Labour target 40%

Labour’s president has set a target of 40% party vote in September’s election. This looks optimistic given Labour are still struggling to get 30% in polls.

1 News: Labour sets target of 40 per cent of the party vote

Labour Party president Nigel Haworth has set campaigners the task of raising support to 40 per cent of the party vote between now and the September election.

“Our task in the party is simple – we just have to turn out the party vote to ensure we are in government,” he told about 500 delegates at Labour’s election year congress yesterday.

“I don’t use numbers like 30 or 35… 40 is what we want, 40 I like.”

Labour should be targeting the 40s if they want to compete head to head with National, but they have as good as conceded they were relying on the Greens to make up the numbers.

They will now find it hard enough to get to 35% and Labour+Greens will struggle to get enough votes to form a government without needing NZ First and/or the Maori Party – apart from their lack of popularity and Greens appearing to have hit a support ceiling if one of them gains ground in the polls it tends to be at the expense of the other.

Can Labour get anywhere near 40%? Not on current performance and polls.

Having a target to strive for is worthwhile, but it needs to be a realistic and achievable target, otherwise it can demoralise party members when they don’t look like getting close, and it can also be counter-productive in getting public support.

There is discussion on this at The Standard in Forty or bust!, with AB saying:

Nice target – but 35% would be a huge achievement and probably good enough to win. That means picking up 5-6% from current levels and preferably without taking some of it off the Greens.

Right now I just don’t see where that 5-6% is coming from.

Recent polls have Labour stuck around  28-29%.

With a media establishment that overwhelmingly supports them and so much more money than the others, the bottom for National is probably 40%. They are currently 44-45% so they won’t lose a lot more, and a chunk of that from the comments I hear around immigration I believe will go to Winnie.

Blaming the media is a common (and stupid) excuse for their own inadequacies and failures, and won’t help them lift their support.

I think that leaves only the “missing million” and our hopes for this demographic have been dashed in 2 elections running.

The ‘missing million’ is a failed aspiration. The Greens and union organisations tried to tap the non-voter pool last election without noticeable success.

Thinking that if only the media would show everyone how good they were and how bad National was, and if only those who don’t vote would realise how deserving Labour are their votes – and actually get out and vote – is unlikely to move the polls or improve Labour’s prospects.

The reality is that currently 24% looks more likely than 40%, unless National stuffs things up badly (Alfred Ngaro had a good shot at that in the weekend).

Positive PR is good, unless it is pie in the sky posturing.

Last election the Greens targeted an achievable looking 15% but failed to improve on their previous election result.

Haworth has proposed what looks like an unachievable target – it would need Greens to drop a few percent.

It’s easy for party members, MPs and voters to just dismiss something that looks out of reach.

Leave a comment


  1. PDB

     /  16th May 2017

    With Winston making up the govt numbers whoever wins this election will be out in three years time, possibly for 2-3 terms – the winner could be the long-term losers.

  2. Bill Brown

     /  16th May 2017

    As Ed Kerrigan will say “tell em he’s dreaming”

  3. alloytoo

     /  16th May 2017

    40 or bust?

    I can live with bust.

    Realistically 40 is Labour + Greens, and by their own arguments over the past 9 years they won’t have a mandate to do anything.

  4. Corky

     /  16th May 2017

    I think we may have written National off too soon. What if the budget is a boomer, Andy starts shooting his kneecaps and Billy English destroys Andy in the leaders debate? Could Nationals vote percentage rise?

    • Gezza

       /  16th May 2017

      Yeah I think it’s bit silly announcing vote % targets, tbh. Just sets you up to look a whool if you don’t get there. Do other parties do this?

    • PDB

       /  16th May 2017

      Little is awful reading from a script so not looking good when he has to think on his feet (or actually ‘think’ for himself). Maybe at the leader’s debate he’ll have to tag-team with Jacinda?

  1. Labour target 40% – NZ Conservative Coalition

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