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Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, October 27th, 2012 - 171 comments
Categories: labour, polls - Tags:

The latest Roy Morgan poll has Labour down 4.5% to 29%.

There’s no way to varnish it, this is a very bad poll for Labour, particularly for David Shearer.
Yeah, it’s just one poll, and it does come off the back of the GCSB tape debacle. But it’s part of a broader trend of Labour being unable to break out of the early 30s and late 20s.

It also comes just days after a 3 News poll showing the government isn’t trusted on the economy and education. Just when Labour should be getting traction it’s going backwards.

Seems the public just aren’t seeing Labour as a viable alternative at the moment, and the anti-government vote is being bled to the Greens and NZ First (who at 7.5% are now at their highest support since 2005).

Not exactly the news Labour was looking for just weeks out from conference.


171 comments on “29%”

  1. the sprout 1

    Yep… it’s important to persevere and give people a chance to rise to the occasion.
    But there comes a time when that perseverence becomes dellusional, dysfunctional denial.

    Members of the Labour caucus, do you honestly think Shearer is the person to lead you to Government? Time is running out to make the necessary changes.

    • outofbed 1.1

      Time is running out to make the necessary changes
      Thats what we said a year or two out from the last Election when we (the Left) was saddled with Goff
      The same arguments 3 years later.
      So National WILL win in 2014 and then who will tLABOUR choose as their leader? probably Grant Robertson, that truly amazing performer who took Labour to the dizzy heights of third place in Wellington Central at the last Election.
      Fuck them
      We need to start another party on the left
      Lets face it Labour are tired, out of ideas, and frankly don’t seem to give a fucking toss.
      As an activist I not even sure that I can be bothered to get out there anymore. whats the point?

      • the sprout 1.1.1

        i’m inclined to agree with you on all counts there oob

        • outofbed

          Can’t we crowd source a new party through blogs like this?
          500 Members and some dosh Can’t be too difficult
          A lot of us here probably have some good contacts with some high profile lefties and existing MPs. Lets start making waves.
          Name would be the most difficult
          The Democratic Labour Party
          Peoples Party of NZ
          Peoples Front of Judea 🙂

          • Socialist Paddy

            Nah, its our party.  I vote we take it back.

            • dancerwaitakere

              I sense the need for a facebook page… a kind of leftist pressure group within Labour.

              Reclaim Labour

              A group to push for leftist policies within Labour, to support candidates that would actually pursue a agenda that we can organise for and WANT to campaign for.

          • Dave

            How about the Rational Party? That could annoy some of the landed gentry

      • Jim Nald 1.1.2

        “We need to start another party on the left”

        Why not reclaim the Labour Party for Labour?

        In some ways, as a former National party voter who is pissed off with the banksters, their cronies, selfish bastards, incompetent twits and rorters for hijacking that party over the years, I sympathise with Labour for being hijacked by other interests.

        • QoT

          Why not reclaim the Labour Party for Labour?

          My gut answer: entrenched shit is too entrenched.

          People often talk about how people who don’t like Labour’s direction should get involved and help change the party from within … but is that possible when the old guard clearly have such a (ultimately self-destructive) strangehold on power?

          • Peter

            It is possible to change it from within, but the tactics need to be different than the usual “if only I got elected to some “…

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3

        We need to start another party on the left

        Ever consider that it already exists?

      • David H 1.1.4

        Yep. If there was ever an underwhelming party it’s Labour. I am uninspired by their leader, I am appalled by the unimaginative politicians in the caucus. Well at this rate Key could rob a bank and still not lose any popularity points, as the opposition is the proverbial wet bus ticket.

  2. Morrissey 2

    Labour needs a leader to be appointed, immediately.

    That leader is David Cunliffe.

    • Labourite 2.1

      As a paid up Party member I would have to agree with you. It is difficult to keep working for a party which seems to be intent on self destruction.

      We should have learned with Bill Rowling and other “nice” but “insignificant”leaders who dont seem to instill any confidence.

      The caucus needs to put its personal views aside and start thinking of the party as a whole.

      David Cunliffe is impressive, clever and personable and appears to be the only one who could bring the people along with him.

    • Bill 2.2

      Agree. But would add that the party needs to be gone through with a dose of epsom salts too. (The King’s, Goff’s, Mallard’s, Robertson’s, Parker’s and all the other sad bastards who cling to some version of the 1980’s Labour Party need to be unceremoniously introduced to the flushing toilet bowl.)

    • David H 2.3

      Yep put Shearer in Education Sack Mallard, Goff, Dyson,and all the rest of the Me Me’s. And get some NEW blood on the front bench. Get some who actually give a stuff for something other than their fucking wallets!

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    I don’t think it’s about the GCSB tape, it feels like Labour don’t have a clear points of difference.

    Besides, the poll also indicated the Maori part up by 2% – the only reason I could think of was that Maori are the last barrier to asset sales.

    I question the accuracy and think Labour can’t be down more than 2% max.

    • Mel 3.1

      I agree. Labour needs a clear point of difference and needs to reclaim as voters some of the one million people who did not turn out to vote in the last election.

