Jan 22, 2008

Colin James On The Challenges Ahead For The PM

In today's NZ Herald Colin James looks at the steep climb ahead for the PM if she is to retain power:

The contrast with the opening month of the three most recent election years is stark. In each of those years Labour came off large December poll leads, 15 per cent average against Jenny Shipley's fraying Government in 1999 and 11-12 per cent over the National oppositions of Bill English and Don Brash in 2002 and 2005.

This election-year Labour comes off a December average 15 per cent deficit to National, the mirror-image of 1999. And the strong economic tailwinds of 2002 and 2005 have turned round into a light but freshening headwind.

By Christmas the Cabinet was looking as frayed as Shipley's at the end of 1998.