Labour’s collapse in the polls – why?

By   /   June 19, 2014  /   52 Comments

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I put National’s rise and the Left’s fall down to three significant factors;

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In recent months, successive polls have not favoured the Labour Party and the Left Bloc.

A TV3 Reid Research Poll in mid/late May gave a  shock result for Labour;

National:  50.3% (+ 4.4%)

Labour: 29.5% (- 1.7%)

Greens: 10.2% (- 1%)

NZ First: 5.6% (+ 0.7%)

A Roy Morgan poll in late May/early June – one of the more accurate of polls – fared no better;

National: 52.5%  (+ 7%)

Labour:  29% (- 1.5%)

Greens:  9% (- 4.5%)

NZ First:  4.5% (- 1.5%)

A mid-June Herald Digipoll presented similar results;

National: 50.4% (- 0.4%)

Labour:  30.5% (+ 1%)

Greens:  10.7% (- 2.4%)

NZ First:  3.6% (n/c)

The most recent stats,  from a June  Fairfax/Ipsos poll, was even worse;

National: 56.5 (+ 8.9%)

Labour:  23.2% (-6.3%)

Greens:  11.9% (- 0.8%)

NZ First:  3.2% (- 0.5%)

Though National’s 56.5% is in pure la-la land (they scored only 47.31% in the 2011 General Election), the overall pattern seems fairly clear; National is rising, whilst the Labour-Green bloc is falling, and – on face value – close to collapse. (I also do not believe that NZ First will not cross the 5% threshold.)

I put National’s rise and the Left’s fall down to three significant factors;

1. National’s May 15 Budget which took a lurch to the left with extra social spending; removing tariffs (temporarily) on building materials; and the promise of a budget ‘surplus‘.

It was a typical electioneering budget, increasing spending on social areas that had been  been previously starved of funding in recent years. Even the so-called “surplus” was questioned by the Opposition.

2. Increasing economic activity, predicated mainly on three factors;

3. Infighting between Labour and it’s potential coalition partners.

On 7 June, I blogged on the issue of Labour’s unprovoked and negative attacks on it’s potential allies. I wrote;

Going by recent public comments made by Labour MPs and candidates, it seems that the Labour Party is either planning to sit this election out – or some of it’s higher-ranking public individuals are out of control.

How else to explain recent statements made in the mainstream and social media by Labour people, attacking others on the Left?
[…]

Being “principled” and attacking potential allies will result in looking weak and fractured, in the eyes of the public.

Being “principled” and attacking potential allies smacks of dis-unity. Dis-unity, in the eyes of the public, is not a Government-in-waiting. It is Labour unable to set aside self-interest and party-politics for the good of the nation.

If the public perceive that Labour is more interested in attacking it’s own potential allies – and here is the nub of the problem – then why should people vote for such a fractious party that appears unable to work alongside said potential allies?

National – polling in high 40s and low 50s – cultivates potential allies.

Labour – polling in high 20s and low 30s – undermines, attacks, and marginalises it’s own potential allies.

[…]

How many times have we heard the public say, “why can’t they work together for the good of the country?”.

Well, National’s strategists have understood and implemented this very simple truism; the public do not like seeing squabbling politicians. The public want political parties to work together, collegially to solve pressing problems.

That is why Key keeps repeating his mantra,

“We’ve shown we can deliver strong and stable government and can work with other parties for the good of the country blah blah blah..”

That is why National is high up in the polls.

That is why Labour is floundering and losing support. And respect.

Not only do I not resile from the above comments I wrote on 7 June, but I reassert that recent polling has more than proven my point.

We on the Left can do very little about National’s fudging of Budget figures, nor economic  growth created by demands from an earthquake-ravaged city; a housing bubble; and Chinese consumption.

We can, however, get our own house in order when it comes to inter-party relationships.

If Labour wants to portray itself as a credible government-in-waiting, it must demonstrate that it is capable of working across all sectors in society.

