Our own Ardern delivering election masterclass
New Zealand and Queensland have much in common.
Both of their populations are around the 5 million mark and they share a love for each other with more Kiwis coming to Queensland for holidays than any other country.
In fact, there are more New Zealanders that live on the Gold Coast than the entire population of Hervey Bay.
They love their footy, both league and rugby, and have strong trading ties. There's even that little brother syndrome going on, with the Kiwis constantly in Australia's shadow and Queensland feeling the need to be better than NSW and Victoria.
The other common theme right now is that both New Zealand and Queensland are being run by strong, popular female Labor leaders who went incredibly hard on lockdowns and border restrictions to stop coronavirus.
Up to yesterday, New Zealand's tough measures resulted in 1883 cases of the virus and 25 deaths while in Queensland, 1164 people had contracted the virus and there were six deaths.
On Saturday, Jacinda Ardern went to the polls, winning a landslide election, becoming the first leader in 50 years to govern with a clear majority.
This was a referendum on her hardline COVID-19 stance and New Zealanders embraced the message that she'd kept them safe.
It was also prescient that Ms Ardern came up against another woman, conservative Opposition leader Judith Collins, who struggled to get traction through the all-consuming COVID-19 narrative.
It was clear that New Zealanders trusted Ms Ardern to guide them through the short and medium term, as businesses impacted by the pandemic try to survive.
It's that same narrative that Queensland Labor leader Annatasacia Palaszczuk is campaigning on right now.
Unite and recover is Labor's theme. At a time of high anxiety and major fiscal challenges, don't risk a detour with Deb Frecklington.
Much of what Labor spins to the electorate is pure fantasy. Their jobs mantra is a mirage. They are the worst-performing job creating government in the country.
They are prolific spenders, a bit like Imelda Marcos in a shoe store. If it's there they'll buy it and worry about the credit card at the end of the month.
They have been beset with scandal after scandal, whether it be undeclared house purchases, child safety implosions or simply sports grants.
But they run a great campaign, their MPs do what they're told and they stick to their message - even though it is hollow.
If Queensland Labor was a rugby league team right now you'd liken them to the Melbourne Storm. Disciplined, no-frills, sticks to the game plan and led by the best coach in the business.
On the other hand, the LNP are like the Broncos. Plenty of raw potential and flashes of brilliance overshadowed by friction between the playing roster and coaching staff.
For those not familiar with the National Rugby League, the Broncos got the wooden spoon this year and the Storm are in the grand final and looking strong.
The Palaszczuk Government have only one message - they kept us safe. It's a master class in how to win and until the LNP learn how it's done, Labor will continue to outperform the conservatives.
Like the Storm, Labor are never beaten. They play the full 80 minutes and like coach Craig Bellamy they hurt when they lose.
Not the LNP. Once again they are being put to the sword by a major political party that knows it doesn't matter how badly its screws up during its term in office - it's the campaign that counts.
Are they loose with the truth? Absolutely. Do they bend the rules on advertising and marketing? Of course.
Does it win them elections? Yes. Whatever it takes. It's the Labor way.
The only time they deviate from that path, and we saw it with Bill Shorten, is when they get too cocky and full of themselves and start taking their traditional voters like coal miners for granted. If they win in two weeks, expect more of the same, which will set them up for a rout in 2024.
Political pundits say Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is the luckiest politician alive. Even her closest allies say COVID-19 has saved this government.
But successful people make their own luck and political allies and foes have underestimated her at their peril.
Should Labor win, Ms Palaszczuk will become a three-time election winner and if she completes a full term of four years will eclipse Peter Beattie's nine-year reign as Labor premier.
Of course, the unknown in this election is how will Queenslanders vote in Central and North Queensland. Will those coal miners that abandoned Labor at federal level inflict the same damage on the Palaszczuk Government?
It's possible. Queensland Labor doesn't know whether it's Arthur or Martha on coal because the Left faction wants to get rid of coal mining.
There's also the issue of crime, youth crime in particular, in seats like Mundingburra and Thuringowa in Townsville and Barron River in Cairns.
If the LNP is to be any chance, it must win those seats but crime has never bent the needle on voting patterns and Labor believes it won't in those seats.
But the northern exposure may be irrelevant as Brisbane becomes a sea of red.
Labor research shows that women in particular, who already like the premier, say they will be voting for the ALP because they protected their families.
If you're not in small business, or tourism, or been stopped from going to a funeral, it's Labor all the way.
Many agree that the border restrictions have worked, and are prepared to forgive the seemingly heartless inconsistencies applied to quarantine exemptions.
Rules for movie stars and footy players but not the same kindness to brain cancer patients or those wanting to see their father buried.
The "unite and recover'' ads - paid for by taxpayers - have worked. Was it moral and ethical to spend taxpayer money reinforcing an election-winning message? No. But the average punter, according to the polls and bookies, don't care.
They just look at Victoria, This is Australia's third COVID-19 election. The first, in the Northern Territory, was won by the incumbent Labor government. Polls before COVID-19 showed the Gunner Government was headed for defeat. It cruised to victory. The Labor-held ACT Government was re-elected.
With 12 days to the poll, if the New Zealand, Canberra and NT experiences are any guide, the LNP need a miracle.
Originally published as Our own Ardern delivering election masterclass