I’ve previously linked to a Bob Jones article picking a Labour win in 2011.
Here’s a link to the Prebble piece at Gauntlet. He notes that Labour got more votes than National in 1978 after a massive defeat in 1975, he says inter alia:
Back in the present, Phil Goff is a much more impressive figure than Bill Rowling was. He is smarter for a start, and is a much more experienced politician going into an election, having 15 years prior experience as a successful minister, compared to Rowling’s three years and John Key’s single year. Goff has fought far more elections than either man. Experience counts.
Take the Mt Albert by-election which is the only head to head comparison we have of Phil Goff versus John Key. Labour’s polling two months out only gave Labour only a very slight lead.
Goff and Key then took the major decisions that turned a possible National win into a Labour landslide. Both Leaders selected their candidates. Phil Goff picked David Shearer who did not put a foot wrong. John Key picked Melissa Lee who was the wrong candidate even before she opened her month and proved it. Very few Koreans live in Mount Albert.
Both men had a big say in who organised the campaign. Goff relied on Labour’s hardened professionals who run a textbook campaign. John Key made the bizarre choice of a cabinet minister, Jonathon Coleman, as National’s campaign manager.
Some claim by-elections are a more reliable guide than polling. The by-election shows how soft National’s support is and how in a general election a 5.85% % two-party swing is enitrely possible. It raises serious questions about John Key’s leadership in a campaign.
If John Key was more experienced, National would not have contested the Mt Albert by-election. National under Muldoon did not contest Sydenham when Norman Kirk died, thus depriving Labour of a contested victory.
We could not believe it when the Nats decided to contest Mt Albert – most of us thought it was going to be a Green v Labour race.
After appointing Michael Cullen to a string of boards it then becomes hard to argue he was a disastrous financial manager. Similarly, supporting Helen Clark for work at the UN lends credibility to Labour. Credibility, the feeling that a party can be trusted to be in charge of the country, is political gold, and is what elections are won with.
Subsequently, Labour won twelve new seats. No party that had just lost government has ever gained a dozen new MPs. They mostly come from Helen Clark’s office where are they trained to be professional career politicians who will do what it takes to win. Their youth and enthusiasm is revitalising the party.
Well they don’t mostly come from Helen’s office but they sure have hit the ground running. They are very very good and over time we will see the results of that.