What will the PM do?

It was very clear up until yesterday that the PM was planning to dissolve Parliament on Monday and have the election as scheduled on 19 September.

There were numerous people within Labour saying they know she doesn’t want to delay the election. But most tellingly is the timing of her announcement at 10 am today.

If she was planning a delay, she would have announced it over the weekend because with no delay the House must meet on Tuesday. Announcing a delay at 10 am on Monday gives rural MPs very little time to get to Wellington for Tuesday.

So she was clearly going to carry on but now Winston has publicly raised the issue of the majority of the House being against, and an implicit threat around confidence, I think she will buckle to Winston (as always) and delay the election. It will be as small a delay as possible, so October not November. I’d say October 17 to avoid school holidays.

The Curia poll of Aucklanders showed 58% want an election delay and only 29% want it to proceed on 19th of September, so a delay will also be popular.

And in the end the decision by the PM is primarily about what maximises her chances of Labour gaining a majority. If it was about public health then the decision would be a no brainer and a delay would already have been announced.

UPDATE: As predicted the election is now on Saturday 17 October.

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