Political commentator weighs in on Todd Muller's biggest mistake as National leader

Todd Muller's 'lack of plan' was his biggest leadership failure, according to a political commentator.

Josie Pagani told Newshub that the biggest mistake Muller made was saying he would have a plan when he didn't. 

Pagani says the five-point economic plan outlined in a speech in Christchurch last Thursday, was too similar to Labour's five-point economic plan.

"Honestly you could mix and match those two plans and you wouldn't know the difference between them," she said.

"It was jobs, jobs, jobs, better stronger communities, infrastructure, supporting small businesses.

"This is a problem for both parties," but it's a bigger problem for National.

"National have got to try and get some cut-through - they've got to have the edge, the crunch, the granularity of detail about their plan, in order to win against Labour and Jacinda [Ardern], who they say doesn't have a plan."

She said they should focus on the progression of New Zealand, rather than what's gone wrong.

"They ended up fighting on the quarantine numbers and the 'who's breaking out' and whether there should be police there or soldiers or whatever…"

Pagani said the party needs to take control of the narrative.

“The thing they've got to do is change the story…You've got to stop talking about health, quarantine, COVID… You've got to start talking [if you're a National] about a plan."

She said National should change the conversation by saying, "how are we going to get the borders open, how are we going to get people back to work, what's the long term plan… if they can put some detail around that then people can start talking about that."

This comes after Todd Muller resigned from his role as the leader of the National Party on Tuesday morning after 53 days in the job.

National’s five-point economic plan:

  1. Responsible economic management

  2. Delivering infrastructure

  3. Reskilling and retraining our workforce

  4. A greener, smarter future

  5. Building strong communities

Labour's five-point economic plan:

  1. Investing in our people

  2. Jobs, jobs, jobs

  3. Preparing for the future

  4. Supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs and job creators

  5. Continue to position New Zealand globally