      I for one do not believe that being National-lite and continuing the same neoliberal economic policies is the way to the Government benches. Labour need to stand up for people across New Zealand.

      How did we ever get to a place where you are most likely to belong to a union if you earn above the average wage and have a degree?

      How did we ever get to a place where the gap between the richest and poorest is at its widest ever?

      How did we ever get to a place where economists use the term ‘human capital’ as if people are just part of a monetary equation and not part of families, whanau, cultures?

      How did we get to a place where right wing propaganda is taken as fact and 30 second sound bites have replaced rich dialogue?

      How did we get to a place where a Government would even consider dismantling our quality public education system?

      Now more than ever in our history we need a strong informed democracy underpinned by values other than money.

      • Rodel 3.1.1

        Well said Mel. especially re: ‘human capital’ )
        We used to be ‘personnel’ (dunno what was before that…was it ‘labour’?)……then ‘human resources’…..now we are ‘human capital’ What’s next?..’ human chattels?’

      • geoff 3.1.2

        Most politicians probably do very well under the present system. I would be suprised if many of them didn’t have rental properties and shares in fletchers etc.

        You couldn’t expect someone like that to realistically rail against the system which is keeping them in clover.

        I think things perhaps need to get substantially worse in NZ before they get better.

    • James Henderson 3.2

      there’s always going to be some random variation in polls. The Maori Party bounces around within 1% of 2.5% nearly every poll.

      But Labour’s drop is very large and against trend. Either it’s a rogue, like when the Greens polled 17% for a single poll earlier this year, or there’s a cause. So, is there a possible cause?

      Well, you just have to look at the GCSB video debacle. Shearer really put his brand on the line with that one and he came up well, well short. He can no longer be seen as a honest guy who stays out of the much because he just went and hurled an unsubstantiated rumour at Key, and handled it tactically poorly by mentioning a video that he didn’t have – that made the story all about Shearer’s inability to back up his claim, rather than the claim itself.

      The worry is, will this kind of ineptitude strike Shearer again during the campaign (a worry for the Left’s point of view) or if he becomes PM (a worry for voters who are accessing his ability to do the job)?

      • Blue 3.2.1

        Shearer never actually had a ‘brand’ – except for amongst political journalists, who are the only people who ever pay any attention to him. And that’s usually when they don’t want to write bad things about Key so they try to drum up something to say about Shearer, even though he rarely does anything interesting.

        The general public still have trouble remembering his name.

        That’s why I was surprised by this poll result – surely it couldn’t be anything Shearer did, because no one knows or cares what he does.

        But it’s just possible that the public saw the spectacle over the GCSB tape and decided Shearer is as much of a nong as John Key.

      • Dr Terry 3.2.2

        JH – You wonder if this ineptitude might strike Shearer “again”! To my mind he has been steadily inept ever since he entered parliament. It is not his fault, he just cannot be other than he is, which applies to all of us. The Labour Party as a whole must be held to account.

    • David H 3.3

      “I question the accuracy and think Labour can’t be down more than 2% max”


      At the moment Labour couldn’t organise an orgy in a Brothel. let alone topple one of the most corrupt governments in history.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    “There’s no way to varnish it”
    Yes there is. We can compare this polls to recent trends. Here’s my take on it, as I posted yesterday in Open Mike:
    “Looks like under-sampling of Labour coupled with oversampling of MP and maybe NZFirst. So I’m not too concerned.”

    I’d say if we correct for this and compare to the trend, Labour might be at 32%. In other words haven’t gained any ground, but haven’t really lost much either.

    • just saying 4.1

      Can you explain a four percent increase in undersampling of the Labour vote relative to its true proportion, since last month? True, it could be a blip, but the bigger the difference the more unlikely that is.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        “True, it could be a blip, but the bigger the difference the more unlikely that is.”
        That’s only true to an extent, like if the difference were 7-8% or greater.

        It’s not just that Labour’s vote has fallen by 4.5% though, it’s that there are other unusual rises to. Obviously their share of the vote has to go somewhere, but if we saw rises in National and Greens and smaller rises in the other parties it would be more believable.

        Instead what we see is the MP polling at their highest rate, 3.5%, in a long time, off a steady 1.5-2% background. Now the Maori Council’s push back on MRP sales has been in the news a lot, but the MP specifically hasn’t been, so I would be hesistant to ascribe their uptick in support to that issue. Similarly NZFirst is at the highest polling levels in a long time; admittedly off another gain in the last poll. Now they could be sucking up some of National’s support, but likewise I don’t think they’ve done anything recently to deserve such an uptick.

        Another aspect to consider: the last poll may have exaggerated Labour’s support, and this poll under-estimates their support, giving what looks like a large swing but actually is just fluctuation around their true level of support.

        • pete

          You’re correct Lanthanide: the previous Roy Morgan poll was about 1.5% above trend. This one is about 3% below, i.e. within the margin of error.

  5. millsy 5

    I think the strategy of thinking that the voters would get sick of National and throw them out isnt working.

    Time for a new plan.

