Which political party in NZ is best placed to benefit from the Corbyn Youthquake?


One of the big reasons why Corbyn won, was because he motivated young voters to engage and become not only involved in the political debate but managed to actually get them to participate on the day to vote as well.

This is true inspiration.

Corbyn didn’t need online voting with the shallowness of a social media like or retweet, he actually put together policy that directly impacted the lives of students and young people and inspired them to believe their vote could change the election.

They did, it did and Corbyn now has engaged young activists who have tasted real democratic power and the hope of change.

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Corbyn lost the battle, but he has won the war.

So who in NZ could benefit from a Corbyn Youthquake?

National: 2/10

The Young Nats are a club of white privilege and have built a formidable University presence around the country, but anyone outside that privilege bubble isn’t going to care about the National Party. Youth were excited by Key because he was the rich Dad a nation of solo mothered children never had. Bill English has none of the smarmy charm of Key’s dorky Dad routine and English isn’t mobbed by teens wanting selfies when he walks about.

So the Nats I think lose a lot of their youth vote attraction and they offer sweet bugger all in terms of policy. I give them 2/10 for creating a possible Youthquake.


Labour: 7.5/10

You just can’t underestimate the popularity that Jacinda has created with the youth vote. She’s a totally different generation from most other politicians and young people see her as their ambassador in the halls of power. Her prominence in Labour’s election advertising is purposely done because she rates through the roof. She will bring an enormous youth vote that simply hasn’t had someone they identify with promoted with such prominence in an election campaign before.

Add to this some election policy that will make a real impact in the lives of students and young people and Labour has a real opportunity to create a Corbyn Youthquake.


Greens: 9/10

Yes they have become painfully middle class, but by promoting such incredibly talented young women into top positions on their Party list, the Greens are the best positioned political party to generate and build a Corbyn Youthquake. The Greens have a huge social media footprint, but have failed in the past to turn that into political muscle on the day, the new blood Greens walk in with massive social media credibility and the ability to motivate.

The policy is too value based without enough retail specifics but they have the authenticity through their candidates to create real momentum. The challenge will be to go beyond the middle class university class to see the full promise of their appeal to youth, but you would have to give the Greens 9/10 for a Corbyn Youthquake.


NZ First: 5/10

First time voters in the provinces seem to love Winston. He has an old school charm that appeals to them. I didn’t believe this could be true but speaking with people who have been with him on these tours, and there is a small chunk of young people there waving the NZ First flag. I think this is a provincial thing, so would limit NZ Firsts youth appeal to the provinces, but it seems to be genuine.

NZ First will have sweet bugger all to offer your people in terms of policy, but Winston will appeal to first time voters in the provinces.  Voting NZ First is about as rebellious as the children of National Party voters get.


ACT: 1/100

I will accept that 1 out of 100 youth voters is a psychopath so acknowledge that ACT could at least get that vote.


United: 0/10

I refuse to accept that any 18 year old would ever vote for United.


Maori Party: 6/10


Maori have a huge percentage of youth as voters so the Maori vote is a young vote. Marama Fox has a large and loyal following and the above T-shirt design which you can buy sums up her very authentic support.


MANA: 6/10

Hone has a very large youth appeal up North, and MANA draws a lot of its Party support from young people sick of the current economic settings. MANA Policy is probably closer to Corbyn’s manifesto than any other Political Party. His 6/10 is limited to just Te Tai Tokerau.


TOP: 5/10

Ask first time voters what the big issue is and cannabis reform comes back agains and again. For young people it sums up the hypocrisy of society and it makes them realise they are criminals, reform for them is a serious issue. As the only party offering anything genuinely revolutionary means TOP could have a really weird yet strong appeal to the youth vote.


Young people are the largest untapped voter pool in 2017. If they could comprehend the true power they and those who didn’t vote have, we could change this Government several times over. For that to happen though, the Left have to offer real policy to those voters, that’s how Corbyn won them over.


