Oct 15, 2008

Colin Espiner: Points Win To Key

Colin Espiner reached the same conclusions as The Hive team - it was a points win th Key last night.

The punters watching at home on telly probably don’t analyse debates this way, of course. But what they got from tonight’s debate was a chance to see the two would-be prime ministers being put through their paces and actually answering some questions about the economy, law and order, climate change, and where Clark and Key want to lead this country - within the strictures of the commercial television format, of course.

They may also have seen, perhaps for the first time, two people on stage who could legitimately lay claim to the job of prime minister. Key has not managed to look prime ministerial very often, but I thought he managed it tonight.

This is a good thing. After 2005’s whitewashes, when Clark wiped the floor with Don Brash, it was nice to see a bit more of an even contest. After a hesitant start to the campaign by National, Key tonight evened the score.

Based on his improvement and on exceeding expectations, I’d give tonight’s debate to Key. But only on points.