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The first head-to-head debate – tonight!

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, August 28th, 2014 - 315 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, john key - Tags: , , , ,

The first head-to-head debate between David Cunliffe and John Key (tonight, 7pm, TV One) could be a real turning point of the election.

(Yes, I’m very biased.)

But the fact is – ignoring questions about Mike Hosking’s moderation, and the issues many people raise about head-to-head debates being a relic of FPP – for the first time in the campaign we’ll have our two prospective Prime Ministers on an equal footing. And after merrily gliding over Dirty Politics, Oravida, Maurice Williamson, Novopay, and the Christchurch unrebuild with a few bon mots and a smile-and-wave for the last three years, this could be where the cracks really show for Key.

(Yes, I know, I’m very biased.)

As I’ve covered in a post, Labour are simply winning the policy discussion on paper. There’s a strategy, there are tactics supporting that strategy. National, in comparison, has focused on slick advertising and a cult-0f-personality approach to drive their message.

It’s a risk to underestimate Key. He’s got experience in this format, and experience of winning, and the vast majority of people (who don’t hang out here for fun, unfortunately!) will be interested in surface impressions – they’re not going to go away and google PREFU documents to fact-check his figures.

But I suspect he’ll be looking for a zinger – I hate to bring it up, but his team will be looking for a “show me the money” headline-grabbing jab. They have to – their whole strategy is about saying “we’re going in the right direction and those guys are losers.” He’s already trying to frame Cunliffe as scared or uncertain.

All Cunliffe has to do – and it can’t be too much to ask, I pray to the leftwing gods – is hold his ground, know his stuff, and prove he is on equal terms with Key. He doesn’t have to knock it out of the park, he doesn’t have to get a ten-point bounce. The polls are tight. The Conservatives are nipping at National’s heels.

Given fair moderation – and Hosking has to be scrupulously even-handed given the kerfuffle around his appointment – and the media narrative of the Unstoppable John Key Charisma Train, this is Key’s debate to lose.

(Biased, but hopeful.)

I’ll be livetweeting the debate – you should totally follow me! Or for a broader view try the #nzpol or #votenz hashtags.

315 comments on “The first head-to-head debate – tonight! ”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    People do not know David Cunliffe. That can be the only reason he remains unpopular.

    Tonight that all changes.

    He is a natural speaker and will wipe the floor with the ‘past his use by date’, overrated, inarticulate fool known as Kohn Key.

    • outofbed 1.1

      The Green Room is a livestream companion to the TV debate, offering our perspective on the issues. It’ll be hosted by media commentator Russell Brown and feature both myself and Russel Norman responding to the debate in the ad breaks, along with comment from thought leaders and commentators.

      The Green Room will be hosted at https://greens.org.nz/greenroom, so join us there at 6:30 for the livestream.

      As the third-largest party, we think New Zealanders should be able to hear our perspective and policy tested alongside Labour and National.

      By watching both the TV One debate and The Green Room, you’ll get the full picture on where the major parties stand on the key issues.

      We have told Russell Brown the gloves can come off. We want New Zealanders to have a real debate of all the big parties and we are happy to take the tough questions.

      So join us at The Green Room from 6.30pm tonight and if you want to receive a notification before it starts RSVP to our event here.

    • Bluey 1.2

      Absolutely, I made the same comment a couple of months ago.
      Key cannot debate. He looked like a yellow, beaten cur with his tail firmly between his legs.
      Even more interesting was Hosking, he looked even worse.
      Unless Collins takes over the reins, game over for National.

  2. Kenya 2

    Key is not an inarticulate fool. This is the big mistake many on the left have made. He wiped the floor with Clark, Cullen and Goff – three of the strongest debaters Labour’s ever had.

    Key needs to knock Cunliffe out of the park. A win for Cunliffe is to hold his own and show he is a credible alternative prime minister.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      He didn’t “wipe the floor with Clark”. In the 2008 leaders debate, Key was expected to do badly. Instead he just did ‘ok’, so on that basis was given the ‘win’ for 2/3 debates (whatever that actually means, which as far as I can tell, is nothing).

      • Tracey 2.1.1

        it meant something for perception. I agree with your recollection of it. BUT it was perceived as a win for key and certainly the Nats and the right seem to believe that perception (through polls) is everything?

      • Bearded Git 2.1.2

        Goff did fine in the debates against Key, and nearly won the election.

        • Lanthanide

          Nearly got into a position where NZFirst + Maori Party could have formed a government with Labour, but given Winston’s recent comments about not working with any race-based party it seems that may always have been a forlorn hope. That’s not the same as winning the election.

          The best way to characterise it is that National only had a 1 seat majority to enact their right-wing asset sales agenda. MP and NZFirst both rejected asset sales, but may still have helped prop up a National government otherwise.

    • Hanswurst 2.2

      Key is not a fool, but he is very frequently inarticulate.

  3. mickysavage 3

    To be honest a draw tonight will be a win.

    Key is a phenomenally good debater. He has this ability to talk around an issue and also to go right to the edge of the truth of something. You then scratch your head and want to fact check it but by then he has moved onto another point. If he can be shaken then David will have done all that he needs to.

    Besides with Hosking refereeing does anyone expect it will be an even battle? For a start can you imagine how questions concerning Dirty Politics are going to be handled?

    • Hanswurst 3.1

      Honestly, I don’t see that with Key. I see a dick. Half the sentences he utters in public don’t even mean anything. Yes, he has the ability to come across as affable and reassuring, and I’m sure he has the ability to grasp data and ideas put to him. Debating, however, is something else. It requires a speaker to assimilate ideas on the fly and articulate a response in a manner that is clear, concise and relevant. Key generally seems a bit useless at that, whereas Cunliffe is stellar. If Key “wins” (as in gains votes on the back of the debate), it’s unlikely to be because he debated better. Rather, it will be because he seemed more affable and easy-going, and because the press print that he came across better. Fair enough; that’s what he’s after and he’s good at it– people can vote for whatever qualities they want — but I would never say that that makes him a good debater.

      • shorts 3.1.1

        agree – key is a terrible debater…. but he’s an expert in ruining a debate

        I hope Cunliffe can get Key on the back foot on one topic/fact, once there then its simply a matter of pressing and watching Key get nasty – his automatic defence.

        This allows the viewers to see the Key that they don’t bother watching in the house, the arrogent snide and mean natured leader we have, that will make them understand the connection he has with Dirty politics

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        Half the sentences he utters in public don’t even mean anything.

        That would be on purpose. Rather than say something that has a definite meaning he says something that people can take to be what they want it to be and when it doesn’t turn out to be that it then becomes what Key said it was. Key lies to everyone and his supporters lie to themselves.

        • Hanswurst

          Occasionally. Mostly, though, I think it’s just filler. Key is a brand. All he needs to do is look like John Key saying something on TV. It doesn’t matter if he says, “At the end of the day we’ll make the boat grow faster so that hard-working New Zealanders can see through the nasty politics of the opposition unionists to a step-change in our economy’s slice of the pie”. He won’t be questioned on what it means, and he won’t need to spin it later. Cunliffe’s challenge is to get a message across that is simple and appealing enough that Key will have be forced to engage with it, rather than just brushing it aside by virtue of being John Key. Just one message at some point during the debate. I don’t think that’s beyond Cunliffe at all, but I don’t think it’s a given, either.

          • Colonial Viper

            “At the end of the day we’ll make the boat grow faster so that hard-working New Zealanders can see through the nasty politics of the opposition unionists to a step-change in our economy’s slice of the pie”. He won’t be questioned on what it means, and he won’t need to spin it later.

            That’s amazing writing.

            I agree about making Key engage on actual issues and policies thereby pushing him on to the backfoot…but Hoskins is going to bail Key out every time by buying Key time and interrupting Cunliffe just as Cunliffe gets momentum.

            Bet you this happens multiple times tonight.

    • Enough is Enough 3.2

      Greg I would like to know before the debate how you assess a ‘draw’.

      To me a draw is we walk away with the status quo in place. That means we do not lose anything but we do not pick up anything either. Which ultimately mean Key wins the election.

      Cunliffe must win.

      He must demonstrate how Key’s policies are destroying New Zealand and how the left will make things better for all.

    • TheContrarian 3.3

      I agree MS, Key is good at debates. Whether it is because his ability to talk around issues as you say or because he is an expert in ruining a debate as Shorts says he still performs will.

      I’ll watching with interest over a couple of beers

    • Chris 3.4

      I just hope Cunliffe doesn’t pull his punches in the name of being “positive”. He needs to take a leaf out of some of the Australian politician’s book and show a bit of outrage – even just a bit would be good.

  4. quartz 4

    I think you’re underestimating Key. He dominated John Campbell in Campbell’s own studio on GCSB and he beat Helen Clark in his first ever debate.

    If Cunliffe gets a draw it’ll be a win for him.

    • framu 4.1

      slight clarification there quartz

      re: campbell live – key got the upper hand there in the manner he accepted to appear at the very last minute, thereby doing an end run around much of the prep that would normally be done by a news crew. Something he cant do in the leaders debate

      re: helen clark – the only reason he was CONSIDERED to have won was the low starting point people had him on in regards to HC. Something he doesnt have this time round

      thats not to say its a home run for cunliffe – more that those two arguments come with caveats that also need to be included

      and any kind of show me the money nonsense – just throw it back in his teeth. “show me the money!” – “well john, ill show you mine if you show me yours.” – wink, smile to camera – next topic please

      thats the thing there – all of key’s glib school yard oneliners apply equally to him due to their non specific and generalised nature. And getting key of script, while laughing at him, is where cunliffe can win the debate in the eyes of the general voter/viewer (as well as good sound policy based soundbytes of course)

      this also applies to hosking – if he plays up, laugh at him, openly

      • “the only reason he was CONSIDERED to have won was the low starting point people had him on in regards to HC. Something he doesnt have this time round”

        Indeed – and those particular advantages would favour Cunliffe this time around!