    • Luva 5.1

      Agreed. It is quite clear that there is a core National vote in 40 plus% region. How else can anyone explain their cosistently high polling through the past 12 month. There has not been a posititve thing said about them since the elction.

      • James Henderson 5.1.1

        only 10 years ago, National polled 21%. Clearly, it’s core is a lot less than 40%.

        The explanation for its support not falling further could be lack of a credible alternative to Key.

        • Luva

          ummm I am not sure an election result from a decade ago answers the query I raised…peculiar.

          Why does this core of people continue to support the governement in a time of economic turmoil when they fuck up week after week.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Damn good question. Why do people continue to support an obviously corrupt and incompetent government that’s making life more difficult for the majority of people?

        • Dr Terry

          Exactly JH. Key is laughing all the way when he has an “opposition” like this. He is far ahead by default.

  6. Labour must now listen to the voters, when the nacts are committing several attacks on
    people and our democracy,the polls should be going up,not down.
    People i talk to dont like shearer as leader and he should never have been given the
    position when he had no experiance,whereas cunliffe would have been the better
    person to lead,if he had have been, the labour party figures would have been much
    healthier and stayed that way.
    If there is an early election,labour must be ready and not still ‘testing’ shearer’s ability.

  7. ak 7

    Entirely predictable. It’s Anomie Times, wherein the headline and first para and the 6 o’clock 10 second soundbite rules the polls.

    Winnie’s had some cracker soundbites recently (Norman also to a lesser degree), Dunnokey’s acted the innocent relentlessly, and Shearer’s worst stammering is all they’ve played. That, and the relentless bennie-teacher-maori-bash, of course.

    Fuggeddabout substance: the one-in-ten Block-watching anti-politicorati rule, and remain at the total mercy of the “put-up-or-shut-up” style fatcat-owned drip-feeders.

    Prediction: “Winston warming to National” next moron-bite on the rank, to be repeated ad nauseam from now to 14, despite any actual events or utterances whatsoever.

  8. Hopefully Labour gets replaced by the Greens one of these days. It does such a poor job of confronting National, and in many of its policies it is just National with the word ‘Labour’ written on it. We will never see free education, decent wages, an end to child poverty or anything that turns New Zealand around under Labour; even Winston could do a better job than Labour. No wonder people are deserting Labour in droves for other parties. But this isn’t just a trend restricted to New Zealand, it is a trend in Europe that so-called ‘democratic socialist’ parties are being replaced by green party like movements. xD

    • fatty 8.1

      true…people have seen the reality of third wayism, and the centre left parties have struggled to be taken seriously ageing.
      But how did Ed Miliband turn Labour around?
      – I haven’t been keeping up with their policies. I’m guessing it wasn’t by diddling about in the middle trying to look relaxed.

    • George D 8.2

      Except that the Greens don’t yet have a credible plan for taking electorates, and haven’t managed to push into the 15-25% margin. I believe both will come, but both will require time and work, or a strong set of events that pushes public support their way. In the meantime, Labour’s losses will be soaked up by non-voters, National, NZF, and the Greens (in about that order).

    • geoff 8.3

      My problem with the greens is that I see the appearance of reasonableness that Norman and Turei are successfully projecting but i have no idea about what lurks further down the list…

    • Dr Terry 8.4

      Truly spoken kiwi!

  9. Fortran 9

    Greens are the way to go, unless Labour can get its act together very very soon.
    Looks like Grant and Jacinta would be the best option.
    Remember ABC – still applicable.
    If not the Greens will take a large slab of Labour’s voters in 2014, which is not very far away.

  10. AmaKiwi 10

    ABC was a creation of the old guard in caucus, NOT the membership.

    No rank and file member ever told me THEY had a problem with Cunliffe as leader.

    • KhandallahMan 10.1

      #Anakiwi.  Very true.  
      The continueing of the ABC behaviour by the Wellington Central claque, as promoted by “Fortran” and “Jim Nald”, is what has the party in this bloody mess.  That nihilist behaviour has to stop now. The way to stop it is to vote against the power-centralising Remits that the NZ Council has proposed.   The Party Conference next month has to be the time that the membership takes back control of the party from Robertson and his side-kicks.  Cunliffe has to step up to save the party. 

  11. Raymond A Francis 11

    If Grant and Jacinta are the answer someone is asking the wrong question
    What, we need two people who have done nothing but be political junkies all their lives and have no real feeling/experience about the downtrodden to run the country, even national can do better than that!

    My call on this is it is just one poll and not a series showing an ongoing trend
    Labour should be polling well, National has done nothing right and a lot wrong since the election, ignore the M.P. they are history but so will the Labour party be if some nit wits decide to split the left by starting another party
    If you are unhappy with Labour put your money where your mouth is and sign up, there are so few financial members it would not take many to institute serious changes

    And the big message is don’t panic it is early days yet

    • outofbed 11.1

      And the big message is don’t panic it is early days yet

      It is not early days, we had three years waiting for the inevitable Goff defeat
      Dont panic they said
      now we are 2 yrs away from the next defeat and I am being assured ” not to Panic”
      I am not panicking just about to give up

      • gobsmacked 11.1.1


        The three stages of silence …

        1) Too early … give them a chance.
        2) Still time … don’t panic.
        3) Too late … the election’s coming! Don’t rock the boat!

