The 1st leaders debate

August 28th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

David Cunliffe is saying he is the underdog in the first leaders debate tonight. He is uncharacteristically being far too modest.

John Key is strong debater, with a strong grasp of policy and politics. But David Cunliffe is no David Shearer. He is a polished top debater.

He won prizes for debating and public speaking at secondary school. In fact his team won the NZ Schools Jaycee Cup. He carried on debating at Otago University (which has produced many NZ debaters) and has been an MP for 15 years.

Neither man is the underdog. They are both strong formidable debaters. Labour are trying to do the expectations game, where they declare a tie as a stunning victory.

I encourage people to watch the debate for themselves and form their own judgement about how the two men go. Don’t give much regard to reports of who was the favourite on say Twitter (very left leaning) or the Roy Morgan worm (mainly promoted on left sites).

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46 Responses to “The 1st leaders debate”

  1. EAD (1,087 comments) says:

    One thing I’ve learned after years of watching debates is that they are good for………………………….learning who is a good debater.

    What they are not good for is serving as a guide as to how parties will act once they are in power.

    Judge a person on what they do, not what they say.

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  2. kowtow (8,485 comments) says:

    Cunliffe calling himself the underdog.

    Typical feminist victim mentality on display.

    Grow a pair!

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  3. Pete George (23,565 comments) says:

    A win for Key has to be total shock and awe by Key, anything less than that will be a big loss.

    All Cunliffe needs to do to win here is draw even. He doesn’t need big swings and misses, he just needs to calmly front foot it and look like a possible PM in waiting. If he draws even, Cunliffe wins.

    According to Martyn Bradbury: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/08/27/cunliffe-vs-key-first-leaders-debate/

    That gives him plenty of scope to claim a victory of sorts.

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  4. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    Cunliffe may have done well in some nerd fest debate competition, but tonight he will be judged by normal people.

    He will fail.

    Personally, I hope he brings out “serious cunliffe”. that’s when he speaks in a low, serious voice and presses his chin (what little there is) into his chest. it gives him the biggest double chin i have ever seen. No way any chick puts out tonight after watching that. creepy as shit.

    JK just has to do as he does – speak in a way everyone understands. use facts & figures. victory.

    Cunliffe wont have facts and figures. he will have “250,000 children live in poverty”. thats it.

    Hell, JK can probably run the show me the money line again if he pleases.

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  5. kowtow (8,485 comments) says:

    Cunliffe the “underdog”

    What does he want, our votes or our sympathy?

    Pathetic.

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  6. Chuck Bird (4,884 comments) says:

    “No way any chick puts out tonight after watching that. creepy as shit. ”

    Cunliffe would not expect one to. He is a happily married man with a couple of kids.

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  7. flipper (4,067 comments) says:

    Slightly off topic, but relevant….

    The two top nanas at the herald, Murphy and Currie, are saying that CC and his Conservs should not get too excited. Herald has another Digipoll out tomorrow morning – that provides another twist..

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  8. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    ““No way any chick puts out tonight after watching that. creepy as shit. ”

    Cunliffe would not expect one to. He is a happily married man with a couple of kids.”

    I meant in the entire country. For anyone.

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  9. deadrightkev (469 comments) says:

    I could not bear to watch it as it would be like to two snake oil salesman trying to out bid each other with my money.

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  10. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    And if I may plug our plucky start-up…

    The NZ Herald will be hosting a Buzzdial dial for tonight’s debate on their site. Viewers can buzz positively or negatively to affect a dial that shows everyone’s total reaction to what’s being said, second to second. (Kind of like the worm, but a dial, and not just for a studio audience.)

    The dial page isn’t live yet, but I’ll post the link in the comments here once it’s up.

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  11. Dead Earnest (160 comments) says:

    I am sorry for being the underdog!

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  12. Tarquin North (298 comments) says:

    I’m really looking forward to this. It’s Cunliffes last chance to get it right and Key’s chance to to show the electorate what he really wants to convey.

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  13. All_on_Red (1,583 comments) says:

    I am sure Martyn Bradbury has already written the article about how Cunliffe was the winner tonight.

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  14. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    The way the campaign has been going I expect viewing numbers to be very low. Most people have had enough of the negative stuff and won’t watch.

