On Sunday, I drove from Gisborne to Katikati, through Opotiki, Te Puke and Tauranga. Yesterday afternoon/evening, I made the return journey. One thing I noticed is that National Party billboards popped up regularly, mixtures of individual candidates’ billboards (simply stating National and the candidate’s name) and the party billboards featuring John Key and the “Working for New Zealand” slogan. There was a healthy dose of Maori Party and Mana and Internet Mana billboards too, as they duke it out in Ikaroa-Rawhiti and Wairiki.
Labour Party billboards? Not so much. Almost non-existent, in fact. Certainly outnumbered at least ten to one by National.
Is Labour giving up on winning votes outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch? Sure, it’s a stretch of solidly safe National seats (Anne Tolley in East Coast through to Simon Bridges in Tauranga), but seeing more Maori Party and Internet Mana billboards than Labour billboards was a surprise.
What’s the situation like in other provinces?