Edwards on Labour’s chances

February 19th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Tracy Watkin at Stuff reports:

Politicians may rate lower than used car salesmen in most , but it seems they are not all created equal.

A Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll reveals that Prime Minister John Key is by far our most liked and trusted politician, with 59.3 per cent of people liking him, and 58.7 per cent also trusting him.

Key is also well ahead of his opponents as preferred prime minister on 51.2 per cent.

Labour leader appears to be more polarising, with those who like and trust him, and those who don’t, falling into roughly equal camps. His rating as preferred prime minister is just 18.2 per cent.

The bad news for Cunliffe is that only Conservative Party leader Colin Craig, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira and Internet Party leader Kim Dotcom are more disliked. Harawira and Dotcom are also the least trusted.

At least he beat out Dotcom!

, veteran commentator and media trainer to former Labour leader Helen Clark and others, said for a political leader to be truly successful, they needed the public to both like and trust them – but being likeable may provide the biggest advantage.

“John Key is widely liked and I think this is a problem for anyone that wants to oppose him because that liking is the sort of liking people have for a mate or friend or someone they know.

“Key has got this easygoing pleasant demeanour, he doesn’t seem to take things all that seriously and kids around a bit, which gives him a very accessible personality. He enjoys this tremendous liking among the public, which is very difficult for his opponents to deal with.”

Even when people considered him to be dodgy on issues such as the SkyCity deal, or electorate accommodations in seats like Epsom, that was outweighed by the fact they liked him.

“With David Cunliffe he probably does not come across as such an easygoing, warm sort of character . . . he’s not hated, but I don’t think he enjoys that popular appeal John Key has.”

That was not fatal to Cunliffe’s chances of becoming prime minister, but it would make his job harder, especially with a “feel good” factor around the economy – “for some people at least”. “It’s going to be extremely difficult for Labour to win this election.

Their best chances are a Labour/Greens/Mana Government endorsed by Kim Dotcom. But you can see above the problems associated with that also!

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52 Responses to “Edwards on Labour’s chances”

  1. burt (8,316 comments) says:

    “It’s going to be extremely difficult for Labour to win this election.“

    “It’s going to be extremely difficult for Labour to win this election.“

    “It’s going to be extremely difficult for Labour to win this election.“

    “It’s going to be extremely difficult for Labour to win this election.“

    I just can’t get enough of this !

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  2. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    There appears to be an avalanche of bad news for Cunliffe and Labour. When the left turn from attack to despair something is going horribly wrong. See Dim-Post – Gut feeling update

    It seems to be a fairly widespread gut feeling.

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  3. Harriet (5,131 comments) says:

    Brutus….Brutus….BRUTUS….BRUTUS

    An Aussie girlie girl had the balls to knife the boss…..so can the gay boi do it?

    No show ! :cool:

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  4. itstricky (1,884 comments) says:

    Wow, you really do have something up with the homosexual people, don’t you? Would you jump off a bridge if he did oust Cunliffe and became the first homosexual PM? More importantly, what would Colin Craig say? Probably something like “I believe this is a election was a fabrication colluded to by green alien reptile creatures from The Moon, lead by John Key, in a desperate attempt to convert the entire human race to feminine smacking gayity”

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  5. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Shane Jones’ outbursts hiding behind Parliamentary privilege will, in the long term, be no help either.

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  6. Harriet (5,131 comments) says:

    “……Wow, you really do have something up with the homosexual people, don’t you?…”

    I’m just saying that Labour’s got nothing, nothing at all. No leaders. No policies.

    Bosses are now starting to raise pay rates towards $18 – an insurance premium against having a hopeless Labour government.

    If the Australian Labor Party and their dirty tactics can’t control the Greens – then Cunliffe has no fucken show of controling them.

    Everyone knows that.

