Jacinda Ardern has what the billboard promises: a fresh approach.

She also has what they don't promise - magnetism.

When people turn on their screens to watch Bill English debate the Labour leader over the next two months, they will turn up the sound.

Bill English vs Andrew Little was a turn-off and a gift for the likes of Winston Peters and Metiria Turei who can drum a headline with a new bottom line.


If Ardern's performance at her first press conference is any indication, English vs Ardern will electrify the campaign and give Labour some hope that it may recover its dignity from the result.

It was an incredibly confident and competent performance that showed she did not get where she is today on her good looks. She is serious about being an alternative Prime Minister and confident enough to joke about having a single malt with Winston Peters - a step up from Andrew Little's description of him as a "blow hard" and "swinging dick".

It is not inconceivable that Labour could be part of the next Government.

The Newshub Reid Research poll gave New Zealand First, Labour and the Greens more support than National and its current support partners.

Ardern did not dismiss the possibility of being part of a Government on only 24 per cent - as Andrew Little did yesterday. Her natural disposition is positive.

Ardern does not have the same experience as Little in the House but there are only three sitting weeks to go.

She has been impressive since she became deputy in March at the age of just 37, and she is match fit from a steady diet of campaigning in school halls and community centres with Little.

They have been a double-act in a dress rehearsal for the campaign.

She knows the party, the policy and what people have been saying.

Because of the circumstances of her election, there is way less pressure on her than there was on Little.

And she has the one thing he eventually lost: the confidence of the caucus.

That is back with bells on.