        It’s an established political ploy, to serve the incumbent leadership in a party. It’s very old.

        • Jim Nald

          Thanks for this.
          Must forward these to Grant and Jacinda 🙂
          Folks like Mr Matthew Hooton and I are hoping the wider Labour Party membership is comatose 🙂 🙂

    • David H 11.2

      “If you are unhappy with Labour put your money where your mouth is and sign up, there are so few financial members it would not take many to institute serious changes”

      As much as I hate to say it I have given up throwing good money after bad, and at the moment any financial support for labour whilst Shearer and his minders are in power, and the trough feeders are still there as well, is BAD spending. You want my support ? Then LISTEN to ME!

  12. Ad 12

    In 2005 Labour polled 41%! I miss Clark and Cullen. They were mild to start with, but their legacy is surprisingly strong.

    Labour has let minor parties splinter their base underneath them.
    Part of that – not all – is weak leadership since Clark fell from favour.

    Key is funny and popular. Even if his policies are shit and many departments poorly managed. Even if by 2014 he is tarnished like Clark was. The leader versus leader metric really matters.

    But there is no progressive leader to match him currently.

    If Labour’s leader can’t compete against Key, get one that can. To me being able to beat New Zealand’s most popular Prime Minister is the most important Labour leadership criteria.

    This has to change.

    • QoT 12.1

      I miss Clark and Cullen.

      Me too. She had the brains and gravitas, he had … the brains and the gravitas also.

      • Anne 12.1.1

        There are a two interesting parallels between Helen Clark’s situation in the the 1980s, and that which David Cunliffe appears to be confronting twenty or so years later.

        Helen had her enemies and detractors in both the Labour caucus and among some in the local Auckland membership in particular. Their attempts to derail her both politically and personally began even before she entered parliament, and it continued for more than a decade. She stuck it out and eventually won the day.

        The interesting parallels lie in the reasons why some in the 80s caucus were so opposed to Helen:

        1) It was ideological. The faction responsible wanted to move Labour to the Right.

        2) They saw Helen as someone who was not only a threat to their political agenda, but she was seen as a threat to each and everyone of them at a personal political level too.

        I suspect the real reasons for the anti-Cunliffe sentiment are exactly the same as those Helen encountered. The irony is, when she did become Prime Minister she didn’t move Labour to the Left or the Right. She was a pragmatist who operated within the bounds of that which she knew was acceptable to the majority of the voters of the day.

  13. gobsmacked 13

    I’m not a Labour “insider”, and I don’t keep up with who is BFF with who, so … this is a genuine question:

    Who are the 17?

    Who are the MPs who are implacably opposed to David Cunliffe winning the election for Labour?

    I cannot understand their mentality, their depths of self-destructive hatred, their willingness to stay in opposition … so I’d like to know who they are.

    Or are they in fact less than 17, are there some swing votes who just said “let’s give Shearer a go”, and now could be regretting it?

    There is this repeated line that ‘caucus won’t pick Cunliffe’, but is it true? Can we name names?

    Mallard? Goff, King, Parker? Who?

    • Ad 13.1

      1. Shearer
      2. Robertson
      3. Ardern
      4. Goff
      5. King
      6. Parker
      7. Mallard
      8. Faafoi
      9. Street
      10. Jones
      11. Robertson
      12. Twyford
      13. Hipkins
      …after that I just seriously can’t remember their names.

      Anyone help?

      If MP’s want to deny it they should come on the site and say so.

      • gobsmacked 13.1.1

        Twyford? I thought he was smarter than that.

        The others I can believe. Disappointed in Street, if she’s one.

        • Ad

          Twyford is just the new Jonathan Hunt: goes where the caucus wind goes, precisely when it’s turning.

          • Anne

            Phil Twyford and David Shearer are close friends from way back… long before either entered parliament. His support in such circumstances is understandable.

            • gobsmacked

              Let’s hope he’s a good friend. An honest one.

              “David, you could be Minister of Education or Foreign Affairs in a Labour-Green government, for two terms or more. Isn’t that better than being Don Brash (2005)?”

              • Anne

                Shearer also has some very good ideas re-scientific and industrial research projects that would help keep our best and brightest scientists and innovators in NZ. Their successes could benefit NZ to the tune of billions of dollars. At the moment they’re going off-shore to places like the USA and Canada.

                He would also make an ideal Minister for Science and Innovation.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.2

        14. O’Connor.

      • geoff 13.1.3

        I don’t think Shearer would have Shane Jones’ support now…

      • fatty 13.1.4

        If I had to list the most incompetent Labour MPs, the list would look very similar. Is there really a reason why Cunliffe would want to stay with this gang of no-hopers?

      • Blue 13.1.5

        15. Darien Fenton.

        • Socialist Paddy

          And the woman calls herself a Socialist.