      • kenny 4.1.2

        Good advice Framu.

        David needs to keep calm and cool, but biting as well. Don’t put up with Key’s BS (and there will be BS from Key, he can’t help it).

      • Ffloyd 4.1.3

        Absolutely agree with the laughing at them. Key hates being laughed at. Also saying ‘I disagree’ to key as often as possible. Key has a habit of accusing the opposition of having shonky figures etc and does a lot of sneering put downs about them having not done their sums tra la la but he never has to verify his own costings. Unless he just makes it up on the spot and this is usually accepted by friendly media as totally correct without back up figures.

  5. quartz 5


  6. swordfish 6

    If it were ABC favourite Shearer, I’d be pretty nervous right now. With someone as relaxed, confident and articulate as Cunliffe, I’ve got no worries in the world.

    Some British Pol Sci research I saw a few years ago suggested that televised Leaders’ Debates were (a) watched more intensely by floating voters than committed partisans (despite the former being significantly less interested in politics and, in general, taking less notice of the election campaign as a whole) and (b) were the most important determinant of floating voters’ ultimate voting decision.

    Whether that applies to MMP New Zealand in the here and now is another question. But certainly we shouldn’t automatically discount the possibility of a game-changer. Although the context was rather different, you can’t help but remember just how important Helen Clark’s performances in the debates of 96 were. Labour doubled its support and Clark tripled her Preferred PM ratings.

    • Tracey 6.1

      Does he have the advantage that Key had in 2008 over Clark? Under dog against a seasoned politician?

      Low expectation so even a loss could look like a win?

      • Enough is Enough 6.1.1

        Why on earth would you think he is the underdog

        He is an articulate intelligent experienced leader. He has been in parliament longer than Key.

        He will win.

        • Tracey

          Because he is PERCEIVED as the under dog and people seem to have little or no opinion of him.

          What do you mean by ‘win”?

          I mean by that his performance is such a numbe rof people change their view of him from negative to neutral or positive and will listen more closely to him next time he speaks, is quoted or debates.

          • Enough is Enough

            win = look up at 3.2

            • Tracey

              “He must demonstrate how Key’s policies are destroying New Zealand and how the left will make things better for all.”

              Fair enough. Biut how will you judge that he has achieved that? By convincing you? Or others?u

              • Enough is Enough

                In 2011 it wasn’t hard to judge that Key was the winner. He was across the issues. Goff was left floundering with the lasting memory being that Goff wasn’t on top of his own numbers.

                At the end of the day it is subjective though. Key’s message will never win with me because I fundamentally disagree with it.

                I just think it is a cop-out to suggest a draw is a win.

                We need big wins at this stage. Labour is going backwards in the polls and draw is not a win tonight

          • Enough is Enough

            He is perceived as an underdog in the election.

            But I don’t think anyone (other than Greg) perceives him as such in the realm of debate.

      • Bearded Git 6.1.2

        @tracey I noticed on MR this morning that Cunliffe was (I think cleverly) playing the underdog role.

        On this basis he may have won the debate before it starts-a draw is a win.

        I’m betting Cumliffe says “9 straight surpluses” at least 3 times. But how many times will Key say “ATEOTD”? Or has this been coached out of him by now?

  7. If Cunliffe wants to win, pound him on Collins. Everyone hates her and Key will look like a douche for defending her.

    “If a Labour government is elected, we promise not to stand for cabinet ministers enabling death threats against public servants.”

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    Best wishes to David for this title fight on what can only be regarded now as hostile turf.

    Hopefully minders will check the lighting and angles etc call me naive but they will likely be going all out with the studio tricks to present our man in an unflattering way.

    • David should go left for the night, scare a few horses, his ratings lifted when he did after assuming the leadership, and mention the Greens a couple of times too, govt in waiting
    • Concentrate on policy, short jabs not expositions, and know the figures fer crissakes
    • have one liners ready for ‘Hosko’ and ShonKey if they rear up and delivered with a grin
    • mention some specifics such as reopening Hillside and justice for Christchurch to target certain voters
    • prepare for questions on super at 67–just say people flogged out at 60 will be looked after, there is 1%–2% of boomer vote in this imo
    • prepare for IMP and Winston questions

    apart from that… polish the floor with our Prime Minister who I shall be naming my next pet snake after.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    What is the debate format? I am curious as to how much actual debate we will get. We’ve got a commercial half hour of 23 minutes, minus Hosking’s preening into the camera.

    Will they have inane (carefully screened) faux “vox pop” questions that give each candidate 3 minutes on a series of unrelated topics, or will they allow the debate to flow?

  10. infused 10

    Yhis will be the turning point. One way or another.

  11. Tracey 11

    I presume the leaders know in advance what they will be asked? This is Key’s forte, pre arranged and pre trained. Off the cuff he fumbles or goes into snarky

    • infused 11.1

      I don’t think so. You get told questions will be on a specific subject, not what the questions will be.

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        Yes, and that is why Key was seen as such an underdog to HC in 2008, because she was excellent on the minutia of all aspects of what her government was doing.

        • yeshe

          oh Lanth .. those were the days .. sigh …

          • Enough is Enough

            They were the days. How fantastic would it be if Helen was going head to head with him tonight…

            Dreams are free

      • Tracey 11.1.2


  12. Kenya 12

    People don’t realise that a leaders debate is nothing like any other format. You don’t win on points, you win on how you come across to the public. Key is the most popular PM in recent history. He’s got an easy touch and can connect with middle NZ with ease. Cunliffe has talent but is still very raw in his leadership. Anyone who thinks Key is a lightweight is blinded by politics. This debate really is Key’s to lose.

    • Tracey 12.1

      I think people do realise that which is why many agree with you that key “won” the debate against Clark even though he didn’t “win” it.

    • shona 12.2

      I have never considered Key a lightweight. But he is. A shallow nasty inarticulate pig -ignorant douche-bag. And middle NZ identifies with him. Speaks volumes about who we are as a nation more than recommends Key’s supposed debating skills. Nasty , bullying name calling,off topic screaming chants are not debating skills. They are the tools of the anti- intellectual cock heads who pervade NZ society. Hence this mongrel piece of filth’s popularity.

      • kenny 12.2.1

        Have to agree with you there Shona!

        • Craig Glen Eden

          Have to agree to sadly with Shona. Many people will say with regards to politics “they are all as bad as each other” which is shorthand for I dont know what to believe because they litterally have given no thought about it. Many people I have spoken to will follow up this line which proves their ignorance with saying” it dosnt matter politics does not effect me anyway or the Government has done nothing to me”.

          If only they did know. Man what a different world we would live in!

      • Bearded Git 12.2.2

        I think that is unfair to pigs. Pigs (unlike TheGodKey) are actually clever.

  13. Tracey 13

    Perhaps one question could be

    Do you ever speak with your Deputy Leader

    Cos English and Key seem to be in completely different rooms when it comes to the Economy and Finance

    ” Finance Minister Bill English concedes he was wrong when he told a debate National would reduce debt in the next term if re-elected.

    But an opponent claims the Government is using confusion to mislead the public about the state of the books.

    During the ASB Great Debate for finance leaders in Queenstown on Tuesday, English was asked what would happen to national debt in the next electoral term if National were re-elected.

    “It will peak at about $67 billion or $66 billion, and it’ll be a couple of billion lower,” he replied.

    However, the pre-election fiscal update from Treasury shows net debt is forecast to increase every year until 2018, at close to $68b.

    Share this story on Facebook

    English said he did not have the numbers to hand and the “couple of billion lower” statement related to Treasury projections in the following three years. “I wouldn’t say it was misleading, I’d say I’ve summarised it,” English said.

    But he was wrong to say debt would reduce in the next term.

    The Government would “like” to reduce debt faster than Treasury estimated, he said.

    “We haven’t put out a different set of forecasts but we want to do better” than Treasury forecasts, English said.

    Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the statements showed the Government was sending mixed messages on fiscal issues, with English and Prime Minister John Key also at odds over whether there would be tax cuts. “The message we’re now getting from the Government is one of confusion around their fiscal position,” Norman said.

    Many people believed that now the Crown accounts were poised to record a surplus that debt had been paid off, a mistake Norman believed National was exploiting.

    “They’re playing on a very particular confusion,” he said. “

  14. vto 14

    I wonder whether Key’s natural penchant for schoolyard tactics like sneering and being a smart-arse is now beyond its use-by date. I wonder if people will now see that for what it is – a lack of substance and actually a penchant for lying, trickery, avoiding and, well, being a smart-arse.

    I wonder if “Dirty Politics” has forever changed how Key’s persona is perceived.

    I wonder if Key’s true nature will now be viewed more accurately for what it is, rather than what he has portrayed it as to date.

    • adam 14.1

      Obviously not yet vto. Not when they feel they can run another dirty tricks campaign. However, I think things are changing slowly.

      So I agree, in the back of peoples minds will now be the image of Key – as a schoolboy smart ass. And the problem with that personality type is – why haven’t they grown up?

  15. gobsmacked 15

    The following will happen:

    1) Key will be Key (no need to outline what that means, if people haven’t seen through his predictable insincerity by now, they never will, or don’t want to).

    2) Cunliffe will do OK, but look like he’s trying too hard. It’s television: less is more David, it really is. If you say “A plus B, therefore C” Hosking will only cut you off. He doesn’t want to hear about policies – especially Labour’s.

    3) Regardless of the actual content, a panel of commentators will tell us what happened. Then a whole bunch of other commentators will be all over the media, none of whom will add anything to the policy debate, at all. They will tell us who has won (Key).

    4) A poll taken before the debate will be released soon (probably Roy Morgan, tomorrow). The Jono-lists will immediately tell us that a poll taken before something happened is a verdict on the thing that happened.

