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Andrew Dickens: Someone in PM's office can't keep their eye on the ball

Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 12 February 2019, 12:07p.m.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Simon Bridges. Photo / File

So if the first major poll of the year is to be believed then Labour is well loved. Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern is the best person to lead the nation by a country mile and Simon Bridges just can’t cut through when he’s being beaten by Judith Collins.

That last finding is surprising because it’s not as though Judith Collins has been striding across the news and being very visible. A quick search shows that Simon Bridges has made the news 10 times as much as Judith Collins, who once a week fires off a Kiwibuild attack and once a week gets an opinion piece written about her as a possible leader.

That all leads me to say that Judith Collins always had more base appeal than Simon Bridges and Mr Bridges, despite a wealth of time on our screens and our radios, has not grown his support. This poll is an indication of Bridges' weaknesses, not Judith Collins strengths.

Then there’s the strength of the Prime Minister’s support which never fails to gobsmack her opponents.  I have often warned that National supporters are sounding a little too much like Democrats in the States. Still unbelieving that their party managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat they keep praying that Jacindamania will suddenly implode and she’ll disappear.

Well, that still hasn’t happened and what this poll actually says to me, is that we have one of the poorest crops of politicians that I’ve seen on all sides of the house. The ones who are rating are the best of a bad bunch.

I’ve been asking people lately which politicians they rate. Which ones they feel comfortable with and who they think is competent. Grant Robertson is coming up more and more. Mark Mitchell. Kris Faafoi. Stewart Nash has some traction for a while until he went nuts over some barbells and a friend of mine called him Trevor Mallard lite, which I thought was quite good.

When Jacinda is mentioned much is made of her ability to sell her parties ideas. He so called PR speak and proficiency. Yet I’m not so sure she’s still got the knack

What’s interesting looking back over the stories published by the media over the past 6 months is the absolute caning the government has got from what conservatives call the left wing biased mainstream media. Sroubech, Kiwibuild, Capital Gains Tax, the Provincial Growth Fund.  The Working Groups.

So Jacinda and her team know that the knives are out on any slip-up and they should be ready to fight back. After Waitangi Day Mike Hosking pointed out that the Prime Minister had over-egged the Maori unemployment figures. It wasn’t a biggie, the figures are the lowest in a decade, but they haven’t been caused by this government, but as Mike said it went to credibility. So this morning he put it to Jacinda. She must have known it was coming, but she fudged and claimed not to know the context. Just as she also fudged the Wanaka Kiwibuild story.

She got a caning from apoplectic opponents on the text machine.

To me, it seems that someone isn’t keeping their eye on the ball. Either in her office when it comes to briefing or maybe the PM is believing her own Teflon press.

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