If they cannot work collegially with other Left-leaning parties – then why on Earth should the public believe that Labour could  work with other sector-groups? The ‘signals’ that various Labour MPs (Hipkins, Nash, Goff, Shane Jones, Davis, et al) are sending is one of fractious in-fighting; of “greedy little little children grabbing all the toys in the cot, and not prepared to share and play together”.

This is not a political party demonstrating readiness to be a government. It is a party showing  desperation to grab votes at any expense.

Unless Labour is looking forward to sitting on the Opposition benches for the next ten years, it must change it’s internal culture. We talk about the “Police culture” needing change – I submit that Labour itself needs to look deep within itself and understand why the public are not responding to their policies and messages.

Why is  the public turned off  from Labour?

How does the public view Labour’s bitter attacks on the Greens and Mana-Internet?

What  does the public want?

Ask those three questions at the next focus groups, Ms Coatsworth, and you may start to understand why it is that Labour is not connecting with voters.

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References

TV3 Reid Research: 3 News Reid Research Poll

Roy Morgan: National (52.5%) surges to election winning lead while Labour/ Greens (38%) slump to lowest

NZ Herald: National flies high as new party nibbles into Greens

Fairfax media: Ipsos June 2014 Poll – The Party Vote

Wikipedia: New Zealand general election, 2011

NZ Herald: Budget 2014 – Bigger surplus unveiled, doctor visits for kids

Interest.co.nz: Government to temporarily remove duties and tariffs on building materials

Dominion Post: Wellington rape centre forced to cut hours

Fairfax media: Rape crisis line forced to cut staff

Fairfax media:  Budget 2014: Surplus real, says English

NBR: Auckland house prices continue their relentless rise

NZ Herald: Big resurgence in NZ house-building

Stats NZ: Dairy product exports grow for 20 years

Stats NZ: Logs to China drive our forestry export growth

Daily Blog:  The secret of National’s success – revealed

Previous related blogposts

Letter to the Editor: playing politics with rape victims, National-style

Budget 2014 – How has National exposed itself in Election Year?

 

 

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Why I am a Leftie

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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52 Comments

  1. Got a good reason for expecting NZF not to crack 5%, Frank?

    • He does think they’ll cross the threshold, note Frank states:

      I also do not believe that NZ First will not cross the 5% threshold.

      Double negatives – like National and ACT!

    • Michael Nolan says:

      I think you misread him mate:

      “I also do not believe that NZ First will not cross the 5% threshold”

      Two nots, double negative. NZF will cross the line.

    • fambo says:

      I think Frank is saying that he believes NZ First will make five percent. He just used a double negative which kind of confused things.

    • Finn Jackson says:

      Curwen, I think he was saying that he believed that they would crack 5%? “I also do NOT believe that NZ First will NOT cross the 5% threshold”- Negative+negative=Positive I think?

    • John says:

      Easy 2011 those older National voters weren’t keen or the asset sales so protested with Winston First, now that issue is gone this election Winston First like the rest of the left have nothing new or fresh to offer.

  2. Mistery Mistery says:

    ‘1: Why is the public turned off from Labour?

    2: How does the public view Labour’s bitter attacks on the Greens and Mana-Internet?

    3: What does the public want?”

    My answer to your questions in your well put article:

    1: Because they are only being informed by the bias of the media portrayals, and Labour need to be more zealous in their pursuit of government. They need to be ‘more’ of everything. Stronger, and they need to show their true leadership prowess, and the media need a big hand slap from Labour, so Labour can get their messages out there to the mainstream media viewers! They need to stop appearing lazy, and they need to become a force of ‘truth’ against the Nats corruption. They need to be less polite, and more adamant towards their goals for NZ, and its people.

    2: Labour obviously cannot get into government on their own, they need the minor parties on their side, and they need to show this unity now, otherwise it will be too late for all of us. They must stop failing in this matter of unity with all parties other than Nats. It is not about personalities – it is about the futures of the people of NZ. If they can establish this unity – publically – then they will be winners, but if they carry on being anti-unity they will be losers, and this will be to the detriment of all of NZ.