    Simply. Labour’s fucked. :cool:

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  7. kiwi in america (2,510 comments) says:

    PG thanks for the link to Dim Post. Danyl’s a lefty you can respect – he plays a pretty straight bat and when he says of Cunliffe’s appearance on TV3 in front of a luxury yacht to defend his $2.5m Herne Bay ‘doer upper’ “its hard to compress so much failure into a single image” and that “Labour’s support will collapse” and finally “People don’t want idiots to run the country”, you know HMS Labour is taking on heavy water.

    Having listened to Katherine Ryan’s various interviews around the Taurima resignation, this incident will have the effect of reducing the tail wind that Labour (and indeed the left in general) will get from the MSM in the run up to 2014. TVNZ will be convulsed by an internal inquiry that will likely lead to the head of a senior producer – the one who should not have approved Taurima’s return to the Maori and Pacific Affairs Unit after he failed to win the Ikaroa-Rawhiti nomination for Labour. The Marlborough Express never took back editor Brendan Burns when he failed in his quest to win Christchurch Central for Labour and indeed having nailed his colours to Labour’s mast, Burns never worked again as a journalist.

    All media outlets will be watching this matter closely and will tighten things up. If there are Green, Mana or Labour activists in senior reporting or editorial roles in newspapers, TV and radio, some managers may be more inclined to ask them to decide between party activism and journalism. Given that the political activism amongst the media is almost exclusively confined to parties of the left, this can only assist National who always face a media headwind due to institutional bias.

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  8. chris (647 comments) says:

    this can only assist National who always face a media headwind due to institutional bias

    The funny thing is, the dyed in the wool lefties think the MSM has a bias to National.

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  9. smttc (763 comments) says:

    Mike Williams. What a plonker. These days most people would regard Muldoon’s policies as being of the left.

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  10. greenjacket (486 comments) says:

    The article is a good example of the left-leaning bias of the media in NZ. The subject is on the relative popularity of Key and Cunliffe and how this may affect the election result.
    .
    But it is just lots of fluff about how John Key is an easy-going guy that people like even when he might be dodgy, but there is little acknowledgement that his policies and actions in government may have something to do with his popularity. This is typical left-wing thinking – a degree of incredulity that John Key is popular, explaining it away because he is “easy going” – not that he is a guy who has delivered results. And there was nothing on why Cunliffe is so unpopular. The whole context of the piece is left-leaning.
    .
    Two people are quoted. Brian Edwards, a Labour Party supporter. And Mike Williams, ex-Labour President, who is left with the last word. But did the journalist (“trained and skilled”) quote a National supporting media trainer or a National party person?

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  11. smttc (763 comments) says:

    KIA, that would be John Spencer.

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  12. Harriet (5,131 comments) says:

    “……Given that the political activism amongst the media is almost exclusively confined to parties of the left, this can only assist National who always face a media headwind due to institutional bias….”

    Well Mr Craig will then gain also, as conservatives and conservatism has recieved far harsher treatment than National have ever copped.

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  13. emmess (1,432 comments) says:

    Former Labour Party president Mike Williams said he found the result inexplicable.

    “There are two things in my life which I absolutely cannot understand. One is what happened to the crew of the Marie Celeste and the other is why people think National manages the economy better than Labour. The evidence is entirely the reverse. Have people forgotten Rob Muldoon socialism?”

    FFYA

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  14. thePeoplesFlag (256 comments) says:

    Anyone who listens to the foolish old man that apparently used to be Brian Edwards getting bullied around by Michelle Boag on Jim Mora’s panel will know that that particular old man’s best years are long in the past. To put it politely.

    Or to be less polite, Edwards is now a half senile old git who would do his legacy a big favour if he stuck to being fully retired.

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  15. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    KIA – Danyl has looked a lot like a Green activist lately but that post shows he can still call it as it is. It’s damning but I think it simply encapsulates a conclusion many people are arriving at now.

    It’s looking dire for Cunliffe and Labour, but there may not be much they can do about it, even if they had the to competence to recognise their situation and deal with it. There’s no sign of that.

