Whenever I write a lot of articles about Labour and Little on the same day, the left says that we are running scared, and their plans are clearly working. Sadly, that just doesn’t get reflected in the polls.
They have a good capacity to take a positive attitude and push it too far. To the point of self-delusion. So much so, a large number of people could not believe the last election outcome and could only rationalise it by saying there had to be corruption somewhere.
The overall conference however was notable for the fact only the set piece speeches and a business panel were open to the media.
After the 2012 Labour Party conference, where party differences over how to elect the leader and over the leadership itself at the time were fought out in full view of the media, potentially more controversial parts of conferences have been sealed off in the ensuing years.
When it was riven with division and languishing in the polls the National Party conferences were much the same, but with the confidence of a party with still solid support, its conferences have progressively become more open, including the sessions over potential election campaign policy.
There were strong words from Mr Little during his speech about Labour winning the next election, but the party lacks the feeling of true confidence about its prospects of actually defeating John Key and his government – a feeling that was starting to build in the National Party ranks as they eyed the Clark government before its defeat in 2008.
Labour has not been able to break through past the early 30s in most of its polling, except for the odd spike, which puts it in about the same place it was this time last year.
If it is not starting to make some real gains at the start of next year and make inroads into National’s vote, it faces an uphill battle if it hopes to win next year’s election.
They know they can’t do it. They really do. And like people buying lotto tickets to take care of their retirement plan, Labour are looking at Winston to take Labour and the Greens across the line.
But apparently, it’s so close, it is too close to call!
– Jane Patterson, RNZ