First debate – Ardern v English

 

—The first leaders’ debate in the 2017 campaign will be live on TV1 tonight at 7 pm, and will also be on Newstalk ZB.

It was a much anticipated test of both Jacinda Ardern and Bill English, and interest has just been ramped up after a Colmar Brunton poll has Labour just tipping National off top spot, 43-41, still margin of error territory but a major vote of confidence for Ardern..

Labour have all the momentum at the moment. English will have a big task to stop it and turn it around. Ardern is likely to be cut some slack in her first big debate.


The first round started fairly even but when English warmed up he got the upper hand on tax, but Ardern is hanging in there.

Round two on housing and employment English got lost and Ardern finished more strongly.

And so it went on.

Ardern was well prepared and well versed, often passionate, but tending towards a bit airy fairy. Overall a good performance, especially first up.

English wasn’t always fluent. He knew his topics well but got into a bit much depth and detail at times. Overall ok but he didn’t stand out as he probably needed to do to stem the bleeding.

There were a few strengths and weaknesses from both but fairly minor overall.

No obvious bad mistakes or major hits. No winner or loser, that’s just the first round.

They both conducted themselves cordially and there were no personal attacks or antagonism – if this respectful approach to politics spreads our democracy will be much the better for it.

So the campaign will continue with uncertainty about the outcome of the election.


The most common reaction on Twitter was how refreshing it was to see a civil debate, with both Ardern (especially) and English contributing.

I think this is a quote from English afterwards:

‘The whole atmosphere was quite civil, people don’t want low level politics’

In last night’s finance debate the audience made it clear they weren’t interested it being hijacked by the Peters super saga, they wanted a debate on economic issuees.

Leave a comment

63 Comments

  1. PDB

     /  August 31, 2017

    Ardern is now the front runner………..Bill now the underdog, can she get Labour over the line?

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 31, 2017

      I maybe be biased but is Ardern really coming across poorly here??

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  August 31, 2017

        It’s like dad (English) having to constantly correct his keen but naïve daughter (Ardern) of the ways of the world.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  August 31, 2017

          I bit hard for her to smile when she is drowning on live TV………

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  August 31, 2017

            Best line so far comes from English: “voters can’t spend your values at the supermarket!”.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  August 31, 2017

              Bill’s in deep shit!
              You need to get a grip on reality PDB!
              She had a good answer for everything & he told porkies about their policies – farkin idiot!

            • PDB

               /  August 31, 2017

              He didn’t tell porkies actually – she can’t definitely say that until after the election and a working group spends time looking into the footage & audio.

            • Gezza

               /  August 31, 2017

              It’s too late already. Where will you go? Oz? America? Russia might be nice this time of year?

            • PDB

               /  August 31, 2017

              What? and miss all the fun?

            • Gezza

               /  August 31, 2017

              Won’t you be penniless?

            • PDB

               /  August 31, 2017

              If more money goes to the Turei’s of this world Gezza then its a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

      • robertguyton

         /  August 31, 2017

        Yes, you are, terminally. Jacinda’s fine!

        Reply
  2. PDB

     /  August 31, 2017

    Anybody watching this? Ardern looks tense, not surprising considering this is all new to her. Tax is her big weakness and she flapped about talking about being ‘transparent’ to New Zealanders whilst in the same breath not telling us how much extra tax everybody would pay. English strongly making the point that by winding back tax cuts Labour is essentially already taking away (taxing) $1000+/per annum from workers. English’s big weakness ‘Housing’ he has been able to bat away/deflect a bit better (so far…).

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  August 31, 2017

      “Bat away” housing?
      Yours is a sad, sad world-view, PDB.

      Reply
  3. Tipene

     /  August 31, 2017

    She’s going to cut the low value education courses for migrants – excellent.

    Reply
  4. Conspiratoor

     /  August 31, 2017

    I think she’s holding her own. Bill’s not helped by the unfortunate shadow the lighting man has placed below his snorer

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  August 31, 2017

      Hitlerian? Or Marxian (Groucho that is)?

      Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 31, 2017

      What? She has zero figures, mentions ‘transparent’ far too much to cover the fact she isn’t, and thinks she can build 2 houses in Auckland for $450,000……….

      Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  August 31, 2017

        Agreed, but we are watching a triumph of style over substance.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  August 31, 2017

          What? Looking like you are going to cry every time you have to actually answer the question at hand is going to get the sympathy vote?

