In the past, prime ministers have often waited until the last minute to announce the election date, but there’s no particular advantage in doing so. John Key recognised that in announcing the date. In 2011, he announced the election date nine months ahead of time. I think this is a good practice that I hope all future prime ministers follow.
The complicating factor this year is that Australia has invited New Zealand to participate in the G20 meeting they’re hosting, and if the election was held too close before it, we might not have a government formed when the meeting take place. If it was after that, it would give the current government an unfair advantage, particularly because the campaign would be taking place while the current prime minister was at the meeting. Holding the election in September avoids all those problems.
Parliament will rise on July 31, and the actual election campaign will begin. Restrictions on spending will begin three months before the election campaign.
|NZ Labour's social media response to the election date.|
This past Saturday, a canvasser for the NZ Labour Party stopped by our house. In the 18+ years I’ve lived in New Zealand, I’ve never seen anyone from ANY party doing that. They were doing this around the country, too. From my perspective as a Labour supporter, that’s a very good thing to see because it means that they’re taking their “ground game” very seriously.
I love elections and electoral politics, and have for as long as I can remember. I love it best when the side I support wins, of course. I have 195 days to help make sure I love the results of this election.