That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and courageous deeds.



THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since Roy Morgan’s previous survey in late March. Roy Morgan has long been the Left’s favourite polling agency: a source of good news when the Colmar-Brunton, Reid Research and Ipsos agencies could offer nothing but ill-tidings. That “our poll” has begun to deliver ill-tidings of its own is bad news indeed.

Chief among the causes of this worrying decline must surely be the political antagonisms currently dividing Labour and the Greens. David Cunliffe’s decision to spurn the Green Party’s offer of an explicit pre-election coalition agreement, itself a reaction to internal Labour Party polling data, has clearly not been enthusiastically received by centre-left voters.

The other cause of Labour’s 3.5 percent decline in popular support can only be the its leader’s ham-fisted response to the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Justified or not, the public perceived Cunliffe to be whingeing about the amount of face-time he had been allocated with the Royal Couple. New Zealanders are notoriously unsympathetic to “whingers” and they undoubtedly mentally piled Cunliffe’s comments upon all the other ill-considered statements he has made since January.

In both cases the quality most conspicuously lacking in the Leader of the Opposition’s decisions was courage. Regardless of whether Russel Norman’s motives in offering to campaign for a “Labour/Greens Government” were well-intentioned or darkly Machiavellian, it is now pretty clear that the smart move would have been for Labour to seize the offer with both hands.

Both Cunliffe the politician, and Labour the party, are in desperate need of action which marks a new and bold beginning. A deed which draws a line under the fumbles and grumbles of the past five years and lets the electorate know in the clearest possible terms that a vote for Labour/Green is a vote for something new and challenging.

Clasping hands with the Greens would have been one such deed and the timing could hardly have been better. Norman’s offer must have been made shortly before, or coinciding with, the release of the IPPC’s latest report on Climate Change. Did nobody in Labour’s much-vaunted “War Room” consider, even for a moment, the powerful symbolic effect of Cunliffe and Norman jointly announcing their common commitment to meeting the greatest threat to human survival in 10,000 years?

The presence of the royal couple presented Labour with another opportunity for snatching the political advantage from National’s grasp. Far from complaining about the amount of face-time he had been scheduled with Wills and Kate, Cunliffe could have delivered a speech in which he announced (alongside Norman and Metiria Turei?) the Labour/Green Government’s decision to hold a referendum on whether or not New Zealand should become a republic. More than that, he could have announced that should the answer be “Yes”, the Labour/Green Government would bring into existence a constituent assembly charged with drawing up a new, republican, constitution for New Zealand.

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Both of these options would have allowed Labour to place itself at the head of a movement for radical change. Just as it did in the 1980s, Labour could have re-written the political rule-book and set the political agenda for a whole generation. In both cases the primary appeal of the policies would be to younger voters who, if history is any guide, could have taught their parents well about the urgency and desirability of embracing Labour’s changes.

But, as we all know – and as the Roy Morgan Poll now attests – Cunliffe and his “Leadership Group” did neither of those things. The chance to break out of the ever-diminishing political space into which Labour is being squeezed was allowed to pass.

And what did they offer New Zealand instead? A “cluster-truck” (hat-tip Te Radar) masquerading as coherent transport policy. So risible was this effort that the Transport Minister, Gerry Brownlee, initially thought that journalists seeking his response were pulling his leg. Hastily devised and driven by the basest populist instincts, the only response Labour’s pre-Easter announcement on trucks, trailers and caravans succeeded in eliciting in any quantity was incredulous laughter.

Does anyone know the whereabouts of that stalwart and courageous David Cunliffe who bore every insult that his enemies could hurl at him. The David Cunliffe who sat stoically on the back benches while his party fought for his return. The David Cunliffe who campaigned up and down the length of New Zealand for a rededication to Labour’s core values. The David Cunliffe who promised to rescue New Zealand from John Key’s “crony capitalism”. If anyone does know where he is could they please advise Moira Coatsworth and Tim Barnett immediately – he is sorely missed.

And sorely needed. Because, if that David Cunliffe is not found – and soon – the pallid and oh-so-timid fellow currently masquerading as the leader of the Opposition is going to lose the election. Not just for Labour, the Greens and Mana, but for every other New Zealander seeking a radical change in their country’s direction.

Somehow Cunliffe must find, within himself, the ability to do what Abraham Lincoln did as he rode the train to Gettysburg on 19 November 1864. From somewhere deep in his political soul Lincoln found the words with which to infuse not only the Union cause but the whole idea of American democracy with a new sense of dignity, energy and purpose, and to rededicate its citizens to achieving those grand revolutionary impulses that had given the American Republic its birth.

