ZB

Mike's Minute: Ardern's chances for a third term are fading fast

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 1 Aug 2022, 10:31am

Mike's Minute: Ardern's chances for a third term are fading fast

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 1 Aug 2022, 10:31am

I am led to believe that today marks the fifth anniversary of Jacinda Ardern  and her arrival as head of the Labour Party.

Andrew Little imploded. But, to his credit, he admitted he wasn’t the man and quit.

In came this new young leader whose job was to resurrect the Labour fortunes which were at the time sitting at about 24 percent in the polls. Resurrect them she did. On election night they ended up with about 37 percent. I distinctly remember it. I was hosting the television coverage and I watched as she left her house headed for the big speech. She looked deflated. Yes, it wasn’t 24 percent but it also wasn’t a win.

National beat them and fairly easily, but they would need Winston Peters. And so the latest chapter of the New Zealand government had begun. The rest is history but the history is the story of Ardern.

And the story on this day marking five years shows us the best days are behind her. Short of her turning out to be a John Howard type figure, which she isn't, it's all downhill from here.

The downhill part is already well underway. She remains the preferred Prime Minister, but by a decreasing amount. Her party is now behind national consistently. she faces a very rough ride between now and next year to try and resurrect her chances of getting another term.

I don't think she can do it. I think Labour are toast. I doubt she will be rolled, they have no real talent. But I wouldn't rule out her walking away.

She looks increasingly tired and out of ideas. She is no longer omnipresent and that may be deliberate given when she was omnipresent a lot of people started to go off her.

That will be the story of her prime ministership. She was thrust into office and initially adored. Events you could never see coming gave her an international reputation she could only ever have dreamed of. But domestically, where the votes are, it all wore fairly thin fairly quickly.

This is a government that doesn’t actually do stuff. They talk they promise, they hold press conferences, but they don’t get stuff done. They spend money, and God knows where it goes.

So, the love affair has ended and we have seen the rise of the anger and frustration. On a chart it would start at the bottom on the left, rocket up, peak quickly, and the downhill gradient is increasingly steep.

You need three terms in this country to head into the halls of greatness. Ardern shone bright for a while there in the early days, she will see the sixth anniversary this time next year.

But that, my bet, will be that.