          To all activist members out there. Look at the list above and start organizing. Selections come up in 12 months or so and the list conferences will be occurring. Now is the time to find alternative candidates, people who will actually do what is good for the country and for the party, not what is best for their personal advancement.

      • tc 13.1.6

        Curran, also lost 10% of the party vote. With dead wood like that is it any surprise.

        DC was stitched up by MP’s who ignored LEC directives so who would blame him if he left but luckily for Labour he’s a true believer and like others in the party but not necessarily parliament who’ve been mugged by the mallarfia wants to turn it around.

        Dc would’ve viscerated key and not shirked the hard calls on non performing shadow ministers. DS is a nice guy who will finish last if left to run to the finish.

        • Socialist Paddy

          Three of the largest losses of the party vote occurred in Auckland Central (Ardern), Wellington Central (Robertson) and Dunedin South (Curran). And these people are in control?

      • dancerwaitakere 13.1.7

        But it is quite a serious suggestion that MPs who want to keep this neoliberal, old guard in charge should be deselected.

        Bloody easy way to get some fresh blood in the party.

        Lets organise so that the Labour Party can be handed back to the PEOPLE, or let it suffer the same fate as the Liberal.

        • Colonial Viper

          Basically yeah. Even in seats where it is unlikely that an otherwise popular but Right Wing incumbent MP would be unseated, they need to be challenged and challenged hard by good candidates during selection.

      • David H 13.1.8


      • hush minx 13.1.9

        Dyson and David Clark

  14. The media rolled Shearer over Key’s GCSB tape .. the nancy boys and girls were too quick to fall back into step with Dunnokeyo Key and his “show me” mark II defense. Christ if Key hadn’t given them that out they might of had to do some ya know, actual journalism and stuff. Am utterly sick of journalists leaving it to politicians to ask the hard questions. Where is their own intellectual curiosity? Down around their ankles with their integrity perhaps?

    It’s not the first time the media has rolled the Labour party to fall headfirst into abject devotion of Dunnokeyo Key denials and lies. The media have yet to ask how Dunnokeyo Key managed to work with Andrew Krieger some six months after the man left currency trading, despite all the work Krieger was putting through Key’s trading room apparently making Key’s Auckland trading room “the number one dealing room in the country?”

    In their haste to pull one over Helen Clark’s Labour Government the fourth estate missed the biggest hoodwink of New Zealand voters of all time. Did our PM lie to the Serious Fraud Office in 1991 and did he go on to lie, and elabourately so, to cover up those actions in the lead up to the 2008 elections?

    http://politicallycorrected.webs.com – check out the links, specifically the Oliver Driver interview where Key talks about working with Andrew Krieger when Key joined Bankers Trust in 1987 (an impossibility if Key’s SFO statement is to be believed)

  15. Tiger Mountain 15

    Well shock horror, let the conference and financial members at large decide who leads Labour, and who ticks off on the policy boxes. Give Cunnie back his beard, doc martens and a bit of steel up his policy spine and NZ Labour won’t look back.

    As before I am not an LP member but can no longer watch the polticial equivalent of a bunch of boy scouts trying to erect a tent in dark weather with tab A and slot B missing.

  16. KhandallaMan 16

    Sorry Jim. Too hasty. My error in not reading your piece correctly.

  17. Chalupa Batman 17

    Its funny but the right-wingers who come onto this site and tell you sniveling hand-wringers whats wrong with Labour and why people aren’t responding get pilloried fot it.

    1. Key is popular yet you lefties sneer at him for it “ooh Keys just smile and wave”
    – Yet hes seen of Clark and Goff and will probably see off Shearer as well.

    2. Nationals in power because of Key but again you sneer at it “ooh Nationals only in power because of Key”
    – Isn’t the point to be in power so you can get things done?

    3. Labour is not the party of working class NZ it is now seen as the party of special interest groups masquerading under the Labour banner
    -The Union wing, the rainbow wing, the conservative wing, the feminist wing etc etc You can’t be all things to all people

    4. Nobody likes disloyalty especially NZ where we expect everyone to get a fair go but the impression is Labour would rather not be in power if it means someone they don’t like is in charge
    – not to rub salt into wounds but how close was Goff to being PM, if only his MPs had backed him

    5. People know what National is about, people get annoyed at half-wit MPs (and their supporters) banging on about big business etc etc.
    – Its not a big secret, we know it and we’re ok with it.

    6. This ones a question. Why does it seem that every time Labour has the govt. on the ropes Labour themselves say or do something dumb and let the govt. get away?

    7. Stop blaming the media for Labours own mistakes.
    – Makes you sound like whiny little bitches.

    • Tiger Mountain 17.1

      “the bitch keeps bitch’n , the sntitcher keeps snitch’n… ”
      aopol to K.Rtichard

    • felix 17.2

      Oh Chalupa. So much rage when you ought to be pleased with yourself.

      “Its funny but the right-wingers who come onto this site and tell you sniveling hand-wringers whats wrong with Labour and why people aren’t responding get pilloried fot it.”

      Actually right wingers usually come here and tell us everything’s ok and Shearer just needs a bit of time.