Cunliffe must ask himself four fundamental questions: “Why am I doing this? Why is Labour doing this? What is it that we want New Zealand to become? And why should New Zealanders join with us to make it happen?

And then he must answer them.

Or watch Labour’s poll results sink even lower.


  1. i welcome the separation of the greens from labour..

    ..labour can go and harvest those soft national votes..

    ..and the greens can get back to their knitting..

    ..(as long as they haven’t lost their balls..of wool..)

    ..i was finding that whole waltz-down-the-aisle-together/no-bottom-lines/lead-me-to-my-bmw!- routine..

    ..both alarming and tacky..

    ..and if the greens again find their balls..of wool..

    ..maybe they will also find some of those lost bottom-lines..?

    ..we live in hope..

    ..the total of that union was not greater than the sum of its’ parts.. was just pallid..and pallider..(you pick which was which..)

    ..whereas the opposite applies to mana/internet party..

    ..the total there is definitely greater than the sum of its’ parts.. the same reasons apply for the mana/internet coming together..

    ..and the labour party/green cleaving apart..

    ..funny that..!

  2. Just accept that for reasons up fathomable to us, a majority prefer this crap, and that Labour can’t win on even a vaguely leftish platform. That’s been evident for a long time, and there seems little that can be done about it other than finding some personal way of coping.

    Or you could dispense with democracy (not as unreasonable as it sounds).

    • Or we could actually establish democracy, in place of this elected dictatorship bullshit that passes for democracy in the Pax Americana empire…

      • You expect more from democracy than it is capable of delivering.

        Democracy is just XFactor for older, uglier people.

  3. I’m seriously beginning to wonder if DC is actively trying to loss this election.
    Perhaps he has something lined up, something that’s similar to Helen Clark’s lack lustre performance closely followed by the announcement she had landed a plum job at the U.N.

  4. Well, who’d have picked it, eh ? All Labour did was to do the fucking opposite of what people wanted them to do, and for some strange reason this is reflected in the polls!

    How’s that 37% vote share looking now, Labour think tank guru’s ? I suppose you’ll be holding some more internal workshops to convince yourselves that you are still on track, and your strategies are working?

    You are obviously getting some VERY bad advice, David.

    As I’ve said before, now is time to step up and become one of our best ever PMs, rather than trying to survive 3 years of back-stabbing as leader of the opposition!

  5. Labour needs to get rid of the Rainbow Coalition/Feminist Academic nonsense that is driving away middle voters. Let the Greens pick up those sorts, while Labour concentrates on its true foundation – the working class.

    • Newsflash, women are half of the working class, and there are plenty of gays in it too. Any knuckle-draggers who still don’t accept women as equals or gays as humans will vote Conservative or Winston First, not Labour.

      • The problem is that group think they arent equal, they think they are above that and are overtaking the party

        • I think the party have had a bit of a wake up since Chris Carter. Neither species of gender warrior is presently controlling Labour.

          The party cannot win by negative definition however – it must represent things that people want – assuming of course that the ramshackle edifice of the Key government manages to somehow keep shambling its way towards the election.

    • Well said kiwi guy, someone had to say it! Sure, half the working class may be women and gays, but I think that the average working class gay female wants to be just that, an average quiet achiever.

    • a song for ‘kiwi-guy’..

      (cloth-caps doffed..and placed across hearts:..all together now..!..after me..!..)

      “..the workers deepest red..

      ..neither poofters nor feminists..share our bed..

      ..we’re kiwi-guys..thru and thru..

      ..and we’ll have none of that funny business.. thank you..!..

      ..oh why can’t it be – like it used to be..?

      ..when blokes like me – were all you could see..”

    • kiwi_guy says:
      April 18, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      Labour needs to get rid of the Rainbow Coalition/Feminist Academic nonsense that is driving away middle voters. Let the Greens pick up those sorts, while Labour concentrates on its true foundation – the working class.

      If gays and feminists aren’t “working class” – who is? Just us blokes?

      Seems a very restricted, narrow vision of what constitutes “working class”, Kiwi Guy…

  6. KIWI_GUY – With those enlightened views, you should probably be voting for ACT/Conservatives !

    Do you think there aren’t any working class “Rainbow people” or feminists ??