    Are they really that stupid? No, that they’re that dishonest.

    Of course I hope Cunliffe wipes the floor with Key, but that would only be a draw. The commentators have spoken.

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      “4) A poll taken before the debate will be released soon (probably Roy Morgan, tomorrow). The Jono-lists will immediately tell us that a poll taken before something happened is a verdict on the thing that happened.”

      Roy Morgan won’t be due again until next week.

      But otherwise, I fear that your predictions are right. Here’s hoping you’re wrong.

  16. Observer (Tokoroa) 16

    Hi Stephanie

    David must use his sincerity and humanity.

    Key will put him and Labor down again and again. Cunliffe must then look him directly in the eye and say: “why do you constantly put people down John Key?”

    “You are so destructive John. No wonder your Government is so toxic.”

    “Why do you always act in denial John.”

    “Why are your close consultants and blogger friend unbelievably deceitful and foul mouthed? Do you enjoy liars John?”

    “You seem to be struggling in the role of Prime Minister John.” “So are many of your Ministers” Why?

    David must succinctly and clearly point out each fault of Key. Cunliffe must not stand there taking abuse from this political deviant John Key. David must land the first debating blow and the subsequent ones..

    I also believe David must repeatedly and pertinently ask what Key means – when Key has rambled around chasing his tail like a drunk in the park.

    “Your Government is the most aggressively destructive and dirty of any in the history of New Zealand. No Government will ever match your Government in aggression and malfeasance.
    You, John Key have made it that way.” That is your achievement John.

    Whatever, David Cunliffe must not stand there as a humble man eating humble pie.

    Key has stuffed up big time. If David cannot roll him – then David is not PM material.

    Thanks Stephanie.

    • gobsmacked 16.1

      +1 for the “Why” questions. A politician’s default position is that they must talk more, and interrupt, in order to persuade. But in fact, a quick question and “giving enough rope” is often better. Especially with bullshitters like Key.

      “What does that mean?” plus quizzical look.

    • adam 16.2


      How to challenge, toxic, godless, egoist’s.

      Great questions Observer (Tokoroa)

  17. crocodill 17

    The whole thing is a sham. Here’s why:

    Debating is a rational standardised culturally acceptable presentation of ideas and opinions. It favours those who follow tradition. The “Left” is essentially counterculture, in extremism, it’s anti-culture. Nothing of importance or use can be presented by the Left in a TV debate format, except ideas already covered by the policies of the incumbent traditionalists. The Left can object to statements, they can emphasise the “correctness” of tradition by adhering to standardised debate format – essentially bolstering their opponents argument – but they can’t communicate the essential nature of the Left or what it stands for. The arguments are framed and contained before they even get in the cab to go to the studio to imitate a couple of male chimps.

    A debate of this nature is an aspect of Cult of Personality. Already people are hanging their hats on a favourite before they even open their mouths. Cunliffe could sing hey-nanny-nanny and people wouldn’t change their views. Key could stand in absolute silence and his support base would not change. As already stated above, it’s about perception and debating is about appeals to the tradition of authority, when time and again we find that authority fails us. Cunliffe isn’t the entirety of the Left in NZ or his party. Key isn’t National. They are irrelevant. Thousands of people drive government in NZ and it’s those daily decisions that make change or maintain status quo.

    To have TVNZ blow trumpets and open news media debate about moderators impartiality is an big election advertisement for the status quo. The perception TVNZ push is that there are two choices in NZ: Right or Left, and that David is Left and John is Right. If Cunliffe doesn’t win, then the Left is wrong and should be dismissed. If Key does not win, the Right has failed to put their truths across well enough and should maybe look at changing their patriarch. What utter rubbish. In reality, the “leaders debate” has no power to influence anything that happens before or after, its all illusion by anti-democratic parties or the self-delusion of party groupies.

    If the “Leaders debate” is a turning point, we all need to consider our level of stupid because we’ll have allowed a show of traditional male stupid to replace democratic elections.

  18. Ant 18

    Key can essentially lie at will and not get called on it. If Cunliffe mispronounces a vowel he will be jumped upon.

    Haven’t got my hopes up for this one. I’m sure the producers and Hosking will have structured a debate towards favourable terms for Key and vulnerable points for Cunliffe.

    • jackp 18.1

      I have to agree. After hearing Hoskings interview Nicky Hagger, I know this debate won’t be fair. I also think John Armstrong has written his commentary in favour of Key and waiting to fill in the blanks. And who are going to be the commentators? Farrar and Mathew Whooten? The general pubic haven’t a clue what is happening. But, David Cunliffe is a sharp guy and an excellent debator and I hope this comes through over the moronic Key. Someone said it’ll be Key and Hosking against Cunliffe. I hope Cunliffe can rise to the occasion.

  19. Observer (Tokoroa) 19

    Hi Gobsmacked

    You are value!

    David has to ask Key to clarify. He should ignore nearly all questions from John Key. Deny him oxygen.

    If key then says: “you are not answering my questions David Cunliffe”

    Then David says back to him: “Well. if you ask me a question clearly and succinctly I will gladly give you the answer. But I am not going to waste time deciphering your ramblings Prime Minister. Nor your half truths.”

  20. Tiger Mountain 20

    Having Maserati Mike running the show is remains a travesty. Policy will be off limits and especially Labour policy. “So Prime Minister of all your magnificent achievements which would you like to rub the filthy socialists nose in for my viewers tonight?”

    I know David has to essentially ignore the arsehole but it would be great to see him put in his kennel.

  21. Dont worry. Be happy 21

    Will John Key be speaking to night or will it be his office?

    He always me of that cringe making crawler from “The Office”

  22. Blue 22

    Jesus the white flags are already being hoisted for the left, are they? Hoskin doesn’t like us, the MSM hate us, a draw is a win. Christ what’s next ‘the sun was in Cunliffes eyes. Did if ever occur to you that Cunliffe gets no traction, because the message isn’t what most voters want to hear, or at least not what resonates at a vote changing level?

  23. Blue 23

    The reality is that this is a ‘debate’ hosted by a right-wing turnip and the results will be ‘judged’ by a right-wing media.

    Key will lie, obfuscate and dodge with confidence and he will not be called out on it by Hosking. He’s not going to ‘lose’.

    The best we can hope for is that DC comes off well and people get a good impression of him.

  24. Valleyman 24

    Key wont be able to help himself & resort to smart alec comments

  25. shona 25

    How , What , When , Where, and Why . Open ended questions.
    Observer you have nailed it. This is what David should do.

  26. Kat 26

    Does anyone know if this debate tonight is live streamed anywhere?

  27. Matthew Harris 27

    Remember to support DC on the Herald’s live debate poll: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11315552

  28. Belladonna 28

    I would like David to keep reiterating that when the nats became government, Labour had handled the economy well.
    So many seem to think Labour left the country in massive debt, the public need to be told the truth over and over again. I had to argue this point today – yet again.

  29. Sable 29

    This ought to be an A-grade yawn fest. I see old Maserati Mike is still moderating.

  30. Bill 30

    Thinking this might be a good option for those watching the debate. (Livestream)

    Tweet your thoughts using #GreenRoomNZ to be involved in the debate!
    The Green Room will be hosted by media commentator Russell Brown, and will feature Green Co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman responding to the debate live, along with comment from thought leaders and commentators.
    The livestream is designed to be a companion rather than a competitor to the TV debate – a second screen that shows a different perspective.

    Dunno what the fuck a ‘thought leader’ might be when it’s at home. But anyway…


  31. Eralc 31

    Key is certainly not underestimating Cunliffe. On RNZ this morning he said that anyone who’s seen Cunliffe in The House knows he’s a skilled debater.

    • Puddleglum 31.1

      His tune has clearly changed from when he was bagging Cunliffe as ‘gaffe-prone’.

      Key seems to be doing his own ‘expectations management’ tactic.

      His loyal supporters may be asking of him more than he knows he will deliver.

      But we’ll see soon enough.

  32. Observer (Tokoroa) 32

    Hi Belladonna

    I agree. Cunliffe should not accept any put down of the Clarke / Cullen / Peters Administration. It managed and saved Finance far far better than this current debt ridden Government.

    Cunliffe must stare him down quickly and decisively every time Key lies and distorts. “What you have said Mr Key, is not true. Please try and tell the truth.”

    Cunliffe should openly at the very beginning of the debate .. turn and address Key and say:

    “You are struggling John. Your treasurer disagrees with you; your staff do not tell you anything; your heads of Department keep you in the dark; you are ill informed on crucial matters; you know nothing; you are on holiday; you are overseas. Your Justice Minister is making a tawdry mess; your Educational Dept is a laughing stock; can’t even pay the teachers properly.’ you can’t get the Insurers to pay out all the earthquake victims; provincial NZ is ignored; shall I go on Mr Key ?. You go against nearly 80% of the nation over your casual attitude to land and assets. You are a disaster Mr Key”

    Your Ministers are not delivering are they Mr Key? NZ deserves so much better than you and your dirty attack dogs John.

    • Anne 32.1

      Cunliffe must stare him down quickly and decisively every time Key lies and distorts. “What you have said Mr Key, is not true. Please try and tell the truth.”

      Cunliffe must stare him down quickly and decisively every time Key lies and distorts. “What you have said Mr Key is a lie. Please stop lying Mr Key”.

      Which one will the watching voters remember? The second one.

      This is one of the things that has been holding Labour back. Too much PC language. If you want to attract the voters’ attention then say it how it is. If it’s a lie… say its a lie!

      • Colonial Viper 32.1.1

        Yep. Speaking to the working class is not about macho, sexist talk. It’s about calling a bloody spade, a bloody spade, and not flinching like a wuss while doing it.

