Labour has a new leader but…

When Labour looked like they could be heading for a disastrous election result under Andrew Little’s leadership he stepped down, and Jacinda Ardern stepped up.

Ardern immediately showed that she could at least manage the all important public media driven side of the job. She looked assured and confident, and she looked very different to Labour’s past failures, Little, David Cunliffe, David Shearer and Phil Goff. She also looked very different to her current competitors Bill English and Winston Peters.

Metiria Turei and the  Green Party did Labour a massive favour by precipitating Little’s abdication, and kept helping make Ardern look good by self imploding.

Both Labour and Ardern were quickly rewarded by big changes in opinion polls.

Labour suddenly looked fresh, and importantly now looked competitive on their own against National. The election had been transformed into a real head to head battle.

But…

There are a number of things that haven’t changed substantially, or haven’t changed for the better for Labour.

Changing leader did nothing to change the current Labour caucus, and that has been under performing and has looked weak. The same MPs are still there, and many of them will be returned to Parliament. Trevor Mallard now looks to have a good chance of getting back in.

Grant Robertson is still finance spokesperson, and now looks to have more influence as a close Ardern ally. He is probably not a big attraction to voters.

While Labour has tried to distance themselves from the Greens the two parties still have a Memorandum of Understanding, and they still appear to need each other if they are going to change the government. Labour has benefited in the polls in part at the Greens’ expence.

I think that many voters are wary of having the Greens in government, especially after their very messy last couple of weeks that accentuated an emphasis on radical social policy changes.

Labour may also need NZ First to form a government. Polls have suggested this for years.

They share this problem with National, but Labour has an additional problem – they look like needing both NZ First and Greens. That could involve some tricky negotiations and compromises.

Ardern has got the Labour Party breathing again, and has genuinely breathed life into the election campaign.

But she can’t win the election on her own. She needs voters to get some confidence in her candidates and party.

And she somehow needs to convince voters that she can manage Winston Peters and a severely disrupted Green Party. Taking over her party was easy in comparison.

Labour has a much better chance of reversing the gradual party vote rot under Ardern, but they still have some major challenges.

Leave a comment

27 Comments

  1. David

     /  August 14, 2017

    I am picking Labour going back down to 28% when St J announces the tourist bed tax, the sugar tax with absolutely no detail and after promising to renege on Nationals adjustment in the tax thresholds and being slippery on a CGT.
    “We are going to support struggling families by cancelling their tax cuts and taxing all sorts of other things in their life and its my promise to them that their mortgage costs will rise as we breath inflation into the economy as part of our drive to make businesses uncompetitive”.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 14, 2017

      Yep, she’s going to be relentlessly challenged on the likely costs & downstream impacts of all their policies – as they all should be – but I can’t see you getting a job as her speechwriter David. 😕

      Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  August 14, 2017

        It’s all in the delivery Gezz:
        “We will relentlessly remove your tax cuts and will positively tax the hell out of everything you know and love – all for the greater good comrades!”

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  August 14, 2017

          It’s a good effort, but I suspect she might want to stick with Mike Munro.

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  August 14, 2017

          Labour have costed their policies on existing revenues projections.They can withstand scrutiny.Voters need to see beyond Nationals predictable tax and spend attack and realise the brighter future has been a cruel con job ,predicated on slick P.R.The economy has been bolstered by house price inflation and immigration.Time to wake up…National has no vision,and NZ will have no future under its governance.

          Reply
          • You know that’s not true Blazer. Robertson said last week that they can’t provide any definitive figures until after the Prefu in a couple of weeks when the government’s books are opened. And as far as the water tax goes, he expects us to trust him to give us numbers AFTER the election.

            Sorry mate; that’s Tui territory…

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 14, 2017

              Yes, I see myself voting blind on a tax issue-I don’t think.

  2. Smile and wave, smile and wave. Polka dots, stripes? Matte lipstick 💄 or glossy. Home Reno and Grey Lynn cafes. Sigh.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 14, 2017

      A little more cleavage wouldn’t gone amiss.

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  August 14, 2017

      Fantastic.To be fair they should have Bill and Ben airbrushed up in the next edition.Ben in her $950 shoes…Bol.

      Reply
      • What would you rather she did with her $950?

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  August 14, 2017

          gone to…weight watchers…she seems to be getting fater and fater.

          Reply
          • Poor form Blazer.

            Reply
            • Poor form, but a very leftist perspective on women. Objects

            • Blazer

               /  August 14, 2017

              isn’t it….was interested to see the reaction after PDB…opened the batting with his derisive comment about Meteria dieting.Just wanted to see if the double standards of the right were still working.

            • PDB

               /  August 14, 2017

              I commented once that Turei could try a diet – hardly a comparison to you regularly calling someone a ‘blimp’. Your constant (and particularly nasty) attacks on Bennett’s weight started way before I made the one-off dieting comment about Turei so your reasoning is nonsense too.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 14, 2017

              I don’t think that the $950 shoes were a real thing, Blazer.

              The ‘photo’ was a drawing of shoes that would be impossible to wear.

  3. Can anyone really see Winston Peters being willing to serve under the leadership of a woman barely half his age? Even if Labour is able to FORM a government, the hard work only just begins; maintaining a government with Peters in it is a task that was even beyond Helen Clark.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 14, 2017

      My recollection is that maintaining any government with Winston Peters in it is a task everyone has found beyond them. Best left on the outside, pissing in, imo.

      Reply
      • Quite so Gezza. Peters has been a Minister three times, and has yet to complete a single three-year term. He was sacked by Jim Bolger over going it alone with Ka Awatea, sacked by Jenny Shipley over his opposition to the sale of Wellington Airport, and stoiod down by Helen Clark when he was referred for a Privileges Committee hearing over the Owen Glenn undeclared donation.

        To be a Minister requires one to be a team player, and that is something Peters is most definitely NOT. He is the consummate opposition politician where he can say what he wants, and never have to be accountable for his promises.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  August 14, 2017

          It would be difficult to find any other MPs who were NOT less than half Auntie Winnie’s age.

          He was an MP before David Seymour’s parents were married-or had left university, I think. .

          Reply
  4. sorethumb

     /  August 14, 2017

    Welcome Ten Thousand Now was an event setup to be a day where refugees from various cultures and background will join us and share their stories. There will be music, games for children and entertainment. with guests poet Whaitiri M Mikaere, Chilean refugee and poet Esteban Espinoza, musicians The Neo-Kalashnikovs, Jack and Jenny Lange, and MANIC SEEDS, Paul Brown and Folk the Quota, Green Party MP Marama Davidson, Labour Party MP Jacinda Ardern ……..
    Note the signs: No Borders No Nations

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  August 14, 2017

      I suspect that that is not meant to be taken literally, any more than Medicins Sans Frontieres is. It just means that we are all members of the human race and live on the same planet.

      Well, most of us are on the same planet.

      Reply
  5. Well, we do have borders and we are a nation. I’m so over these identity buzz words.

    Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  August 14, 2017

      Yes we have borders and we are a nation but we are only loosely a democracy. Multiculturalism in Australia was started by a tiny band of determined people (even though it wasn’t wanted at any level). Now 89% are for it – officially. Groups can control the narrative. They short circuit the nerves from the eye to the brain via the media telling us how everyone (but you) thinks.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  August 14, 2017

        Conspiracy Theorists Anonymous ? My name’s sorethumb, and I want to report a new conspiracy.

        Reply

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