John Minto has come out with a vitriolic attack on Phil Goff today. Or just stated a few facts - another way of putting it.
And even as Labour tries to distinguish itself by shuffling a little to the left of National its attacks are blunted because it's hopelessly compromised at every turn and the problem is personified in Labour leader Phil Goff.
When Goff attacks the rise in GST, the ghost of Goff reminds us it was the man himself who introduced GST at 10% in the first place and then increased it to 12.5% back in the 1980s. It was also Goff who brought in tertiary student fees and again it was Goff who sat at the Labour cabinet while it sold our key state assets for a song to the rich mates of senior Labour politicians of the time. We've been paying the price ever since.
My prediction for this election is a comprehensive win to National. Labour will dump Goff in the new year and shift significantly to the left as it tries to reposition itself as the party of the 99% rather that the party which has done more than National in the past 27 years to enrich the 1%.
But the real problem Labour faces is not defeat in this election but finding anyone in their new caucus who has an economic backbone rather than a corporate-moulded artificial brace.
If Labour collapses - and I define that as less than 30% - then Mana could gain a few extra seats, so Minto would say that in a tactical way - regardless of the historical truth of what he says (and he's right too). I'm not sure Labour will collapse though.
Any bleed from Labour in a collapse (down to a possible low of 20% as the disasterous English/Boag campaign of National in 2002) will probably go:
15% NZ First
So if Labour slips uder 30% @28% it would be one extra seat to the Greens, @26% an extra seat to Mana and another one to the Greens. But I don't know the electorate is that Goffphobic to go below 28%. As I forecast earlier I'm expecting about 32% for Labour +/- 1%.
As for Minto's appeal to the Nat/Lab Tweedledum/Tweedledee cynics he makes a good case.