Colin James' succinct pre-election wrap. The Domininion Post stupidly dispensed with Mr James services earlier in the year. They prefer lightweight bias:
What's changed during the campaign? Not John Key's prospects for a second term as Prime Minister even though Phil Goff narrowly bested him in this week's debates. But nor have Key's support parties' problems got sorted. For tactically-minded National-leaning voters, November has been unhelpful.
The trend in the average of the five main published opinion polls points to an overall National majority but not wide enough for Key to be confident in advance he won't need support. That explains Key's late buildup of Peters as a bogey: he needed to scare National voters to the polls after an otherwise soothing campaign.
ACT has come out of the campaign worse than it went in, thanks in part to the awkward, then embarrassing, tea party antics. Published polls, plus a stack of anecdotal evidence, point to its disappearance tomorrow or at best a sickly survival on tenuous life support from National.
Colin Craig's Conservatives have polled better than ACT recently. But to get seats Craig has to win the Rodney electorate.
Peter Dunne is at risk of being an overhang MP, of strictly marginal value to Key.
The Maori party's 2008 party vote is being shared with Mana. There is a real possibility the Maori party gets four seats and three are overhangs, which would mean Key has to get 62 seats for a majority (63 if Dunne is also an overhang). The good news in that for the Maori party is that it just might have more leverage than in 2008 to push its whanau ora flagship policy.
For Labour the anecdotal evidence suggests somewhere in the upper 20s, possibly better if there has been a late swing, as some polls suggest. But Labour has bled to the Greens through the campaign after bleeding to Key from 2007. The solidity of Greens' support will be tested in the next three years if Labour manages a resurgence.
And Peters? The polls have been tantalising but the trend average leaves him short. Still, you never say never with Peters. As Goff, hoping for a (not completely dismissible) shock win that needs Peters, might say.
And this delightful letter from 100 years ago:
Prohibition punishes the whole population
In the Prohibition camp preaching to the converted goes on merrily; the proposition that if my neighbour gets drunk it is against me that a prohibition order must be taken out had never greater acceptance. What percentage of citizens get drunk I am unaware: two in every 100, says a correspondent of the Daily Times. To correct the bibulous error of the two, a prohibition order is to be taken out against the other 98.
According to the same correspondent the total number of drunkards in New Zealand is 8000, which sounds a liberal estimate. For the amendment of the 8000 a prohibition order is to be taken out against the whole population. It is not assumed or assumable that the whole population will agree to this lunatic treatment; it will be held sufficient if one-half agree, or at the most three-fifths. The remaining half, or the remaining two-fifths, are then to be put under duress - guarded, watched, spied upon, policed, dragooned, bludgeoned into submission. This done, New Zealand, it is thought, will thenceforth rank as a vestibule of the kingdom of heaven. And there are ministers of religion who, having despaired of Christianity and gone back from Mount Zion to Mount Sinai, cry Amen! It will still remain, however, that two and two make four; and in my humble opinion there are other truths, fundamental and axiomatic, that may be expected to assert themselves. For one thing Naturam expelles furca, tamen usque recurret. "You may drive out Nature with a fork, and yet she will come back."
And finally today's editorial which strikes a chord with me with its criticism of Trevor "stop your nonsense" Mallard:
The Labour Party 2011 election campaign was strategically inept, which is likely to contribute to one its worst defeats when the polls close tomorrow.
Unless Labour can get every single supporter out to vote tomorrow, and the party will try, it has the potential to remain in the wilderness for at least another six years.
Mistakes were compounded on throughout the shortened campaign period and long-serving Labour MP and campaign manager Trevor Mallard might have hard questions to answer on Tuesday if the caucus meets, as it generally does.
Mr Mallard, who spent most of his time on social networks during the campaign, was nowhere to be seen. In fact, first-term MP Grant Robertson was more active on the campaign trail.
Labour made a series of mistakes, and senior MPs should have known better.