Key is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t

John Key is heading back to Northland, trying to rescue National from a humiliating by-election defeat on Saturday.

The prime minister is returning early from a visit to Japan so he can campaign alongside National’s candidate Mark Osborne today and tomorrow.

It’s going to take all Mr Key’s campaigning skills to save Mr Osborne, and it may be too late.

Mr Peters thinks it is.

Mr Osborne, a council worker with no political experience, has been out of his depth in public encounters with Mr Peters.

Mike Sabin retained Northland in last year’s general election with a 9300 vote majority.

It’s vacant because Mr Sabin resigned at the end of January, citing personal issues.

One of Whaleoil’s Rules of Politics is “Never hug a corpse”. ?Northland and Osborne are political corpses, as are the election team of Joyce and de Joux. ??

Not since Bill English’s chasm plunging election?results have National suffered such humiliation due to the total arrogance and incompetence of people who completely misread the situation in Northland.

Sure, it’s easy to be wise with 20/20 hindsight, but you’ll recall that I’ve called this from the beginning – much to some of my readers disgust.

Here’s the truth some of you sycophants need to get straight: ? National’s “popularity” is partially a mirage. ?It came about because the alternative of a Cunliffe, Norman, Turei, Harawira and Harre (and Dotcom!) government was so objectionable, the people ensured it could not happen.

Just because Key is a likable guy and has good personal approval ratings, and just because National got a record breaking MMP era result doesn’t mean National itself is popular. ?Once again, this is something I’ve been consistently saying since even before the election.

All you have to do is?talk with people, not sit in your ivory tower in Wellington pouring over data and poll results. ?There is no substitute for human intel.

Just like you must put boots on the ground to win a war, you can’t run an by-election from a desk in Wellington.

And kind of perversely, John Key’s personal popularity is distorting the actual frustration of Northland National voters that they have had the chewed end of the carrot for too long.

All this would be something to learn and bounce back from, if it wasn’t for the judicial?time bomb. ?National will be pushing pins in dolls, casting circles of salt and reading chicken entrails hoping the name suppression doesn’t come off anytime soon in a current?case before the courts.

When it does, it will be political carnage.


– 3 News