The political year is coming to an end, and what a year it has been.
Rogue MPs, shock resignations, and legislative controversies have dominated headlines for both sides of the House this year.
All these factors combined have had a harsh impact on Labour in the polls, with the party sliding to 33 per cent in the recent 1 News-Kantar poll.
Meanwhile, National has capitalised on the struggles of Labour and now sits in a position where it could form a government with the Act Party.
The Election is still some time away, but Labour’s recent loss in the Hamilton by-election does not bode well for the party.
So how significant is this loss to National amid the recent slide in polling?
“It’s not a death knell to the Government,” NZ Herald political editor Claire Trevett tells The Front Page podcast.
“I wouldn’t go as far as to say that’s what’ll happen in the election, but it is a warning.”
Trevett says Labour was expecting to lose this seat, so this result largely confirms what they thought would happen.
The seat was eventually taken by National’s Tama Potaka, bringing to a close a protracted drama spurred on by former Labour MP Gaurav Sharma.
The chaos created by Sharma is only one in a number of issues that have made the last year a challenging one for the Labour Government.
In fact, Trevett doesn’t even view him as the person or issue that caused the biggest headache for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over the last year – not even close.
In today’s episode of The Front Page, Trevett reveals the two people she thinks made life incredibly difficult for the Government over the last 12 months.
Listen to the full episode of The Front Page for Trevett’s rundown on the year that was.