There have been a number of schools of thought re the election date. A date the PM completely controls.
Strongest guesses suggested Clark's natural caution would have her waiting till the last possible day - 8 November 2008. This gave her time to recover in the polls and time to trip up the Nats and John Key. The other big decider was to bask in the reflected glory, light and euphoria of Obamamessiah's election four days earlier.
Well the news just got bad - real bad. The first US nationwide voter poll since the Republican Convention has given the McCain/Palin ticket 54% / 44% to the GOP. See the detail in the USAToday Gallup poll.
Clark will get no glory from Obama - he'll be a corpse by November. This is the beginning of the end for Obama.
With Obama gone she needs a clean run and the ongoing and increasing stench out of NZ First will at some time stick to Labour.
She'll have to go soon.
What will determine the timetable?
The collateral damage from Hurricane Glenn tomorrow may set the direction and pace.
The Police have forgotten they're in her pocket and have advised they are investigating the NZ First donations and 2006 2007 returns. They'd be advised to look wider than the Electoral Act - there should be obvious evidence of criminality under the Crimes Act - actions that deliberately set out to deceive and hide evidence of wrong doing.
Electoral Commission are also seeking new and additional information from NZ First - asking for amended returns. How does that work?
Sorry Officer I was speeding but if you like I will drive back up the road and come back at the right speed and all will be sweet?
The Marie Celeste is leaking like a sieve - the rats, while they are off, are squeaking. See here where the NZ First auditor coughs he was worried about some of the donations and tried to speak with the Electoral Commission. Spencer Trust trustees are squawking see here