News grim for Labour

Singing off-Key is doing little to boost Labour – Opinion: views on the news on

Tracy Watkins all but writes of Labour in her column today.

Is it time to write Labour off? Maybe not yet ? but only because, like Winston Peters, Helen Clark is not someone you write off lightly. And of course MMP applies the other handbrake. In fact, if it weren’t for MMP, and the vagaries it throws up, we might have written Labour off already.

But the news doesn’t get much grimmer for a government heading into the final leg of its third term ? on the weekend’s poll results, National would govern alone.

Few would expect an 18-point lead to survive the churn of an election campaign ? but Labour is rapidly running out of time to turn things around. And the portents aren’t good.

The polls are becoming self-fulfilling in that nobody likes to back a loser.

Importantly, they appear to be losing faith that a Labour government can turn that around. The view that National might be a safer pair of hands at the economic tiller is now shared by 46 per cent of voters. Just 33 per cent of voters trust Labour to manage the economy better.

In an election in which voters, for the first time in nearly a decade, will be deciding their vote against the backdrop of hard times, a loss of faith in Labour’s stewardship of the economy could prove decisive.

Translation: Labour are screwed. Tracy is the first journo to talk about an early election, something I have quite a bit of money riding on. Mike Williams, perhaps their single biggest stumbling block now has a message on his answerphone for media to stop calling him.