why Labour will probably lose the 2008 election
If Labour wants to be in power in 2008, either the electorate will have to reverse its rejection of Labour and Helen Clark will need to hand over the Labour leadership within six months or stay on to lead the party to the next election.Both appear to be unlikely to happen, but even if Clark does lead Labour in 2008, history shows that she is likely to lose due to a voter backlash which has already started.
An interesting pattern shows that preceding most changes of Government since 1950 - namely 1998/9, 1990,1984, 1975, 1972, 1960 and 1957, the governing party had a change of leadership within a year of a government change. Shipley rolled Bolger before her coalition broke down in 1998, then her new government lost power the following year. Between 1987-1990 there were three prime Ministers, with Mike Moore becoming PM shortly before he lost the 1990 election. Rowling became PM in 1974 before losing the election the following year to Muldoon, Marshall became PM in 1972 before losing the election that year, as did Holyoake in 1957.
The only exceptions were in 1984 and in 1960 (every third change of government after an election) when the electorate turned its back on the Govt both times, firstly due to the 1958 black budget and secondly to Rogernomics. The next time the electorate turns its back on the Government could well be in 2008 after the election spending and validating legislation, not to mention errant MPs, as the cycle is right for a change of government notwithstanding the probable rejection of the current Government, and even perhaps its leader.
It is interesting that of all PM's since 1972 that led a government change after an election, most also entered Parliament the year their party changed the goverment after winning an election. Bolger (1990) entered politics in 1972, the year National regained power, Muldoon ( 1975) did the same in 1960, Clark (1999) in 1984 whe Labour regained power. However Lange broke the trend, (1984), and won in a by election after Muldoon outed Colin Moyle for homosexual conduct - ironically Lange replaced Muldoon as PM. Also Jack Marshall in 1960 did not enter politics after a change of government,.
And neither will the PM after the 2008 election if the pattern continues - meaning John Key - who initially won his seat in 2002 - could be the next Prime Minister in 2008.