As a former leader of the Act Party I am expert on poor polls and being written off ahead of every election. It's no fun.

I well remember after suffering months of unremitting bad news and negative reports getting a text from a senior journalist: "Congratulations!"

I was staying in yet another town a long way from home, exhausted, vainly trying to drum up support.

I remember the elation. Wow. Finally some good news. Filled with eager anticipation I texted: "Thx. Wot 4?" The answer shot back: "Sry. Wrong no."


I have had some low moments in politics but that would be without doubt the lowest.

And so I feel for Labour leader Andrew Little. He's in a very tough and public spot.

The polls are bad for Little but I think it's still 50/50 he will be Prime Minister later this year. The pundits writing him off don't know what they're talking about or are otherwise pushing some other political barrow.

No one has voted yet.

The election remains up in the air.

Recent history has shown voters are capable of casting their votes in defiance of pundits who try to predict voter intentions, much like ancient Romans attempted to foretell the future from the entrails of a goat.

If only it were that simple.

A lot can happen between now and election day. The election result is the sum of more than three million individual decisions. A very large number of us don't yet know how we will vote. Some don't even know whether they'll vote.


And many of us will change our mind between now and election day.

And then there's the complication of MMP, otherwise known as What Will Winston Peters Do.

Anyone who thinks they know which way Peters will jump doesn't know him. Peters is way too cunning even to have decided himself. Besides, where's the power or fun in giving away the dance with both National and Labour.

That dance makes Peters the most powerful person in the country, getting to decide who will be Prime Minister and which parties will govern.

Peters has enjoyed that power once. He could well enjoy it again.

We are about to see whether Little can dig deep. He has to campaign like no one has ever campaigned before. He has to rise above the negativity and overcome the naysayers. He has to show us what he's made of.

The one thing Kiwis love is a battler. Besides, we want our politicians to battle for us when the going gets tough. Little has a great opportunity to prove himself by battling through an election campaign with everyone saying he's toast.

He should embrace it as an opportunity. Peters has proved he's a battler over and over. So, too, has Bill English after leading National to its worst result in 2002. It's now Little's turn.