The old hands weren’t so sure. Dumping on your own candidate didn’t seem right. And Labour’s support for Peters embarrassed them.
They also knew that giving Peters an opportunity, any opportunity, would not necessarily develop to Labour’s advantage.
This week’s Herald-Digipoll survey confirmed their worst fears. Little is polling below Labour’s previous leaders, David Cunliffe and David Shearer.
Peters is breathing down his neck. Key remains on 51 per cent as preferred Prime Minister.
Peters has emerged the victor with a soapbox. It’s he who beat National in a safe seat. It’s Peters who is giving Key a contest. It’s he who is news.
Little has crowned Peters Leader of the Opposition. It’s hard now to see what Labour has gained.
Peters took their support, brushed them aside and now eclipses them. Such is his power and ability.
He’s now not pinching National’s votes. He’s pinching Labour votes.
Indeed. In March National was only 15% ahead of Labour in the polls. In April the average has them 20% ahead.