      ” Key is popular yet you lefties sneer at him for it “ooh Keys just smile and wave””

      No, he doesn’t get sneered at for being popular at all. He gets sneered at because his popularity is entirely due to the smiling and waving and piss drinking, and some of us reckon there’s a bit more to the job than that. Like reading papers, paying attention in briefings, keeping control of our intelligence agencies, knowing what ministers are up to etc etc.

      “Nationals in power because of Key but again you sneer at it “ooh Nationals only in power because of Key”
      – Isn’t the point to be in power so you can get things done?”

      So why have you lot been bleating for 4 years that they haven’t really done anything? Your revolution has come down to trivial tweaking. The brighter future has hopped on a plane to oz. The nanny state grows tentacles daily and taxes charges fees & levies have gone through the roof. Can’t even organise a single freakin’ asset sale. Still, I agree with you that they’re only in power because of Key, but it doesn’t seem to be doing them/you a lot of good in the big picture. (I reckon that’s one source of your rage, if you care to examine it.)

      “Labour is not the party of working class NZ it is now seen as the party of special interest groups masquerading under the Labour banner
      -The Union wing, the rainbow wing, the conservative wing, the feminist wing etc etc You can’t be all things to all people”

      Yeah yeah, you don’t like gays, women and workers having input into politics. What kind of fuckwit thinks gays, women and workers are “special interest groups”? Anyway in your list of wings you forgot to mention Labour’s “right wing”. That’s the one “leading” the party, and that’s the one fucking it all up.

      “Nobody likes disloyalty especially NZ where we expect everyone to get a fair go but the impression is Labour would rather not be in power if it means someone they don’t like is in charge
      – not to rub salt into wounds but how close was Goff to being PM, if only his MPs had backed him”

      Sorry I have no idea what this means. I’m not entirely convinced you do either.

      “People know what National is about, people get annoyed at half-wit MPs (and their supporters) banging on about big business etc etc.
      – Its not a big secret, we know it and we’re ok with it.”

      If that were true, your earlier point about National only being in power because of Key would be bullshit, and the party would be just as electable under, say, Joyce. Think it through, McArthur.

      “This ones a question. Why does it seem that every time Labour has the govt. on the ropes Labour themselves say or do something dumb and let the govt. get away?”

      Because they’re incompetent, cowardly, and facing the wrong way. Have you been paying attention to this discussion at all? Did you read the post?

      “Stop blaming the media for Labours own mistakes.
      – Makes you sound like whiny little bitches.”

      Ok I think you’re working from last year’s talking points. This post, and the ensuing discussion, and the many, many discussions had here along similar lines over the past year (actually the past 4 years if you weren’t born last week), are doing nothing of the sort.

      The reason the Labour party is saddled with such a lame duck leader is because the morons running it listened to idiots like you repeating talking points from cretins like Hooten and Simon Lusk.

      Maybe this time they’ll listen to the rest of us instead.

  18. Bruce 18

    What’s with all the negativity? All I saw was this bit:

    “If a National Election were held today this New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll says a Labor/ Greens/ New Zealand First Coalition would be likely to form government.”

    • Saw that, noted it, took heart : )

    • gobsmacked 18.2

      If that’s all you saw, then you must be wearing the same blinkers as some Labour MPs.

      Care to explain why the Greens would be happy in such a government? Why should they deliver (on this poll) about 17 MPs to Shearer-Parker-Peters?

      All minor parties lose votes (and MPs) in government. So if the Greens are going to sacrifice good people, they’ll want – and deserve – good results.

      They would be fully entitled to stay out of a pale-blue government.

      • McFlock 18.2.1

        They are.

        And I think that this will be the mature phase of MMP – the realisation that a party can support another on confidence and supply without being tied to Cabinet collective responsibility.

        It makes the government listen to the contributing parties rather than just absorbing them and making them share the blame.

      • Bruce 18.2.2

        Hello Gobsmacked
        You accuse me of having blinkers on which I guess makes me feel defensive – let me be clear about my position:
        * I am a voter of the left (I have voted Labour all my voting life).
        * Generally I agree with comments made by yourself, therefore I’m on your side.
        * I am here to view and sometimes respond to comments by like minded people – not wind people up (unlike right-wing commentators in my opinion).
        * Shearer is pissing me off with his finger pointing without backing himself up. I don’t like his seemingly passive behavior, and his stupid beneficiary bashing bandwagon approach. Other opposition parties are kicking Labour’s arse at the moment and polls like this reflect that. These combined issues are making me think I will vote Green in the next election for the first time in my life.

        I *want* Labour to win the next election, but I don’t want them to think they will win it by default.

        • Colonial Viper

          You just listed a bunch of reasons which made you somewhat negative, but you originally said there was not much to be negative about. Huh?

          • Bruce

            CV – come on mate, cut me some slack as a political novice. My comments were defensive but not that negative.

            • Bruce

              CV and Gobsmacked – ripping into the already converted does not help. Work on those that are sitting on the fence please.

            • Colonial Viper

              Dude, I’m not going postal on your ass. I’m just pointing out that at 18 you suggested there was nothing really to be that negative about.

