What does Labour have to do from here?

Since their election failure Labour under Andrew Little’s leadership have recovered in the polls a bit but have a long way to go to be able to compete head to head with National without being seen as a Labour+Green or Labour+NZ First package

Last year they were seen as needing to be a Labour+Green+NZ First+Internet Mana package which wasn’t popular with voters.

Rolling over to Winston Peters as soon as he stepped up in Northland and (unless the voters revolt) coming a distant third in the by-election won’t help their recovery.

Colin James in his weekly column yesterday:

Labour’s course over the past 50 years has been down off a big vote based on unions and the working class to a party with no solid voting base and an unconvincing policy pitch. A distant third in the Northland by-election on Saturday week won’t help.

Commonsense suggests a searching, brutal rethink.

That in effect will be former Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen’s message to a Christchurch Labour meeting on Thursday. Otherwise, he will warn, Labour might wither into minor-party status — not a place in which to celebrate the party’s centenary in 2018.

That is the context for Andrew Little’s drive to reconnect with middle New Zealand and wage workers in the suburbs and provinces and Robertson’s reapplication of century-old principles (as the “party of work and of the workers”) to modern realities in which work and workers aren’t what they used to be.

Little, from some accounts, is prompting some “selfies”. His down-to-earth manner connects much better than did his two predecessors’ personalities. That doesn’t put him in Key’s league but it holds some promise of repair.

And there is a wisp of poll evidence: from a 24 per cent average in November to 30 per cent in February.

That is a minimum of 8 points short of where Labour needs to be to form a credible, stable government in 2017 (Helen Clark got 38 per cent in her first win in 1999). But the trend (so far) has been up.

What does Labour have to do from here?

Good question. What should Labour do from here to become a major party player again? Or is that status history?

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1 Comment

  1. Mike C

     /  18th March 2015

    It’s History. LOL.

    Reply

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