  7. I think that those in Labour underestimate the disinterest that generation X & Y have for Labour. Within these two generations, we have never experienced anything other than a neoliberal/third-way Labour, and the result is that when Labour speaks, we do not listen. The youth wings of National and the Greens are stringer throughout universities for an obvious reason – they resonate and proudly stand for consumption/individulism (National) and envirnomentalism (Greens). Both of these ideologies dominate people’s values if they are under the age of 35, and sometimes they both apply – ethical capitalism, sustainable capitalism etc. On the other hand what does Labour stand for? It’s a mish-mash of both, without representing either. Sadly, Cunliffe has continued with this and as a result when he opens his mouth, nobody listens. Cunliffe’s policies have been third-way and have not deviated much from Goff and Shearer’s path – so anyone under 35 is not going to hear his message – we have evolved an understandable deafness to Labour based on the past. Cunliffe can’t just talk about change and offer nothing – that is why Occupy happened, both here and around the world. Gen X & Y are sceptical and judgemental and have no faith in the so called centre-left parties. Cunliffe cannot underestimate how much change is needed just to get us to listen, let alone vote for him. He’s ignored a massive part of NZ by thinking he can talk about change – we learned with Obama and our ears are now closed. You’ll have to do way better than an insurance policy and a baby-bonus.
    Give us some respect, we have a lifetime of debt just if we want an education, an affordable house to us is not 400k, most of us don’t have insurance cause we have nothing of worth…FFS, you can’t even give us a living wage?

    And the boomers are hardly impressed with Labour. A lot of the boomers are angry with Labour, and this has even developed into hatred (and rightly so considering what Labour turned into during the 80s). Now boomers are moving into retirement with rising costs and extreme rental prices.

    At what point do we call Cunliffe another neoliberal dud and move on? Is it just me or do other people wish Shearer was still there? At least with Shearer as leader people could blame Mallard & co. and say its all internal…now what? Its a cold dark empty feeling when someone says they are on your side ends up acting like the enemy

    • As much as I am loath to agree with you Fatty, there are many things in your analysis I find myself nodding in agreement with. When I saw the transport policy I thought WTF! But there must be method to their madness surely? Will we see the rationale playing out closer to the election? Then DC’s outburst. Yes JK was hogging the limelight like the sycophant he is but if DC mentions it then it becomes ‘whinging.’ Let the public and MSM be the judge. (I think some in the MSM are coming around to recognizing their bias. I’ve seen some changes in reporting. Way to go yet, especially from some of the opinionated, ‘I know everything’ tunnel vision commentators). Yes generation X and Y are disinterested in Labour. Possibly because parents who have subtle influence on their children’s political persuasion have voiced their disenchantment with Labour in the living rooms and at the dinning tables. Once we knew what Labour stood for, but after their subterfuge in the ’80s many of their ‘middle of the road’ supporters have lost confidence in them. We’re waiting for Labour to turn the corner but during the wait the messages we broadcast to our offspring are far from positive. Unfortunately the only thing that trickles down from neo liberalism in my family is the growing distrust of Labour. A generation in our house is lost to other parties with 2 out of 5 of my children joining up to the Internet Party and understanding what they stand for. (or what they say they stand for. No hard policies yet). Hubby is also on the precipice of following suit. One is a strong Green supporter, the other keeps his views pretty much to himself and the other lives overseas but would probably vote Green as well. I’m still waiting for Labour to give me something that is clearly left and something I can ‘love’. But otherwise Mana and the Greens are clearly articulating what are pretty good policies that I can wholeheartedly support. But I am undecided. Still waiting and hoping. The Labour and Greens get together? I think it would have been ‘interesting’ either way Labour went. But what the Greens should have done was explored the idea informally with Labour first. Was that a deliberate ploy by the Greens to push those Labour voters on the cusp of voting Green over the precipice? Because that is the effect it has had on some. A Labour Greens coalition would have definitely restored my confidence in the Labour. But obviously both Labour and National polling show that many in the centre would not welcome that move. National’s strategy is to link the Greens with Labour, even with dimwit Bridges saying that Norman was in a Labour Greens government.
      Not sure about these polls. So many people are disillusioned with National and their arrogant ministers and their arrogant ways. I can only think the ‘scientific’ polls have been manipulated, calls hacked, subliminal messaging used. (I’m not serious but in saying that those methods are available. Nah. Couldn’t happen). But how else to explain those dismal results arise. But what the hell is going on? What the poll result does though is dash the momentum and confidence Labour were starting to build. Probably the hill seems even steeper. But no one would have an easy ride, especially with the resources National have available to them.

    • I think you have a point about the Gen X and Y, and I am wondering whether that is the target group for the internet Party – jsut a thought

  8. “David Cunliffe’s decision to spurn the Green Party’s offer of an explicit pre-election coalition agreement, itself a reaction to internal Labour Party polling data, has clearly not been enthusiastically received by centre-left voters.”