  33. Stuart Munro 33

    I’m afraid I’m not especially optimistic – the combination of a brain dead compere, Hosking, a live worm, and Key who will be at pains to say nothing meaningful is likely to dumb this debate through the floor – I’m expecting something on a par with question time. The Green analysis may be interesting though.

  34. Clemgeopin 34

    LATEST POLL TODAY : Herald digi poll just out on line.
    We can take this as the PRE debate poll and see what the coming post debate polls say!

    Stacey Kirk: [STUFF]

    NZ Herald have published their latest Digipoll (interestingly, breaking it online before their papers). A reason for that could be that the results of the debate might take a more prominent seat then.

    The party results are interesting, showing NZ First and Conservatives on the move upwards (Similar to last night’s 3 News poll, though not as extreme). Labour are still dropping though.

    National 50.7 (up 0.7)

    Labour 24.1 (down 1.1)

    Greens 11.4 (down 2.3)

    NZ First 5 (up 0.7)

    Maori Party 1 (up 0.3)

    Internet Mana 3.4 (up 1.3)

    Conservatives 3.3 (up 0.7)

    Act 0.3 (down 0.3)

    United Future 0.2 (down 0.2)

  35. daev 35

    All ever seen from key is sneering personal aduse and utter lies nothing of any value

  36. Observer (Tokoroa) 36

    Hi Anne

    You make a good point. Go straight to it, is the best way.

  37. infused 37

    Really looking forward to this I must say

  38. Instauration 38

    So there is a debate on The Television – say TV1 ?
    Why ?
    Who goes there – anymore ? – except for Coro.

  39. nadis 39

    Who’s that guy with the red tie debating key?

  40. karol 40

    Key is very slick – total bullshitter. But I think those not very knowledgeable about politics will take him at face value.

    Nevertheless. Key is doing well…. unfortunately.

  41. RedBaronCV 41

    hosking only interrupts Cunliffe apparently. Took about 2 minutes

  42. weka 42

    “each txt costs 75c”

    Does that mean they will count multiple txts?

  43. weka 43

    Key’s point about stable govt… this is where Labour’s approach of holding coalition partners at arm’s length falls down. Labout is not going to be a large party, so what’s the theory about forming govt then?

  44. karol 44

    Perfect date night? Hoskings is on the wrong show.

  45. Flipnz 45

    A pay rise can be a few bucks the real question is the gap between poor and rich decreasing. Are more people better off. Growth is irrelevant if it only goes to a few which is what a National government delivers.

  46. felix 46

    Cunliffe just hammered Key on tax cuts. Show me the money, eh?

    • Anne 46.1

      I’m operating the touch dial thing. Every time Cunliffe speaks it swings around to green – agree. But when Key speaks it swings around to red – disagree. I’m amazed! That’s the way it is thus far anyway. Is it just me or is it in the accumulation of everybody?

      • SpaceMonkey 46.1.1

        I’m seeing the same thing… small wonder then TVNZ have claimed it’s been so popular it’s crashed! 🙂

  47. outside looking in 47

    Hi folk, anyone know a site streaming the debate live for people outside NZ –

  48. Sookie 48

    Cunliffe is way more feisty than poor old Phil Goff, when he gets a word in edgeways. Man Key is full of shit, I still don’t understand how even stupid people can’t see how shifty and shallow he is.

  49. Kiwiri 49

    Why is FJK misrepresenting another party’s policies and not talking about his own policies, and why is FMikeHosk not letting David Cunliffe talk about Labour’s policies ??!??

  50. newsense 50

    Cunliffe is very still. Very certain in his movements. He is smiling and sticking to his script. I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far and if the only impression people have had of him is the short clips this is definitely a better impression.

    • Colonial Viper 50.1

      Yep, Cunliffe has been tuning into the “less is more” school of TV presentation – and it works for him.

  51. Tautoko Viper 51

    David Cunliffe is looking confident and appears as if he is enjoying the debate.

    • ScottGN 51.1

      He looks like he’s loving it. Key on the other hand keeps looking anxiously across to Cunliffe.

  52. b4 this started..i told ‘the boy’ that going on my experiences doing commentaries on q-time @ parliament..

    ..that i had high expectations of cunnliffe tonite..

    ..he hasn’t disappointed..

    ..and the strength of his performances @ q-time were one of the main reasons i supported him to be leader of labour..

  53. Kiwiri 53

    as he keeps flashing his hand, JK lip syncs to twinkle twinkle little stars
    dying rock star for nz’s economy

  54. karol 54

    Hoskings looking worried. Cunliffe has done well to take on Hoskings & Key at the same time.

    • Kiwiri 54.1

      multiple attempts at hosking David Cunliffe:

      e.g. “we’ll come back to that later”

      e.g. “that is a separate issue”

      • Hanswurst 54.1.1

        I don’t agree. He does that to both, and he’s not wrong. He does let both go off on tangents a little, but when he pulls them up, they are indeed straying into separate issues. I don’t think that there can be much cause to complain about Hosking’s moderation at this stage. The one issue I did have was the framing at the beginning as though it had been Labour hammering the Dirty Politics issue these past weeks, which is really not true; then, of course, the first question to Cunliffe was about Dirty Politics, which was a fairly transparent attempt to confirm that framing. However, I’m not sure whether a focus of any kind of focus on Dirty Politics hurts Labour in this context.

  55. Rodel 55

    With my left wing bias I’d say Cunliffe 90% Key 10 %
    Without my bias I’d say 50-50%
    Cunliffe perhaps as a better person with values- Key a right wing Slater lie machine.

  56. Kiwiri 56


    JK has given up debating. Hosking steps in to debate Cunliffe.

    • Kiwiri 56.1

      Hosking about to lose the debate, nek minit both JK and Hosking draw in their breaths deeply and both start talking over each other and with each other 🙂

  57. Flipnz 57

    Key is a one trick pony. Grow the economy for his mates.

  58. weka 58

    Did DC just call JK ‘mate’?

  59. newsense 59

    buddy I believe

  60. infused 60

    Cunliffes lost. He said nats did a good job through gfc as well.

    • felix 60.1

      Good thing he’s only up against Key who is totally out of his depth, hopeless off the script, and freaking the fuck out.

      • Colonial Viper 60.1.1

        As others have said, Key seems to have lots on his mind. Like a long Hawaii vacation.

  61. One Anonymous Bloke 61

    This isn’t a debate. It’s a scripted pantomime. Hoskings is well out of his depth.

  62. Anne 62

    Just as I thought: the strategy is for Key to talk non stop and prevent Cunliffe from getting his points across.

    • Hanswurst 62.1

      If that’s the plan, it’s not working. Cunliffe absolutely skewered Key on capital growth and land ownership. Key looked exceedingly uncomfortable.

  63. infused 63

    Hoskings been good. Lot have commented that

  64. infused 64

    Felix you must be watching a different channel

    • felix 64.1


      And yeah Hosking was alright. Not a great moderator but pretty even handed I thought.

      • TheContrarian 64.1.1

        That comment about him hoping cunliffe’s date night wasn’t with his kids was a bit….why did you say that?

        Apart from that he was even-handed. Just rubbish at being a moderator.

        • felix

          Hosking will receive enormous praising for not being horribly biased.

          Meeting the bare minimum requirement of the task has probably scored him a massive bonus and a raise and a free car.

  65. Rodel 65

    The debate was OK.
    The TV Poll is just ridiculous/ So unscientific as to be worse than useless. I predict that tories with a few cents to spare will be schooled up by Nacts to overwhelm the results but working class people won’t want tp spend money. Absolutely shameful stupid TV.

    • disturbed 65.1


      It is a selective poll, as I found out when they called me at 3.40pm Friday 22nd august, asking if I would participate, in a Herald digipoll & I said yes, she said is it o/k if my boss listens in please?

      I said fine but was a bit surprised they do this, then after ten minutes fishing around for what my age and job etc.’ was, she all of a sudden said Oh we have enough of this category, so then hung up!!!!

      Looking back to the 10 minute conversation,

      When I said I was retired that was what killed it apparently and a poll about age voting blocks came out last month saying 48- 75 yr. olds vote more for left than right.

      So that poll is ring wing stacked from using age blocks to get the right vote up higher.. So Herald Digipoll is stacked against the left voter and that’s your answer.

  66. RedBaronCV 66

    Well the free voting is down so TV 1 skews the result to those who can afford 75 cents and multiples therof. How Hosking ackowledges the bias

  67. Te Reo Putake 67

    Key doesn’t look like a man about to romp to victory. DC is constantly prevailing in the
    ‘talkover’ exchanges. The lighting is shit, it’s making both of them look rather grim.

  68. Rich 68

    61 – 39 how do they do that?

  69. newsense 69

    Hosking looks exhausted

  70. weka 70

    “he’s the past, we’re the future”


  71. That was an absolute beating. Cunliffe was like Hulk Hogan body slamming some unfortunate jobber.

  72. Sookie 72

    I was expecting more of a Tory smarm fest from Hosking. He was actually not bad. Perhaps he was scared of being mocked on Hauraki tomorrow morning. The poll was rigged as always. It reminds me of that episode of the Simpsons where Homer tries to vote for Obama and the machine says ‘you voted for John McCain’ over and over 😀

  73. Jrobin 73

    Well done David. Strong concise and firm. John Key looking bad tempered and threatened. Jargon ridden answers from Key versus Cunliffes detailed policies.

  74. woodpecker 74

    Go the Daver. you are da man. I think you wyped the floor with with the little ferrett.
    Nats must have paid heaps to skew the poll . Just more dirty politics…. no surprises there mate.

  75. karol 75

    Cunliffe did way better than I expected. Won on points, style & substance. Hosking struggled. TV One vote machine the biggest loser.

  76. anker 76

    Cunliffe stunning ……….great performance. Key poor performance.

    Stunning ending with Cunliffe saying they are the past, we are the future.

    • Kiwiri 76.1

      I am glad this David is leader tonight.

