The Press debate

I didn’t watch it, but saw John Pagani tweet:

Huge win for Goff tonight at the Press debate. One sided – he absolutely smashed it.

Sadly for John, he seems to be a minority of one. Fairfax’s Vernon Small who actually attended the debate wrote:

Who won?

On first and final impressions from someone typing madly in the front row?

Key had the audience eating out of his hand – a showman in top form.

A clear victory for the PM.

I presume Trevor Mallard won’t attack Vernon as a tool of the vast right wing conspiracy.

John Hartevelt tweeted:

A clear win to Key tonight. Proud that The Press hosted such a great debate.

Many people said the format was much better.

ZB’s Felix Marwick:

Calling tonight’s debate for Key. Goff undercut himself by not definitively answering the $ question

And the Herald’s Claire Trevett:

What a jolly Press debate that was. Both entertaining – Goff stood ground till Key Jerry McGuired him, good and hard.

I am deeply disturbed by Claire’s choice of metaphor.

Vernon Small goes further today:

If the first TVNZ debate was a narrow-points victory to Phil Goff, last night’s Press debate was not far short of a rout by John Key.

The next time John Pagani calls something a huge crushing win for Goff or Labour, I’m going to buy National win shares on iPredict!

Funnily enough when judging a debate, I tend to be harder on those whose arguments I agree with. The reason why is because I know thee arguments so well for “the right”, that I’m always thinking (or yelling at the screen) “You should have said this …..”

UPDATE: Danyl at Dim-Post notes:

Goff couldn’t respond. He couldn’t account for the $14 billion shortfall. Instead he prevaricated. He talked about asset sales. He talked about tax evasion. Key continued to press him, and Goff insisted we’d get a spreadsheet ‘soon’, which explained everything. Then he spent the final quarter of the debate insisting that he’d already explained where the money was coming from, while Key and the audience simply laughed at him.

It was a humiliating defeat. And totally unnecessary. Three-and-a-half weeks from the election and Labour’s leader can’t produce a credible budget.

I suspect we will see Labour’s costed budget later today or tomorrow. I also predict it will miraculously balance and show no extra borrowing needed. What will matter is whether Labour’s figures hold up to scrutny. Anyone can make a budget balance by just fiddling with assumptions, such as saying “Our policies are good for the economy, so we predict economic growth will be 05% higher which means this much more tax revenue”.

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