Who’s the game changing vote magnet?

Most people, especially younger people, don’t know very many politicians. I asked a 36 year old recently what they thought of Andrew Little and they hadn’t heard of him.

So Jacinda Ardern, having scooped up most of the paltry votes in Mt Albert, was promoted as the great game changer by media, and Labour had either fed them this message to repeat, or bought the message.

Ardern was supposed to be what Little wasn’t, attractive to voters.

So, instead of committing herself to becoming established in her new electorate Ardern has taken to the early campaign road with Little, to help draw attention to her leader.

It’s early days but it sounds like it hasn’t been a raging success, yet.

Lloyd Burr: Jacinda who? Labour’s new duo debuts at Victoria University

Labour’s new leadership team had their first ever public debut on Thursday – and it revealed Jacinda Ardern maybe isn’t as popular as everyone thinks.

Correction – Ardern isn’t as popular as some in Labour and some political churnalists think.

Even in the left-wing safe zone of Victoria University’s Kelburn campus, hardly any students knew who she was.

It was an eye opener for the new deputy leader, who’s been touted time and time again as bringing something to the table that Mr Little apparently lacked: popularity.

But not on Thursday among the hundreds of students celebrating Orientation Week.

Newshub randomly asked 17 students if they knew who Andrew Little was. Nine knew he was leader, five knew he was a Labour MP and three had never heard of him.

We did the same with Jacinda Ardern: 10 people didn’t know who she was, five knew she was deputy leader, one thought she was co-leader, and one knew she was an MP, but didn’t know about her promotion.

That doesn’t surprise me at all, especially in Wellington. Not many 20 year olds there are likely to read NZ Herald or Womens’ Weekly.

“Look, I wouldn’t expect everyone to know who I was,” Ms Ardern said. “Part of my campaign opportunity is to make sure I go out and get amongst all of the student groups.”

She calls it a ‘campaign opportunity’? Is that the sort of language that will gell with young voters?

Andrew Little was happy with his level of recognition. “It’s a very good sign and I’m very pleased,” he said.

But don’t get me wrong – from what I saw today, I believe the pair will be a force to be reckoned with when the campaign ramps up.

But Ms Ardern’s lack of recognition with students will be a little worrying for Labour’s hierarchy.

She’s meant to be the party’s shining star who can attract big crowds of young people, who overwhelm her with selfie requests.

She’s meant to be Labour’s golden girl who would instantly add popularity, charisma, humour and life to ‘Brand Little’.

Did Labour and media feed each other some bull and they believed each other?

Things could change as we get closer to the election, but really, media actually believed their own hype and can’t believe no one takes any notice of them any more, especially young people.

If she wants to be Labour’s vote magnet Ardern may have to try and be more than a platitude parrot.

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19 Comments

  1. Nelly Smickers

     /  March 10, 2017

    Wayne reckons for his money she’d probably be more of an *each-way* bet XD

  2. Corky

     /  March 10, 2017

    ”Even in the left-wing safe zone of Victoria University’s Kelburn campus, hardly any students knew who she was.”

    I love this. However, it points to the ignorance of younger generations across the western world with regards to general knowledge. Worse, Universities should be for our intellectual elite. Obviously this isn’t the case, and many students need to be told straight they ain’t got it and moved onto Polytechs where Feminist History of Aotearoa and Maori Studies 101 are better suited. Isn’t that elitist? Darn right it is.

    • When news was from just a few sources there was more chance of seeing political stuff accidentally. Now people, especially young people, tend to be informed within social media bubbles politics will hardly get a look in.

      • Corky

         /  March 10, 2017

        Agreed, like music once was top 20 stuff with everyone knowing what was sitting at number one on the charts. Now with social media we can all enjoy our niche music tastes without ever hearing other music.

        • Yes. I have no idea what type of music is popular these days. Most of it seems to rely on visuals rather than memorable music.

  3. patupaiarehe

     /  March 10, 2017

    I’d be willing to bet, that they all know who Winston Peters is. Just saying…. 😛

    • He got a big crowd at Vic apparently.

      And Gareth Morgan pulled a good crowd in Dunedin last night, not much short of what Little got in a Labour electorate.

      • patupaiarehe

         /  March 10, 2017

        It’ll sure be interesting to see how well Mr Morgan & his party do at the election. I’m picking that they might almost hit 3% 😀

        • It will depend a lot on whether he attracts some candidates with an established profile, that’s what is the key to political success in New Zealand (and the US).

          • patupaiarehe

             /  March 10, 2017

            The thing about Mr Morgan, is that he is known as the ‘cat hater’. Similar to how Greg O’Connor is known as ‘counsel for the defence’, every time the cops screw up. Having said that, I was most impressed by Greg’s piece at ‘The Stranded’ the other week. So much so, that I’ve reviewed my opinion of him. As for Mr Morgan, my opinion of him is “Big M, little organ”…

            • PDB

               /  March 10, 2017

              Morgan has been labelled a nut for praising North Korea’s economy, promoting a universal income that also keep benefits in place (?), telling professional football players how to play football, running one of the worst performing kiwisaver funds, and being a general know it all on all subjects………

              No doubt this will attract some far-left voters.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  March 10, 2017

              Exactly Pants. I’d never heard of him, until his son sold Trademe to Fairfax for a small fortune. Then suddenly, he became the ‘go to guy’ in the MSM, for an opinion on anything financial.

        • PDB

           /  March 10, 2017

          I hope so Patu – more votes to be taken off Labour/Greens………

  4. its wrong to think that young(er) people want politicians that might look or talk like them. look at Modi in India , he galvanised a massive youth vote in India. Not because he’s “ cool” or using modern slang…but because he gave a message of optimism ( i dint share Modi’s politics by the way but nor am i young !)

    • Bernie Sanders was popular amongst younger demographics in the US last year.

      • Nelly Smickers

         /  March 10, 2017

        Yeah but only because he was *better looking* XD

  5. PDB

     /  March 10, 2017

  6. lurcher1948

     /  March 10, 2017

    God Pete most 30 yos dont know where there arses are. If they lose their charging cables, panic happens,i shoud ask the orange freak to tweet these thoughts,at 4.00am

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