Stuff, the debate

Last night’s Press/Stuff leaders debate was another step in the campaign contest between Jacinda Ardern.

The first debate last week was fairly cautious and tame. English stepped things up a notch in Monday’s Newshub debate, but Ardern was the improver in last night’s Press/Stuff debate in Christchurch.

Stuff Leaders Debate: Jacinda Ardern wins with our pundits

Associate Professor Grant Duncan, who teaches political theory and New Zealand politics at Massey University’s Albany campus, called it a narrow win for Jacinda Ardern.

Social commentator Emma Espiner gave the debate to Ardern.

“Her debate performance is improving in sync with her poll numbers. I had her losing the first TVNZ debate, drawing even in the Newshub debate and I gave the Stuff debate to her on the basis on her dexterity, ease, humour and command of detail.

“If English debated the whole evening the way he did from about 36 minutes in, when he got angry about Labour disparaging farmers, it would have been closer.”

Political commentator Liam Hehir also gave Ardern the win.

“This debate threw the difference between the two candidates in stark relief with English talking numbers in long sentences and Ardern offering general aspirations but few specifics.

“Ardern was much more aggressive tonight (sometimes to the point of churlishness). But the combination of a hostile audience and issues like the fiscal ‘hole’ fiasco favoured that approach – so Ardern was the winner.”

Stuff’s online survey:

  • Jacinda Ardern 61%
  • Bill English 39%

Vernon Small: Bill English holds his own in even debate, after another polling blow

English had a clear edge talking about water and clean rivers, as well as – less surprisingly  – on the uncertainty of Labour’s tax working group.

But Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, even hampered by a crackling microphone in the first segment, scored points against English over trust and his finance spokesman’s debunked claim that there is an $11.7 billion fiscal hole in Labour’s plan.

There were none of those game-changing moments this time…

English is looking like needing a game changer but not of the Joyce kind.

But perhaps the most telling development of the night was Ardern’s new attack: variations on the idea that the bigger risk is in continuing as we are, the risk is in the status quo.

It is a clear attempt to neutralise National’s key theme – that a change to a new government with an untested leader and an uncertain economic plan is just too risky.

If Labour can harness the mood for change and present itself as the less risky option, then that poll result could soon be baked in.

With just over two weeks to go, English is fighting hard but with early voting starting next week he may be running out of time to slow and reverse Ardern’s momentum.

There is a small party leaders debate tonight, and another debate between Ardern and English next week.

RNZ: Leaders trade blows in feisty third debate

Leave a comment

17 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  September 8, 2017

    Stuff’s online survey’s not much cop. Like all their freakin pages it took ages to load & when it did it was just an image of the both of them side by side with no on screen instructions.

    So I tapped the pic, expecting it to bring up a survey question, like they usually do.

    But it fkn didn’t! It recorded that as a vote for the screamer!!

    Reply
  2. The difference in volume of the two microphones was abysmal. Could hardly hear Bill when Jacinda interjected.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 8, 2017

      Same. 😠 Mind you, that might not be the microphone’s fault? 😳

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  September 8, 2017

        I was just thinking, though, to be fair, Mike Hosking blatantly let Bill repeatedly talk over Jacinda & get the last word in in the last debate, and it was women who compered this show, so maybe this time round the girls repaid the favour?

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  September 8, 2017

      FYI Bill didn’t need a microphone…this what he says over and over…again…..’we had the GFC and the Christchurch earthquakes to deal with,we are delivering for…rich NZ’ers’.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  September 8, 2017

        Well owing to the seamlessness of the stuff crew’s technical arrangements I was eventually able to view only the last 30 minutes, where I saw a bewildered elderly gentleman being constantly harrangued by an ageist, sexist, dink yuppy sheila & I just felt so sorry for the poor man! 😱

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  September 8, 2017

          you needed to look at the bit where [use proper names] backed up his Minister of Finance’s $11 billion hole kite,and then ducked and dived when called out on it.Bad strategy,should have tried a strategic retraction from the number at least.Something like…[Steven] got it wrong ,its not $11.7 billion ,but it is a hole that will need to be..addressed.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  September 8, 2017

            Don’t blame me for the bit I needed to look at but couldn’t, blame Stuff. Morons. They’ve probably got a Contact Me page.

            But yes I’ve heard about this. Bill’s on a loser there. Also when he was banging on about the government making wasting $20 million to help a small bunch of deluded Anglican god botherers rebuild a cathedral for them a priority. Fuxake.

            Reply
        • Blazer

           /  September 8, 2017

          Bill,bewildered,bedazzled=be GONE!

          Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 8, 2017

      The mics were apparently changed half way through the debate due to some issues. However many said English stood too far back from his Mike whilst Ardern tended to be right on top of hers hence the volume difference.

      Reply
  3. What is it with the use of full names. Bill English, not Mr English or even a respectful Bill. I suspect it’s because the PR minders objected to the use of the corresponding Ms Ardern or Miss Ardern. In this day and age? It just sounds silly.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 8, 2017

      “What is it with the use of full names”

      I’m not sure Duncan Brown…….

      Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  September 8, 2017

    Minor Party Leaders debate to be broadcast on TV1 at 7pm tonight.

    Thank God. Means we don’t have to rely on those wallies at Stuff to make it easily & seamlessly viewable on any platform or device.

    Reply

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