Despite the hype coming from within the Green Party about how well it would do in the General Election, the Norman-Fitzsimons led party underperformed again.

While it did gain another two list seats, to take its total to eight, this was far from the ten or eleven seats that many of the Green parliamentary MP's were hoping for. On election night Green MP Keith Locke excitedly told a journalist that New Zealand was 'turning green' - but this was before he saw the final figures.

It's slice of the vote did not increase dramatically. This went from 120,521 in 2005 to 134,622 - an increase of an underwhelming 14,000.

While National benefited from the public mood for 'change', this did not translate into votes for the Green's.

Having created what amounts to another 'market' party, albeit with an environmental focus, the largely Norman-moulded Green Party failed to differentiate itself from the other parliamentary parties straddling the centre.

It's timidity cost it dearly - and the finger of blame must be pointed at Norman and the parliamentary MP's who drove this conservative campaign.

And its much lauded media campaign - lauded by mainstream commentators anyway - didn't have the impact the Green's clearly hoped it would.

Bland slogans didn't, in the end, convince most of the voting public to vote Green

With the New Zealand economy going down the toilet, the Green's failure to offer an alternative economic programme was costly - simply fudging the issue or aping National or Labour didn't convince anyone.

The Green's now risk alienating some of their supporters if they are seen to be getting too close to the National-led government.


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