It was a good weekend if you're a Labour Party supporter.

First conference in power, first conference after a reasonably successful year in which the party finds itself at the top of the poll pile.

And I would imagine a chance to feel genuinely bullish about your future.


Yes, it's two years to the next election, and yes a lot of water goes under that particular bridge between now and then.

But given you can really only deal with the here and now, here is why the here and now would make you feel pretty good about your circumstances.

For now the economy is holding up nicely, despite all the numbers around confidence, there is a $5.5 billion surplus, genuinely solid growth, there are large shortages in the workforce, interest rates are low - all the ingredients are there to argue economic credibility.

And here is probably the most encouraging thing of all: National are in trouble.

No, Jami Lee-Ross didn't appear to damage them too badly, but they're now running second, and they still don't have a viable path to power.

Say whatever you want about the Government, but the beginning, middle and end of MMP is do you have numbers to get across the line and form a government?

Labour do, National doesn't. And what changes for National between now and the next election? Does ACT come to life? Do the Maori Party have some sort of miraculous resurgence? Does National trouble the 50 percent marker all by themselves?

None of those things are happening - and that's before you get to the argument over whether Simon Bridges is your man.


So Labour are winning by default, short of New Zealand First switching camps, which they won't.

This current group of three or possibly, if Labour kick on with it and become genuinely and semi permanently popular, it's possible they can do it with the Greens alone.

Either way, they have numerical options that the Nats can only dream of. Cancel all that if the economy tanks, or the group of three implodes.

But for the here and now the Labour Party - after nine years in the wilderness - have much to feel good about, plenty to look forward to, and no reason to believe that short of them cocking it up, they shouldn't enter 2020 with a very real prospect of a second term.