          Reply
          • Conspiratoor

             /  August 31, 2017

            The ability to tear up at will is a good skill for a politician. She’s streets ahead

            “What you guys have done means the work that I’m doing is important,” the president said, wiping away tears. “And I’m really proud of that. I’m really proud of all of you.”

            Reply
        • Gezza

           /  August 31, 2017

          She might a bit on the bony side for both of us, bud – but there’s there’s plenty of substance.

          Every time she caught Horrible Hosky or Bullshit Bill out & smacked the, for misrepresenting Labour’s policies, she scored more points. As Metiria, & her sister James, learnt, kiwis just don’t like dishonesty.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  August 31, 2017

            It’s no good downticking me ya wanker 🌸 😘 – Bill’s looking shaky as!

            Reply
  5. Corky

     /  August 31, 2017

    Whoever did Jacindas hair is a genius. The girly look is gone. Androgynous is in. Labours broad church will love that. Simply perfeck..

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 31, 2017

      She’s only been in the job a few weeks and aged 10 years!

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  August 31, 2017

        To be sure. She wont age well. She will start looking decidedly witchy should she become PM. Luckily for her, and us, it will be a one term government.

        Reply
  6. robertguyton

     /  August 31, 2017

    Is Bill showing his girly side?
    He needs to.

    Reply
  7. PDB

     /  August 31, 2017

    Ardern seems to think the economy is just a setting on the washing machine…..

    Reply
  8. Tipene

     /  August 31, 2017

    Bill just got owned on the Productivity question: he’s making the ame mistake Brash made i the 2005 debate – being polite to da lady.

    Bill, Jacinda wants to scratch your eyes out and sup on your retina – find your balls, and start practicing gender equality in combat.

    Reply
  9. Tipene

     /  August 31, 2017

    Hosking is superb so far – launching into both of them.

    Reply
  10. Both doing well not the dogs breakfast of interrupting and one liners we had from Cunliffe.

    She’s all ” wants to be specific’ and “honest” and “let’s be clear”. She talks about productivity and she’s all about taxing the producers

    Reply
  11. PDB

     /  August 31, 2017

    Not sure why they are about to be asked a question about the Donald? Who gives a shit?

    Reply
  12. Gezza

     /  August 31, 2017

    I think Bill might be screwed.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 31, 2017

      He actually did better than I expected. He can’t help his age or demeanor but he does come across as a competent hand on the wheel of the economy & not some sort of uncaring capitalist.

      Just that the sheep-like voters are getting their heads turned by the younger & shinier new leader who is offering much nicer, greener grass next door if they jump the fence. I think in time we will find that the artificial turf Labour is offering is not as digestible as the lush turf we are currently feasting upon.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  August 31, 2017

        terrible metaphor…eating ..dirt.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 31, 2017

        Quite possibly, but it’s distinctly on the cards Bill will be getting turfed & chewing dirt come 23 September.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  August 31, 2017

          He’ll be alright G – he’s been a good party man willing to step up to the plate for National when needed. Redeemed himself after his 2002 election loss by an outstanding stint as Finance Minister. Though unelected hasn’t looked out of place as PM. Deserves our respect if he doesn’t form govt after this election.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  August 31, 2017

            I agree. But I smell the sea change. Strongly. He’ll do altpright out of it but he’ll retire to any number of lucrative sinecures & be remembered as a reasonably competent finance minister during a difficult time who presided over housing disasters that cost them their fourth term.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  August 31, 2017

              And an immigration shambles that contributed to it all significantly.

            • PDB

               /  August 31, 2017

              Affordable housing is an issue in all the major cities, a strong economy means people want to move here. Immigration fuels the economy and the economy drives more immigration. Labour policy hasn’t changed one bit between Little being leader and Ardern being leader.

              Lets give the keys to the family car to the kids for three years then get back to me on how it went.

            • Gezza

               /  August 31, 2017

              Well, of course, I could be wrong – let’s wait & see, but I think enuf people are not doing so great out of the ‘strong economy’ as was thought – across a range of government areas of accountability – & a change is wanted by a karger number than anyone thought. Ardern is not as weak agains the old warhorse as you & others – including me – have previously thought. Her ‘worthless’ comms degree appears suddenly not to be so worthless after all. She could still crash at the last hurdle – but as I think I have said to you b4 she is a smart & tuf cookie & will remedy performance defects quickly. McCarten is well gone – tosser. This lady knows the business of communicating & targetting messages. So did Clark. So did Key. After that, the bureaucrats have the job of working out the money.

