National if they keep up the path they are on face a long time as an opposition party. This may not be whats being published by mainstream media, but the harsh reality is National need to make radical changes in their thinking to MMP to make it into power again, and we are barely getting started in the new Labour, NZ First, Greens government but it looks like they will be in power for some time yet (Unless something drastic fails).
National is basically the only opposition party, with David Seymour (ACT) as the only other opposition MP, National lead the last government along with ACT, and 2 parties which are no longer around, United Future, and the Maori Party. National attempted a miracle of going it alone in an FPP scenario by aiming for more than 50% of the votes, and in doing so killed off their support partners.
National need to gain the support of another party, ACT has been only surviving due to special arrangements in Epsom the last few elections, this is dangerous and could potentially fall next election meaning all the parties that have supported the National Government over the last 9 years would all have failed.
So how does National regain power? 1 they need a solid support partner, there is only really 2 ways to achieve this and 1 convinces the Greens or NZ First, National is better than Labour, (Don't see it happening whilst in government together) or 2 some sitting MP's split and create a new party.
Has the National brand been tarnished by the latest election? Time will tell, but 2 massive blunders by two high profile National MP's certainly haven't helped. Steven Joyce trying to convince the public there was an 11 billion dollar hole in their policies or the blatant lies from Bill English regarding raising taxes by Labour, these were both ploys to deter the public from voting Labour and show Labour supporters there are concerns for voting them, these, however, do seem to have backfired somewhat, but did also work to some extent in slowing the support for Jacinda.
The things this really shows though, that although no other economic expert in the country agrees with Joyce that there is a fiscal hole let alone a large 11 Billion dollar one, it shows either Joyce knows the book's are cooked, or he can't do what any other economic expert in the country can, either way we should be glad he is no longer our Minister for Finance, as for Bill English, he should know better than sling the mud he did as he should know it won't help him. He lost any credibility he may have had at that point.
The motives surrounding the releasing of information surrounding Winston Peter's pension payments is also a little suspicious. And don't seem to bode well for National.
National do have a lot to learn and face a fairly long time in opposition if they don't make the changes necessary.
It is probably likely the higher profile MP's should be worried about their positions. In particular Joyce, English, and Bennett.
Also the public has 3 years to really judge the efforts of the last 9 from Nationals reign of power. National need to stop thinking in "Me" or "Mine" culture and start thinking of "us"
Published by D Blair, Hamilton