    You are increasingly looking pathetic, Chris Trotter (once wannabe Trottsky). You were yourself trying to explain in other posts, how it was the right thing for Labour to not agree to a partnership kind of deal with the Greens, now you seem to have changed your mind again. Like a fair number of commenters, I told you and others posters in my comments on other posts, that the best way for Labour and Greens to run this election campaign, and to send signals to the voters out there, would be to show some unity and open partnership. They could have agreed on terms and said, they will of course still compete for the left and left of centre, progressive votes, in a sporting and fair, respectful manner. But by not taking the stretched out hand from Norman, and displaying some arrogant pride, pretending they may win 40 or more percent of the votes, Cunliffe and his peculiar “team partners” (who are anything but respectful partners), they burnt the bridge, so to say.

    Cunliffe looks more pathetic by the way too, and it is increasingly my impression, he does not really want to be leader anymore. He makes silly jokes now, looks less serious, does even shun invitations by Campbell Live to have TV3 visit him and his family at home. I sense he has already given up, sees that he does not have that largely crap caucus (carcass) support he needs, and he is not really putting any effort into policy announcements anymore.

    He is only still hanging in there, to keep his dignity, to not lose his face totally, I fear, while he may already be sending out his CV to some leading corporations, business consultancies, the UN or elsewhere. I really fear, this election campaign is now virtually over and lost. Have you seen the faces and behaviour of Labour MPs in the House? They all look like without energy and motivation now, apart from certain moments, when they play cat and mouse on some side issues, or trying to get a minister exposed and sacked.

    There is nothing in the way of policy that thrills, that makes much of a difference now, that could be a game changer. Welfare recipients are left out in the cold and rain by Labour, shamefully, as that Sue Moroney can hardly lift her backside of her Parliamentary chair to say and ask something substantial and fundamental off Paula Bennett.

    Again Labour have betrayed us, that is unless in the coming weeks something fundamentally radical will happen, which I cannot see.

    So while the Greens are also down a bit in the Roy Morgan Poll, I see them regain some support soon, but re Labour I see nothing but disappointment.

    Shane Jones has stabbed Cunliffe in the back, I fear, and so has Robertson, as I must guess, and the appointment of Matt McCarten seems to have gone down like a lead balloon within the Labour Party’s top echelons. Matt is not liked by most in caucus, and they have let David Cunliffe know this, I suspect, hence David is now all alone in his office, with no friends, no support, disrupted communications, and poor advice.

    Having a leader with such handicaps is like having no leader, or even a liability to carry. It may not be Cunliffe’s fault, but had he prepared it all a bit more carefully, and acted more wisely, perhaps things may have looked a bit better.

    The only solution now is the long process of ruthlessly chopping out deadwood. The alternative is a new left party, with a new team, no rotten baggage and a set of policies and a program that will get votes that Labour lost. As for the Internet Party and Mana, you can all dream up as much as you will, if Labour cannot get over 35 percent and Greens not over 12 or 13, all else will be lost anyway.

  9. Chris…

    I hate to be a serial detractor (more often than not I think your analysis good) but I don’t think this is an accurate picture of where things are at.

    The polling period was March 31 – 14 April. Accordingly, there is no question that Labour’s transport policy impacted on the poll results. (

    You goad Cunliffe to announce a referendum of republicanism as a sure vote winner (hell, t wouldn’t there be a CIR if the republicans had achieved critical mass?) yet it doesn’t seem that you (at least any more) believe in republicanism as the way forward for New Zealand (

    You criticize Labour’s declining of the Greens formal partnership approach (incidentally, I agree with philip ure, it is an approach better suited to parties who may not otherwise enter Parliament at all), but I think you yourself know that Labour would have faced howling of “radicalised, far-left labour” from the media had they done so. So they were damned if they do, and damned if they didn’t (actually, only damned if they didn’t if someone then took the news story of the approach and fed it to the media..). If that had merely backfired on Labour for declining the offer, why did the Greens experience a corresponding erosion of support for making the offer?

    Finally, the polling period was over the royal tour leading into Easter holidays, which (despite Cunliffe’s “whinging”) produced a string of good news stories for NZers thankful to that nice Mr. Keys for inviting them here.

    Enough. I broadly agree with your conclusion that things are looking grim going into these holidays, but your repeated, deep sighing to the activist base motivates no-one. And I think you know that.