    • SpaceMonkey 76.2

      +1 That was a brilliant sign off by Cunliffe. That little soundbite should be Labour’s tag for the remainder of the election.

      • Rodel 76.2.1

        Yes Cunliffe’s parting shot was brilliant! relevant to the content of the debate where Key rambled on about the past and Cunliffe spoke of the future.

        a bit like Lange’s parting riposte to a worn out pissed Muldoon . Its a wonder JK didn’t say ‘I love you too Mr Cunliffe.’

        Cunliffe a wise young owl. 70%..Key a dodgy ferret caught in the headlights 15%…. Hoskings a ……….??? 15 %(same as Key).

        TV1 sillypoll minus100%

  77. JanM 77

    The result is quite encouraging considering the current ‘preferred prime minister’ polls

  78. big bruv 78


    Key murdered Cunliffe. I do wonder how many votes Cunliffe lost for Labour tonight, clearly the days “boot camp” did not work.

    Hosking went very soft on Cunliffe, had be been more even handed it would have been even more of a victory for Key.

    • DS 78.1

      61-39 in an unscientific poll where you have to pay to vote?

      Real world voting is free.

    • lprent 78.2

      You spent money enriching a lines company?


    • What were you watching BB?

    • dad4justice 78.4

      How come bigot blouse you call Cunliffe here and Cuntliffe on kiwiblog? You are one very twisted unit you sinister sick sad slob.

      [lprent: I tend to ban people who can’t use correct names and when the odd names are still overused. Hi dad… ]

    • Nick K 78.5

      The 75c to vote put me off even though I guess I can afford it.

      I was surprised that 61% thought Key won, so maybe I’m biased. Here’s some general thoughts:

      1. Cunliffe regularly gave numbers (1 million hectares of farm land sold to foreign buyers) and Key just started chanted to himself “it’s not true, it’s not true”. If its not true give the real numbers, casting doubt seems to be an effective technique based on Big Bruv’s response and the pay to vote poll but seriously you can’t just play ‘Yes you did’ ‘No you didn’t’ and call it a debate. Cunliffe had facts, Key didn’t/
      2. Key attacked Green policy as though it was relevant. At one point saying “I don’t know, lets call the Green’s promises $10 billion” and then proceeded to attack Cunliffe on financial policy based on a number he just made up on behalf of a party that wasn’t in the debate. Its pathetic.
      3. Who looked more comfortable both while speaking and while the other was speaking?
    • halfcrown 78.6

      “Key murdered Cunliffe. I do wonder how many votes Cunliffe lost for Labour tonight, clearly the days “boot camp” did not work.

      Hosking went very soft on Cunliffe, had be been more even handed it would have been even more of a victory for Key.”

      What a load of crap

      • tricledrown 78.6.1

        Half Crown i suppose you only have half a brain as well !
        Key has lost the pplot

        Key knows its all or nothing if he looses this election their will be a full enquiry into his dirty dealings with whaleoil!
        Loosing the Debate has added another straw to the camels (Cigarette reference to whale site sponsorship) back!
        The pressure of all his lies and doubling dealing spies is adding up

        • Anne

          Note the inverted commas. halfcrown was quoting Big Bruv at 78. He called it for what it is: a load of crap

        • halfcrown

          Hey trickledrown, I was quoting BigBruv I suppose half a brain is better than no brain like some of the right wing dicks appear to have who come on here.
          Agree with you 200%, but I think Hoskins was disgusting, Cunliffe had to debate(if you can call it that) against Key as well as Hoskins.

    • Yeah right.

      Cunliffe beat the absolute living crap out of Key, who hardly managed to get a point in other than unsubstantiated scaremongering. I haven’t seen a beating that bad in a political leaders’ debate for a very long time. I actually laughed out loud when Hosking asked for the numbers and Cunliffe had them in front of him.

      What should terrify Key is that most of the debate wasn’t about dirty politics which is his weakest spot.

      This was a humiliation for Key to stack on top of the torrent of humiliation in the last couple of weeks.

    • ScottGN 78.8

      71% Cunliffe to 28% Key on Newstalk ZB poll. Key never looked like a winner from the start.

    • Weepus beard 78.9

      You’ve gone all polite. Nervous?

    • North 78.10

      Murdered Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Murdered. That’s how you devour your shit pies in the dark while whistling is it Bruv. Wipe your chin you dick.

  79. blue leopard 79

    I thought Cunliffe did v well. Key just seemed uncomfortable most of the time and floundering alot.
    The poll @ the end was full of shite; Cunliffe won not Key.
    I really don’t know why anyone would vote for Key.

  80. Pete 80

    Very strong debate from Cunliffe. His point about young NZ farmers buying their own farms was well made. He kept on talking policy. I think he won. This is why I voted for him to be leader.

  81. Jenk 81

    Yeah – I thought Cunliffe was good – and Key looking stressed, and also “puppet like” – no real feeling coming through from him. And what happened to TV1’s email vote ? ? ? They should have been prepared to have an overload. Who wants to waste money using txt voting ? !

  82. newsense 82

    lovin’ the Green room

  83. felix 83

    Anyone watching Russel Brown’s yawnfest?

    Which bar is it? Looks like shit, especially the paintwork.

    • weka 83.1

      Some of it was good – Turei and Norman explaining very clearly where the GP comes from was worth it. I lost lots due to dropped connection though – would like to have heard the guy talking about disability policy. Not sure what the Lucy Lawless celeb gossip thing was about.

      • felix 83.1.1

        He didn’t talk to him for very long, had to cut to the beardy gossip guy who had Julie-Anne Genter to interview but decided to do all the talking himself instead.

        My main issue however is with the high level of sheen on the paint finish. Terrible. Whole place looks like a public urinal in the 1980s.

        • weka

          lol, have to admit being a bit distracted by that myself (those dots beside Brown’s head), but then maybe it’s some Auckland trendy thing. It did kind of match Brown’s rough shaven, casual look shrug

        • Hanswurst

          Whole place looks like a public urinal in the 1980s.

          So sort of like the National Party’s campaign smells?

      • disturbed 83.1.2

        I watched both Russell’s & Julie Anne Genter and Metiria Turea

        Great show, they should open it up to other opposition parties to join in maybe that will generate some close post election partnerships?

        Lucy Lawless is amassing still and for environmental justice I love her as a 70 yr. old retired man for her dignified honesty.

        Her and Nicky Hager could be mistaken for brother and sister.

  84. Anne 84

    Well, the Touch the Dial thingy was overwhelmingly in Cunliffe’s favour. Quite astounding to watch. Every time Cunliffe talked it swung around hard green (agree) . When Key spoke it swung around hard red (disagree). No mention was made of that outcome eh?

  85. Ad 85

    Oh I just love that.

    I want David Cunliffe as my Prime Minister.

  86. McFlock 86

    key needs to get a new line – he said easily checkable (lol pg) stuff is “jus nutrew” about 20 times.
    He needed more controlled delivery and actual facts – like cunliffe had.
    Key was possibly handicappedby not having an audience to play up to, like the chch town hall event in 2011. I think cunliffe did better than key. Looked in control.

    we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks

  87. Cunliffe certainly came across as strong, confident, sure of his facts and good-humoured.

    John Key was tight-mouthed and, especially early in the debate, went out of his way to criticise Labour and the Greens in a way that seemed stretched and evasive given the questions he was meant to be answering. It also seemed that he was quite negative more intent on attacking than explaining. He didn’t look very relaxed.

    I also noticed Cunliffe several times saying positive things about Key and what the government had done, but always with a good point about what a Labour-led government would deliver in the same space. In other words, he came across as reasonable and fair-minded.

    • weka 87.1

      +1. I liked the praise Key then promote Labour policy thing. Earlier he interrupted Key so much, I thought he would have been better to let Key spout his bullshit and then use his time to correct him and talk about Labour. I missed the start though, was Hosking letting Key get away with too much time?

      • Puddleglum 87.1.1

        I think Key’s first ‘answer’ rambled on into unrelated territory so quickly and for so long that Hosking had to interrupt and tell him he wanted an answer (I think it was a number out of 10 over the effect of the ‘Dirty Politics’ issues) rather than “a party political broadcast” 🙂

        • weka

          ha ha. I thought Hosking wasn’t too bad, but then I started with very low expectations.

      • Clemgeopin 87.1.2

        No, Hosking was ok, at least initially.

        As the debate progressed, he seemed slightly more generous with Key and a little sterner with Cunliffe.

        I do wish that he had given Cunliffe right of reply when Key blurted off/misinterpreted Labour/Green policies!

        Cunliffe had well articulated facts and figures. His points about housing, foreign ownership of lands, immigration, unemployment and lack of growth in regions were well made.

        Key was good at the start and at times in his government’s achievements. Cunliffe interrupted him often when Key was on full flow with BS. Hosking kind of lost control sometime. He should have stopped Cunliffe when the interruptions became too much and given him right of reply instead.

        I would have liked Cunliffe to hammer the dirty politics of the ‘Dirty Politics’ a little more.

        Cunliffe’s final sound bite was a classic: He is the past, we are the future!

        My verdict:
        Cunliffe 60, Key 40
        Hoshking 6/10

        • Clemgeopin

          I think that Key has lost his mojo and confidence. His smile has changed to a grimmace. ‘At the end of the day’, (the phrase he has stopped using), he is probably rattled by The Dirty Politics revelations and disturbed by today’s news from Winston that Collins is mounting a secret challenge on Key. There must be a lot of National people and MPs fuming about the revelations in the book and the power wielded over National by some two bit outsiders and nobody’s like Slater, Ede, Lusk etc in blogs, influence, control, dirty tactics and stuff. There may be a faction trying to back stab Key. All this must have been weighing on Key’s mind during the debate!

          Bye Nats. I think you are finished!

