Newshub Nation panel: Commentators predict Winston Peters will struggle to make political comeback

Newshub Nation's political commentators are predicting Winston Peters will struggle to make a political comeback in this year's general election. 

Victoria University political science associate professor Dr Lara Greaves, partner at government relations agency SenateSHJ Marg Joiner and PR consultant Ben Thomas joined Newshub Nation on Saturday to discuss their election predictions.

It comes as the NZ First leader kicked off his election campaign in Auckland. 

Joiner said Peters is clearly campaigning on experience, which is a "sensible" decision, but he faces stiff competition.

"There is certainly a rhetoric out there that might respond well to his common sense, consistency, playing to the nostalgic ordinary New Zealander," she told host Simon Shepherd. 

Thomas agreed but said he might struggle to find the space for a political comeback because of ACT's success. 

"I think he's a man caught between two worlds and I don't just mean the 21st and 20th centuries," he said.

"He's also caught between the sort of irascible part of the electorate, the more conservative reactionary electorate but who are less fringe... ACT has been very busy there... So I think ACT is really crowding them out of that mainstream space. The fringe who I think Peters has really reverted… he's facing a lot of competition from numerous conspiracy theory parties. And I just don't think there is room for him." 

Joiner said she too thinks Peters will struggle to find the space for a comeback partly because of the success from other smaller parties. 

Greaves agreed, saying he's unlikely to pull off a political comeback but it's still too early to tell. 

Watch their full discussion in the video above.

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