    3: Personally, I want a government who will be known for truth, and care of the people – this being the largest section of our population, the old poor, and the newly established poor. No secrets! No lies! No back door deals! No treasonish acts.
    They must be the opposite of National, and they must get this message out there.

    Come on Labour, wake up, rark yourselves up, get going, so we can give you our vote!!! Stop being lazy, and show a lot more enthusiasm – what are you waiting for – it is waiting there for you in September – go and grab it!!!

    Rescue us from the merciless tyranny of the National regime!!

    Opinion

    • Michael Herman says:

      In other words, you want Labour to be what it isn’t. Curiously, that’s also what the polls reflect.

      The true progressives in Labour aside, the party ceased to be a force of the Left 30 years ago when it started doing the dirty dance with neoliberalism.

      If you’re seeking reasons for poll stagnation turning into decay, look no further than Labour’s failure sincerely to reject and faithfully apologise for this betrayal, and the presence among its parliamentary ranks of the likes of Goff, King and Hipkins.

      • Gosman says:

        So why aren’t The Greens and IMP doing better considering they don’t have the sort of baggage you think Labour has?

        • e-clectic says:

          A tad early to conclude much about IMP – except that 2.1% probably isn’t too shabby given the level of vitriol directed their way so far and only just got the candidates and policy is under development.

          As for the Greens, personally I don’t mind seeing this dip/flatline because they are producing principled and innovative policy again which is their shtick after a hiatus (IMO) where they seemed to be vote-chasing. Principled and innovative policy doesn’t always show up well in the polls but it’s very reassuring to the faithful.

        • Shar72 says:

          Are you a Green or IMP supporter Gosman?

  3. Skippers says:

    A major factor in the decline of Labour’s support is the presence on the political scene of kim dotcom. To have that malignant force anywhere near our government is making National appear – even to life-long Labour supporters – to be the preferred option.

    The only way to ensure dotcom and his illgotten dollars are excluded is by supporting National.

    • No thanks, Skippers. He’s only “malignant” to those people who raided his home with a para-military police force; took his property with dodgy Search Warrants; lied to him; and basically destroyed much of his life.

      I doubt you’d be a happy chappy in his position.

    • Michael Herman says:

      What a load of bunk.

  4. Tom says:

    Why is the public turned off from Labour?

    Well, part of it is that there has been a pretty consistent media campaign against the Labour leader, whipping up what are in most cases non-stories into major scandals. It’s getting to comical levels, but the dreaded low information voters get their sense of politics from the mass media, and it’s working.

    How does the public view Labour’s bitter attacks on the Greens and Mana-Internet?

    I doubt they care. Most people don’t like the Greens and M/I is an irrelevance kept alive by the press because it makes for a good story.

    What does the public want?

    Apparently, what the National Party is offering, or something close to it.

    The left are wasting their time in NZ. Most NZers appear to have bought into the centre right way of looking at things. Yes, it is stupid, and, yes, they are morons for doing so, but that doesn’t change the facts. That’s just the political reality in NZ for now and for the foreseeable future. There’s no point telling the truth and hoping to bring people around – that doesn’t work in the short term.

    Anyone who knows politics knows that, short of some catastrophe, this won’t change overnight. The right have spent 30 years fragmenting the political power base of the left and turning former left voters into aspirational individualists, and you can’t reason people out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into.

    Have you not noticed the epidemic of prosperity gospel followers, self-help book buyers and so on among the working and lower middle classes? It’s one of the big social trends of the last couple of decades. It’s no surprise that such people have moved to the right. When Paula Bennett bashes beneficiaries, it’s these people who listen.

    There’s just no coming back from this in the short term. What you and everyone else on this blog seems to want is a quick fix.

    It just ain’t happening, bro. The world doesn’t work that way.

    It’s a long hard road back for the left, and there’s no point pretending otherwise. In the meantime, it would be best to take some time off and have a think about what to do instead of flailing wildy at every disappointment.

    • e-clectic says:

      “turning former left voters into aspirational individualists”

      Nailed. Thomas Frank’s “The Wrecking Crew” spells out in detail how it’s played out in the US and the same is happening here.

