National Party

Labour came to the only logical conclusion, with a little help from its friends. A Capital Gains Tax was little more than scratching an itch of its voting base, but would have done little for the country and the government

The decision of the Labour-led government to back away from a capital gains tax was a good move in a number of ways.

The Police have referred their investigation into $100,000 in donations to the National Party to the Serious Fraud Office. It's hard to know just what that means, except that it's the quintissential political "bad look".

On its face, today's news that the Police have referred Jami-Lee Ross' now-five-month old allegations about Simon Bridges, the National Party and $100,000 in donations to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) looks like a very big deal.

Of course there was nothing else for it. Steven Joyce was never going to sit there and fade into insignificance. So now National begins its true test, and it could signal a realignment on the right of New Zealand politics

Key was a surprise, but a lone act. McCully was predictable, even inevitable. As was English, after he'd had a tilt and failed (again). So it's Joyce's resignation that feels like a turning of the tide, a passing of the baton.

As all things new come to dominate New Zealand's political landscape, National will be forced more quickly than it hoped to confront its own need for change. Tonight's poll offers succour for the party, but tolls the bell for Bill.

The first poll of the year confirms the over-arching narrative of New Zealand politics since the election and follows some pretty typical trends. But it raises a few curly questions too, mostly about new generations.

Changes to parliamentary procedure that Simon Bridges helped craft and then explicitly championed while in Government now appear to be bad for National in opposition. So Simon Bridges thinks that they are the worst attack on democratic rights we have ever seen.

In today's NZ Herald, National's shadow leader of the House was frantically sounding out a tocsin to warn of the danger of looming dictatorship: