A case of jumping the Budget gun only to shoot yourself in the foot? David Cunliffe, Labour's finance spokesman, found himself a laughing stock in Parliament yesterday after a poll asking families whether they were better off or worse off as a result of the Budget appeared on his website.
The poll was an embarrassment for Cunliffe for two reasons. First, the Budget has yet to be delivered. Second - and worse from Labour's point of view - nearly 90 per cent of those responding said they were better off.
Those respondents must have known something about the Budget that the rest of us won't until this afternoon.
More likely, National supporters organised enough votes to skew the findings in their party's favour.Having ensured the poll was taken down from Cunliffe's website, Labour was insisting the survey was one that appeared on the site after last year's Budget. A computer glitch had resulted in the poll reappearing.
Do you buy that explanation? We don't; not for one minute. We have no doubt whatsoever that Cunliffe was hoping that the votes would roll in to his poll, giving him ammunition with which to attack the government. Instead, he shot himself in the foot.
That point was not lost on John Armstrong - read on:
However, the afternoon's embarrassment belonged to Cunliffe. Given web-based polls are open to manipulation by rivals, he may ponder whether running them is a good idea.
Indeed. Labour has taken a pounding from the VRWC with its various web-vased and social media campaigns. Perhaps it's time for their master strategists Trevor Mallard and Pete Hodgson to consider other options to stem the bleeding.