  10. “The other cause of Labour’s 3.5 percent decline in popular support can only be the its leader’s ham-fisted response to the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Justified or not, the public perceived Cunliffe to be whingeing about the amount of face-time he had been allocated with the Royal Couple. New Zealanders are notoriously unsympathetic to “whingers” and they undoubtedly mentally piled Cunliffe’s comments upon all the other ill-considered statements he has made since January.”

    While there seems to be some truth in this comment, I doubt that Cunliffe’s initial criticism of the Royal visit has that much to do with the poll results. He soon changed tune and kind of “repented”.

    But it is true, New Zealanders do not like “whingers”. That is the “Kiwi battler” spirit, I suppose, you rather suck crap than fight it. Which in itself is a highly worrisome condition of so many New Zealanders. Putting up with crap, and pretending it is really not that bad, and all so cheerful, that solves nothing, and is as pathetic as constantly whinging.

    Cunliffe would have done best to pay NO attention to the Royals. Let the bit of media fed fanfare and hooray nonsense fade, and get back to business, that would have been the best approach. The media looked ridiculous to me, spending a large section of headline news on a spoiled rotten “elite beneficiary couple” with a newborn, who have nothing better to do than live it up on taxpayers’ expense.

    And there we have real “bludgers”, well they do not even have to bludge, do they, people seem to be happy to play the willing payers, the subjects, the crowd, the mob, the underling, who does not want to wash after having been touched by “royal highness”.

    In a country where you still have so many cling to such “mentally disturbed” conduct, you will have little chance of real progress, let alone revolutionary change. That may be why Key is so popular with about half the population, he is the same slimy greasy, advantage taker, and elitist “beneficiary” as royals are. People love him, even if he kicks their arses.

    And even one Chris Trotter was praising the Royals on a “show” called the “Paul Henry Show”, indulging also with a former National Party president, by ridiculing a Labour Party and their policies on transport and caravans.

    I have seen so many claimed “leftists” sell their hearts and souls to the enemy now, what will be next?

    No hope with such developments, nothing but a long, dark, sinister tunnel to travel through, desperately seeking some glimmer of light, that is what I see it as.

    • Cunliffe would have done best to pay NO attention to the Royals.

      Bingo! He shouldn’t have been anywhere near them and when asked he should have said that he had more important things to do for NZers than hob nob with a couple of outdated, bludging Brits.

      • Certainly he should’ve taken the high mannered ground. I’m not sure there are many votes in sucking up to the royals, but good character always plays better.

  11. I don’t consider the New Zealand republic debate a priority, there are far greater concerns to remedy. Personally I find the prospect of New Zealand becoming a republic at present terrifying. At best we would see a cosmetic change completely meaningless to those struggling along, and at worst constitutional changes that would cement social injustice.

    What about inequality? Or was that just a buzzword that’s no longer in vogue. As for those of us struggling along, it appears all we deserve is to be stigmatised and berated with a torrent of the usual lazy clichéd prejudicial drivel we’re accustomed to, spouted by a successful “self-made” elite.

    A pledge to introduce a basic income I would consider to be radical step forward. Ensuring the security in social security. Eliminating the spectre of being psychologically tortured by WINZ, or having to face the stark reality of no income in a void with a world behind a pay wall.

    I am totally unsurprised by those who tune out of politics, the droning is incredibly boring. Time is running out, and at this rate Labour just might as well do us all a favour, cut to the chase and form a grand coalition with National. At least they will be honest in displaying their commitment to their beloved neoliberal status quo.

    • At best we would see a cosmetic change completely meaningless to those struggling along, and at worst constitutional changes that would cement social injustice.

      That could be a concern. I recall that the constitution commission was talking about increasing property rights under the mistaken belief that this would make people freer. Excessive property rights are what cause oppression.

  12. The problems for Labour are so deep set I believe it could take many more years to resolve them, if it is even possible.

    Setting aside Cunliffe’s obvious ineptitude, Labour have huge problems. The party is deeply ideologically divided. It’s system for electing the party leader has led to the ridiculous position where the parliamentary caucus has a leader it doesn’t want. Much of it’s policy platform is increasingly viewed as a joke. And finally the party has succeeded in staking out it’s place in the ever dwindling territory of the left.

    No-one understands what Labour stands for anymore, and it’s much of what is seen as originating from Labour is alienating even it’s own core support base.

    In my view Labour are toast, at least for 2014, and possibly for 2017.