  5. Tom says:

    If you think it’s bad here, Ed Miliband is proposing the right wing policy of cutting benefits for youth whom right wing economic policies have put out of work.

    What can men do against such reckless hate?

    • Thankfully, Tom, at least we have MMP and a choice of two of left-wing parties. God help our British cuzzies and their antiquated FPP system that locks in a cosy duopoly…

  6. Migrant says:

    Labour Party AND the Left Block? Cunliffe and Labour Pary are racist and anti-inmigrant.

    No one that claims to be left wing can identify themselves or support in any way that pro-bussiness political party.

    I am a migrant and I am left wing. I would never vote for Labour Party. I encourage all my migrants friends not to vote for anti-inmigrant political parties

    • e-clectic says:

      This area always gets a bit touchy.
      There is a distinction between being anti-immigration and being anti-immigrant.
      It’s a timing thing and a Goldilocks thing.
      It’s a Goldilocks thing in terms of what is the right amount – that debate needs to be had and it needs to be had without allegations of “racism” when people advocate for lowering the levels. That’s not to say some of the people advocating lower aren’t racists but alleging anyone and everyone who advocates for lowering limits is racist isn’t helpful. I think if you look at Labour’s position they aren’t anti-immigration in the sense of no immigration – they are saying that a lower level is better for New Zealand – to construe that as anti-immigration is misleading.
      It’s a timing thing – once an immigrant arrives having followed the due process then they are as welcome and as entitled as anyone else. To be anti-immigrant is racist – no question.

      • McChristchurch says:

        Premise #1
        It’s not about race, it’s about the neoliberal monetarist agenda of transferring 99% of wealth into the hands of 1% of the population.

        Premise #2
        Aotearoa’s f*cked anyway, we may as well carry on with the experiment of premise #1 to check out whether the experiment is flawed and things might change because Obama’s coming here on the 19th September!

        Premise #3
        The TPPA will fix it so that 99% of the wealth doesn’t end up in the hands of the 1%, thereby negating premise#1 and #2.

        Q+A #1 Why would you import workers when there are plenty of immigrants here already – driving taxis because their qualifications aren’t recognised in NZ? Supply and demand and premise #1

        Q+A #2 Why would you import workers into NZ to drive down the cost of labour as part of a neoliberal way of transferring the last 9% of the wealth into the hands of the 1%? Supply and demand and premise #1

        Q+A #3 Why would you import workers when there are plenty of young people out of work and looking for jobs? Supply and demand and premise #1

        Q+A #4 Why would you import rich immigrants to live in Auckland, when houses are so expensive and it’s shutting out kiwis from the housing market? Supply and demand and premise #1

        Q+A #5 Why would you import Chinese immigrants into New Zealand to work in Chinese owned businesses? Economic colonisation of New Zealand and premise #1.

        Q+A #6 If China were still a communist state and we were importing Chinese immigrants to make New Zealand a more egalitarian society again would that be OK? No – goes against premise #1 – the idea is an oligarchy and cabal, not a communist state.

        Q+A Why should we vote National again in less than 100 days and for unrestricted immigration?

        Premises #1, #2 and #3

    • Mistery Mistery says:

      @Migrant:

      Is your name Donghua Liu?

      • Intrinsicvalue says:

        …and how much money did you give the Labour Party?

        Labour need to know the answer, because they don’t know.

  7. Annie says:

    The organisation of the Party itself is pretty appalling too. Labour need a bloody rocket. The lack of responsiveness of caucus to the membership seems to be reflected in the Party organisation itself.

    How depressing that the only way to get rid of National is to have a Labour led government.

    If Labour was half as good as the Greens at running a party and being effective in opposition while demonstrating its readiness to be in government, this election would be a cake walk.

  8. Richard Christie says:

    My three:

    1) MSM bias
    2) MSM bias
    3) MSM bias

    • Michael Herman says:

      Don’t blame the MSM for Labour’s failings. Yes, the MSM is the froth that collects on top of floating effluent, but they’d have little power to cause the sort of damage they’re doing if Labour wasn’t marching to a dirge of endless failures, disappointments, betrayals and gaffs.