    I agree that the TVNZ thing is likely to help National, it is a perfect time for them to put all journalists on their toes about professionalism versus personal political inclinations.

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  16. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    And the “blame the media” denial continues unabated at The Standard, and Sanctuary at Dim-Post:

    Well, the corporate media HAS launched an all-out attack on Labour since the big framing speeches. A hostile media bent on trumping up trivial mistakes into major stories is always going to do you in. I am astonished how many people are duped by obvious propaganda. Case in point? the constant emphasis on Cunliffe’s apparent wealth when Key is given a free pass as the Kiwi everyman despite his mega millions being swallowed hook, line and sinker by the likes of Danyl, who proves yet again that he simply a clever idiot when it comes to critical analysis of the media.

    Labour, from leader to caucus to staff to bloggers to activists, remain blind to their incompetence.

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  17. burt (8,316 comments) says:

    Exactly… The National parties Muldoon was a disaster because he nationalised everything, controlled and regulated to protect local business and state run monopolies. The Labour parties [insert leader name here] will be great when they nationalise, control and regulate to protect local business and state run monopolies.

    How fucking stupid are lefties ….

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  18. kiwi in america (2,510 comments) says:

    smttc
    Not sure how high he is up TVNZ’s food chain but given the ever so gentle threat from the Broadcasting Minister on the need for the CEO to “please explain”, I’m picking a pretty senior head will roll. This was a monumental cock up and gives the public a ringside seat into media institutional bias in favour of Labour. The brand damage to TVNZ News, especially in an election year, is monumental. Its hard to see Taurima being rehired after his tilt at Ikaroa-Rawhiti if Ralston or Norris (RIP) were in charge.

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  19. Nigel Kearney (1,049 comments) says:

    Labour can win with unattractive people and policies. Helen Clark did it three times. So did Muldoon. In fact it is the norm rather than the exception.

    The real difference is that Key is disciplined and ruthless and will not hesitate to compromise what he believes in if it helps win an election. By contrast, Labour are a bit of a mess, as National were in 2002 and 2005.

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  20. chris (647 comments) says:

    @Pete exactly what I was meaning about them being so blind. As soon as the MSM reports anything bad about the left, then they’re corporate lackeys who are supposedly shilling for their bosses at the National party. Never mind that generally the MSM is pro the left and anti the right. Even comments here show how the article still has a left slant to it.

    [edit] “trumping up trivial mistakes into major stories” Oh that’s classic. Of course the Nats are never held up in the media on trivial mistakes.

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  21. Goldsmith (27 comments) says:

    Yawn… we already knew Labour had no chance of winning this years election. Their chances were always ZILCH, due to their own stupidity.

    Any smart people that used to be with Labour have long departed and joined other parties.

    They should rename the Labour Party the THICK peoples party.

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  22. radvad (772 comments) says:

    National and Key are focussed on results whereas the left cannot get beyond politics. End of story.

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  23. kiwi in america (2,510 comments) says:

    PG
    I met an old mate who is a Labour activist on my last trip back over Christmas. His level of denial about Cunliffe, Labour, media bias, Key’s popularity and wealth and the mindset of middle NZ was staggering. I told him he lives in an echo chamber. I remember the same echo chamber in the my days inside Labour. Its alive and well at The Standard. They will turn on Danyl because he’s told the truth. My friend and his wife found it really hard to land the usual anti conservative blows because they know I’d fought alongside them in the trenches against the (for me former) enemy on the right. A recent “I told you so” email about Cunliffe was ignored!

    Just as with Shearer, when things start to go wrong, all kinds of other things conspire against you: colleagues (who were lukewarm anyway) draw back into their shells, MPs loose their edge even more in Parliamentary questions and debates, activists get disheartened and don’t turn out as enthusiastically, Leaders Office staff are under pressure – key staff jump the sinking ship, the media focus more on pratfalls and if there is any sense of party or caucus disillusionment, such things are more likely to be reported because the media love a stoush and blood in the water more than any love for a particular party. Cunliffe promised an end to Shearer type mistakes – all Labour got are similar mistakes without the counterbalance of Shearer’s more pleasant personality.

