2014 election

Labour's opening ploy this election year combines heart and smarts, but the return of univeralism is fraught with political risk

If you go last, you'd better go biggest: That was the pressure Labour was under today with its state of the nation speech – the third of the main three parties to address voters at the start of this election year – and it didn't disappoint.

It was a day for two Comeback Kids, as John Key announced who he might dance with on election night and Winston Peters & Peter Dunne returned from the wings to take centre stage

This evening, as high winds continued to batter Auckland, I picked up branches in our front yard and thought about Winston Peters and Peter Dunne.

If, like me you've been trying to answer the question - 'Has National fixed the economy yet', I created a web site to analyse the data in detail:



So what's 2013 been all about and where does it leave us? Here's my take... and Christmas wishes

Is that all there is, Peggy Lee once asked. Is that 2013 finally done and dusted? Phew. Although I'm not sure if anyone in the political world feels like dancing quite yet – the year has ended in a left-right stalemate that leaves everything to play for next year.

Who knows whether John Banks will be found guilty next year, only the courts can decide. But in the court of public opinion, a trial is as bad as a conviction

It all comes back to two cheques and a mattress. And now John Banks is paying a high price for the donation he received from Kim Dotcom during the 2010 Auckland mayoral election, having announced that his political career will sputter out over the next year.