The fat lady and the campaign manager from hell

It’s all over bar the shouting, Peters has a grin as wide as the holiday highway is long, and the proverbial rotund lady is doing her warm up scales.

The Prime Minister denies he’s been outfoxed by New Zealand First’s leader.

Opinion polls have Peters with a commanding lead ahead of tomorrow’s vote.

National’s Mark Osborne says his party had to go through a selection process.

“That put us two or three weeks behind Winston and others getting out there, so we’ve had to catch that up.”

Winston Peters declared his candidacy on February the 27th, one day before Mr Osborne was selected as the National Party candidate.

The Prime Minister initially said New Zealand First’s leader had a zero chance of winning tomorrow’s Northland by-election.

The National Party has continually attacked Mr Peters in this by-election campaign by saying he can’t force change if he’s not in government.

But the New Zealand First leader says it’s rubbish, he can make things happen, and has before.

“I delivered the Tauranga bridge when I wasn’t even in Government. Have you forgotten that? Toll free, second Tauranga bridge.”

The Prime Minister has spent the last two days of the Northland by-election campaign sticking by his candidate’s side, hoping he can salvage things and hang on to the seat.

The New Zealand First leader says he shouldn’t have bothered because Northland voters have made up their minds.

People here have made up their mind. They’ve had it to their eyeballs. They want change.”

Winston Peters has called National’s Steven Joyce “the campaign manager from hell”.

He’s got that right. ?Word from the campaign trail is that it is everyone’s fault except Steve Joyce’s, with blame and recriminations thrown in all directions except Mr Wonderful himself.

Long time Northland party members are red-faced with anger at what has gone on.

The result today?won’t be the end of National’s problems. ? There are demands for a significant sacrifice. ? If the party is denied, the blame will be sheeted home to Key as well.

 

– Barry Soper, Newstalk ZB

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