    • It is policy that has teeth that will draw the young and uncommitted voters in- not wishy washy drivel such as “restoring the four well-beings” but “jail for people who steal ratepayer money”, “jail for councillors who fail to consult”, “compulsory rates refunds to people forced to pay illegal rates”, “binding referenda for any significant borrowing”, “statutory limits to debt”, etc…

      • Ha! Coffee all over the keyboard. Young people will vote for statutory limits to debt? Have you ever met a person under 35? Were you ever even that young?


    Labour need to move left into NZ First territory to capture the youth vote.

    • Vaguely authoritarian, just-left-of-centre might work for NZ First and its core voter base of retirees and farmers, but this is a niche vote. More than half of kiwi voters are under 65, and more than half live in cities.

      NZ Labour need to move much further left, into Corbyn territory, and despite what their constant misrepresentation by the news media might suggest, the party has been tacking (timidly) in this direction under every leader since Goff. What Corbyn shows them is that they need to keep going left, and scream it from the rooftops that this is what their vision is. They don’t need to do it by stealth, while still pretending to be National-lite, in a futile attempt to pull vote from National in a mythical “centre” that stopped existing with FPP elections.

  2. Amazing isn’t it , that Hone … is the closest to Corbyns manifesto.

    And how the neo liberals all ganged up on him. They feared his community spirited message. It pisses me right off. We could have had a democratic socialist in parliament along with several others. Instead we had the vicious John Key encouraging National voters to vote for Labours Kelvin Davis. All because Key feared Dotcom , was pushing the TTPA , and wanted to carry on as Obamas / Clintons little lap dog.

    I’m still pissed off at Winston somewhat for joining in the bash. It was the Greens who abstained. So glad they had the integrity back then to see what was happening and who was behind it.

    So yes, while we need and should respond to the youth vote, we also need policy’s that will be more like Hones Mana party and Corbyns Labour , – and we need both the manifesto and the individual / individuals to deliver it.

    Unabashed, unashamed , and totally unapologetic.

    That , I fear , will come in time, and when Corbyn wins- which he will – and the NZ Left will be forced to change its position and there will be what I call TANE – THERE ARE NO EXCUSES for NOT pursuing a democratic socialist manifesto.

    Hopefully though , the slow learning politicos on the NZ Left will be more quick on their feet than they have been and realize that , in the words of Bob Dylan , ‘ The times they are a – changin’ ….

    • Hi WK … I’ve always believed Hone is NZ’s answer to Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn. Left policies are what NZ sorely needs right now, to take it into a progressive future, towards an egalitarian social structure, where every Kiwi is valued for their individual worth.

      Mana is the only party to take that left turn.

      If Labour had any sense it would have worked with Hone years ago. But sense in poltics … ??????

      • +100 MARY and WILD KATIPO…it was unbelievable how Hone was attacked by the supposed Left last Election

    • I have commented on the other political blog, a work colleague youngster(30) is voting for the first time this election.
      Prior to this elections, had nothing to do with him, now he is voting for others, those who are younger than him.
      Great news, and it has encouraged me to bring this up with the other 20somethings at work.

      Every little bit helps.

    • This boils my blood, mostly because how can the youth be politically awake when we are barely taught anything about politics at school what it means to be a citizen etc. It takes a good few years of post teen life to get a grasp on what is happening in this world.

      • @ Robert Bruce … youth are indeed badly equipped when they leave school when it comes to citizenship and responsibility to society.

        Time is well overdue for Civics to be introduced to NZ schools. This is something which needs to be pushed and encouraged in our education system. Politics affects our lives from birth to death, a long time in between. I’m sure giving youth a solid education in what responsible citizenship entails, we might, just might end up with a far better and much fairer society than that we have now.

        Youth are the future of NZ, so they should be well equipped to deal with knowing how to live responsibly in society.

      • RIGHT ON BOB.




  3. Please someone take up the issue of Special Votes! I have talked to young voters who have not registered but, caught up in the moment, have gone along on election day to vote.

    They are given a Special vote.

    They think they have voted (why would they think anything else?) but, as I understand it, their vote does not count.