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  24. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    I’m not a supporter of either party. But to myself and most normal people it is:

    National: Confidence, competence, experience
    Labour: Rabble, unfit to govern, focused on ridiculous side issues, incompetent

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  25. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    “Cunliffe promised an end to Shearer type mistakes – all Labour got are similar mistakes without the counterbalance of Shearer’s more pleasant personality.”

    All we see is more eloquent fuck-ups.

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  26. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    By contrast, Labour are a bit of a mess…

    Yes Nigel. The question is: why? Six years after their defeat, they appear still to have not absorbed the lessons from that. They still appear to hallucinate that it’s a mere matter of proper communication and as soon as they get that right the public will finally recognise what a great set of humanity they represent and the voters will simply flock back and adore them, as they believe they were during Hulun’s halcyon days.

    The corollary to that is their apparent assumption that everyone but everyone really truly knows that as a matter of fact, all tories are ruthless and heartless and selfish beasts and the only reason they’re popular is because they’ve somehow found a way to manipulate the public mind into thinking they’re not like that at all. But again, once that stops working then everyone will return to their senses and sanity will reign again. (Their brand of “sanity,” of course.)

    To me those two blinkers appear to be what most of them in the senior leadership and strategic positions really actually do think and until they reconfigure both of them to better reflect actual reality rather than their preferred version of it, nothings going to happen to their polling.

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  27. thedavincimode (6,877 comments) says:

    Oops.

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  28. lolitasbrother (749 comments) says:

    Edwards,
    Over on his pompous and precious blog site recently said
    Len Brown was a disgrace regarding his sexual liason.
    But President Clinton’s was acceptable, because people liked Clinton.

    Here he is on the treacherous and unlikeable Cunliffe in his own words

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/yond-cunliffe-has-lean-and-hungry-look-ck-145811


    Let’s face it. None of these three [ Cunliffe, Robertson. Jones ]are likely to ever become Prime Minister. The only suitable one is Robertson, but he’s not hitting the spot with the public.”

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  29. coge (190 comments) says:

    I just made a rare visit to the Standard, where they all appear to be in denial.

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  30. Manolo (14,065 comments) says:

    God help us if the policies of envy peddled by the socialist Labour Party ever come to fruition.

    Silent T is a liar of the highest order. Unfortunately, the biased NZ MSM is unable to expose this arrogant and smug individual.

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  31. smttc (763 comments) says:

    KIA, I meant John Gillespie – not Spencer. He’s head of news and current affairs and was on Moaning Report yesterday morning obfuscating and trying to justify the handling of Taurima and his political inclinations.

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  32. srylands (414 comments) says:

    “I just made a rare visit to the Standard, where they all appear to be in denial.”

    I had a revealing exchange at The Standard last night with a couple of their self elected “expert” economic commentators on the subject of childhood vaccinations. It was so revealing. Both of these geniuses were suggesting that childhood vaccines were over blown, and accused me of sucking up to “big pharma” by pointing out the overwhelming evidence of the safety and benefits of common vaccines. One of them said influenza was great for “rebooting the body”. A doctor joined the discussion and concluded they were crazy people.

    Of course, these flawed thought processes come through in their conclusions on economic, social policy.
    and everything else.

    I have vowed today to stop my engagement at The Standard. It is an absolute waste of time. Plus, a couple of them are starting to stalk me. For me it has been both instructive and scary.

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  33. Bovver (173 comments) says:

    @Coge, The Stranded is both funny and depressing at the same time

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  34. dime (10,109 comments) says:

    I wonder how many Labour MP’s outside of the top 10 give a crap if they are in power or not.

    Sometimes I wonder if any of them care.

