There are a couple of very obvious reasons Christopher Luxon is winning the campaign for National.
There is also no shortage of irony in the way he is winning it. The tide in the past week has palpably turned.
The polls obviously aren’t helping - whether you believe the polls (I don’t), they collectively paint an indisputable picture.
One side has opened a gap, one side is losing badly, and it’s quite possibly going to get nightmarish in the ensuing weeks.
Within those polls must be a sense of tremendous satisfaction for Luxon.
He has closed the gap in the preferred prime ministerial stakes, and in a short period of time (if he hasn’t already) he will leave Chris Hipkins behind.
It is a fascinating study into the human condition. At the start, we weren’t sure of Luxon; at the start, he didn’t at times seem sure of himself. This was new territory, and he had to be a fast learner.
Fortunately for him, he was.
He closed down the leaking and backstabbing within his party, and I am not sure he ever got enough credit for that.
But that was the first indication he was bringing the corporate discipline he had spent his life honing into the political space. His party was being run like a business.
To be clear, he is still not a rockstar, but if he goes on to win … and if with that win, you see the mood of the country lift and if he can pull off some tangible changes to the economy and the various social disasters that currently beset us, you watch how popular he gets, and how quickly.
It will be at this stage people will start pointing out the Sir John Key comparison.
Never underestimate the power of the prime ministerial office to make people look like someone you admire.
What Luxon is doing on the campaign is what a lot of successful people in business do: being relentless.
What he sells is what we want - hope.
He wants better for this country. Now, every politician says that, of course they do, but you know Luxon means it.
So, Luxon has several things going his way. His enthusiasm, his energy, the sense the polls have turned, the fact the commentary on him has turned - but he is also in the ring with a bloke who has six years of baggage haunting him.
As much as Labour may spruik whatever achievements they think they have delivered, very few believe it. When you are announcing a crackdown on gangs after half a dozen years of the gangs running rampant, it looks a combination of desperate and pathetic.
Hipkins looks tired, he looks largely alone, and at times he looks like not even he believes what he is saying.
As I have discovered over the course of this year on the radio each Tuesday, I am pretty sure he is not on top of his brief.
It takes remarkably little to unsettle him in an interview, he doesn’t know facts, he doesn’t appear to read a lot; he once told me he hadn’t seen any news over the weekend because he had other things on. From a bloke who in the early days on the new job proclaimed he liked hard work.
I haven’t seen it.
I see it in Luxon.
Luxon, like Key, doesn’t need to be in politics. He has been out in the world and done well - this is him giving back.
Hipkins has never been anywhere apart from Wellington, and it shows.
Luxon comes along at a time when New Zealanders need a massive restructure. People in business know how to restructure. They are not there to make friends, they are there to blow things up and put them right.
It’s the sort of talent Labour has always rejected.
In 2018 Jacinda Ardern set up the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, designed to build closer relationships between Government and business.
The head of that group she appointed was ... Christopher Luxon.
Once it became apparent it was like so much else that Labour did - an announcement and little more - his next stop was something slightly more effective.
The Opposition leadership. And so on display now is the talent, drive and work ethic Labour couldn’t be bothered harnessing.
It’s that talent that is about four weeks away from running them out of office. How ironic.
Correction: Jacinda Ardern appointed Christopher Luxon to head the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council in 2018. A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that she appointed Luxon as a business adviser to the Government on the Covid-19 recovery.