    • No, you are wrong as usual. The so called ideological divisions within the Labour MPs are overstated – you need to stop believing Gower.
      Also, Labour’s lack of popularity will change relatively quickly.
      Think back to when Bill English was leader of National, they turned that around with racism and then populism. Labour can do the same, but it will only be through policy (not a greasy sleezeball like the Tories do)
      Once Key goes National will drop down to about 30% within a short period. Potential Leaders within National are quite repulsive – Simon Bridges was looking good but he’s let his guard down and showed NZ he’s far too arrogant and probably has some deep-seated anger management issues. Joyce and Collins have no chance of seducing the average Kiwi. National’s popularity will diminish, that could be in a year’s time, or in 4 years, but it will happen.
      The problem with Labour is that they are holding onto policies which make no sense in a post-GFC environment. Labour’s policies are the underlying problem. The issue of National’s & Labour’s leaders being popular is a different issue – a temporary issue that is best left to the D-grade political analysts we have on TV
      The tide is actually out on Key’s popularity, it’s just Labour’s centrist policies that are propping up Key and National

      • If you are unaware of the ideological rifts within Labour then I’m not sure where you’ve been.

        The divisions are deep and wide, and go well beyond the simple left/right factions within the party that are the most transparent.

        • I wonder how you come by this dubious intelligence IV, should you not be an expert on the CCCP or ACT?

          ACT is united as only a party with no members can be, and the Gnats know that Key is the only thing that can – maybe – slide their unattractive agendas under the public radar.

          It’s a poll. The only really interesting thing is the undecideds. Let’s just wait until September shall we?

        • We’re all aware of the differences between Labour MPs – Paddy Gower mentions it all the time.
          I’m not saying all Labour MPs are ideologically the same, or even similar. I’m just pointing out that it’s largely irrelevant.
          Do you really think that a voter says ‘well Shane Jones likes coal miming, but some other Labour MPs don’t, therefore I’m not interested in Labour’?

          What are these ideological differences that are not left/right? Can you give us some examples and names and how this affects voters decisions? (please don’t tell me you are thinking of gay marriage/smacking/prostitution?..we all saw the news over the weekend…zzzzz).
          And these ideological rifts that you are imagining…are those rifts any wider than those which exist between National MPs? – I’m specifically thinking of conservative vis-a-vis libertarian values?

          From what I can see Labour’s problem is that it claims to be for the common kiwi and then continues with third-way/neoliberal/centrism. The ideological clash exists, but not from within Labour, instead it’s Labour’s founding principles & rhetoric that clash with their policies.

    • Intrinsicvalue says:
      April 19, 2014 at 10:42 am


      In my view Labour are toast, at least for 2014, and possibly for 2017.

      Thank the gods, IV. I’d be more worried if you were in agreement with Labour. Then we’d really be in trouble!

      • My point did not refer to disagreement, it referred to an electoral outcome. They are toast.

  13. Chris Trotter is starting to sound like a member of the Nats. He constantly tells us how National has this years election sown up and is always the first to comment negatively on anything Labour does or doesn’t do as he sees it. The MSM roll him out as a spokesman for the left. Like a lot of commentators these days his views are more about what he wants rather than an analysis of what the left wants.

    • Couldn’t agree more Mark.It doesn’t matter what David Cunliffe does, or says, it will be reported as being wrong.There’s plenty of good things that he has done,and is doing, but the cowardly, gutless, media CHOOSE not to report it.He just has to keep his self belief and resilience and he will be successful despite all the naysayers!Give Key the same bullshit treatment and see how he fares.Not very well at all.He got the lightest of tickle ups by the media a while back ,and retaliated by calling them “a bunch of knuckleheads”.Who was the whinger then.Where was Chriss’ criticism then.What we got was a deafening silence!Say no more!

  14. One has to ask, why are you doing this Mr Trotter? You never seem to miss an opportunity to do yet another some what baseless skewered anti Labour beat up. Your national party bias is showing, yet again Mr Trotter. national is up in the latest Roy Morgan poll for no other reason, than the royal visit. And wasn’t that john key’s intention? the very reason he invited the Royals here during an election year. It wont last.

  15. Considering that not everyone has a land line any more, how is Roy Morgan randomly selecting mobile numbers ? Its not as if there is a public “white pages” directory of everyone’s current mobile numbers is there? So are respondents registering their mobile numbers with pollsters? In which case, I question the validity of these polls. (Which Chris Trotter based his article on).

  16. Labour’s plan to increase the entitlement age for national superannuation to 67 has not won them any friends.
    Yes I know it will eventually happen but to announce it as part of their policy before gaining the treasury benches instead of waiting until they are the government has doomed them to remain in opposition as long as Key remains National’s leader.

    The Lange Labour Party was savvy enough not to announce the super surtax plus other unpopular measures until they were in govt. This lot appears not to have that cunning. they appear naive and not a government in waiting.

