potential to build their party from the ground up, winning community board posts and council seats. A weak looking Labour Party could provide the perfect opening for this micro party.
- The Worker’s Party: The Worker’s Party showed it’s presence last week over protests over the ‘Fire At Will’ Bill. Has a tiny core of hardened and dedicated activists, could unite the non-parliamentary Left under it’s banner and sweep to power on the back of an ever worsening recession.
- New Zealand Pacific Party: The fact that this party is at 6 despite Taito Philip-Fields being on trial for a variety of dodgy dealings speaks volumes about the quality of micro parties. Fields needs to pray, hard, that Labour implodes. Even then it might not matter, is it possible to run for public office from prison?
- LibertiaNZ: The libertarian field crowded enough with ACT. Hide’s flip-flopping on gang patches and their support for the prison industry and ‘tough’ law and order policies could provide them with a narrow opening in 2011. Has the added disadvantage of the current recession discrediting libertarianism.