Robertson vs Cunliffe social media wars Round 4



Grant’s gamble of merging his two Facebook pages into one to give the perception that he has more member support was always going to blunt Cunliffe’s popularity, never overshadow it.

Cunliffe overtook Robertson’s Facebook likes a couple of days ago, Grant increased 76 likes to 2430, where as Cunliffe leapfrogged him from 2309 to 2581, this off the back of a 1000 like difference Cunliffe had to make up after Robertson’s merging. Team Cunliffe have to now extend that lead right out until the final day of the challenge or else Team Robertson can claim Cunliffe’s popularity throughout the membership is false promise.

How the members are leaning seems to be the deciding factor for many of the Unions who also want to be onside with the membership.

Cunliffe stepped up and appealed directly to the Labour Party activist base yesterday by posting a blog directly on The Standard, showing he understands its importance in the debate and its importance to the wider online community.

This is a far cry from last year…

“The blogs dont get to vote in the labour party, so we dont pay much consideration to it” – Andrew Little.

“Blogs,who cares about blogs” – Clayton Cosgrove

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“I don’t read blogs” they are “nonsense” – David Shearer.

It’s been interesting to see how poorly Labour have utilized social media during this leadership challenge. While Cunliffe has been ahead of the curve, this whole process should have been a dry run with very clear tactics and strategies not just by the candidates, but by the Party itself. These speeches should have been live streamed to the country and that footage used for meme generation and VOD for members themselves to pass around and propel the messages virally. Cunliffe has been clever going to The Standard and appealing directly to the Labour Party activist base and his meme generation on social media has been sharper, but if Labour think brain farting on Red Alert and jumping on the creaking beltway windbag of Scoop Media is the means to a social media end they are deluding themselves.

It’s genuinely concerning to see how under prepared Labour’s dip into social media for political traction has been, it’s as if they’ve missed the importance of this new means of communication and as such, Labour’s social media tactics have come across like a fax message from the late 1990s rather than a liberal democratic Party of the 21st century.


  1. Bang on brother…social media is a very important tool for people to connect with their political fancy. Shane Jones facebook is a joke. I mean blowing his trumpet that he can get the non voting Maori engaged… that’s a sick joke. A decent social media setup would fucking help Shane!

    • Doesn’t anyone remember that tv series: Make the Politician Work? Shane jones turned up onto the fishing boat late and hungover. Then he slept the rest of the time. Recently, he was caught on camera sleeping during one of Cunliffe’s speeches. Do we want the leader of the Labour Party to not only be rude, but lazy! Lazy is the worst thing for the party at this point of time, and probably explains why his Facebook page is such a joke!

  2. As per comments above, it is an important political and persuasive tactic to involve social media in campaigning. And in this case political parties are aiming to reach young consumers and technology users , which is the most effective channel of persuasion. The advantage of social media is creating a two-way communication between the political actor and the public. The political actors i.e Labour party members are using social networking sites to generate content about the party, information and subjects in which the public can produce feedbacks, which is enhancing the political party and public experience. Another advantage is that interaction is fast. Compared to television it gives the opportunity of sending unlimited messages and they are not limited with certain visuals, and time limits. Thus, you can have more intimate relations with the poublic through social networking sites such as facebook.

  3. As you’ve said, Cunliffe does appear to be trying – linking videos of his speeches on his Facebook page for example. Can’t speak for the other two as I’m not following them…

  4. Your like comparison is misleading. Cunliffe has 2 facebooks. He has more than 5000 likes on his other page so he has more than 7500 likes total.

    Cunliffe is destroying Robertson on facebook.

  5. Hi Martyn

    I’m intrigued to know, are there any MPs that you think are doing social media well? I don’t mean doing absolutely everything they could possibly be doing, but just getting the basics of Facebook and Twitter right?

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