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  15. Pete George (23,565 comments) says:

    flipper – I saw that mentioned yesterday but it can’t be true, Paddy Gower called the election last night.

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  16. oldpark (331 comments) says:

    Listening to the blind and dumb so called Main Stream Media.They are depicting Gomeral Cunliffe as a poor little lamb ,lost in reality.In fact setting up another cloth capped union infested ambush for John Key .Hope for them, in their tired old daily newspaper propaganda, tomorrow they can claim Cunliffe as the great redeemer, leading the NZ green/labour parties into Shangri la and utopia.Overlooking the true facts that the two mentioned GREEN/LABOUR party’s willl take from the people who do all the work in NZ, and tax the pants of them, to give to the do nothing bludgers in NZ.In fact turn NZ into the North Korea of the South Pacific.If they are returned on 20 09 2014.

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  17. mjw (396 comments) says:

    Labour are massive underdogs in this whole election. John Key is a hugely polished performer. Even just managing to match it for a while with John Key would count as a major achievement for Cunliffe.

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  18. seerob1946 (24 comments) says:

    Cunliffe just needs to plug on about the ignored provinces and he will have it in the hat… if he dares to say Auckland is getting enough handouts from the govt he will enjoy a landslide….

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  19. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    Cunliffes biggest problem (of many) is his Prime Ministerial serwious face that will be on show lots tonight looks like Key’s derp face.

    This will be the first time many in the electorate will be exposed to this disturbing facade – worth at least a 2 point poll drop

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  20. Fisiani (1,039 comments) says:

    Cunliffe just has to turn up to be called the winner. The biased media will declare him the winner and the lefties will twist the worm to suit The Cunliffe. The economy is going well and on course. I hear no mood for reverse gear.

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  21. jawnbc (85 comments) says:

    Saw you on telly this weekend DPF. You need some coachin on your hands: you kept clapping and thumping them right near your microphone. Became almost impossible to stay focused on what you were saying.

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  22. EAD (1,087 comments) says:

    Are you sure Fisani that the NZ economy is doing well?

    Here was me thinking it is rapidly tanking as our debt bubble economy deflattes:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/10421920/NZ-economy-could-hit-the-rocks-economists

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  23. Redbaiter (8,886 comments) says:

    Two Progressives argue over who is the most progressive.

    I don’t need either of them.

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  24. All_on_Red (1,583 comments) says:

    Hey Redbaiter,
    Got your tickets to see Arianna Huffington yet? Snort.

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  25. Redbaiter (8,886 comments) says:

    Is she taking her clothes off?

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  26. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    No matter how good a debater Cunliffe may be he IS the underdog because he does not have a defensible argument for Labour to be elected.

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  27. Jeannie (12 comments) says:

    Hope this debate sees Key doing well and taking the attention away from this Whale dump & Hager rubbish.

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  28. mjw (396 comments) says:

    Looks like the views on Kiwiblog are clear. Cunliffe is massively the underdog tonight.

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  29. FeralScrote (217 comments) says:

    I agree,Cunliffe is quite the master-debater.

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  30. yossarian (3 comments) says:

    Cunliffe has to be the underdog – even his caucus doesn’t like him.

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  31. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    In what way can Twitter be called “very left leaning” ?

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  32. tom hunter (4,844 comments) says:

    @mjw
    Surely you can troll better than that?

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  33. BushBaby (9 comments) says:

    Cunliffe needs to show he is a PM in waiting. As he is not I expect a massive fail tonight. Key should nail him on detail (lack of) and speaking out of both sides of his mouth (and in multiple dialects).

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  34. Redbaiter (8,886 comments) says:

    “In what way can Twitter be called “very left leaning” ?”

    In NZ, its sickeningly overun by left wing commenters.

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  35. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    Twitter is only as left-leaning as it’s users which doesn’t make Twitter itself left-leaning. If you want to make twitter lean right then you need more right leaning users.

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  36. ross411 (841 comments) says:

    I’ve seen Cunliffe’s polished oratory on The Nation, or whatever that show on Sunday with Gower is. It wasn’t bad, but it was lots of nothing avoiding the question. I imagine that’s par for whatever course he will serve up tonight.

