It appears that the chances of New Zealand First being returned to Parliament in this year’s general election are becoming rather slim. Although the party’s just received a fair bit of media attention this weekend because of its conference and Winston Peters’ usual capacity to get headlines, he doesn’t really seem to be coming up with the goods in the way that he used to. Peters has always been a dynamic political campaigning, who shouldn’t easily be written off, but it finally appears that he’s becoming rather lacklustre and tired. Certainly his attempts at differentiating NZ First from the other major and minor parties are looking fairly weak. His latest policy focus seems particularly ineffective. So is there actually a political-electoral space for Peters and his party? Does anyone really want to buy what Winston Peters is selling? This is still a partially open question, and so it’s anyone’s guess as to whether NZ First will be victorious in its quest to return to Parliament this year. The party will obviously need to cross the crucial 5% threshold to do so, and most polls suggest that NZ First is well short of being within striking distance. I was interviewed on the subject last night by TVNZ7 News – which you can watch here – and this blog post elaborates on some of those points made. [Read more below].