    • You need to get some perspective here Glenn, the increase of 2 years is over a 20 year period. Labour are being upfront, would have thought NZers have had quite enough of the lies, flip flops and string of broken promises that they have gotten from john key and his national party. So you admit national suck then, and if it wasn’t for the liar, con artist and deceitful showman john key, national wouldn’t even be in power.

    • Have you heard the latest joke John Key, Judith Collins, Hekia Parata, Gerry Brownlie, Amy Adams, Anne Tolley and Simon Bridges walk into a bar. And National are still up in the polls!

  17. It bothers me that National do and are doing the most stupid and inept things and people wring their hands pontificating about what Labour may have done wrong to be down in the polls. If the polls were accurate National should be down in the polls because really, compared to National, Labour has done nothing wrong.

  18. MSM appear to have the mindset that National is Good and that Labour is Bad, are all the MSM on the NACT Payroll?

    Labour haven’t actually done anything as they are in opposition however we are being preached to daily how bad they are.

    If you keep repeating the message people start believing it even if it is BS it is the sheep mentality, one day New Zealanders will wake up to the fact the NACT Party treat us like sheep.

    MSM should be critically analysing the NACT Party policies and commenting on how successful they have been or unsuccessful they have been. The quality of economic and political journalism in this country is abysmal, it is all day to day hysterical nonsense.

    The country does not have a long term economic plan, it only has a For Sale Sign up for the highest bidder.

    Key is only concerned about his ego and getting re-elected, he doesn’t give a rats arse about the average New Zealander.

  19. It is so ridiculously simple what is going on here. Google the name David Cunliffe and page after page of negative press headlines pop up. Not one positive press release or policy announcement. Not one! Then google John Key’s name and page after page of positive media headlines comes up. Not one negative press release or policy announcement. Not one! Instead we get headlines like John Key ‘so great with kids.’ Just quietly vomiting now … I am so sick of the biased media and their sycophantic love for John Key and their vitriolic hatred for anyone else that challenges him. The only media covered event that could of given the public a true perception of what is really going on in New Zealand politics was the impromptu debate on Labors and National housing policy. Surprise, surprise – John Key pulled out at the last minute.

    • Well said Kate.
      It is oh so obvious, and yet week after week we get all this hand ringing about why Labour supposedly isn’t getting any traction.
      You could put a gorilla in a pinstriped suit and a pastel tie and you would get the same result as great to have a beer with at a barbe.
      A corrupt media has the ability to make anyone look as good, or as bad as it wants.
      When people tell me how great John Key is ,and I ask them why,their lips start moving but the words don’t come out.Then I follow up by asking them to name me one great policy or thing he has done to enhance the quality of life for most New Zealanders.Once again the words are not forthcoming.They have been BRAINWASHED.!

  20. Not sure about fault though. The news media have been pretty good in calling out Parata, Key, Bridges, Collins, et al. But no matter how terribly them perform their poll ratings increase. My informal poll ie reading comments in the online papers – no, most people there are on the whole pretty angry about what this government is doing or has done.

  21. Roy Morgan has long been the Left’s favourite polling agency: a source of good news when the Colmar-Brunton, Reid Research and Ipsos agencies could offer nothing but ill-tidings.

    I wouldn’t quite put it that way, Chris. The Roy Morgan poll is simply more credible because it contacts cellphones as well as landlines. Hence, we pay closer attention to it.

    The moment Colmar-Brunton, Reid Research, and Ipsos begin phoning cellphones as well, their results will be equally credible.

    That “our poll” has begun to deliver ill-tidings of its own is bad news indeed.

    Nah. It’s a “blip”.

    I would’ve been surprised if National hadn’t experienced a “bounce” with Key in practically every photo-op with the visiting “Royals”. (

    The good news is that in a few months, the visit will have been largely forgotten; campaigning will begin in earnest; new scandals await the Nats; etc.

    Then let’s see where polling takes us…

    • Seriously, and setting aside our respective political differences, there is just too many things stacked against a change of Govt. With no subjective input at all, these are:

      1. A leader who is the most popular in a generation.
      2. A rapidly improving economy.
      3. A generally ‘feel good’ factor across the country.
      4. Increasing employment.

      Even if you argue that National cannot be credited for these events, they are nevertheless a reality, and mitigate against any mood for change.

      • An awed hush, as the neolib commissar speaks.

        Yeah, sure, we’ll believe what we’re told.

        A generally ‘feel good’ factor across the country

        I like that one, a North-Korean-esque kind of touch.

