Patrick Gower gives a glowing rteport of the vibe at the joint Labour-Green ‘state of the nation’ event yesterday.
If it is “all about the vibe”, then the Labour-Green alliance has nailed it from the outset of election year.
My first question after seeing them onstage together at the joint State of the Nation was, “What took you guys so long?”
The vibe at the Mount Albert War Memorial Hall was the best I have seen on the Left for years.
The leaders gelled, and so did the crowds. Labour benefited from the Green energy. And the Greens benefited from the extra size of Labour.
They both looked better together. But the most important thing was that it felt real.
The Green supporters liked Andrew Little. The Labour supporters liked Metiria Turei. They clapped each other like they meant it.
There’s no doubt the joint campaign is for real. Despite it looking like the game changer some hoped for last year Labour and the greens have doubled down and committed themselves to it being their main campaign focus.
Sure, there are lots of hard questions about the Labour-Green alliance. They will come.
The pundits and the public will ask more questions than the parties’ faithful.
But the way the two tribes came together is crucial. The reality is, that in the liberal left stronghold of Mt Albert, red and green are the same. This election they are together.
Today it did not look like a political marriage of convenience – it looked like the reality.
Sure there were no policy details, but today was all about the vibe.
And the vibe for the Labour-Green alliance was the best vibe I have seen in years.
But is it a vibe that voters warm to? Time will tell.
I have seen the vibe generated by Kim Dotcom at Internet-Mana meetings, and I have seen the vibe of Winston Peters at last year’s NZ First conference. That doesn’t make them government-in-waiting parties.
We should get a bit of an idea after two or three months of polls this year. If they don’t improve then the Labour-Green vibe could be under threat. If they do improve then their joint confidence could keep growing.