Morning Report interviewed the leaders of all the wee parties this morning – well all but that of New Zealand First because Winston Peters didn’t turn up.
He didn’t turn up for the RadioNZ foreign policy debate either.
Does he have a problem with radio or is today’s no-show related to a RadioNZ news story that he’s given up on Tauranga?
Morning Report discussed that in more detail.
And what does Helen Clark’s comment yesterday that he was a victim of a malicious campaign mean?
“It’s one thing to try to take people out of politics on the basis of their policies, it’s another to mount a campaign based on smears and we’ve now had three inquiries which have fallen completely flat on their face.
“Wouldn’t I look a chump today if I had sacked Mr Peters because of those inquiries.”
No, she’d have been seen to treat him as she’d treated other errant ministers and she does look a chump for backing him in the face of the privileges committee censure.
But what happens now? Will she tell the Labour candidate in Rimutaka to pull back to give Ron Mark a better chance?
That’s the only electorate where NZ First has a chance and if they don’t win it they’ll need 5% of the party vote which is possible but not probable.