A full 3 weeks before the vote, National candidate Melissa Lee has publicly accepted that she is not going win the Mt Albert by-election. In yet another astonishing media gaffe Lee has told Morning Reports’ Sean Plunket (link to audio) that she hopes to come second.
The interview started well for Lee as she spoke about the one bit of good news she has had this week; the rejection of the complaint of misuse of NZ On Air funds. Things started to go sour when Lee said “I have no control over how people vote” and Plunket asked if influncing how people vote isn’t the point of the exercise. Lee nearly lost her hair-trigger temper.
Plunket then asked if the negative publicity she had received had led to a public backlash against the other candidates and a sympathy vote for her.
Sean Plunket: â€˜What’s the feeling you’re getting? Where do you think you’ll come?’
Melissa Lee: â€˜I think my chances are fairly good. It’s been 63 years in the hands of Labour so I wasn’t expecting to romp in and win this.’
Plunket: â€˜Do you reckon you can come second?’
Lee: â€˜Well, I’m hoping to. It’ll be really fantastic if I can nudge it a little bit further as well, but I’m not expecting to win. It was always going to be a hard battle.’
Plunket: â€˜Are you expecting to come second then?’
Some questions arise.
At what point did she realise she was not going to win? Before the selection meeting? Before the final cut off for candidates, (prior to which she could have pulled out allowing Ravi Musuku to stand)?
Where is John Key? Why is he not seen to be helping Lee as she flounders?
[Note: Lee has since been made aware that giving up three weeks out is not a good campaign strategy and says she is determined to win “this damn thing”, presumably meaning the right to represent the people of Mt Albert in our nation’s Parliament].