    I know the Greens do, they are full on communists with a lust for power. But labour.. outside of Grant Robinson & Cunliffe, do they give a fuck? They are still getting sweet pay cheques. They can promise the world and never have to deliver.

    If Labour get their asses kicked again in the next election and get 30% or so, will they make changes? It wont be easy getting people like king & mallard & dyson off the tit. Hell, 15 of their top 20 should have already be gone (not saying the other 5 are good, just that they are newer).

    If they don’t make changes, will we see a break away party? another new labour? new new labour?

    Is it even possible for the current labour to break away from the unions hold over them? they seem to be owned. (kinda like how dot com owns wussel)

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  35. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    I wonder how many Labour MP’s outside of the top 10 give a crap if they are in power or not.

    Some of them in the thirties and high twenties might be getting a bit worried unless they have safe electorates.

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  36. dime (10,109 comments) says:

    “Some of them in the thirties and high twenties might be getting a bit worried unless they have safe electorates.”

    so the only reason they want to be in power is to keep their seat? they just dont look like they want to govern.

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  37. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    I find the Standard much like the Walking Dead.

    Occasionally, you go in there, yet your very presence causes the caged locals to spit, snarl and try to bite your head off. It’s amusing baiting them for a while, but eventually you seek out more pleasant environments.

    These people claim to be “more caring”.

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  38. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    Perhaps Cunliffe should decribe himself as living in inner Westmere

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  39. burt (8,316 comments) says:

    Perhaps the younger Labour folk have noticed that socialism always fails … their hands like having their wallets filled at the expense of others but their minds know it’s unsustainable.

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  40. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    they just dont look like they want to govern.

    Interesting point. They certainly don’t look like they’re capable of governing. But have they given up wanting to? Some perhaps. Others think they deserve to govern, or the country can only be saved if they govern.

    But as a whole it’s easy get the perception Labour as not wanting to govern. Cunliffe in particular seems to be deflated.

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  41. SHG (319 comments) says:

    I too have been reading and posting a bit at The Standard, and it has been an illuminating experience.

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  42. Rich Prick (1,726 comments) says:

    “they just dont look like they want to govern”

    I imagine over half of Labour’s caucus have realised that Cunliffe would be insufferable as PM and consequently can’t stomach the thought of an election result that puts Labour on the treasury benches.

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  43. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    Labour must be frustrating the hell out of the Greens who desperately want to get into government.

    While Greens want to pick up some of Labour’s share of the vote they still need Labour to carry the left over the line.

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  44. Ed Snack (1,927 comments) says:

    Isn’t much of the issue the problem that there’s actually very little real difference between Labour and National at the policy level ? Sure some, “rich prick taxes” and the degree of interventionism, but it’s also more about just who gets to suck on the government’s tit, group A or group B.

    Therefore an opposition often needs to rely on the public in general getting tired of the government, most often achieved through circumstance, through scandal, or sometimes just luck. So far National have remained at least reasonably scandal free and the world economy (principally China) is maintaining enough of a glow to keep our economy looking OK. That’s luck but also a degree of reasonable management; in similar circumstances Labor under both Gillard and Rudd f’d it up big time in Australia with incompetent policies.

    So the “left” (very relative term, but there more leftie wings in both Labour and especially the Greens) are left to try to manufacture the outrage and the distrust. That’s hard to do against someone so outwardly affable as Key; there’s no doubt that his personable character is a great strength to National. But it can be a very productive tactic, I mean if you look at how Labor nearly successfully pigeon-holed and demonized Abbott, what should have been (based on economic results and the scandals that Labor are eyebrow deep in) and historic rout for labour was only a bad defeat. Also the even more successful campaign to make Romney look bad, Romney is possibly one the most moral (in a good way) and decent men in US politics was, with the wholesale support from the great majority of the MSM, made to look like an uncaring plutocrat. He’s wealthy from his own efforts (gave away his significant inheritance from his father) and donates something like 30% of his income a year to charity ! I doubt that Obama ever gave a nickel spontaneously to a genuine charity yet somehow Romney is the “big meanie” and out of touch. So these campaigns can work, but it does depend on the target.

