Mike Yardley writes one big long sledge against David Cunliffe:
With just 11 sleeps to election day, and as the campaign trail hits the home straight, we seem to be back where we started. Despite all the political histrionics, National remains in pole position with Labour seemingly marooned on 25 per cent support.
The maths would suggest Team Cunliffe needs to be hitting 30 per cent if there is to be any sniff of a sixth Labour-led government taking shape. Last week’s The Press Leaders Debate was a gripping spectacle to observe, once again delivering what could well be the killer campaign frisson, with David Cunliffe’s dismal inability to blow-torch John Key’s strategic query about whether family homes in trusts will attract capital gains tax.
Cunliffe was not only flummoxed, but woefully outfoxed. At the half-time break, his platoon of crest-fallen advisers hastily tromped off backstage, more ashen-faced than Mt Tavurvur.
It was a catastrophe for the Labour leader, who, ironically, throughout much of the debate, was the more composed and commanding performer.
The capital gains tax stuff up has cost Labour dearly. I expect the next polls to show a complete disaster.
But bungles can have brutal consequences, and this was a botch to match the “I’m sorry for being a man” moment. The Press debate also heralded what continues to be National’s central attack catchphrase: “Labour’s Five New Taxes.” An attack line designed to scare the bejesus out of middle New Zealand, the swing voters that decide elections. Â Read more »