Reaction: Cunliffe impressive in first Leaders Debate

The first leaders debate of 2014’s New Zealand Election is over, and no doubt the opinion of the nation will differ greatly as both John Key and David Cunliffe put in strong performances.


For the most part, Cunliffe’s answers were to the point and didn’t have the rambling beat around the bush statements that Key’s did on occasion. But the logic to the current Prime Ministers answers were powerful. John Key made his answers, particularly surrounding foreign investment, simple and logical for anybody to understand, and he will have many thinking that the National leader won tonights debate. 

John Key believes that the NZ Economy cannot grow without foreign capital investment. Can we really deny that? 

David Cunliffe believes that not sacking justice minister Judith Collins in the wake of Dirty Politics shows willful blindness from John Key. Can that be denied? 

Those two talking points were impacting, and credited and discredited both party leaders in tonights debate.

Key claiming that foreign investment will grow the NZ economy is logical, but Cunliffe has a point when he says that Judith Collins should have been sacked well before now, and was strong to bang home the point that had this Dirty Politics drama occurred under his Labour led government, Collins would have been gone. 

When asked if New Zealanders would receive a tax cut under National should John Key remain Prime Minister, the answer from our leader was “I hope so”. 

Such a weak answer to a simple question, and it reflected in a performance for Key that seemed quite rattled. However, given the state of the economy, you can’t entirely blame Key for not having enough numbers and statistics to give a definitive answer regarding tax. 

The NZ Prime Minister was quick to play down talk that political firestorm Dirty Politics, a recently released book written by Nicky Hager, has had any major impact on Nationals campaign. 

Currently, Stuff from Fairfax Media have kiwis voting for John Key over David Cunliffe as their preferred leader following tonights debate. However, the NZ Herald from APN have David Cunliffe as the majority winner in the votes.

Cunliffe put in a great performance tonight and as the voting continues, so do his numbers. 

In closing, both John Key and David Cunliffe both did their homework for tonight, and taking the day off instead of spending the day campaigning may have helped Cunliffe to be more composed.

But nobody can deny, despite the poor results in the polling, tonight may indeed be a turning point for David Cunliffe and the Labour party as their leader was calm and composed throughout, as apposed to the longer and more confusing answers that John Key brought to the table minus his logic surrounding foreign investment. 


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