      • the lush turf we are currently feasting upon……. the lush turf only one third are feeding on; they didn”t let it trickle down and now they are splashing it out to hold us.!

        Reply
  13. Blazer

     /  August 31, 2017

    Hosking behaved himself.A dull debate ,Bill the most animated he has ever been….a draw.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 31, 2017

      English was better, Ardern looked nervous & refused to answer basic questions as expected. When asked about forestry workers three times she talked about aged care workers instead. If you are brain-dead and only interested in vague slogans Ardern came out on top.

      Somehow she thinks she can magically stop unions going on strike (not on my watch!) when the inevitable happens and they can’t agree with employers under Labour’s proposed 1970’s style work policy. If she does become PM that comment will come back to haunt her.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  August 31, 2017

        calm down PDB…you are too excitable and not being objective…

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 31, 2017


        Details later.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 31, 2017

        Yaw trouble is yaw being too relentlessly negative.
        She’s being relentlessly positive.
        Seems to be working.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  August 31, 2017

          She may be being ‘positive’ but the rest of her party is being ‘negative’ in threatening farmers in meetings, doing the Aussie Labor party’s dirty work in our parliament, shitting on the Greens (and maybe Winston), or in telling totally different tax stories behind the scenes than that being put to the public.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  August 31, 2017

            Christ Almighty! You’re gonna be ruined!
            You’ll have to emigrate!
            Bloody panicker.

            Reply
  14. pickled possum

     /  August 31, 2017

    Jez Sounds Bad … What did I miss?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 31, 2017

      Aw – not much sis. Jacinda ko’d Bill. We’ve all seen that happen before.

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  August 31, 2017

        Am going to listen (not watch) it later G. Compare a score tomorrow with you Corks etc? (Got caught up in deer calibre business – maybe more interesting).

        Reply
        • pickled possum

           /  August 31, 2017

          Evening Pete, You mean … like a 7mm-08 … sort of business
          Venison for dinner.

          Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 31, 2017

      Jacinda fluffed about saying nothing and looking like she was going to cry when pressed to actually say something of substance. On the subject of tax she looked like she was going to throw up. She looked stressed, frowned the whole time and her smile was missing.

      Bill missed a trick by not answering in more Maori the Maori bloke who asked a question via video. Otherwise Bill was Bill – solid, competent but not spectacular.

      Bill had the only memorable line of the whole debate: ““voters can’t spend your values at the supermarket!”. Both of them were well behaved and allowed the other to speak. They almost entirely spoke to/ debated with Hosking, not each other. The debate seemed to be really between appealing to the emotions (Ardern) and appealing to stability (English).

      If you are a supporter of either person your vote would not be swayed to back the other after this debate.

      Reply
  15. Corky

     /  August 31, 2017

    Three questions from the public..two from Maori. Why? One thing Bill had going with regards to Maori was he started his answer with ‘Kia Ora.’ That wasn’t PC, it was acknowledging the questioner/speaker, which in Maoridom is good manners. Jacinda didn’t do that. Maori will have noticed.

    A boring debate from my perspective. John key would have roasted Jacinda, and would’ve been chuckling and joking throughout. Depending on the camera angle, Bill came across as wooden. He will be gone post election, win or lose.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 31, 2017

      Well it’s not like Bill can count on your bloody help is it??
      He at least was keeping the number of muslim refugees to the bare bloody minimum.
      Fat lot of use you’ll be.
      Aren’t Labour going to increase the bloody number?

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  August 31, 2017

        Yes – their policy is to drastically drop the number of trades-people coming into the country to build houses and instead increase the amount of bomb-makers due to a major shortage in this country at present.

        Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 31, 2017

      I was disappointed the big questions weren’t asked like transgender toilets, public statues and Labours innovative new policy proposal of ‘taxing tax’ – maybe next time?

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  August 31, 2017

        Lol… and free Prozac for those who are getting wound up…over nothing.

        Reply
  16. Slayer’s cunning plan. Return to “”core values “. Race based, white boy rules stuffn the main

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 31, 2017

      Who is this character? He seems like someone Corks may have seen the belly button of from the inside?

      Reply

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