There was no doubt that the election date had to be moved because of the latest Covid-19 outbreak.

And no doubt that National, with its leadership challenges and polling results, wanted it pushed out as far as possible to give it time to gain momentum under its new leader.

Next year preferably. Instead, we are going to the polls on October 17.

For many, this will now become the "get it over and done with" election.


Because bizarrely, the election has become a distraction to dealing with the global pandemic that we thought we had beaten - Covid-19.

In the past few weeks, the re-emergence of a fresh strain has been a slap about the nation's collective face.

Those of us in the regions should count ourselves lucky and fortunate - hopefully, Auckland's pain is our collective gain and our biggest city is taking one for a team of 4.8 million people right now.

We all hope this is the dying throes of Covid-19 we are seeing.

Except that, we don't know. Its re-emergence has cast a different perspective on the crisis.

Like a catch line for a horror movie, just when you thought it was safe to go back to normal, it's back. And like Jaws, the movie that spawned the "just when you thought it was safe" tagline, it came out of nowhere.

Obviously, Labour is comfortable with an election date of October 17.

Why would National want it over and done with?


Because the line between Covid-19 and the election has become blurred.

An example. At 10am yesterday, Jacinda Ardern was making a political announcement
related to Covid-19. As has become her habit, Ardern led into the announcement with the justification for the change and her decision.

It was clearly a political announcement related to Covid-19.

A few hours later, Labour announced that the wage subsidy scheme had been extended by two weeks, and that it would save 470,000 jobs.

Applications can be lodged by the end of this week, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.

A Covid 19 announcement, or political? Labour will argue they weren't electioneering.


But the reality is that many voters have lost track of what is vote buying and what is Covid-19 recovery spending.

Until the emergence of the latest strain, which pulled us all back into Covid-19 mode, the voting public was awash with an onslaught of dollar figures related to PGF announcements, election promises and Covid-19 recovery.

And there is nothing National can do about it.

October 17 can't come fast enough. At least, unlike Covid-19, it will come and go.