      • Richard Christie says:

        I disagree, they wield an almost ultimate degree of power to influence public perception, especially amongst the politically disinterested, who subliminally assimilate the background noise/message without exercising critical analysis.

        Most of the so called gaffs have been truly trivial matters, blown and distorted monstrously out of proportion, DC’s “secret” trust and 11 year old letters being cases in point.

        The campaign of bias has been relentless.

      • richarquis says:

        We don’t blame them for Labour’s failings. We blame them for the outright distortion and disproportionate handling of those failings, while consequently ignoring much larger and more important failings from those in power.

  9. Dennis Dorney says:

    In a previous comment in the Daily Blog, I predicted that the Labour/Green vote would not exceed 40% of the vote, that ACT, Conservative, Maori would be eliminated on the right; and that NZ First would be eliminated on the left.
    The public are obviously not polling MMP but are thinking First-past -the-post. Voting for small parties is seen as a luxury. The exception is IMP. I had suggested that IMP (on 2.1%) is likely to reach 5%: that still looks good.
    Why is this happening? The excuses are simply that. No-one could vote National on the basis of a lack-lustre budget or a disastrous housing policy. National aren’t winning votes – Labour are haemorrhaging them because they have been out-manoeuvred on the left by IMP. National will not get 56% so who will pick up the spare votes? No prizes for that. Labour needs to negotiate.

  10. ***Update***

    Latest Roy Morgan poll out today, at 1.30pm:

    National: 49.5% ( -3%)

    Labour: 28% ( – 1%)

    Greens: 12% (+ 3%)

    NZ First: 4% (- 0.5%)

    National seems to be returning to it’s 2011 election night result of 47.31%.

    I predict NZ First to crack 5%, and be “king-maker”.

    Other parties:

    Maori Party 1% (- 0.5%)

    Act: 0.5%, (-0.5%)

    United Future: 0% (n/c).

    Mana Party: 1.5% (+ 1%)

    Internet Party: 1% (+ 0.5%)

    Conservative Party: 1.5% (+ 0.5%)

    http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/5639-roy-morgan-new-zealand-voting-intention-june-19-2014-201406190123

  11. Glenn says:

    And which way will Winnie go?
    Surely at 70 this must be his last election.
    Maybe just maybe he will decide this time to make a difference before he bows out. The left had better offer him something good to get him onside.

    • Glenn – I’ve wondered that myself. Unless a new, charismatic leader emerges through the ranks, NZ First may end up like the Alliance after Peters’ departure.

      • McChristchurch says:

        Simon Bridges looks very similar to a young Winston. Maybe he will splinter off and become a chip off the old WInston block?

  12. We find two truths …
    1) the public by and large only get their “facts” regarding politics from the Main Stream Media.

    2) the Main Stream Media has never been as uninformative in all of it’s history.

    How many minutes of coverage have you seen on the TPPA ?
    Bearing in mind that the TPPA will change to course of New Zealand if the current regime (or thew next) sign it.
    Are ignorant citizens the problem and if so who is to blame for that ?

  13. Kathy Himiona says:

    Actually, Frank, I used to work for the National Research Bureau, and the Heylen Research market, both of which were right wing leaning, although I wasn’t aware of that at the time.
    We were never allowed to just waltz up to any old address, no, we had to stay on one side of the street, even numbers only, ages between 18-35…male subject preferable.
    And at the end of the survey, ‘do you wear y fronts?’ etc. there was always a political page, sometimes we asked ‘have you ever smoked marijuana?’ I do admit that this was years ago, but I doubt if polls have changed since then.
    The polls are leading the country, and this is orchestrated by those who benefit. Need I say more. Do not believe the polls, do your own, amongst the unions, etc. I’m sure you’ll find a very different result. The tail is wagging the dog. Don’t believe what you read.