    Labour might have been better off with either Robertson or Jones as leader, then at least they could have claimed that any of the scrutiny now applied to Cunliffe was completely down to either homophobia or racism. That’s wearing a little thin in NZ (but works an absolute treat in the US) but it’s better than being reduced to whining about some mythical press bias.

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  45. tvb (4,512 comments) says:

    Mike Williams comment that National has always ruined the economy and then quotes Muldoon suggests that man has gone mad. Every Labour Government in the last 50 years yes every Labour Government has left a huge financial mess with a huge deficit and a recession upon leaving office. In short the money ran out so the public vote in National to bring the books back into order. Same thing happened in Australia and UK Labour left the UK basically bankrupt. I have some respect for Williams but with that remark the man is an idiot.

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  46. sbk (313 comments) says:

    it is becoming increasingly obvious that Cunliffe has not the wit or skill to deal to the Greens should they end up sharing power…i.e Russell will get to print.

    and having the Greens run rampant is probably just as scary a scenario for the average blue collar as much it is for them having a National Government..

    and if your making a buck…Status Quo.

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  47. ciaron (1,441 comments) says:

    While Greens want to pick up some of Labour’s share of the vote they still need Labour to carry the left over the line.

    And long may that continue… if the greens ever eclipse labour as the major left party hardening the fuck up won’t cut it – it’ll be time to fuck right off somewhere else!

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  48. SHG (319 comments) says:

    The question in my mind is… given Labour’s almost universal incompetence, why is National not thirty points ahead? It’s all very well to point at Cunliffe’s gaffe of the day and laugh, but with the economy healthy, confidence high, and the most popular PM in history at the helm why isn’t National miles out in front?

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  49. ciaron (1,441 comments) says:

    SHG, I think we all know the answer to that one.

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  50. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    it is becoming increasingly obvious that Cunliffe has not the wit or skill to deal to the Greens should they end up sharing power…

    Before he gets to that – it is becoming increasingly obvious that Cunliffe has not the wit or skill to deal with:
    – his staff
    – his caucus
    – the media
    – policy

    To further demonstrate how Labour is focused on the things that matter, in the third week parliament has sat this year today is the fifth time Trevor Mallard is going to bang on again about the Kitteridge leak. Groundduck day.

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  51. chris (647 comments) says:

    tvb:

    Mike Williams comment that National has always ruined the economy and then quotes Muldoon suggests that man has gone mad. Every Labour Government in the last 50 years yes every Labour Government has left a huge financial mess with a huge deficit and a recession upon leaving office. In short the money ran out so the public vote in National to bring the books back into order.

    The thing with the dyed in the wool lefties though, is they never see it for how it really happened. We’ve seen prosperous years under Helen Clark’s Labour thanks to an economic boom which they then spent away, leaving us in the shit before the GFC even started. Then National came in and had to sort the mess out.

    So these lefties think it was good under Labour and that National caused all the problems, conveniently forgetting the GFC. I keep seeing people quote numbers about debt and unemployment and comparing how it is now with National and how it was with Labour. I hate to think how much worse it would have been under Labour.

    And then when National gets voted out, as it will inevitably will at some stage in the future (please don’t let it be this year) the cycle will repeat. My only wish was National had the balls to undo some of what the last Labour government did. My fear with this is that if they did, we’d end up with a GreenLabourPlus monster.

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  52. Warren Murray (314 comments) says:

    To Kiwi in America “The Marlborough Express never took back editor Brendan Burns when he failed in his quest to win Christchurch Central for Labour and indeed having nailed his colours to Labour’s mast, Burns never worked again as a journalist.” Brendan had previously been a Labour candidate for Kaikoura (failed twice, I believe). Not sure when he was editor of the Marlborough Express, can anyone clarify?

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