Last night’s dual Colmar Brunton Reid Research poll releases have some on the right suggesting that the election is a formality and all that National needs to do to win is turn up. They should rethink their optimism. Because the election is incredibly close and anything can happen.
Before anyone accuses me of blind optimism I note that this is also the view of John Key. They should also think about the following:
Having said this the biggest threat for Labour for the election is the sense of optimism there is concerning the economy. The right track wrong track trend is suggesting that overall people are happy with the way the economy is going. They have reason to be happy in that there is growth and unemployment is declining albeit slowly. Of course this recovery is built on a foundation of sand and is dependent on the need to rebuild our second largest city and large scale borrowing only possible because Helen Clark and Michael Cullen had effectively paid off the Crown’s debt in 2008.
National’s approach to economic management is a temporary solution only. One day the country will have to wake up and start paying the debt back.
Voters should not confuse borrow and spend with a sound economic policy. Currently sufficient of them are prepared to give National an economic credibility it frankly does not deserve.
And David Cunliffe has acknowledged that he needs to convey to the population what sort of person he is. He has worked hard on the policy aspect of the job but people do need to have a sense of who he is if they are going to vote for him. Soft media will be vital. John Campbell’s recent visit to David’s home is the sort of thing he will need more of.
We now are 117 days from the next election. Decent recent setbacks the polls are in a better position for the left than they were three years ago. My sense is that this election will go down to the wire.