Winston is winning.
This time every three years, people either forget what he did three years earlier or they are new to the game and think what he is up to is fresh.
Winston is out of the election year blocks and making headlines like he's got a factory at home printing them oﬀ.
Questions over Fonterra, referenda ideas, insults for Andrew Little, even the odd bit of policy.
Some insight for you into the Peters modus operandi.
Having been around long enough to remember when he started his party, none of this is new.
The standard line he will roll out (count how many times he uses it for a fun election game) is "he's doing better in the polls than anyone understands," even though almost always he never does. And he won't talk about coalition possibilities before the election, because he wants to let voters have their say (which is only part of the story - the real part is he doesn't want himself tied into knots over which way he may or may not be going post, in case he's kingmaker).
The worst and most alarming piece of coverage to this point is the question mark over whether he could be Prime Minister. This has been raised more than once, I assume or hope because it gets attention as opposed to it being a legitimate consideration.
This can not be taken seriously.
Because this is MMP and the tail doesn't wag the dog.
If Peters ends up being Prime Minister it will be because someone caved, someone was so desperate for power (apart from Peters) that they acquiesced in a way most New Zealanders could not,should not and would not stomach.
You don't get 10% of the vote and get the top job.
The fact he asked to be Prime Minister when he was dealing with Helen Clark should not warrant suggesting it could ever actually come to pass.
The request is all you really need to know about Winston and his motives. For the bloke who laughs oﬀ the baubles of oﬃce, the Prime Minister's job as a result of being a minor partner in any potential coalition is not just a bauble but a gangster-size prize, demanded only by those associated with standover tactics.
Other tricks of the Peters election trade?
His bus isn't new, although it was a good idea when he ﬁrst rolled it out and remains still vaguely relevant.
His great advantage of course he is a brilliant campaigner, the best of the lot by quite some margin this election unless there is talent in the rest of them I have yet to see.
Bill English can be relieved he won't go head to head with Peters in the debates because he'd get killed.
Peters is good with the one liners. He is excellent with the faux bluster. He is exceptional at not answering a question while at the same time lambasting the person who asked it.
He barely blushes when he goes back on his word, while at the same time explaining you completely misrepresented him.
The only real change to the Peters approach this time round is he seems to have swapped the race card for the provincial one, and in that I think he's made a rare campaign mistake.
He will tell us provincial New Zealand is broken, that they're missing out and all the latte sippers have forgotten them.
The reality of course is - and look at any forecasters' sentiment or the growth surveys - the regions are booming.
Provincial New Zealand, with the exception of a couple of areas, hasn't seen growth and prosperity like it for decades.
You cannot roll into town in your bus, tell the locals that their life is hopeless when it isn't.
I admire Peters for still being relevant for all these years, but, if you're new to all this, look up the history books to the last time Peters was in government. None of us who were there wants a sequel.
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