Fran O'Sullivan: Viewers given clear choice

Phil Goff and John Key. Photo / Getty Images
Phil Goff and John Key. Photo / Getty Images

John Key lifted his game and presented New Zealand with a clear choice on Saturday.

Either vote for National to deliver stable Government and square up to tough issues like welfare reform and get back to earning a living.

Or vote for Phil Goff's Labour - and the Greens - and that political bogeyman Winston Peters and watch them blow the debt out further.

That was the political takeaway Key was charged to deliver. And, by and large, he triumphed over Goff by calmly presenting fact-based arguments.

Though at times he looked as if he was restraining himself from twiddling his thumbs and rolling his eyes when Goff over-hyped the damage New Zealand might suffer if a few foreigners bought shares in some Government-majority-owned power companies.

Goff showed some passion, but the media coaching came too late.

Despite it being a bit of a tag team effort, neither Goff nor moderator Guyon Espiner punctured the PM's credibility. Key won on the night.

Of the four debates:
John Key 3, Phil Goff 1

- NZ Herald

Fran O'Sullivan

A columnist for the NZ Herald

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