Sour note finishes tough week in politics for nats

by Jake Quinn

A TVNZ Mt Albert by-election poll released yesterday put David Shearer on a staggering %59, Melissa Lee on %21 and Russel Norman on %15.  I understand that this is consistent with other private polling.

PredictionsRussel will beat Lee on polling day because apathy will see both Nat and Lab voters stay at home (as the result appears to be a foregone conclusion), plus the leftist protest vote will go to Norman instead of Shearer now that they’ve seen the poll result that Shearer is “safe”. Shearer will still win comfortably, but not by anything like this margin.

A strong victory for Shearer and Labour in Mt Albert is a strong endorsement of Phil Goff’s leadership of the Labour Party and will see questioning of his leadership off the agenda for sometime.

Today’s Herald leads with an Audrey Young piece about the poll capping a bad week for National and explains: “Labour may even increase its majority in the seat this weekend, which would be a big boost to the authority of new leader Phil Goff within the Labour Party.”

It was also interesting to hear John Key backtrack on his odd endorsement of John Banks for Super Mayor of Auckland. NZPA reports: “A spokesman from Mr Key’s office said this morning there were no endorsements for any candidates and it was up to the people of Auckland to decide who they wanted as mayor.”

This is yet another example of botched political management from John Key and his staff. How could the words “Can I start by acknowledging the mayor – more importantly the Super Mayor of Auckland city – John Banks,” be seen as anything but an endorsement?

His “arch-nemesis” (please read inverted commas as an indication of sarcasm) Paul Henry was kind enough not to ask any tough questions about this on Breakfast this morning, rather he ended his piece with “it’s [the tough last week] character building, and you’ve got a good character”. Thank you Paul.

Thought for the day: Goff has got John Key and his “Minister for Ethnic Affairs” Richard Worth “by the texties”.