Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Mike Hosking: Sharma drama exposes PM's disappearing political nous

Another sign the Prime Minister has lost any political acumen she may once have had.

Her reaction to the Gaurav Sharma resignation was to whine about the cost of a by-election. The vote costs around $1 million. Why she would worry about $1 million is beyond me.

She wasn’t worried about the $50 million for consultants on the cycle bridge in Auckland that went nowhere. Just this week, she didn't seem remotely bothered by the $44 million to consultants so far, and counting, on the light rail that has yet to see a millimetre of track laid, despite the fact she personally promised it would be finished last year.

I could go on, but you get the point.

I suspect the reason she reacted the way she did is because she is panicked. Having cocked the Sharma mess up from day one, having been exposed as the leader of a party of potential bullies, she now faces the very uncomfortable prospect of losing a seat she holds in a by-election.

She gave the Tauranga race away before it even started because she knew her party didn’t stand a chance and didn’t, of course, hold the seat.

But Hamilton West is different. Hamilton West, indeed, the two Hamilton seats, are famous for being bellwether type seats. Where the country goes, they go, or vice versa. That's why the West has been held by Labour and National multiple different times over the years.

The real issue is this is going to be a proper test for the Government's support. If they could dismiss the local body results around the country, and they tried pretty hard, they can't dismiss this race.

It is their seat, they are the Government, they have a record to talk about, promote, and defend. The democratic process will be the judge of that.

What the Prime Minister fears, of course, is what is most likely to happen. And that is they get spanked.

Sharma, bless his heart, is starting a party of his own. Yet another indication of the growing discontent all over the nation. He will get nowhere and will never be heard from again.

But that’s not the highlight. That is a National-Labour head-to-head in a bellwether seat that reflects the mood of the nation.

Bets, anyone?

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings


gjsharpe57 said...

She wasn't worried about the cost of a by-election if Eagle had won the mayoralty in Wellington.

robert Arthur said...

It will be ubfortunate if the Nats are obliged to declare policy befor it has fully hardened before the main elction.
The Dr may as well take up Jacindas' offer and get another 6 months of generous pay before descending into obscurity.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant summary Mike, but I'll pass on the wager given I think there won't be any dissention.