Heather du Plessis-Allan: National's budget blunder does them no favours

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 21 Sep 2020, 5:50PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: National's budget blunder does them no favours

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 21 Sep 2020, 5:50PM

I don’t even know where to start with the National Party. They are just doing themselves no favours. 

That $4 billion budget mistake at the weekend has done them huge damage. 

Two reasons: the first is that it just reinforces the perception that National is going to lose this election. That’s the worst part of this for them. 

They just don’t look like winners. They’re making so many mistakes, one after the other, that it creates the perception they’re on a path to a massive drubbing and that can be self-fulfilling. 

Yeah, it wasn’t a big mistake.  It was one line in a massive document.  But it is a small mistake with huge ramifications.  

And if it had been a small hiccup in an otherwise brilliant campaign, it wouldn’t have such a massive impact. But this has been a shocker of a campaign so far. From Todd Muller’s resignation, to the Hamish Walker- Michelle Boag debacle, to Merv the talkback caller, to Judith Collins’ disappointingly meek performance, the weird campaign launch and now this. 

Second reason this is damaging is that it has squandered the big moment, National’s chance to turn this campaign around. 

The economy.  That’s their area of strength, its Labour’s area of weakness, the PREFU showed how stuffed the economy is going to be for a long time, the GDP numbers were far worse than Australia’s. This was National’s moment to change the conversation from the current health response to the future economic response and they messed that up. 

And even worse, they’ve just handed Labour a big stick to clobber them every time they talk about the economy. 

This will not be the last time you hear about National’s $4 billion bungle. 

 

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