    Yet they are unaware. Election after election.

    Young voters are often very mobile and their postal address changes frequently,so you can see why their registration details get out of date.

    Either tell them at the polling place that their vote will not be counted if their registration is invalid (unpleasant but at least honest) or let them register and vote at the same time (democratic)

    Anything else seems underhanded and tricky. Perhaps even designed to disenfranchise some of the youth vote.

  4. A quick scan of the Labour & Greens websites (and Maori & TOP) would suggest they don’t give a shit about young people.
    Tired old leaders photos and swags of verbose policy is unlikely to inspire anyone let alone youth.

    • 100% E-CLECTIC,


    • They think having smiley young females will draw the youth vote, I guess because Bernie and Corbyn are good looking young flibbertigibbets…

  5. The brit Labour resurgence didn’t just ‘miraculously happen’, it took the work of a special kind of individual with an honest & decent approach to do that.
    Back in 2015 there was a lot of cynicism about Mr Corbyn from young voters (hell even among older self selected ‘left’ voters whose cynicism is much more entrenched) but that could be easily refuted by Corbyn supporters by pointing out his longstanding unwavering support for peace aand equity.
    When the likes of Yvette Cooper tried to make much of the fact Corbyn wasn’t qualified as leader because he had no cabinet r shadow cabinet experience that was turned into a plus by pointing out that Mr Corbyn had from time to time been offered roles but only as bribes which he had rightly turned down and the discussion changed from attacking Mr Corbyn to the poisonous structure that was always looking for the least line of resistance and sacrificing principle which had become the standard Labour way of doing business.
    The much smaller size of Aotearoa’s MP base plus the growth of other humanist parties after MMP means that it is impossible to find anyone in parliament for the Labour Party who has the history and character of Mr Corbyn attempting to pretend there is would be a disaster and it will make young voters far more cynical.

    If I were a current kiwi Labour MP who wanted to see my party grow in the way the UK party has, I would be seeking to encourage someone with credibility to come on board now before the nest election so that when English is re elected (which he almost certainly will be – why support ersatz Nat when you can have the real thing?) the party can begin to show a side that has been stomped down hidden and ignored for decades.

    The only potential person I can think of would be Sue Bradford who had the good sense to stay outta the Dotcom disaster and who has always stayed true to principle so can display her commitment to the policies she enunciates – there may well be others I dunno.
    Another part of me says ‘please don’t be aping the poms’ – we’re our own mob and shouldn’t be grabbing englander pegs and trying to stuff them in Aotearoa holes again – that never ends well.

  6. The only problem with the race for the yoof voter is the cost to the party, the loss of older voters. Its a trade off in policy as well. It could end up just been a zero nett gain?
    Take the Greens for example.The last 2 RM Polls combined, they have lost 1% nett overall.I personally think they’ve shot their load already. 2014 10.7%. 2017 I think if they can maintain that they’ll be doing alright.

    The UK yoof vote in total turnout is just a 12% increase which is good but NZ’s problem is that we haven’t had a Brexit catalyst, nothing to excite the non-engaged public, which all of the partys arent interested in chasing. The 800,000 non voters today could still be the 800,000 non voters of tomorrow because the current “Boring” election campaigning by all partys is just about them going after each others voters! Zero – Sum Game.

  7. Worth bringing UK labour strategists and Corbyn over to NZ to coach us up on how to repeat hs success.

  8. I actually reckon young people in Aotearoa have it worse off than the brits whose tertiary fees may be higher but they can get considerable relief for living allowance.
    Although accommodation costs in urban centers esp London are high so are wages.