      • Your ‘facts’ are not very solid my friend:

        An economy ‘sexed up’ by media cronies that is stagnating in real terms, as reflected in declining tax receipts.

        The horripilating feel of a corrupt and incompetent administration that means to steal every last piece of public property to try to conceal the scale of their failures.

        Static real employment fluffed up by using zero cost low veracity measures like online job advertisements.

        Key’s ‘popularity’ is a curiosity – I wonder if it too is not a fallacious media construct. Everyone I know wants to smack the son-of-a-bitch.

        • Stuart, you have hit the nail on the head with every point.
          So succinctly put as well.
          It is heartening to see that there are some people out there who can see through all the bullshit and know how to
          articulate it.
          Come on New Zealand -WAKE UP!

    • Hello Frank, while i agree with much that you say, particularly about the “blip” I asked this question earlier, Considering that not everyone has a land line any more, how is Roy Morgan randomly selecting mobile numbers ? Its not as if there is a public “white pages” directory of everyone’s current mobile numbers is there? So are respondents registering their mobile numbers with pollsters? In which case, I question the validity of these polls. (Which Chris Trotter based his article on)

  22. “Chief among the causes of this worrying decline must surely be the political antagonisms currently dividing Labour and the Greens.”

    Nope. That’s where you went off the tracks Chris. There are much bigger issues with Labour. The very existence of the Greens is just a symptom of a malaise within Labour. The once broad church of Labour has now dwindled to factions of ‘luvvies’, each with a tiny, tiny axe to grind and with no real knowledge of the issues facing normal working people. Take a hard look at the CVs of Labour’s top brass and tell me how many of these people have ever had dirt under their fingernails.

    Lacking contact with the broader demographic they have no ability to generate relevant policy.

    (I love the way DC attacked truckies. Priceless! That’s the truck drivers, their relatives and friends who aren’t voting Labour this time around and honestly, how many will vote Green? So what will they vote? And besides – there’s nothing more loathsome than a caravan! :-))

    Moving on…So lacking viable policy initiatives they make personal attacks on John Key instead. As well as looking plain nasty, they also fail 101 Marketing. Any marketing consultant will tell them, don’t mention the other brand when advertising yours. All they’re doing is improving his ‘name recognition’.

    And stop blaming the media. They are just vultures circling the dying carcass of a political party. They smell weakness.

    • Apart from the list of failed business ventures, have any of the top brass of national got any dirt under their fingernails? Interesting that its national who are constantly being accused of being out of touch or living on planet key. And ” lacking viable policy initiatives they make personal attacks….” is an apt description of john key and national right there, NZ has seen how plain nasty john key can get. And if that really is the case, why do the media spend so much time and effort making excuses and covering up as much as they can for john key and his national government.

    • It would be a reasonable critique, this want of dirt-under-the-fingernails, but you took it a bit far really.

      If your thesis were true, and Labour couldn’t make policy, how much worse off would the Treasury groupies, milch-millionairettes, dodgy managers and real estate vermin that comprise National be? You overstated it. Labour’s policy is not invariably reliable. But Gnat policy is toxic rubbish if you’re not one of those insider groups.

      Key is scum. He is destroying the democratic function of parliament by not answering questions. I guess when you’re as thick, and as irresponsible, as he is, you dare not. But that’s the job as it happens. He’s not doing his job. He’s a useless lying cunt. Made his first million from asset thefts. Made his next bundle crashing the $NZ. He never fails to cost New Zealand dearly. The wanker even thinks he gets to read my email – but let someone tape him selling out our democracy with John Banks and it’s cops everywhere. The sooner someone shoots him the better, and if he had any self-respect he’d do it himself.

        • He’s on fire alright!

          But not necessarily in a good way.

          His post is a classic example of the irrational, foaming at the mouth ‘nasty’ that typifies so much of Labour today.

          In fact he made my point for me!

          • So a preference for democracy over a notionally charismatic autocrat is irrational.

            A preference for a real growing economy is irrational.

            Wanting a PM who is honest enough and competent enough to answer questions is irrational.

            Wanting our country and our people to prosper and not settling for anything less is irrational.

            Away with you, you far-right kiss-arse.

          • You want to talk about nasty,check this lot out.

            Key,English,Joyce,Collins,Bridges,Brownlee,Bennett,Findlayson,Ryall,Lee Ross, to name but a few.Not only nasty but utterly incompetent to boot.
            And then the media and the National Party have the audacity to cast doubt about Labour and the Greens ability to govern.Average IQ of Nats probably about 90.Average IQ of Labour Greens probably about 130.
            Say no more!

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