But the election is still a race and thus interesting, more so as polls suggest it will be tight with National and a Labour-Greens combination currently polling 50/50. The expected thriving economy should consolidate the Government’s support although one suspects most folk will read about this promised new prosperity rather than actually feel it. National’s prime asset is John Key. He’s been an excellent Prime Minister, his genuine affability and popularity, plus his sharp intellect comprising a huge hurdle for David Cunliffe going toe to toe with him in debates. Additionally, my Press Gallery contacts report apathy in Labour’s caucus through distaste for their leader which doesn’t augur well for an impassioned campaign.
Labour have been almost missing in action over the break.
Much is made of the third parties deciding who’s government, specifically New Zealand First and the Maori Party. That’s presumptuous. Neither might be there after the election. Winston was just under 5 per cent then just over in the last two elections, while the Maori Party is in disarray and Harawira’s and their seats may revert to Labour.
I can’t see the Maori Party not being there. The issue will be how many seats they have.
Then there’s Christchurch, which unexpectedly backed the Government heavily last time in the all-important party vote, but polls suggest will not this year. So the election outcome is undoubtedly up in the air. Will Peter Dunne get up again? Probably – he’s an excellent electorate MP. Can Act find an attractive leader whom Epsom can vote for? Probably. This will dismay the Press Gallery who were hugely looking forward to Colin Craig’s arrival and soliciting his views on whether the earth is flat and if not, why don’t we Southern Hemisphere dwellers fall off, and other such pressing issues.
Colin Craig, Winston Peters and Dotcom all have a knack for headlines (positive and negative). But is there room for all three of them?
Still, with all these question-marks the Prime Minister could be forgiven for envying the recent Azerbaijan presidential election in which the results were accidentally released the day before anyone actually voted. After all, we all seek certainty in our lives.