    • just saying 87.2

      There’s respect and then there is obsequious.
      The first is good, the second is not.
      His effusive praise of Key was offensive to those of us that is being kicked in the guts by him.
      It was also insincere.
      I was appalled by Cunliffe’s performance.

      Cunliffe needs to find passion and sincerity if he has any.

      • weka 87.2.1

        I agree it wasn’t particularly sincere. More politically adroit (I enjoyed seeing Key being bested at the political game). Will be interesting to see if that works for him or not.

      • felix 87.2.2

        “His effusive praise of Key was offensive to those of us that is being kicked in the guts by him.”

        Well it’s true, Key is a sharp mind. It’s a pity he chose to use it for evil instead of good.

        I understand where you’re coming from, js, but there are a few ways to interpret such praise. I would rather David didn’t say Key was trying to make NZ a better place, because I don’t think he is. But by saying he’s trying it’s also a way of saying he’s failing to make NZ better.

        I think David was really talking past Key, to the Nats’ soft support, the voters who backed Key in the last two elections but could just as easily vote progressively.

        I think he sent a message that they’re not stupid, that even if they were conned by a charlatan it wasn’t their fault and it could happen to anyone.

  88. Given the skewing effect of the cost of the calls, the split wasn’t too bad. Cunliffe dominated – good performance. Key looked stressed.

  89. Pete 89

    Rachel Smalley on Twitter says she thinks Cunliffe won. So does Matthew Hooton.

    • Jenk 89.1

      NewstalkZB had a poll too – their’s is almost a direct opposite to TVNZ – 63% to Cunliffe, 36% Key.

  90. TheContrarian 90

    Thought Hoskings, while always douche, was reasonably fair (that weird date-night question was pretty odd).

    Key looked tired and off his game. Cunliffe impressed me most in that he wasn’t as terrible as I expected – still won’t vote for the guy but a strong performance.

    50/50 I reckon – winner takes all next debate.

    • felix 90.1

      lolz, douche but fair. So much douche that guy.

    • Lanthanide 90.2

      I think Cunliffe edged ahead in that Key looked nervous a lot of the time.

      I think it was a fair and respectable performance by Hosking, good but not great.

      Wish they wouldn’t do those rubbish “questions from viewers” because they take up so much valuable time where the same question could just be asked by the moderator, although at least this time they weren’t howlers like I recall the 2011 ones being.

  91. Binders full of women 91

    This RWNJ was a little impressed with DC. Especially when he said he respected JK as a fine mind who worked hard for NZ- such a refreshing change to the shonkey-slippery-money-Maui-man vitriol I’m used to.
    Cunliffe’s weakness is that I believe he is at heart an internationalist but he’s pretending he isn’t –like when he said kiwis should own the farms blah blah, no foreign ownership UNLESS there is economic benefit.. kinda basically what the status quo is. Also surely he knows deep down that if you really want to scratch the surface of 10,000 houses per year having Stevensons put 70 million into building & aggregate plants in SOUTH AUCKLAND might be a good idea. Not to mention a shit load of jobs. (But your internal polling says farms push buttons)

    • Jenk 91.1

      Why can’t Stephensons’ lease their farm – perhaps not for as much as $70mil, but enough to do whatever they want to do in their quarry ?

      • anker 91.1.1

        @ 91.1 Jenk.

        Why the hell do they need to make $70 million? Who needs that much money and how much did they pay for it originally?

    • newsense 91.2

      I’m sure his point is trade where NZ benefits, not a charity for overseas speculators on assets or currency

  92. Ffloyd 92

    At last we have a Statesman. David Cunliffe made squeaky look like the new boy in school. Key looked like a dork. He had nothing of substance to contribute. On the back foot the whole way. Even little mikey couldn’t save him. DC ruled the whole debate and any media that says different needs to look at an alternative occupation. We have the best, backed up by true kiwis to bring us all back to all that is great and good for EVERY New Zealander, of all races. Cunliffe was brilliant!! Key was a very sad second.

    • blue leopard 92.1

      I agree except I think you are a bit kind to Key, he came third – even Hoskings was better than him 😆

    • xtasy 92.2

      Sadly TVNZ’s text “poll” said differently, but then again, the poorer in South Auckland and other places will not even have watched this, let alone have their mobile accounts debited by 75 cents a text message.

    • Ffloyd 92.3

      I also want to say that LABOUR RULES!!

  93. infused 93

    Cunliffe was decent. You could see he was sticking to his vote positive message. My jaw dropped though when he said Nats had done a good job getting us through the GFC.

    He needed more facts and figures, and not be there reading off a piece of paper.

    • newsense 93.1

      Bill English acknowledged Cullen’s work to pay off debt prior to the GFC.

    • Pete 93.2

      It’s quite smart. To win, Labour need to convince people who voted for National in 2011 to vote for them in 2014 (or at least stay home). You don’t do that by telling them they were mistaken or wrong, they’ll just entrench their views. Appeal to them as reasonable people who would view a change of government to be the reasonable, pragmatic course.

  94. anker 94

    Ad @ 85 100000000+ I want DC as my PM too.

    He has stayed strong with all the shit he has had to put up with.

    Well done David. Hope he is having a celebratory drink or something now. Congratulations DC!

  95. Glenn 95

    Boringly even…no winners…no losers.
    Green Room microphone must have been in a large bucket.

  96. bad politics 96


    NewstalkZB poll has Cunliffe ‘Won’ debate 71%

  97. Paul 97

    Hoskings was appallingly biased.
    Half way through a mate of mine commented that he was only interrupting Cunliffe and letting Key speak unrestricted.
    So I started counting and from 7 40 to the end Hoskings interrupted Cunliffe 12 times to the 3 times he interrupted Key.
    Referees like that should lose their jobs.

    • xtasy 97.1

      AGREE! Sadly some Cunliffe fans only saw and heard what he communicated, and missed that important bit!

    • Rodel 97.2

      E mail TV1 and Hoskings about your analysis. Hoskings won’t be aware of his own bias and I don’t blame him. He’s too busy trying to run a show.
      You don’t know these things unless someone tells you.

  98. Rich 98

    NZ herald running a poll. I assume so far that it’s just people who have discovered the poll.

    Currently 16-3 to Cunliffe.

  99. Charlieboy 99

    Cunliffe the winner by a mile. If you think otherwise you really need to have another look. This is exactly the reason Slater, Joyce, Farrer, Ede and the rest of the dirty tricks brigade have been trying from the git go to sabotage Cunliffe.
    They know he is a real threat. Cunliffe will make a great PM.

  100. geoff 100

    Fucking well done, Dave!

    Destroyed Key!

    That first segment was particularly brutal for JK. The frightened glances at Cunliffe, letting Dave talk all over his lines. Was like watching Ali pummel Sonny Liston. I almost felt sorry for John until I remembered he’s a blood-sucking parasite hellbent on flogging the country off to the highest bidder.

    And that last line! He’s the past, we’re the future! What a cracker!

    • Dumbrse 100.1

      Feeling better for having pissed in the leaders pocket are we? Destroyed Key with his arrogance maybe.

      • anker 100.1.1

        Dumbrse @100.1 No Key destroyed himself with Dirty Politics and not looking after the needs of the people of NZ

    • Colonial Viper 100.2

      I almost felt sorry for John until I remembered he’s a blood-sucking parasite hellbent on flogging the country off to the highest bidder.

      I appreciate your sentiments but actually, Key’s job is to flog our country off to fairly cheap bidders. After all, his corporate, banking and oligarchic mates don’t want to pay too much for their own piece of Godzone eh.

  101. xtasy 101

    What people in New Zealand largely still do NOT understand is: You cannot have an informed debate, equal chances for political parties and candidates, when people do NOT get informed!

    Having such stupid TV “debates”, interrupted every 8 to ten minutes by three or more minutes of commercial advertising distraction and brainwashing, and having a “host” who throws in questions with a certain implied message, that whatever the answer will be, it will be crap (especially to Cunliffe), it is a waste of time.

    Would children at school learn well about maths, science and else, if the teacher goes outside of class every 8 to ten minutes, and allow a street vendor in, to promise heaps of cheap lollies and other distractions to be got outside? NO, they will lose the track and message, that is what is happening with the viewers and listeners to the useless “media” in NZ Inc..

    That is what you have with a totally commercially dominated, controlled and run media, and TVNZ sadly follows the same tune as the rest of their competitors.

    It was a “shocking” debate, at the low end when it comes to “quality”, and the questions were largely “loaded” and useless. Any undecided voter, who has not made any effort her- or himself, to get some real, substantial information on matters and policies of substance, will have felt lost, and left with where they were before the debate.

    And tell me, please, where in the TV, radio and other media, has any player made ANY effort, to have the youth, the mostly undecided, given a forum to discuss, inform themselves, and debate with candidates anywhere? Nowhere is the answer!

    So the MSM are at it again, they are determining the outcome of this election, just as their private enterprise, corporate owners want them to do. Forget election 2014, it is a “sick joke”.

    Those that think Cunliffe “won”, need to recheck what the “message” by Hosking and TVNZ was at then end: 66 percent of text message voters thought Key “won”, and only 33 or so thought Cunliffe “won”. So there you go, another TV program designed just to reinforce the message to most out there, “do not bother”, as according to the “expert” media, it is all “decided”. Sick!

    • Anne 101.1

      Unscientific and rigged xtasy. I know what goes on behind the scenes in the National Party. You can be sure every member and supporter was emailed and told to vote in the debate. It’s how they operate. The ‘party lines’ would have been running hot all day. Years ago, I remember National boasting about their huge membership numbers – during Muldoon’s reign of terror. It transpired that anyone who so much as bought a National Party raffle ticket at a School Fair ended up on their membership list. Thousands didn’t even know they were members.

