Key to Victory is the story of the New Zealand general election of 2008, in which the experienced and long-serving prime minister, Helen Clark, was ousted by a political newcomer Nationals John Key.
Veteran academic commentators Colin James, Jon Johansson, and Therese Arseneau offer perspectives on what New Zealanders were voting for when endorsing John Key and National, and what they were voting against. Several MPs elected for the first time in 2008 provide first-hand accounts of their parties campaigns, including Labours Grant Robertson; the Greens Catherine Delahunty; the Maori Partys Rahui Katene; ACTs John Boscawen; and the director of Nationals winning campaign, Steven Joyce, appointed to Cabinet following Nationals victory. New Zealand Firsts doomed campaign is described by its campaign director, Damian Edwards, while party strategists John Pagani and Rob Eaddy provide accounts of the Progressive and United Future campaigns.
Key to Victory also investigates the important issues of the 2008 election, such as the impact of the Electoral Finance Act, and the likely future of New Zealands remaining small parties.
During the 2008 campaign political parties started getting to grips with websites, blogs, Facebook and YouTube, and prediction markets competed with traditional polls in forecasting the election results. The book describes these developments and provides insights into the use of the media by John Key and Helen Clark in their rival campaigns for leadership. International reaction to the New Zealand campaign and the countrys vote for change is also highlighted.