On Saturday I posted Will Ardern be PM for three more years? Today, I report that contrary to my previously expressed opinions, Eleanor Ainge Roy on Saturday wrote in The Guardian:

“With seven months to go, the internationally acclaimed PM must tackle queries over whether she has done enough at home”

Aha. Internationally acclaimed notwithstanding, isn’t that just what we all want to hear. And supported by a reputable international newspaper:

“It’s time for morning tea at the Allen Bryant retirement home in Hokitika, New Zealand, and a rattling tea cart is doing the rounds as the 50 residents talk politics.

The South Island district is a Labour party stronghold, and the party was born up the road at the Blackball pub 100 years ago. The residents who live at the home in the West Coast region are overwhelmingly Labour supporters, with backgrounds in mining and lifetime union affiliation. It was on the west coast that the party celebrated its centenary. And it is here that it is beginning to alienate its once-loyal fans.”

Hmm. OK. This is still what I want to hear. Though I’m wondering just a tad, how representative a retirement home in Hokitika is of the views of mainstream New Zealand but let’s press on

“Denis Pfahlert, 92, has voted Labour all his life and says the government has made the mistake of politicians the world over – it has over-promised and under-delivered. With the next election just seven months away, some members of Labour’s loyal base are questioning the government’s ability to improve the status quo.”

Mr Pfahlet evidently feels disillusioned. We know exactly how he feels I’m sure.

Ms Ainge Roy continues

“Three years ago, Ardern was elected on a promise to “transform” New Zealand in the most exciting vote the country had seen in decades.

The feminist credentials and strong social conscience of Ardern, a progressive young leader who emerged during a turbulent period in global history, appealed to voters after nine years of conservative leadership by John Key, an ex-Merrill Lynch financier who had a fondness for tugging women’s ponytails.”

Even Ms Ardern doesn’t claim to have been “elected”. She knows her Labour Party was 36.9% to National’s 44.4% in the election and that means they were 10 seats short of being “elected”. The most exciting vote the country had seen in decades? I don’t think so. As usual, Mr 7% was the deciding factor and Ms Ardern was anointed (much to hers and the country’s surprise). John Key “had a fondness for tugging women’s ponytails”? I recall that did arise on one occasion (much to the delight of the MSM). One woman, one pony tail, one event – and from my recollection, the whole thing was a bit of a set up but really, who cares? Isn’t this about how Ms Ardern has a problem coming in September?

“But in the months after Christchurch, Ardern’s popularity slipped, and confidence in Labour’s victory at September’s general election is being questioned.”

That’s more like it – and it goes on

Political commentator Bryce Edwards believes the Labour coalition government has not proved to voters that it is radically different from the previous National party government, despite its promises. “Delivery has been the biggest issue for this government. They have failed on delivering on their big promises of inequality and housing,” Edwards says. “Labour may struggle to mobilise their fanbase come the next election; people are beginning to suspect this government is more interested in style over substance. And the gloss has definitely come off Ardern.”

Just as I said on Saturday, our views are deeply influenced by our own wishful thinking, and this article in The Guardian is worth reading, despite its slightly erroneous slant in places. It highlights the many failings of Ardern’s government but is also realistic in its summation:

“Ardern’s winning card, however, may be the striking unpopularity of her opponent, the leader of the National party, Simon Bridges.”

Sounds strikingly familiar, doesn’t it?

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I've worked in media and business for many years and share my views here to generate discussion and debate. I once leaned towards National politically and actually served on an electorate committee once, but the party lost its way and is still lost in the wilderness. Nearly voted Labour once when Roger Douglas was Minister of Finance. I could never see my way clear to voting for NZ First for many reasons but I'm far from committed to one party or one set of views. Years ago I supported Bob Jones and the New Zealand Party and a quest for change and I have voted for Act more than once. Today, politically I don't have a natural home - so I have an open mind.