One of the first tasks of every party will be selecting a theme for their election campaign.
Until the big 'infrastructure' extravaganza yesterday, Labour's theme song was shaping up to be Walking on Sunshine.
Leader Jacinda Ardern started the year by reprising her 'relentlessly positive' line.
Everything about the election was aimed at optimism – including the date of 19 September.
Early spring is the most optimistic time of year. The buds are out, new lambs appear and happy, happy, joy, joy is all about. Ardern effectively wants a repeat of the vibe of her 2017 campaign.
National leader Simon Bridges' too is harking back to 2017, when National ran on the slogan "delivering for New Zealanders."
Every day he accuses Labour of failing to live up to this. But Bridges has problems.
He is the son of a preacher, so his theme harks from 1 Corinthians 13. "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love I am become as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal."
Nobody should underestimate Bridges on the campaign trail – he has a lot of energy, a lot to lose, and has shown a deft hand at public meetings and walkabouts.
But in the current political landscape, Bridges has not love unless you count Act's David Seymour and when you have not love you do indeed count Seymour.
So Bridges' and Ardern's strategy is to exploit the other's weakness and neutralise their strengths.
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Election campaigns are akin to putting on makeup, the art of disguising your bad features and emphasising the good.
For politicians, these features come in the form of words ending in –bility.
Ardern's best feature is likeability, while Bridges' best feature is the credibility of the party he leads.
This credibility is not his own. It was endowed to him by predecessors Sir John Key and Bill English. It is the gift he needs to be very careful with.
Bridges' key strength is National's brand. His weakness is his own brand.
For Ardern the situation is reversed. Ardern has personal credibility by the bucketload.
Her weakness is Labour's credibility after a very patchy record in dealing with promises that fell short or never came to fruition.
Ardern herself recognised this.
When giving her pitch after announcing the election date, she barely mentioned Labour. The first factor she mentioned was her own leadership.
So Bridges takes any opportunity to shout words like 'tax' and accuse the Government of non-delivery.
Ardern's strategy has been to pull the rug out from underneath National.
Labour scrapped its policy to raise the pension age, then a capital gains tax as long as she was leader.
This week delivered a third – Ardern set out an infrastructure programme which will ensure the campaign trail is littered with road cones and stop-go workers.
National had hoped its own path to victory would be the promise of asphalt.
Labour has instead laid that path for itself from State Highway 2 in the Bay of Plenty to Northland.
It was a shameless turnaround from its scoffing of National's plans to build those very same roads, justified only by a comment that buses will be able to use them.
All National could so was splutter that Labour had nicked its 2017 campaign promises.
In fact, Labour also decimated National's 2020 campaign platform.
It will not be without a cost to Labour and the Greens.
The massive expenditure on roads rather than environmental measures will annoy those Labour and Green supporters who had not realised the 'vision' their leaders spoke of was a vision of bitumen.
But the main aim was clear: Labour wanted National to be left with the theme song Road to Nowhere.
The Greens too have hopes and dreams.
The long term dream is Zero Carbon by 2030.
The shorter term dream is Zero Winston by 2020.
The Greens' theme song is Just the Two of Us.
The 'two' in question are Labour and the Greens. After playing second fiddle to NZ First for a term, the Greens will be fizzing for seats around the Cabinet table – preferably without NZ First alongside them.
As for NZ First, its theme is from one of Winston Peters' favourite poems – Dylan Thomas' Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. The line in question is Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
NZ First's support has bobbed under the five per cent threshold even since the last election.
Peters is skilled at rage, and Shane Jones is proving an adept deputy rager. Neither will be gentle in avoiding that night of political oblivion.