Matt McCarten talks about Key’s strategy for this year in the Herald on Sunday.
In two quick simple decisions John Key transformed this year’s election, turning the tables on his opponents.
Setting the election date for November 26 was signalled well in advance. But I can’t remember any time when an incumbent prime minister didn’t keep the opposition (and the country) guessing on an election date right up until he or she popped up to the Governor-General to resign.
This one small perk of power was to keep your opposition off guard about dates. As someone who has had to run a few campaigns, it matters.
It was a bold decision and one that took the fight directly to Labour.
But the real stinger that deserves high praise was Key’s kneecapping of National nemesis Winston Peters.
Over recent months Peters has been slowly but consistently gaining support in the polls to the point where he could quite possibly once again have become the kingmaker in any post-election negotiations.
In one swipe Key has almost certainly dealt Peters a mortal blow. More importantly he got Goff as well. It’s a bold and gutsy move. Key made his fortune by taking calculated risks and he’s made what I suspect is a winning chess move.
It was a move that a large portion of National’s support base and a few other as well were very pleased with. Winston Peters is to quote Helen Clark out of context, cancerous and corrosive. He should take his pensions…yes he has two…and bugger off. There is no place in New Zealand anymore for un-reconstituted Muldoonists.
Key is positioning himself as the forward-looking positive leader and Goff is saddled with the old bodgie. Given the fact Goff was first in cabinet 36 years ago, to say he’s looking a bit tired is an understatement.
Uhmmm…Matt...it was 26 years ago he first made cabinet…though it still is a lifetime ago. Which is probably why the Goffice is contemplateing the following makeover. This should help Labour grab some of Winston’s demographic.