      • xtasy 101.1.1

        Yes, I am sure that the vote was not balanced and based on anything scientific, I just watched the end of the repeat of the debate, and Hosking claimed it was 61 percent for Key and 36 or 39 percent for Cunliffe. It is like with other text polls, those who are not “rich”, they will think twice about paying 75 cents for just one text message, which could be used for three or more other more important messages in their eyes.

        But money talks, and money talks for the MSM, talks for the heavily overpaid Mike Hosking, a fan of the Nats, who held a flattering speech for Key once at their conference:

        At least one reference still available on the Web, as so many links have been WIPED! There has been a major media “tidying up” exercise done to keep certain results appear on Google search, so people do NOT learn what really happened in the past!

        It is time to nationalise or at least “neutralise” most private media, to force them to comply with standards and balance, or they will not get airtime and licences! But that seems “too radical” for even Labour and Greens, I fear. I would not shy away from this.

        • xtasy

          If my comment will be allowed, I meant, there have been enormous efforts made, to wipe search results from Google and so, that may shine negative light on what the Nats and this government have done. So the public will never find certain stuff and articles, unless they know how to access cached and other hidden info.

          Dirty politics has not vanished and gone away, just because most MSM hacks have “moved on”, it is still there, alive and well right now, you just do not “notice” it, as it goes on behind the scenes. It was not just Whaleoil involved, Hager mentioned at his speech at the Mt Eden Memorial Hall in Balmoral Auckland last night, that many from the media asked him, was I ever mentioned in the emails from Slater?

          Hager was very decent and diplomatic, the truth is, many mainstream media journalists have reason to feel worried and afraid, as they have private stuff to worry about, and that keeps them in check too, so they will not dare rock the boat that is captained by one John Key now.

          As for tonight’s host to the election debate, he has his “interests”:

          Hager was asked about the Herald, and he was diplomatic. There are worse papers in other places, he said. I say, they have some nasty ones work for them, but at times we get some “gems” too (check that link just above).

          Favouring Sky City and John Key and National makes for a poorly qualified host, I would think.

    • halfcrown 101.2

      How very true xtasy.

      • xtasy 101.2.1

        Check this about TVNZ’s supposed “qualified” and “neutral” Mike Hosking:


        What a fricking joke, I must say, he could hardly control his bias, and while Cunliffe had the better arguments, and Key looked nervous, it will matter what the rest of the media will report on it later on, also paid handsomely by “vested interests” (you better believe it), for the public to perceive and believe.

        It is a corrupt game the media play, we are just presented a “show”, nothing else.

  102. AmaKiwi 103

    It was a verbal street brawl, NOT a debate. People constantly interrupting each other is NOT a debate.

    The loser tonight was TV One and the incompetent Mike Hoskings.

    Next time:

    1. Moderator poses a question.
    2. Speaker 1. has an allotted time to answer the question without interruption.
    3. Speaker 2. has the same.
    4. Speaker 1. has an allotted time to rebut, without interruption.
    5. Speaker 2. has the same.

    TV One should be ashamed of their lack of professionalism.

    • Paul 103.1

      Hoskings continually interrupted Cunliffe and hardly ever injected when Key was speaking.
      He made Key’s points for him.
      A disgraceful selection TVNZ.
      A nadir in public broadcasting.

      Yes Cunliffe was good enough to rise above this and Key had no policies to actually debate with.

      A clear and convincing victory for Cunliffe.
      Key was literally sweating with worry.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 103.1.1

        “He made Key’s points for him.”

        He did, and Key still looked like shit warmed up.

        Look at all the little media gnomes biting the hand that fed them. They need a healthy dose of publicly funded independent media up them.

        • Paul

          Key looked really bad.
          No policies to debate, just Labour and the Greens are horrible…..
          By contrast Cunliffe outlined numerous policies

          Now, will the MSM discuss issues?
          Or will it revert to scandals, polls and smears?

        • Richard Christie


    • weka 103.2

      Yeah, I thought the constant interrupting would have put a lot of people off. It was really bad. Got better nearer the end.

      • Paul 103.2.1

        Interrupting occurred as follows.
        Hoskings interrupted Cunliffe.
        Hoskings did not interrupt Key.
        Key interrupted Cunliffe
        After long speeches by Key ( uninterrupted by Hosking) Cunliffe interrupted Key..

        The problem…Hoskings, who failed to do his job as an impartial moderator, as predicted by many who asked he be removed from the job beforehand.

        The management at TVNZ have a lot to answer for.

        • karol

          Yes. Cunliffe had to start interrupting to take control of what Hosking and Key were doing. The Nats are pretty practiced at interrupting.

          So Cunliffe put Key (and Hosking) on notice for further debates – ie that he will not put up with being interrupted and that he will outdo Key on that, if necessary.

          Hopefully, the next debate/s will be more orderly.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          +1 Paul.

          Someone throw Hoskings a straw to clutch at.

    • weka 103.3

      Cunliffe defended his repeated interjections. “We’d been briefed beforehand that there was no set time for individual speakers and [moderator] Mike [Hosking] invited us to parry and play. That was the kind of debate that he told us he wanted.”


    • tricledrown 103.4

      online poll at news talk ZB gives the debate to
      Cunliffe 65%
      Key 34%

  103. Stuart Munro 104

    Key no longer gets through my affective filter, you can tell that rational argument isn’t his home ground. Better than expected from DC, the good humored coup de grace really said it all.

    No money to buy back assets though… he can break that promise any time he likes for my part… people shouldn’t expect to get full price for stolen public property.

  104. CeeH 105

    So very proud of David – I think he dominated with class and charisma tonite. Especially liked the end bit too when he acknowledged respect for John Key, adding but they are the past and Labour is the future. Good shot! How embarrasing for John Key not giving any credit to David – truly shows the arrogance of the man.

    • McFlock 105.1

      yes, that was excellent – key was cowardly and evasive when simply asked to be honest. Cunliffe delivered a bit of a zinger, but wasn’t snide or even particularly unfair.

  105. Ffloyd 106


  106. Pete 107

    From the Herald: O’Sullivan, Manhire and Armstrong give the debate to Cunliffe, Young gives it to Key.


    • Paul 107.1

      If Audrey Young thinks Key won that debate, then she does not deserve to be regarded as a credible political commentator.
      There is no way any impartial observer could read that debate as anything other than a resounding win for Cunliffe.

    • Paul 107.2

      If Audrey Young thought Key won that debate, then she has lost all credibility as a credible political journalist.

      • Rodel 107.2.1

        Audrey Young’s analysis is superficial, obviously pre- decided before the debate and presents no evidence for her views. At least the other two dealt to some extent with the content of the debate whereas Young had silly flibertygibbit la la impressions.

      • Colonial Viper 107.2.2

        Yeah, that ship sailed.

  107. Sanctuary 108

    “…Young gives it to Key…”

    She is a Tory through and through that one, brother was a cabinet minister and everything.

    I was out moving stuff for my sister, is it online anywhere?

    • McFlock 108.1

      she gave it to key, but never mentioned a single line or comment he made.
      She talked entirely about cunliffe, and not too badly at that.
      Praising with faint damnation.

  108. North 109

    61 to 39. Hahaha ! Tui’s x 10.

    GodKey phones on speed-dial and hammered the fuck out of. Obviously. Think about the undecideds. Think about the floaters. Nearly 2 out of 3 would have said Key ? Tui’s 11.

    Hosking must be given his due I believe. Which acknowledgment adds weight to this……Cunliffe ‘presented’ Cunliffe……Key ‘protested’ Cunliffe…….Cunliffe won.

    • newsense 109.1

      and Tracey Watkins and Andrea Vance on stuff saying that Key can also have claimed to have won cos of the text poll. 30K out of 45 k were text messages…

      • North 109.1.1

        Are Watkins and Vance mad……don’t bother. They are. And anyway……who do those dummies think they are ? OK I’ll give Vance this……she knows heaps about texts !

  109. Thinker 110

    I found the live stream about 7:40 so missed quite a bit of it.

    Would have to agree with those who thought Cunliffe got interrupted a bit more.

    It’s easy to be critical, when one gets to sit at home & not do the gig, and I know there’s value in displaying oneself as a “good sport”, so I agree with the principle of Cunliffe saying something pleasant about Key instead of critiquing Key’s performance (as Hosking asked). But, Hager’s book has very recently ‘outed’ some very unseemly goings-on on the 9th floor, which (the Horizon Report in another page on this site) many of the public are taking seriously. So, I wondered if saying ‘…I have respect for John Key… We just have different politics’ (I paraphrase, here, I think, because I can’t remember the exact phrase) was quite the terminology to have used. Maybe, something like ‘I don’t want to rate John Key’s performance, Mike, that’s for the people of NZ to do. I think they like what they’re hearing from our Labour candidates, and that will reflect, come September 20th’.

    As said, easier from the comfort of my armchair; Cunliffe did a better job than most, and that’s got to be good.

    • newsense 110.1

      Armstrong comparing it to a eulogy…though the sod hasn’t been thrown in yet…

  110. risildowgtn 111

    IMO key was hopeless as the moderator between Cunliffe & Hoskings 😛

  111. Bob 112

    Clear win tonight for David Cunliffe, Key came back towards the end but Cunliffe was strong start to finish. Biggest difference with Cunliffe tonight was complementing National on the work they had done, first step in dropping the stereotype of Labour as having no ideas but the opposite of what National is doing, he then finally started painting a picture of how their policies would shape the country.
    It has only taken a year, but for once he didn’t just come across smarmy and like he was trying to be someone he’s not, he really seems more comfortable in a debate than a normal conversation.
    I though Key was disappointing and seemed over rehearsed on the opening and under prepared on his own policy.
    It will be interesting to see how the next polls shape up for Labour and where their votes come from!

  112. Tanz 113

    Fran is also a tory and she gave it to Cunliffe, as did John Armstrong.

    Do debates make a difference?

    • Zorr 113.1

      They do, inasmuch as impressions matter.

