The rolling average of polls still favours National so Labour needed something big to give them the momentum they’ll need to catch up in the last week of the campaign.
But the neutron bomb they dropped proved to be a fizzer and the fallout from it is hitting them in the face.
The Press editorialises:
The attempt failed ignominiously and the muck the party was trying to throw has wound up all over itself. Yesterday morning, every senior figure in Labour suddenly became uncontactable when journalists were trying to get hold of them, and all of them, from Clark down, were busily distancing themselves from it.
To add to their woes The Press found:
. . . that Labour used its taxpayer-funded research unit to trawl through the documents, and also that its chief campaign strategist, senior MP Pete Hodgson, was also working on the story with Williams.
The paper also has a he said-she said contradiction between Mike Williams and Helen Clark:
Williams told TVNZ last night that the Labour Party had funded his trip to Australia a claim at odds with Clark’s version of events.
Clark told reporters in Christchurch yesterday that Labour had “absolutely not” paid for Williams’ trip, and that the money had come from his own pocket.
The Dominion has an explanation for that:
Yesterday Miss Clark said Mr Williams paid for the Melbourne excursion himself, but today said on Newstalk ZB that she had since been updated on the situation.
“He (Mr Williams) told me he paid for it, he now tells me he got reimbursed by the party…” she said.
Miss-use of taxpayers’ money is our business but whether Williams or the party paid for his trip is a matter for the them.
However, regardless of who stumped up the money it was not only a wasted trip, it could prove to be very costly for Labour.
Do you think Labour’s attempts to dredge up evidence against John Key from a 20-year-old case the Serious Fraud Office says he was not involved with look desperate?
Yes (1222 votes, 83.0%)
No (251 votes, 17.0%)
Stuff polls are not scientific and reflect the opinions of only those internet users who have chosen to participate.