NZ POLITICS DAILY: Hope for Goff in close World Cup result?

Nail-biting victory seen as better for struggling Labour leader than the "triumphalism that the All Blacks running riot over their opponents would have entailed."

From the sublime to the ridiculous. That’s how one writer has characterised the quick shift the nation is experiencing in moving on from the Rugby World Cup tournament to the general election campaign (see: From one competition to another).

And today really is the first day of the proper election campaign.

There’s still some discussion on how Sunday night’s outcome might impact on the election.

Both John Key and John Pagani seem adamant that it won’t affect things politically and they both have they own reasons, no doubt, for pushing that line.

Others, such as Gordon Campbell, have been a bit more profound, arguing that "This close, nail biting victory – without the triumphalism that the All Blacks running riot over their opponents would have entailed – was the best possible result, politically as well."

The one-point victory in a match increasingly dominated by the French would, according to Campbell, tempered the benefits to the National Party and furthermore, "Phil Goff will be seeing analogies in this final, and hoping for similar miracles from the underdog during his own political final, on November 26" – see: On the Rugby World Cup Victory.

But for the very best analysis of the politics of the Rugby World Cup, see Scott Yorke’s irreverent Imperator Fish blog post, Hitler Behind RWC Ball Choice. And for a more serious examination of the big-money commercial operations of All Blacks Inc read Lane Nichols’ What an ABs win is worth

The most intelligent analysis of the day on the election campaign comes from Massey University’s Grant Duncan writing on his Policy Matters blog – see: How did Key get away with it?. Duncan explains John Key and National’s extreme popularity by their successful attempts to position themselves – as Helen Clark once did with Labour – as "mainstream New Zealand."
 
Duncan argues that Key has been able to "obliterate the class politics that used to limit their [National’s] appeal as a traditional conservative party" but also "to obliterate ethnic-identity political boundaries as well."
 
Other useful election campaign items today include: Tracy Watkin’s Rena grounding has left National floundering and Andrea Vance’s Our embarrassing uncle? Also of importance is Adam Bennett’s An odds-on favourite and Marika Hill’s Political activism surge driven by students
 
But the economy continues to be central to this year’s election campaign. And therefore today’s Treasury book-opening exercise will have a strong influence on the next few weeks. For the latest, see the following reports: Govt still expects surplus by 2015Grim forecast for New Zealand's finances, and Treasury confirms Govt on track for surplus.
 
Bryce Edwards, NZPD Editor (bryce.edwards@otago.ac.nz

Today’s content:
 
Election campaign kicks off
Grant Duncan (Policy Matters): How did Key get away with it?
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Our embarrassing uncle?
Andrea Vance (Dom Post): Your choice: a guide to the election
John Hartevelt (Dom Post): Clear-cut case of the pot and the kettle
Duncan Graham (onlineopinion): Any hope after the Rugby World Cup?
Kerre Woodham (NZH): Fair marks in first-term report
Chris Trotter (Press): Labour's clear point of difference
Adam Bennett (NZH): An odds-on favourite
Katie Bradford-Crozier (Newstalk ZB): Glitch for Labour's online campaign
Katie Bradford-Crozier (Newstalk ZB): Mana wants to get rid of pokies
The Standard: Leaks and leaks
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Radio NZ debate on MMP
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): When are the televised MMP debates?  
Alexia Johnston and Rosa Studholme (Timaru Herald): Rugby talk dominates PM's visit
 
Rugby World Cup
John Pagani (Stuff): Why the rugby won't help John Key
Gordon Campbell (Scoop): On the Rugby World Cup Victory
Richard Swainson (Waikato Times): From one competition to another
Editorial (Nelson Mail): Thanks, guys; now it's back to reality
Gordon Brown (Taranaki Daily News): A victory to ease our nation's great pain
Grant Robertson (Red Alert): Final RWC Recap- A Team of Champions
Joseph Romanos (Wellingtonian): Maori television wins off-field
Tim Watkin (Pundit): New Zealand, together the victor
Lane Nichols (Dom Post): What an ABs win is worth
 
PREFU and the economy
Vernon Small (Stuff): Economy looms large before election
Jonathan Milne (NZH): Brash flies off to money meetings
 
Epsom and dirty tricks claims
Katie Bradford-Crozier (Newstalk ZB): Allegations of dirty tricks campaign in Epsom
John Pagani: What dirty tricks?
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