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Betting on likeability – Key’s strategy for 2008

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 pm, September 1st, 2008 - 10 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

Gordon Campbell spends some time examining Key’s likeability factor:

“That’s why Key’s gamble over Winston Peters is so interesting because it could help to unravel that image. If Peters can ultimately provide sufficient satisfactory evidence of where the money has gone, Key will have been guilty of a rush to judgement. Alone, that might not matter. But since Key has also ruled out having Roger Douglas in his Cabinet regardless of the number three slot that Douglas holds on the Act party list then it goes beyond a touch of vanity, into something that looks more like arrogance.

An election can throw up democratic outcomes that Key may not prefer – but he has to live with them and work around them. Voters will reach their own conclusions about Peters. They could well boost his party back over the five per cent threshold in sympathy. Arguably, such an endorsement could make New Zealand First a valid contender for government. Similarly, people will have voted for Act partly because Douglas sits at number three on the list, on the expectation that Douglas’ experience would be utilized by National around the Cabinet table. They could well ask is Bill English so much more capable than Douglas as an economic manager that he feels no need of advice ?

Will his high-likeability approach hold up under the pressure of an election campaign? If the polls continue to  tighten can he afford the luxury of continuing his current course of ruling potential partners out? Politics is always a game of risk, and we know he was a master in his currency trader days – it will be interesting to see whether that influences his decisions over the next couple of months.

10 comments on “Betting on likeability – Key’s strategy for 2008”

  1. lprent 1

    Yes – it is an interesting question. Effectively a question of if National can live with the selection of the voters as expressed by who they decide to vote for. The voters are likely to give a spread of representatives that express the views across the whole community.

    To date National appears to only really like the idea of working with Act (maybe) and Peter Dunne. The Maori Party will probably want concessions the maori seats if nothing else.

    I suspect it is also a discussion that the supporters of the right will not want to engage in. Dealing with the differing ranges of opinions of the voters. I suspect they will just want to dispose of democratic choice and go back to a more restrictive and less democratic electoral system.

  2. Ray 2

    I see John Key’s stand on Winston as a pricipaled

    He would rather be in the opposition than have work with Winston
    I can understand that you only have to look at Winston’s record of discord and flat out lying in Parliment (Selwyn Cushing court case proved that) to see he is a loose cannon

    It is a source of wonder to me that Miss Clark who is principaled (as a rule) is prepared to put up with him just to hold power

  3. randal 3

    I like keys as much as like socks pulled up and tight underpants

  4. Greg 4

    How can ruling out Winston possibly be a bad thing. Recent allegations aside, history has proved that he is a very unreliable politician (1996 anyone?). If Clark did the same thing it would ensure Peters would not be in government and would find it very hard to even be re-elected to parliament – now surely thats something all but the geriatrics support?

    As for Douglas Key was scarred of putting off ‘Labour plus’ voters. Those voters that have been brain washed into thinking Rogernomics was a bad thing.

  5. Monty 5

    John Key is a very likeable and warm person. Despite years of digging Labour have been unable to find dirt on him. Your Neutron bomb turned out to be a fizzer and a dud. He is also an expert at reading trends and moods. That is probably what made him such a successful business man. He believes that 96% or more of the voting population will not return Winston to parliament. So he is safe in making the announcement that he will not include Winston no matter what. This has effectively neutered Winston (not before time). No longer will we see him holding a red and a blue phone. He can only deal with Labour. Quite frankly I bet this will see National’s support increase back into the safe mid 50s.

    Clark by comparison is now in full panic mode. Her baseless lies and allegations yesterday demonstrate how out of control she really is. It also demonstrates how desperate she is to retain power. More than anything it demonstrates why she needs to be evicted from the 9th floor.

  6. lprent 6

    Monty: I think John Key looks and acts like a used car salesman.

    After watching Winston for over 20 years, I never rule him out of the picture, or for that matter the people who vote for him. I suspect that at the end of all of this, that the events of the last couple of weeks will ensure that NZF gets back in (damnit).

    The hope that National will get over 50% of the seats in Parliament is very forlorn. The maori seat/maori party overhang makes that a big ask if nothing else. But I also suspect that the voters just don’t want that to happen, and if they think it is, will divert votes to other smaller parties.

    So far I haven’t seen much of an indication that the Nay’s are ready for MMP. But they are a conservative party after all. It is only 12 years since the first MMP election.

  7. Monty 7

    Of course you think little of John Key = – he is going to dump you dear leader out of office in a matter of weeks – the country is finally seeing through Clark as she is being exposed as a cold desperate and now lying PM (witness the lies she said yesterday about the SFO)

    Winston will be gone – a pair of underpants jsut about sunk the party in 1999. This time the corruption is on him directly and although he can get 2.5% of the vote, he will not be able to double that to get the 5% he (and Clark) desperately need to to get.

    I would hae agreed with your statement about the 50% three weeks ago – but Labout performance and Clark hidden agenda will ensure that Labour will only get around 30%. The other minor parties will get 15-20% and National will score over 50%. The Greenie vote will increase again as voters leave Labour for good this time.

    [lprent: You know how we always value your well thought out and considered comments, but something in here triggered a moderation. I can’t quite see why… Anyway with your track record on predictions I’m now confident of a labour victory. Bugger I really need a beer – that is excessively sarcastic. ]

  8. r0b 8

    Anyway with your track record on predictions

    What are you talking about Lynn? Monty has a perfect record on his predictions. They have all been hysterical, ranting and wrong – 100%.

  9. lprent 9

    rOb: That is what I mean. It almost seems that if he confidently predicts something, then the opposite happens. That is why I’m glad to get his ringing endorsement of the Nay’s and JK.

    I feel so much more confident for Labour and the left now.

  10. Paul Robeson 10

    Unfortunately they both go quite well with his other pitch which is leaving the past behind and not being attached to the last political generation.

    Both Peters and Douglas are text cases of Jurasic age life form- just that Peters maybe a Tuatara.

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