Don’t turn up to a street fight in a ministerial limousine

Duncan Garner describes what is going on in Northland, where Winston is nailing National.

I sense the voters are grumpy. Many of them feel neglected. And rightly so.

The roads are simply shit. I drove them yesterday. I drive them regularly. I have a house in the north. The pot holes are so big you could live in them for days.

National has held this seat for 67 of the last 70 years. If this is progress ? then what does failure look like?

National has been caught with its tight blue undies around its ankles and Winston Peters is taking full advantage.

It?s fair to say National?s in a street fight, it?s desperate. And it?s clearly showing.

The problem for National is that their much vaunted campaign team have always concentrated on the Party Vote, or run campaigns in by-elections that were not in play.?

Their campaign team have never won a tight battle against a tough opponent by working the ground game. They are sending in people who do not know what it is like to put your life on hold and career on the line to win a seat, with no prospect of making the list.

This is strange.

Instead of getting people like Joyce, de Joux, Bishop and Muller campaigning they should have got people who know how to win tough battles, and have proved it by winning them. MPs like either Bennett, Kaye, Lotu-Iiga, McIndoe, McClay, Young, Borrows, Wagner or Goodhew have all won tough battles through good strategy and a lot of hard work and mostly without the support of headquarters.

If I were a National candidate staking my career on winning a seat I would do what Jonathan Young did when he had 10 weeks to beat the very popular Harry Duynhoeven. Politely decline offers of support from HQ and run a really good local campaign dealing with local people, local issues and with a core of local supporters.

Campaigning for an electoral is practical, you have to work hard and get your hands dirty.

You do not learn it running a campaign in safe seat, or a nationwide party vote campaign.


– RadioLIVE