Pre-elec­tion an­tics lift in­ter­est

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JOHN SARGEANT

OPIN­ION: Wow. Re­gard­less of your in­ter­est in pol­i­tics, it’s hard to ig­nore the lead up to the elec­tion so far. With Me­tiria Turei even­tu­ally leav­ing af­ter ad­mis­sions of ben­e­fit and elec­tion fraud, An­drew Lit­tle step­ping to one side and now the two former deputy lead­ers of the main par­ties are now the lead­ers.

Na­tional had what was thought to be an unas­sail­able lead but ‘Jacin­da­ma­nia’ has eroded that to the point where Labour are now ahead in the polls for the first time since Aun­tie He­len was around.

It’s not sur­pris­ing re­ally when you look at it from a global per­spec­tive. There has been a wave of change for the sake of change as the old guard make way for the new and with Na­tional hav­ing had three terms in of­fice it seems this may be com­ing our way. Peo­ple are sick and tired of the same old, same old and re­gard­less of poli­cies as it seems per­son­al­ity pol­i­tics rules.

It started in the US with Don­ald Trump and Justin Trudeau in Canada. Theresa May vastly un­der­es­ti­mated her sup­port in Bri­tain and fell on her face in a snap elec­tion where she thought she would in­crease her al­ready com­fort­able ma­jor­ity. Now re­al­is­ing the mis­take she made, she’s ask­ing that she fin­ishes Brexit be­fore she too will fall on her sword.

Back home it’s no dif­fer­ent as Jacinda Ardern seems to be sweep­ing all be­fore her. The cam­era loves her, peo­ple love her and she ap­pears as fresh, smil­ing and pos­i­tive.

When was the last time peo­ple queued for hours to get a selfie with a NZ politi­cian?

She speaks with con­fi­dence and did well in the lead­ers’ de­bate, not al­low­ing Mike Hosk­ing rule the roost, and putting Bill English on the back foot at every op­por­tu­nity. What’s not to like - if you have no mem­o­ries of a Labour-led gov­ern­ment?

The dan­ger­ous thing is the ‘youthquake’ Ardern is stir­ring up where 18,000 peo­ple aged be­tween 18 and 24 have reg­is­tered to vote since Ardern be­came the Labour leader. Sure as eggs they are not queu­ing up to vote for Win­ston.

If this elec­tion was a bus trip, we’ve been around a few sharp cor­ners, dropped off some pas­sen­gers and taken on a few more. There will be a few more stops to make on the way to Septem­ber 23. Na­tional has every right to be wor­ried.

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