Phil Goff could still lose

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It seems like a done deal. Phil Goff is going to win the Auckland mayoral race, barring death, illness or accident. He’s absolutely miles ahead in the polls, the centre-right vote is split between three uninspiring candidates, and one of those candidates has pretty much given up.

But it’s not over yet. Plenty can happen between now and 8 October, when polling closes. It is way too soon for Phil Goff’s opponents to give up the fight. There is always hope.

There’s still a chance that Goff will be exposed as an Islamic State convert intent on turning the greater Auckland region into a province of the Caliphate, where sharia law is strictly enforced. A small chance, admittedly. I haven’t heard too much talk from Goff about the need for global jihad, and as far as I know he hasn’t yet pledged to punish without mercy all the unbelievers. But then I haven’t gone to all the meetings either.

Goff has been in politics for a long time, and we probably know all there is to know about him. It’s hard to imagine there are too many skeletons left in his closet. But what do we really know about this man? His closet could also be packed full of high explosives, suicide vests, and copies of the Koran.

Pledging loyalty to Islamic State could really damage Goff’s chances with female voters. It could also go down badly with male hipsters who, following a ban on shaving, would suddenly look just like all the other guys. On the other hand, a commitment to terror would likely attract the support of many who don’t usually bother to vote in local body elections. Phil Goff could really nail down the young, angry and disillusioned sociopath demographic with this move.

Okay, look, I know this may all be a bit of a stretch. Goff may well find this whole blogpost revolting and offensive. Why would any sane person want to be associated with those deranged ISIS murderers? So it’s unlikely, very unlikely. But a one-in-ten-billion chance is better than no chance at all, right?

In any case, I’m not entirely sure a jihadi Goff would lose against Crone, Palino or Thomas. But a clear commitment by Goff to the ISIS cause would surely see at least some dip in his polling numbers. It might at least make a contest of what is otherwise a foregone conclusion.

So don’t give up, Vic! Hang in there, John! And chin up, Mark! It’s not over yet. Anything can happen, and I haven’t even mentioned all the other things that could go wrong for Phil Goff even at this late stage. Like the revelation that he is a robot (you may laugh, but listen to the way he speaks next time you hear him talk) and is thus ineligible to hold the position. He might be abducted by aliens, or kidnapped by time-travellers. What if the polls showing Goff miles ahead have all been rigged? Maybe he’s trailing behind even Penny Bright and that communist guy, but has bribed or threatened the pollsters to make sure the truth never comes out. Maybe it’s closer than you think.

Even better, there’s always a chance that none of this is happening, your entire failed mayoral campaign was just a terrible dream, this blogpost isn’t even real, and when you wake up in the morning you’ll find yourself in bed draped in the mayoral robes.

So why would you give up hope now?