Voters routinely tell pollsters that they consider education to be ‘the most important issue’. It’s an area where National has made themselves weirdly vulnerable, deciding that our high-performing education system needs to be ‘fixed’ by adopting a bunch of crack-pot ideas from the US and the UK, both of which rank far lower on the international comparisons of student evaluations, and they’ve chosen Hekia Parata to champion those reforms and stuck by her through a series of ongoing public debacles. It’s a natural target for Labour in a way that the health system – usually the second ‘most important issue’ – simply isn’t.
And the launch went well too. A positive lead story on TVNZ on a Sunday night is just about as good as it gets, and something I don’t think Labour have accomplished once this year, until now. So it’ll be interesting to see if this reverses their decline in the polls. It should, but if it doesn’t pretty much nothing will.