Should there be a snap election pre-Christmas?

Matthew Hooton thinks there should be a snap election. So does Rob Hosking. Where they differ is the timing.

NBR’s political commentators are squaring off over the merits of a potential snap election being held later this year.

Rob Hosking, NBR’s political editor, says Prime Minister John Key should call an early election,rather than wait until next spring.

“Governments don’t really do a lot in an election year,” he argues.

“We saw that in 2014 and we’re seeing the [effects] of that now as 2014 is when the whole issue of housing supply should have been cranking up but the government effectively spent nine months posing for selfies.”

He says after the local body elections in November would be an ideal time for a central government election.

Political commentator and NBR columnist Matthew Hooton believes waiting until next year would be a better bet for the government.

Although he says there are good economic reasons for the National to call an election at the end of this year, he says there are good political reasons to hold off.  

He says the likely run of by-elections over coming months and the Labour Party’s shambles mean National should let the largest opposition party twist in the wind of another year and allow the decay to become terminal.

“The Labour party is in total disarray with no chance of things improving,” he says.

If fact, he says the Labour Party is “nowhere near the bottom of its cycle.”

“If in fact, it does survive, I think there is a long way down. The party is polling at 25.5%, but it does not have a chief of staff, it does not have a communications chief, it has a leader attacking some of its own activists as ‘right wingers’ and the party has absolutely no money.”

But Mr Hosking says the Labour-Green’s bloc which, although it is “marking a complete hash of it” at the moment, might “get the hang of it over the next 12 months.”

Personally, I believe there is some merit in having an early election. Politicians are squeamish though because of the memories of the “Schnapps Election”.

That said with all the by-elections looming it might be better to clear the decks and clean out some dropkicks at the same time.

Labour are also very, very broke and a general election would break them utterly.

So, both scenarios have merit.

The only question remaining is to see if John Key has the stones to make the big call.

He should have a crack. We put sick dogs down. John Key should put Labour out of its misery early, for humanitarian reasons. Key is a softy who would hate to watch a poor angry animal bleed out in pain.




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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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