Tuesday, October 21, 2008

08Wire predicts another cliff-hanger

Last election I sat glued to my computer constantly mashing the refresh key as the evening swung from a National to a Labour government. I remember hearing Labour's Mike Williams cautioning against panic as he predicted Auckland seats would favour Labour. He was of course proven right. The closest of elections still gave Labour first go at forming a government. One that's lasted despite real awkwardness.

This year I'll at least be in New Zealand - in the Wellington region supporting Grant Robertson and Chris Hipkins (and also keeping a eye on Jils Angus Burney). All are good friends and all will make excellent MPs.

Not being the mathematical whizz 08wire and Steve Pierson are, I'm reliant on others for intelligent commentary on the polls. The thread on the poll of polls is particularly enlightening with Rob Salmond's analysis showing Labour's closing the gap. The comments are all the more encouraging with suggestions that Rob's being conservative by over-weighting older polls which had National in a stronger position.

I know Labour, the Greens and their partners have a job ahead of them but I don't think the election's out of reach. New Zealand's got to navigate difficult times in the near future and increasingly I think the public have questions about Key's capacity to be the kind of consistent and decisive leader needed. Key's mishandling of negotiations with Maori may well have cost him dearly. Come election day, it may only be ACT and United he can rely on and the prospect of Douglas being back in Cabinet will chill many who remember the turmoil of the early '90s.

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