In a twist, Labour might actually be grateful the Prime Minister reluctantly caved to pressure to delay the election. At the outset, a delay was predicted to favour Labour's opponents. But, after this horror week of border revelations, it might well favour Labour the most by giving voters a few extra weeks to forget this shemozzle.
It's not the return of Covid that could hurt Labour. Covid was always going to come back, and the PM had done a decent job of explaining that to voters in recent weeks. New Zealand voters were probably mentally prepared for it, and were thus mentally prepared to not blame the Government.
If anything, the return of Covid was likely to push voters closer to Labour. Given the Labour-led government's successful eradication the first time covid appeared, it's possible voters - prepped now for further outbreaks - would trust Labour to continue successfully eradicating Covid.
But any polling gains are probably lost now because of the other thing that returned this week: the Government's inability to do what it says it's doing.
As recently as June 23, a government press release assured the public all frontline border workers would be routinely tested for Covid. This was important, we were told because "the greatest risk for us now is the thousands of New Zealanders coming back from global hotspots" and because Covid is a "tricky" virus.
But, then on Thursday last week, two days after that tricky virus made its way back into the community, Newshub revealed that not all border workers were actually being tested. In fact, only around a third had been. Worse, we couldn't be sure how the first cluster of Covid came through the border. Worse still, a second strain of Covid was found in a Rydges Hotel maintenance worker, underscoring the danger of not routinely testing all border workers.
Unfortunately for Labour, this is the latest in a long list of things they say they're doing when they really aren't. From promises that police were checking on returnees isolating at home back in March and April when they really weren't checking on them, to assurances those in managed isolation hotels were being tested before release when they weren't, to assurances there was enough flu vaccine when there wasn't.
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Labour would be wise not to squander voters' trust. There are only so many times Labour ministers and the PM can be found out, before voters stop believing the words coming out their mouths.
It's not good enough to blame complexities, which is how Health Minister Chris Hipkins and the director general of health Ashley Bloomfield tried to explain away their failure to test all border workers. It may well be the case that the task is hard to complete, but it's no excuse for misleading the public for weeks by allowing them to believe something was happening when it wasn't.
Pre-Covid, Labour had struggled with delivering on promises, from light rail to Kiwibuild to reducing child poverty to the Year of Delivery. Covid has thrown up enough instability for voters to - at least temporarily - ignore those past failures, but it's probably still unwise to remind voters of that track record by repeating the errors now.
Once again, Covid has shown us how quickly it can disrupt even an apparently Covid-free campaign. That threat persists right through to election day, so it'd be a mistake to squander voters' trust even if Labour may feel - and act - like it's got the now-delayed election in the bag.
• Heather du Plessis-Allan hosts Drive on Newstalk ZB, weekdays, 4pm-7pm