      Key was “off his game” and “rattled” and David Cunliffe was “composed” and “assertive”. These adjectives are going to get a lot of air time now and form the tone of the narrative.

  113. Saarbo 114


    O Sullivan – Cunliffe
    Manhire – Cunliffe
    Armstrong – Cunliffe
    Young – Key

    If anyone saw Key as winner, you would really have to question their credentials…what debate did Audrey Young see. That wasn’t only a debate win for Cunliffe, he also showed why he is Prime Minister material….which many of us have been saying for years.

    • xtasy 114.1

      Yep, saw the insecurity in his face, the nervous fumbling around with his fingers and hands, and fear all over, really, but the host still tried to pull off a “spin” with that viewers’ text poll, which is as biased as can be.

      Key looked like a naughty boy caught out by his mum for taking more out of the cookie jar than he was allowed.

  114. One Anonymous Bloke 115

    Hoskings played his part, despite my criticisms above. He questioned Labour’s policies as though they are inevitable.

    The narrative has changed. Manipulative to a fault.

  115. Ron 116

    IS there any site that one can now watch the debate? Doesn’t appear to be available on TVNZ

  116. xtasy 117

    Yes, what a night, I wish we get a media we can trust, what will the next “leaders’ debate” be like, same as the minor party leaders’ debate?

    Bring back better and well funded public broadcasting, thanks, that is what we need.

    I would even pay a fee, rather than have infomercials, commercials and all this distracting crap soil my eyesight and better deserving brain cells, thanks.

    • weka 117.1

      No, it’s because the spam filter is playing up, has been all day. It’s not just you, lots of comments are disappearing randomly. They turn up when Lynn or micky or whoever has time to let them out I think.

    • lprent 117.2

      Oh pull your head in, you fool. There is an issue with some comments going into spam when they aren’t meant to. While I am trying to figure out why, I have to sweep out the spam periodically. Your comments are amongst them…

      • xtasy 117.2.1

        Thanks, I got it before you commented as the earlier comments suddenly showed up, while I was editing, and hence “amended” my new comment accordingly. Let us move on, I understand your concerns and will be mindful of the technical necessities, and not jump to conclusions. I and some other commentators move fast at times, which of course can bear risks. I will endeavour to stay within rules and controls.

        Enjoy the night, things may look up after all, despite one unfavourable Herald poll.

  117. Mike 118

    I thought David Cunliffe came across as more in control, more relaxed, and more honest and believable. Much more like a leader and Prime Minister. I liked his policies and was very impressed by his performance. John Key came across as nervous and unsure in comparison. Watching the TV, I was clapping at what Cunliffe was saying, and I fully expected the viewer poll to be strongly in Cunliffes favour. Sometimes I find it very hard to believe these opinion polls.

    • seeker 118.1

      Went to vote on tvnz website at 7.25pm it then said Key 60% Cunliffe 40%. I voted for Cunliffe and the figures changed to 61% Key and 39% Cunliffe!! Strange I thought, then Hosking said the site had crashed.
      I rang tvnz and they took my vote over the phone saying something had gone wrong but one could still comment or text but I said that wouldn’t be fair as it would mainly Key’s supporters that could afford 75c Just sticking to comments seemed fairer.
      However I noticed that neither of my votes changed the outcome at the end which was the same as the one I noticed at 7.25pm when the site crashed i.e.Key 61% Cunliffe 39% thus I knew they had published an inaccurate/scuppered poll result..Yes, something definitely went wrong with tvnz’s online voting set up tonight. I’m surprised that wowee investigative reporter Andre Vance hadn’t noticed before she wrote her article. (never think of Tracy Watkins as being ‘investigative’.)

      Fotnote-looked at vote online site at 8.30pm and it had shifted back to Key 60% and Cunliffe 40% ! Ghost in the machine?

  118. Just waded through the 400+ comments on TV1’s Facebook page thread about the poll results – a majority were positive about Cunliffe and a lot were annoyed at the fact the website crashed so they couldn’t vote.

    I chastised a charmer who used the Amygdala Brigade’s play on Cunliffe’s name – and a chum of his abused me for it. Such class. And the fastidious Mr Lusk says he won’t work with the Left because they ‘lack grace’.

  119. outofbed 120

    So I think we can safely say that DC won that one.
    I guess we can now expect a poll rise for Key 🙂

    • xtasy 120.1

      Of course, polls will now exclude all Labour and Greens sympathisers, just to keep the election “clean” and within “bounds”. Key Jong Il is bound to get 98 percent support on 20 September, no doubt.

  120. Observer (Tokoroa) 121

    As I saw it …

    John key was himself. Vague, no grasp of figures, broadbrushing, bulldozing and insulting. Hosking had to sit on him to “answer the question” in the important opening exchange.

    Hosking knew that Key has no regard for detail; just a driving instinct to give very wealthy people more wealth. No idea in the wide world of the common man. Even thinks they are overpaid.

    Hosking wanted Key to present himself in a better light – given the courtesy and Precision of Cunliffe.

    Towards the end Hosking virtually told Key to shut up while he (the moderator) took over the role of pushing Key’s lines in the Lochinver issue – the Let’s sell off all New Zealand policy). It is a no no for a Moderator to carry the case for a participant. It was like suddenly finding a cigarette butt in the morning tea muffin. Vile. But I understand Hosking’s despair of his idol Key.

    Cunliffe held his nerve during the intrusion of Hosking and said China won’t sell kiwis land. Neither Japan. So this land belongs to New Zealanders, and upcoming kiwi farmers. Foreigners can buy land in their own countries.They can start and run Businesses here. Key as if no one was at home in his head, had a vacuous grin on his face during this long dosage of Hosking the participant.

    Key does not give a stuff whom he sells birthright to; or assets. He does not understand the issues and concerns. He is vacuous. Everyone knows that every Key world wide sell off, lessens New Zealander’s wealth. Even our banks, bar a couple of little ones, send Billions home to Australia.

    Cunliffe was decent to Key …..and at the end showered him with an undeserved accolade. Key just carried on a fantasy role, making up Labour Policy, with very unconnected and highly imprecise statements. Key comes across as a temporary visitor from a Disney Land storage cupboard.

    For mine, Hosking in spite of wrongly shoring up Key, came through as the man of the night.

    Cunliffe must leave the vicarage, and place a strong baton under his arm. His formerly dodgy foot is developing sureness. With the Baton of leadership he will then have what it takes.


  121. Charlieboy 122

    I’ve always thought Audrey Young hopelessly compromised by her close family links to the Natz. Her father and brother both Natz MPs.
    Watch the debate again Audrey, Cunliffe kicks butt and by the way he will do it again. Key has lied so much he has to be careful what he says, whereas Cunliffe just has to speak the truth.
    By the way I loved the eeeeehhhh that Key came out with several times, just like Muldoon in his final days.

  122. BLiP 123

    Contrast and compare . . . a selection of comments from the new, improved, kinder, more gentle Kiwibog:

    And, shameless plug again, join me on the Herald’s Rate the Debate dial in between making comments here and/or on Twitter.


    Go David. Take him down.

    Or at least try your very best not to look like a complete Silent-T.

    Fingers crossed, eh Richard?


    Helen Key just said gay marriage was his biggest achievement.

    God help this sick country.


    Cuntliffe coming across as his usual smug and arrogant self. The smile is false. Key started well by acknowledging Cuntliffe, Hosking and the viewers.

    So far it’s even in my book, although Hosking does seem to be trying to be overly easy on Cuntliffe so as not to incur the wrath of the scum left.


    why even mention fucking gay marriage in a political debate?


    Tax cuts yes or no Helen Key?


    Cuntliffe is costing his party more and more votes each time he grins with that smug face of his and interrupts the PM. I suspect the plan is to try and get Key to loose his rag.

    Cuntliffe is pandering to his hard left, violent and aggressive fan base. I suspect that ordinary Kiwis are not going to like his approach.


    Silent T needs to be told to shut the f…. Up. Rude prick


    Reid is dead right. Cuntliffe obviously has a plan to try and stop Key’s flow. While it might be working it will be pissing off a lot of people.

    So far the biggest disappointment of the evening is Hosking. Nobody is learning anything new here tonight, Cuntliffe is being allowed to turn the debate into a complete mess.


    Think it is 50:50 so far. Cuntlips won the farming sales debate.


    Cuntliffe achieved nothing tonight other than reminding Kiwis that he is an arrogant and smug prick. The result of the poll at the end of the show showed a huge victory for Key. That might have had more to do with Cuntliffe’s arrogant performance than Key destroying him in the debate.


    Why is cunliffe standing with his feet so far apart?

    He is letting hot air inside….

    Yea na its because he is such a wuss and believes he is a female. Remember how he said sorry for being a male?
    This leads on to the question
    Why don’t females fart as much as males?
    Because they don’t shut up long enough to build hot air!


    Your Views
    Have your say on the issues of the day
    Which leader impressed you most in the debate?
    13 – John Key
    48 – David Cunliffe

    Far be it for me to suggest a little astro turf effort from the right may be in order.


    Just read Vance at Stuff.
    Shook my head, blinked, and re-read what the dilly pommie bint had to say,.


    Across on Granny Herald, the proles have silent T on top. Extraordinary. So they’ll be creaming themselves over at the Standard then. Do we need to send in extra mops? Could be messy

    (Forgive me if I don’t link to the sewer. Anyone wanting to verify will be able to find the relevant thread easily enough.)

  123. CeeH 124

    I noticed a drop of sweat on Key but not on Cunliffe. I thought Key looked defeated at times. Rachel Smalley said JK is good at thinking on his feet and changed his stance to being polite etc to make Cunliffe look bad. If so JK certainly looked uncomfortable being demure – maybe playing the victim of o woe is me. Much sympathy for JK being tired. Cmon he is probably missing Cameron Slater.

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