  14. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Labour has been largely indistinguishable from National for 30 years: pro-globalisation, pro-money-lenders’ agendas, pro-looting and polluting of the environment, with a little tweaking of tax rates and benefits to pander to socialist ideals of the past.

    Not only that, actual MPs have repeatedly demonstrated dubious morals (or none at all) and a basic dishonesty about everything that matters.

    More of the same? No thanks. (That applies to National too, of course.)

  15. Marc says:

    Why has Labour’s polling “collapsed”?

    a) Biased MSM reporting, strongly favouring Nats as “strong”, reliable, a “safe hand” running the country;
    b) economic growth that gives people a sense of rather sticking with the status quo than risking change that may offer some uncertainty;
    c) some “well sold” election “bribes” for the middle class in the budget;
    d)Labour and Cunliffe still not having delivered new policy effectively and convincingly enough, so they are not seen as a strong and competent enough alternative.

    It is also a rather rogue poll, and it will depend on how the campaign will be run the coming two to three months, to show what the true prospects for a change of government may be.

    We live in uncertain times, despite the “growth” based on largely dairy exports and construction, and if the Middle East, Ukraine and so lead to international destabilisation, the voters may have more reason to stick with Key and his gang, as he is an expert manipulator and manages to “present well” as the “statesman”, shaking hands with Obama and other leaders.

    But nothing is lost yet, and Labour must get their damned shit together, and push ahead with confidence. They also need to deal with media more professionally, and the last two days Cunliffe managed the “crisis” rather well after all.

    Let’s wait and see, and do our bit.

  16. JC says:

    Well thought out and accurate article Frank.

  17. dog's breakfast says:

    On behalf of all troglodytes…………… “don’t poll me, I need to sleep,
    when the time comes… read them and weep. I know what we need in the land of the sheep, so baaaa… morgan/herald (etc), you tactix too cheap!!”
    I hate polls, I only do the ones where you can log back in and re-vote & I expect lots of other people & trolls do the same thing.
    I will give the Morgan poll lady who rang me up last night some credit though, I said I was just about to go to sleep and she deferred the poll.
    Worrying about getting to a polling station on election day is enough for us cave dwellers, hermits and general slaves to the rhythm.
    I love the artwork Frank. This is what us troglodytes want to look at.

  18. Heteroglossia says:

    Lurch to the left to get the votes of the apathetic, the missing 800,000. We need to be provided a clear alternative – and NOT more of the same.

    Staying in the centre gets ridiculed by the media anyway, staying in the centre isn’t polling well. What if they ditch the centre and the Left get steamrolled in the next election? Well the thing is, if you keep pissing people off enough, then they change their views.

    New Zealanders confuse critical thinking with negative thinking. They love the fact that we’re living in a ‘rockstar economy’ with high economic growth this year – however the average wage rise is expected to be 0%. It’s these kind of figures that makes people look beyond the facade.

    Thing is, moving towards the Left doesn’t alienate the working class, it excites them. It gives us hope in our lives. Give us concrete policies to improve our lives tangibly, rather than to place our faith in an illusion that we’re building a brighter future. These are such empty words, and we’re living in winter with dark, uninsulated homes. If the future’s going to be brighter, I don’t see it. (And we’ve waited six years for it).

    ‘Middle NZ’ (whatever that is) must surely be impacted by rising costs of living, stagnant wages and the housing crisis.

    Increase the top bracket tax rate, tax wealth instead of income, introduce the capital gains tax and hello, you’ve got money for much increased healthcare and education spending. There’s no point trying to win the votes of those who aren’t in favour of that.

    285,000 children in poverty becomes solved instead of just being a statistic.

    New Zealand suffers significantly when the economy collapses. And the economy will keep going after crisis after crisis. Boom to bust. But recessions hurt. We need to reclaim back what’s ours, and we can’t let an economic recession devastate and create a moral recession where inequality rises by the year.

  19. Shar72 says:

    Frank, you have a point in one thing. The constant attacks by Labour MPs on Greens and Mana don’t reassure me at all. The impression I get is that the opposition parties are divided. Not who to vote for?

    Not National, that’s for sure. The last time was enough for me.

