National are in a full panic about Northland:
The National Party is scrambling all jets to bolster Northland byelection candidate Mark Osborne as polling shows NZ First leader Winston Peters has a chance of taking the traditionally safe National seat.
Prime Minister John Key will go on the campaign trail tomorrow and said he would visit another two times before the March 28 vote – more than he would usually dedicate to a byelection.
A TV3 poll this week showed Mr Peters on 35 per cent support to Mr Osborne’s 30 per cent. Labour’s Willow-Jean Prime was on 16 per cent. Mr Key has rated Mr Peters’ chances at “absolutely zero” but yesterday conceded National had a bit of work ahead.
Prime Minister John Key denies his presence in Northland has anything to do with an apparent surge in support for Winston Peters in the region’s by-election.
Is lying now so completely habitual for Key that he has to deny the bleeding obvious?
Mind you, Key hasn’t been the only one caught out by Winston Peters. Take The Herald’s chief political commentator John Armstrong for example. What he lacks in political instincts he more than makes up for with his gymnastic ability. Wednesday 4th March:
Peters faces uphill battle in byelection
It would require everything to go spectacularly right for Peters and everything to go drastically wrong for John Key in the three or so weeks until polling day on March 28 for Peters to pull off a very unlikely victory. Peters cannot win unless huge numbers of National voters stay at home. Northland, however, is a record-setter when it comes to signed-up National Party members. There will be no shortage of volunteers to get out the National vote. Winning a safe government seat in a byelection requires there to be huge antipathy towards that government.
Shock lead adds weight to NZ First campaign
Whatever spin National tries to put on last night’s 3News-Reid Research byelection poll in the seat of Northland, the result will have sent shockwaves through the ranks of the governing party. Taking such an early lead over his National rival in the campaign will give Winston Peters’ bandwagon even more momentum.
The judges scored that U-turn a 9.8, 9.8, 9.6, 8.7 and a 9.9 – the crowd goes wild!
Seriously though, National will obviously be in panic mode right about now. They will throw everything they have at this by election, and more. They can’t afford to lose a safe seat and their guaranteed majority. They can’t afford the label “lame duck” for the next two and a half years.