Saturday 26 November 2011 – The Labour Party, led by Phil Goff, tonight completed a crushing victory over the National Party in the General Election.
With over 98% of the votes counted, Labour were ahead of National in the party vote by over 22%, and were set to capture around 54% of the vote.
Prime Minister Judith Collins rang Phil Goff shortly after 9pm tonight to concede defeat.
“I wish you well,” Ms Collins told Mr Goff. “But you can be sure we will be an active opposition, and that we’ll be nipping at your heels 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
While pundits had predicted the easy victory, Labour Party supporters who had been in despair only four months earlier were still struggling to come to terms with the win.
As recently as July this year political polls showed that Labour was in the doldrums. A Fairfax poll taken in mid-July, after Labour’s tax package was announced, showed the party with only 29% of the vote.
Those moves prompted soul-searching within Labour, but Labour’s big opportunity came in September, when photographs of then Prime Minister John Key surfaced on the internet.
In the photograph Mr Key appeared to be eating a baby. In one picture Mr Key was shown gnawing on what appeared to be the arm of a small child.
Mr Key denounced the images as obvious fakes, and his staff pointed out that the images showed obvious signs of being photoshopped.
Deputy Prime Minister Bill English also pointed to previous posts on Imperator Fish, the website where the images first appeared, as evidence to support his claim of photo doctoring. In a post written just after the July Fairfax poll the enigmatic but talented blogger behind the award-winning site stated that the only thing that would save Labour from electoral defeat would be if John Key were caught eating a baby.
In spite of Mr Key’s protestations, the calls for him to step down grew louder, until in late October Key and his deputy, Bill English, were forced to resign.
Even with the elevation of a popular and hardline new leader, it was too much for many National supporters to cope with. Labour’s election slogan “We won’t eat any babies” was devastatingly successful, and support for National collapsed overnight.
Phil Goff has promised that his first move as Prime Minister, after appointing his cabinet, will be to hold a full public enquiry into the baby-eating allegations. It is understood that a number of baby-eating allegation have been made against other National MPs on various reputable and non-partisan websites, such as The Standard and Tumeke.
Meanwhile, ACT leader Dr Don Brash has already denounced the proposed enquiry, claiming it to be a witch-hunt against decent law-abiding baby-eaters by “interfering nanny state do-gooders”.
“The non-baby eaters are once again getting preferential treatment,” said Dr Brash. “Frankly, er, I’m appalled.”