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  37. minus (197 comments) says:

    Given the considerable negative reaction of many Aucklanders at the post-Mayoral Election exposures regarding Len Brown, and their inability to now address his position and the effect it has on his performance as Auckland Super-city Mayor, why have both David Cunliffe and John Key have been asked to confirm their personal family integrity, and that they are happily married to their respective partners as the media so frequently portrays them, just as they did of Len Brown?

    Just wondering.

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  38. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    It’s nothing but a bit of pre debate posturing and expectation management. Just like this post is.
    Whether debates are won or lost are often perceived in the context of expectations.

    Lower expectations and even a mediocre performance will come off as good.
    OTOH, if expectations are high, even a good performance may come off as bad.

    So Cunliffe says he is the underdog, DPF counters says he is not.
    No surprises there really.

    However, the sitting PM always goes into a debate as a bit of a favourite.

    And a tie would indeed be perceived as a win for Cunliffe, quite rightly so.

    After all, over all these months DPF and co have been busy presenting how bad and incompetent Cunliffe is. But why then can Key not clearly win a debate against him?

    A tie would actually be the best result for Cunliffe. If Key loses quite clearly, which I don’t expect him to, but if he does, they can always claim it was a bad day, a one off, etc.

    But if Cunliffe holds his ground against a Key in top form, then that surely presents him as a potential PM.

    Having said that, a lot of “ifs” in there.

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  39. Fisiani (1,039 comments) says:

    Minus. You know more than you are letting on. please share.

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  40. wiseowl (895 comments) says:

    I will be watching the replay of Maria Sharipova at the US Open.

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  41. jaba (2,142 comments) says:

    I will stop off and get a couple of bottles and some cheese after work .. wouldn’t miss it for the world.
    How long will it be before DC tries and raise the Hager book .. he needs it as he is an empty vessel and needs this sort of shit.
    DC has a couple of issues .. labour are linked to the mad parties which he can’t avoid and he has a face like a 1/2 sucked mango especially when he “smiles”. I know that sounds harsh but it’s true ;-}

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  42. jaba (2,142 comments) says:

    Gower seems to have taken on the mantle as our No1TV based political commentator. He deliberately tries to be rude/forceful. The problem is that interviews are supposed to be about the person being interviewed.
    I find Corin Dann a bit of a pratt who is easily excitable

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  43. G152 (341 comments) says:

    So, when is Petulant Paddy Gower standing for a Liebor seat?
    It seems that his career as a reporter is all but done

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  44. G152 (341 comments) says:

    I agree,Cunliffe is quite the master-debater.

    Should he take himself in hand then ?

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  45. Distilled essence of NZ (85 comments) says:

    I found it quite amusing as I was scrolling through this thread to find out that not one person of the kiwiblog right has pointed out the blindingly obvious ideological bias of the moderator. Imagine the right-wing whaling and gnashing of teeth we would have had to endure if Willie Jackson had been appointed the position instead. Oh the agony.

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  46. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    As promised, here’s the link to the Herald’s Buzzdial dial for the debate tonight: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/election-2014/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503581&objectid=11315552

    It’s there for playing with beforehand, but will only start being meaningful once the debate is being viewed live.

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  47. Richard (82 comments) says:

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/08/28/how-many-taxpayer-funded-staff-does-john-key-need-to-prepare-for-a-leaders-debate/#comment-243259

    The Daily Blog is reporting that John Key has brought 40 staff from Wellington and has booked out an entire floor of the Stamford Plaza.

    How will he not come across as arrogant? Kiwis don’t like arrogant and Key is the definition of it.

    Go David. Take him down.

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  48. Unity (584 comments) says:

    I thought Cunliffe was the better debater but Key held his own. Cunliffe looked and spoke confidently whereas Key look glum. However given that he has been running the country for the past 6 years, he was always going to be accused of not doing this, that and the other thing properly.

    I wasn’t impressed with Mike Hoskings’ moderating. He allowed everyone to speak over the others and at one point the three of them were all talking at once so no-one could hear what was being said. It is most annoying. It’s surely time to lay down the rules that only one can speak at once and if the other persists in talking over the other when it is not his turn, his mike will be turned off. Or something but it is pointless having a debate when people are talked over. At least they weren’t as bad as Steven Joyce who is terrible at this sort of thing.

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