Two of New Zealand’s top political commentators (it pains me to write that) have gone head to head over the Mt Albert result:
Some who voted Labour might now feel that National has not turned out to be as bad as they expected and either withhold their vote or actively support the Government candidate.
Her candidacy was doomed from the start when Cabinet failed to inform her there was a third option for the Waterview motorway extension, which she might have been able to better sell had she understood it before the Government dropped the unpopular bombshell.
In case no one in Mt Albert was surly enough by then, the Government then botched its chance to convince folk of the advantages of a Supercity and Lee became the target for its opponents
National is likely to put up a relatively high-profile candidate in Melissa Lee.
Mt Albert is a culturally diverse electorate and her ethnicity should not harm her. She is also a trained media professional, which should be of great advantage because byelections are almost presidential contests, with the candidates getting much more media exposure than they would normally get in a general election.
Lee was the wrong person, in the wrong place, at entirely the wrong time.
Charging into the fight in Mt Albert, impelled by her own blind ambition and a party organisation that obviously never asked itself if she had “the right stuff”, Lee crashed and burned.
National is in a win-win situation. All it has to do is erode Labour’s majority sufficiently to claim a moral victory…Labour could face real humiliation. It could lose the seat or, at least, have that more than 10,000-vote lead slashed to a few hundred or less
Yet how is Labour winning one of its safest seats suddenly a marvellous achievement?
How about winning by 46%?
I love that Ralston has a second article where he tries to distract from the Mt Albert thrashing by throwing mud at Goff.