              And at 18.2.2 you suggested that Shearer was pissing you off so much that you were considering, for the first time ever, not voting Labour.

              • Bruce

                So what? I was suggesting that under an MMP system the left can currently win NZ Government. I’m saying Labour is doing a piss poor job – this is stating the bleeding obvious.

                • Jenny

                  …..I was suggesting that under an MMP system the left can currently win NZ Government.


                  Is New Zealand First of the left?

                  Would Peters back Labour or National?

                  Would Peters ever willingly enter into a coalition agreement including the Greens, especially if he had another option?

                  Two things rule against it. One Peters is a natural conservative. Two, he has previously vehemently ruled out working with the Green Party.

                  Has anyone asked Winston Peters lately if NZF has changed their position towards the Greens?

                  If not, then any talk of a Labour NZF Green coalition can only be a potential possibility, equal in potential to a National NZF coalition..

    • James Henderson 18.3

      Roy Morgan does good polling but its political analysis is notoriously naive (it’s Australian, so understandable).

      On the current numbers, would Peters play third fiddle to Shearer and Norman (and Turei) or second fiddle to Key? It’s too big of a risk for the Left – although, I personally like to think Peters would go with Labour-Greens.

      The second thing is that people elect Prime Ministers. This polling tells us something about how people perceive Shearer as an alternative to Key. People aren’t going to vote for parties that mean a new PM unless they believe there is a viable alternative.

      Third, Labour people want to stop feeling ashamed of their party. At 29%, some quarter of a million people who voted Labour in 2005 now don’t want to be associated with the brand.

  19. Tom 19

    Talk is cheap and I have doubts about the effectiveness of scribbling on an open blog but let me make one suggestion.

    Key says he does not do forensics.

    The term can be broadly interpreted, but let’s get someone who can.

    Shearer would be wise to step back a bit and give a few analysts who have spent time in the trenches have a go.

    That sounds like Robertson, Cunliffe, and some I may not know.

    There, I’ve said it. I feel better already ! Cheers ..

  20. xtasy 20

    David Shearer – I hear there is a nice top job going at the UN! Maybe consider applying now?!

  21. The Stepper 21

    No way Shearer will step down – it’s not in Robertson’s interests for him to do so.

    Wait for the narrow National win in 2014, possibly with NZ First in tow, possibly the Conservatives (though I doubt they will get over the mark). Key steps down mid-next term, easy win for Labour in the next election.

    Note how quiet Robertson is at the moment? Doesn’t want to be tarred with the Shearer brush. But he is in a perfect position to sweep to the Labour leadership post election and trounce Joyce (being the likely next National leader) in the 2017 election. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Robertson has the old guard in his pocket right now, ready to step down – or just not stand at the next election, or do it late 2015-mid-2016 to cause a by-election or two to test the waters – when he steps up. He strikes me a very savvy operator.

  22. Ad 22

    If we put Him in a tux, sucked his chin in, put him in the gym for a year, gave him some snappy one-liners, and a political license to kill, and squinted, could David Cunliffe resemble Daniel Craig?

    The next leader of the Labour Party should really be James Bond.

    • lol doesn’t need to be J Bond though… there are a lot of types better than the Johnny English we have now

    • KhandallaMan 22.2

      Cunliffe is just fine as he is. No need for a make over. Definitely no need for speech coaching from Iain Fraser!
      The people of New Lynn, who have elected him over and over with a bigger and bigger majority each time, think he is hot enought. Soon the people of New Zealand will get a chance to vote for a party led by Cunliffe. The time has come to stop the stupidity of the past four years.

      • Jenny 22.2.1

        The next leader of the Labour Party should really be James Bond.


        He needs to be a Winston Churchill. Gruff, uncompromising, determined, inspiring. I think we would all agree Cunliffe is closer to this ideal than Shearer.

    • QoT 22.3

      I liked his more recent beardy-scruff look. But that’s my personal taste.

  23. fatty 23

    Have all the Labour voters moved to Aussie? The people that I know have moved over the ditch, and there have been quite a few, I doubt any would have voted National.
    Perhaps that’s why National is stimulating the young drain – unemployment doesn’t get out of control, and Labour lose their voters

    • they can still vote.

      • fatty 23.1.1

        true…it’ll be interesting to see what the overseas votes are at the next election. The problem is that there is even less motivation to vote when living overseas, especially when you have no intention of coming home anytime soon. If I was living in Aussie and I looked at the current political circus going on over here, I wouldn’t be heading back anytime soon.

  24. tsmithfield 24

    Labour should be ashamed of themselves. Even as a right winger I agree that there has been lots of opportunities recently for Labour to capitalise on the problems National has had recently. Labour hasn’t shown much in the way of tangible results despite all the opportunities it has had. National may well lift its game and Labour will have lost its opportunities.

    It might help Labour’s credibility if they didn’t keep getting caught out making shit up.

  25. infused 25

    And you guys STILL don’t get why this is happening.

    • gobsmacked 25.1

      But you’re here to tell us. Thanks!

