Jo Moir: Winston Peters could sleep his way through the next nine weeks and people would still vote for him

The 72-year-old seasoned politician has one advantage in the lead-up to the election on September 23 that no other party leader has – absolutely no need for an election strategy.

Why? Because what Peters is pitching to voters this year is no different to the message he has been selling them for decades.

Why change a winning formula?   Labour’s looking for the “new angle” every three years, and dismally fail to find one.   Why?  Because there isn’t a new angle.  And Winston knows it.  

It explains why he doesn’t discuss policy until the moment he delivers it – it’s not uncommon for him to just do it on the hoof – because when you’re messaging doesn’t change you don’t need a whole lot of prep time.

His “explosive policy” on Sunday amounted to a binding referendum on abolishing Maori seats and reducing the number of MPs in Parliament – nothing new to see here.

The anti-establishment, fake-news-hating politician was pricking the ears of disenfranchised voters (I’m looking at you National and Labour) long before US President Donald Trump started spewing ‘Make America Great Again’ on his Twitter page.

Peters was the cat who got the cream from start to finish at his party’s annual conference in South Auckland at the weekend.

After two weeks on the road touring the regions, Peters pulled into the Vodafone Events Centre to hundreds of fans all desperate to hear from the main man.

Other caucus members had their fleeting moments in the sun over the weekend (although newly-appointed Whangarei candidate was so quiet some media thought he wasn’t even there) but it was Peters they had battled a polar blast in hope of a handshake with.

If NZ First can keep clear of any brain-fart moments in the next two months then there’s no doubt Peters will collect the Kingmaker crown when the polling booths close.

Whaleoil has been predicting a National/NZ First government since last year.   And there is no need to be smug.

I can count.

And I also know Winston knows what he’s doing.  He didn’t take Northland off National by accident.  National don’t know how to campaign on the ground.   And Winston doesn’t know anything else.

 

– Jo Moir, Stuff

 


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