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Kate Hawkesby: Hard working David Seymour is hitting all the right notes

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 Aug 2022, 7:20am
Photo / Mark Mitchell

Kate Hawkesby: Hard working David Seymour is hitting all the right notes

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 Aug 2022, 7:20am

The big winner out of last night’s One News Kantar poll is David Seymour.

While the two main parties both went down two points, Act went up by four.

And the good thing for them about that is, that while the Nats dropped two, they're still on 37 which means add in Act's 11 percent support, and the right block on those numbers, would have enough to govern. 

And that's the bit that'll have Labour starting to feel the heat. The message here - if you take into consideration their number last night is the lowest they've polled at since 2017, is that the country is sick of them.

This is a government officially on notice. People are sick of their failures, and sick of the leadership. If you look at the preferred PM stakes, Jacinda’s dropped to 30, which is her lowest rating yet as PM. And I'm not surprised, their schtick is getting tired and arrogant and people are over it. It's all too predictable.

The PM rejects the premise of all questions; she outright refuses to answer ones that look too hard. When she does speak, it's largely in riddles.

The Finance Minister just stoops to nasty nitpicky comments, the Health Minister makes it up as he goes along, and most other Ministers just give a ‘nothing to see here’ generic dismissal to most issues.

In fact funnily enough, just before I had Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni on the show yesterday, I got a text saying, 'why have you got her on, she always says the same thing, she'll say 'it's complex'. And sure enough, "it's complex" were the first words out of her mouth.

While Jacinda dropped in preferred PM rankings though, so did Luxon, by two points.

Which leads me back to Seymour.

He was up to 5 as preferred PM, and here's where I think he's gaining ground.

He says what he thinks. It's pithy and to the point, He seizes on the issues New Zealanders care about and he knows what they care about, because he's out on the street, and in town halls, and in communities, and on the road.

He hasn't been travelling overseas for chunks of time, he appears omnipresent.

He shows up for the 5am shows in a way no other politician does - he's not arrogant enough to assume he doesn't need to be everywhere. You can't say he doesn't work hard, no matter what you make of his politics, he's a trooper.

He also has a way of not getting himself entangled with the press gallery in a way that makes him look like he's on the back foot.

He's got good zingers and pithy one liners, he stays on message, he knows his stuff, and he seems to have come up with great sound bites by the time a camera gets to him, every time.

His comments get used a lot on the news because they're funny, or clever, or delivered with a droll sense of irony or sarcasm, he talks like a real person. He doesn't talk down to us or at us or across us, he just talks. 

His social media team is slick too - memes go up within minutes of news breaking, they're onto it.

So I feel like he deserves to be top of the pops this poll, he's well and truly earning his place at the table if and when 2023 rolls around and a right block government's voted in.

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