ZB

Heather du Plessis-Allan: There’s still some runway for Chris, but it’s running out

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 4 May 2022, 7:23pm
National leader Christopher Luxon. Photo / Mark Mitchell
National leader Christopher Luxon. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Heather du Plessis-Allan: There’s still some runway for Chris, but it’s running out

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 4 May 2022, 7:23pm

Up to now, because he’s a beginner, Luxon’s been given a relatively easy run on little slip ups and own goals. 

But I suspect that’s going to start changing. 

Three polls now, including last night’s, have put National in the lead. 

Which means Luxon is now a possible or probable winner at the next election. 

And he’s going to start facing the kind of scrutiny that comes with being a possible or probable Prime Minister. 

I suspect the runway for making mistakes is running out perhaps faster than he might think. 

I'm not suggesting voters will be harsh.  

Clearly, they're being anything but, because despite a string of mistakes recently like calling for a public holiday to be cut to swap out for Matariki and getting confused on public transport subsidies, he went up more than 6% in the preferred Prime Minister poll last night. 

But the thing he won’t get away with is not knowing his mind or sounding like he doesn’t know his mind. 

There's too much of that lately. 

The most obvious example is Luxon trying his hardest to avoid taking a position on co-governance. 

That is too big and too contentious an issue to not have an opinion on. 

He is going to have to be brave enough to take a stand. 

Chris Luxon and National don’t need to go as hard as ACT in their position, but they cannot go to the election without having a position. 

And they can’t wait until the last minute before they firm up where they stand. 

Because they are already in the lead and there will be a sizeable chunk of the population looking to them in the hope that they will stop some of this nonsense going on under Labour. 

And unless they know their minds and can say whether they will stop it or not, they will only leave voters as frustrated by them as voters are by Jacinda and Labour. 

So, there’s still some runway for Chris, but it’s running out with each poll that puts them in the lead.