    So far it’s a choice between NZFirst and the Greens. I’ll probably go with the Greens as Winston won’t tell us who he will support in coalition.

  20. Intrinsicvalue says:

    Labour’s collapse in the polls has much longer term roots Frank.

    1. Helen Clark ran a regime that tolerated no dissent, but at the same time encouraged no natural successor. Her legacy was a weak team with a dearth of leadership options.

    2. The change of system for electing the Party Leader has been a disaster. It has had the effect of electing a leader who is at odds with his parliamentary colleagues. It portrays to the public a party captured by the unions, who are seen as increasingly irrelevant. And finally it has exposed the deep divisions that exist between the various party factions.

    3. The Labour Party have for years failed to clearly articulate what they actually stand for. There is confusion around their approach to economic policy that dates back to the 1980’s, an era of policy that has never been acknowledged or repudiated.

    I was a Labour voter supporter from 1978 through the 1990’s. The party has a proud history, but my view is they will never again be the force in NZ politics they once were.

  21. Intrinsicvalue says:
    June 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Labour’s collapse in the polls has much longer term roots Frank.

    1. Helen Clark ran a regime that tolerated no dissent, but at the same time encouraged no natural successor. Her legacy was a weak team with a dearth of leadership options.

    Political parties generally don’t “tolerate dissent”, Anonymous ACT Supporter Intrinsicvalue. At least, not publicly.

    National’s treatment of Marilyn Waring in 1984 demonstrates that.

    National’s sacking of Winston Peters in October 1991, as Minister for Maori Affairs, for making policy contradicting National’s, is further evidence of that.

    Or former National MPs, Hamish McIntyre and Gilbert Myles, a year later.

    The change of system for electing the Party Leader has been a disaster. It has had the effect of electing a leader who is at odds with his parliamentary colleagues. It portrays to the public a party captured by the unions, who are seen as increasingly irrelevant

    The unions have only 20% of the vote. MPs and members have 40% each.

    Not exactly “captured” when you’re outvoted 8:2.

    The Labour Party have for years failed to clearly articulate what they actually stand for. There is confusion around their approach to economic policy that dates back to the 1980′s, an era of policy that has never been acknowledged or repudiated.

    There may be an element of truth to that, but by and large, “Brand Labour” still guarantees it’s position as the second largest Party in the House.

    The question is, how do they increase their support? (No, not by adopting National’s policies, Otherwise all parties might as well join together and we might as well just have a one party state.)

    I was a Labour voter supporter from 1978 through the 1990′s.

    I doubt that. (Though you may’ve voted Labour in 1987, when they nearly won the National blue-ribbon seat, missing out by only 406 votes. The Nat’s previous margin in 1984 had been 3,483.)

    • Intrinsicvalue says:

      “Political parties generally don’t “tolerate dissent”, Anonymous ACT Supporter Intrinsicvalue. ”

      That wasn’t my point. No natural successor was nurtured, indeed it appeared that Clark almost deliberately avoided doing any such thing.

      “The unions have only 20% of the vote. MPs and members have 40% each.
      Not exactly “captured” when you’re outvoted 8:2.”

      Again you miss the point, because I was referring to the will of the caucus v’s the will of the unions + the wider party, who collectively out weigh the caucus 6:4. The system is a disaster.

      “I doubt that.”

      I don’t care what you doubt. I remember cheering Bill Rowling at the Auckland Town Hall in 1978 (before I was old enough to vote), voting Labour with huge pride in 1981 and 1984, and then again in 1987 and 1990 and 1993. Sometime during the 1990’s my affection for Labour waned, and Helen Clarks utter disregard for our democratic rights, and Michael Cullen’s near destruction of NZ’s economy reinforced my view that the once greta party was coming to a slow and painful death.

      “(Though you may’ve voted Labour in 1987, when they nearly won the National blue-ribbon seat, missing out by only 406 votes. The Nat’s previous margin in 1984 had been 3,483.) ”

      Not sure what you mean. I’ve lived in safe Labour electorates all my life.


 
Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog,