The Transmogrification story

Aaron Bhatnagar has written a book, which political junkies would find fascinating – the inside story of how John Banks came back from his thrashing in 2004 to win by a massive majority in 2007.

Aaron has not yet chosen how he will publish it, but he is blogging some of the chapters. Up so far are Chapter 1 (Well dressed for the collapse), Chapter 4 (The city starts to turn), and Chapter 6 (Polling starts). I had some involvement with the campaign, and it was one of the most fascinating ones I have experienced.

Most campaigns are like most wars – the plan changes the moment the first bullet is fired. The Banks campaign had a strategy and plan that was basically never deviated from. The early polling (which was my role) showed the extent of Hubbard’s unpopularity and that Aucklanders were willing to give John a second go. This meant that a campaign could be developed that pushed a positive message from Banks, and almost ignored Hubbard. There was no need to remind people of how bad Hubbard had been – they already knew it.

One of the reasons I love polling is it does give you a glimpse of what is happening with the public, and the detailed breakdowns by ward showed some amazing turn-arounds with both Banks and C&R being competitive in areas that were traditionally hostile.

Anyway I’ll let Aaron carry on telling the story, but link through from time to time. As I said, most students of politics will find it an interesting read, regardless of whether or not they are a Banks fan or not.

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