I’m biased but I’m not over confident about the election outcome. However, others who don’t share my bias are sure that National will win.
The three commentators who followed the TV3 debate said John Key will be our next Prime Minister and Bill Ralston is saying the same thing:
Helen Clark will go down fighting but go down she will. . .
. . . on Saturday night her government will fall. The public mood is that it is time for change and there is little she can do about that.
. . . I think the maths is against her. I do not believe NZ First will trigger the 5 per cent MMP barrier and Peters hasn’t got a hope in hell of winning Tauranga. I know everyone always says, “You can’t write Winston off”. Well, this election I do.
That means there will be a sizeable wasted vote, possibly as much as 5 per cent if you include the votes wasted on the Kiwi Party.
At that point John Key and National just have to get half of 95 per cent of the vote and their task is much easier.
. . . When political scientists look back at the 2008 election I think there will be consensus Labour committed a huge blunder in targeting John Key personally. Labour’s hugely negative campaign of denigration is leaving a sour taste in the mouths of many New Zealand voters.
. . . Labour has waged what is essentially an opposition election campaign, accentuating the negative, and it will lead them into opposition.
. . . Its attempts to portray Key as a duplicitous ogre fail when the electorate is increasingly coming to see the National Party leader is not evil incarnate.
Tonight is the TV3 Leaders debate and Wednesday is the final TVNZ marathon showdown between Clark and Key.
There is no doubt Helen will hit him hard and try to rattle him but, providing he keeps his cool, I doubt if either debate will display John Key as anything other than an affable, intelligent leader more than capable of being a Prime Minister we can actually trust.
At that point Labour’s entire campaign strategy collapses.
And that, my friends, is how Labour lost the 2008 election.
I’m still not that confident, but I am encouraged.