    I’m no pom so have don’t have an axe to grind on this but when the issues around super in NZ which since it is unfunded means that the costs for retired kiwis are being picked up by the working population, plus it isn’t means tested & of course the pols in Aotearoa are seriously discussing raising the retirement age on the furphy that may reduce some super.
    Of course what isn’t mentioned is the concomitant increase in youth un/under employment as people staying longer in work will reduce the numbers of positions becoming available and cause career path blockages across all occupations.
    Think about that for a bit, it feels as though older people well older politicians, anyway, have declared war on young kiwis.
    No serious efforts are being made to counter those people who fund their lifestyles including superannuitants’ retirement holidays, through property wheeling & dealing.
    If I were young I would conclude I’m being taken for a ride.
    Someone picking up super while still working and topping that nest egg off by property profiteering is a sociopathic scumbag, yet talk to an older person about the injustice of this and the odds are they will act as though it’s their right and you’re the greedy one!

    Then there is the dementia tax which the Brits rightly rejected but which has been standard and accepted by all pols here for I don’t know how long.
    Yes it has an impact on older people, but it has much more impact on young people whose only opportunity to own a roof over their head is by inheriting their share of the family home – but only if one of their parents doesn’t require long term residential care.

    The smarties those who can afford to pay for this don’t – meaning the less well off and legally literate don’t/can’t use family trusts.

    So I’m not surprised to read tripe such as “The only problem with the race for the yoof voter is the cost to the party, the loss of older voters.”

    WTF how about what is just? I’m pretty damn creaky but have no trouble supporting anything which could help my kids get a fair shake and I’m sure many other ancients feel the same.
    Maybe if the selfishness which has become so endemic it is accepted and even defended was forced to confront reality.

    Eventually young kiwis will wake up and there will be a big backlash and it will not be pretty – old boomers who have convinced themselves it is their right to live off the pig’s back for ever and a day should consult a little history – what do they imagine is gonna happen when younger kiwis decide they’ve had enough and they have the numbers – that everyone will sit down and talk about it even though older citizens refused to and rudely dismissed young people when the boot was on the other foot. ha bloody ha.
    I want to see an effort by kiwi pols to reach out now – regardless of the immediate electoral consequences, that is called leadership.

  9. “NZ First will have sweet bugger all to offer your people in terms of policy, but Winston will appeal to first time voters in the provinces. Voting NZ First is about as rebellious as the children of National Party voters get.”

    Yeah, but they have to reach 60+ first before Winston starts to look good.

  10. From FB…
    Mungo McCormack :Any thoughts on the UK election, where Labour gained 32 seats and where, it would seem, the young do actually vote? Are you expecting many young voters at your street corner meetings?
    Like · Reply · June 10 at 8:43pm
    Stuart Nash MP
    Stuart Nash MP :Amazing turn of events. Jeremy C was as good as Theresa May was bad. I heard an interesting saying today “June is the end of May”. Very clever!

    Jacinda aside, are we sure Labour are understanding the youth vote…or even understanding that the youth vote is ‘a thing’.

    Sure there is some ‘youth’ policy, student loans, but the main thing effecting the young that I know is employment and housing…and there are no ‘earthquake’ changes in policy to really inspire ‘earthquake’ voter turn-out.

  11. Tracy Watkins had a front page piece agreeing with Labour and wagging her finger at National. This is the first time I have ever seen Labour get support with out gratuitous balance (i.e. agreeing with Labour but putting the boot in as well over some trivial thing).

    The stats in the UK –
    In 2017 young voters backed Labour over the Tories by 51 points more than the national average.

    The over-65s favoured Theresa May’s party by 35 points — 32 more than the average for the electorate.

    In just seven years the partisan age gap has shot up from 14 points to 83.

    This has real issues for newspapers – if they continue to alienate the young by backing conservative parties with highly partisan propaganda then the only audience they’ll have left is going to die out over the next 10 to 20 years, killing their industry. Even though it’s going to hurt every fibre of Murdoch’s being, they are going to have to change.

    • It will be interesting to see how the millennium and generation X voters will respond to National’s hamfisted flip flop over raising the age of National super entitlement.
      Like in Britain, the wealthy oldies will pretty much all vote National and because proportionally they keep increasing in size, the worry is that NZ government will be decided by the geriatrics
      We get the young people out to vote.
      That is exactly what the NZ Herald and other National-loving media sources do not want to happen.

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