      (please don’t disappoint and say “coz Labour aren’t National”, as if Clark never won any elections)

    • fatty 25.2

      from the I’ve read, a lot of people here know what the problem is with Labour. Are you gonna say why you think it’s happening?

    • “And you guys STILL don’t get why this is happening.”

      3 reasons uppermost in my mind

      …Um Labour don’t want to object and oppose the clowns in power too vehemently cos they want to do fairly well much the same thing when they get in.

      …Maybe polls are rigged. (try ringing someone different for a change)

      …Nzers have fallen into a coma~or some such similar near death state-comfortably blind~cause: overeating or half-starved.

  26. Binders full of women 26

    Don’t care if it’s Shearer or Cunliffe… just please please please get rid of olde guard.. give that Richie Cunningham fella a go and maybe John Tamihere + Maharey + Brian Gould then us Waitakere men would come flooding back. Actually warming to Shane Jones as well- I feel he is on the side of workers (not meant as a bene bash- more of a green bash cos they wanna shut down everything). Waitakere man out.

    • gobsmacked 26.1

      Nice try but you overdid the performance. 4/10.

      Homework: Wedge-driving for Dummies, chapter one.

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.1

        I think it was pretty obvious sarcasm myself…”Binders full of women” sorta gave it away. Just IMO

        • Jenny

          Yes I picked it as a joke as well. Bfw might as well have suggested Shame Jones as leader and Tamihere on the front bench.

  27. Treetop 27

    Labour need to focus on young voters and those who do not vote. By getting out on voting day people will get the government they voted for. No use sitting around and complaining when you did not vote or thinking that your vote does not count when it does.

  28. Saarbo 28

    The November conference will be a good time for Labour to decentralise some of the leadership decision making to the members. This will help revitalise the membership and rebuild Labour.

    Caucus have made a major mistake in appointing David Shearer as Leader, he is simply too inexperienced. The Membership were clearly behind Cunliffe for the same reason that right wing commentators were supporting Shearer, they knew Cunliffe has the brains, drive and experience to rebuild and change Labour into a strong Party that New Zealanders want to support.

    Cunliffe needs to be provided with an opportunity to become Prime Minister, from what I have seen of him since starting in politics in the early 2000’s he could become one of our better leaders. He needs a chance and I am sure the members will make sure it happens.

    • Jenny 28.1

      The November conference will be a good time for Labour to decentralise some of the leadership decision making to the members. This will help revitalise the membership and rebuild Labour.

      Caucus have made a major mistake in appointing David Shearer as Leader, he is simply too inexperienced….


      The reason David Shearer was promoted despite his inexperience, was because of the flax roots backlash against the recycled neoliberal leadership of Phil Goff. To be able to still continue in this same general policy direction, the (conservative) Labour caucus needed a clean skin with no discernable links to a neo-liberal past.

      A more democratic flax roots led Labour Party could see a real return to the even earlier Labour Party tradition. (pre 1984).

      All my best wishes to the Labour Party membership in revitalising their party at their upcoming conference.

  29. redfred 29

    Helen Kelly, get her into Parliament asap. She is smart, can debate and comes across well.

    If only someone like Mallard would retire, by election get Kelly in there. Get rid of Shearer; he comes across as a well meaning bumbling uncle.

    Probably need to drop the top 10 on the Labour list, all have performed dreadfully. Dreams are free, I’ll no doubt vote for Mana with my list vote again

  30. karol 30

    Labour list 2011.
    David Sh…?  Who?  Where?
    And for that matter Grant who?
    And look who came immediately after Goff and King?
    What has Labour been thinking since 2011?

  31. ak 31

    Yeah but why stop at Cunners and Kelly? There’s bound to be other Messiahs who can save us all the trouble of writing, leafletting, helping out foodbanks, CPAG, unions, benny advocacy groups, women’s refuge etc – you know, actually practising what we preach, instead of just moaning and wailing and blaming it all on Shearer or whowever’s the next poor sap that we burden with the impossible task of usurping massive, entrenched power.

    It’s been going on for quite a while…..

    And Cunners entered the conference to the acclaim of all, who laid palms before him. And noting the presence of lying, thieving scum, he picked up his rhetorical whip and drove them from that night’s 6 ‘clock rugby ground. But the high priests and scribes went among the crowd with the Herald, and quietly reclaimed the 6 o’clocker.

    Anyone else remember how the rest went?

    Akshly, it worked out ok in the end. Progression moves in mysterious, inexorable ways. But it took time, and work.

    From the many, not any one.

    Life’s a precious gift: embrace it and use it with courage – or waste it, waiting in purgatory like lost, trapped sheep.

  32. Sam 32

    Hmm yeah but just because _you_, as clear bastions of the One True Left, like Cunliffe doesn’t automatically mean that everyone else does. In fact a lot of “ordinary people” find him disingenuous and smarmy.

    • “In fact a lot of “ordinary people” find him disingenuous and smarmy.”

      Well judging who is in at the moment that should indicate he turns out to be very popular then

    • Jim Nald 32.2

      Oh yes, and thank goodness for the “ordinary people” making up the 29% of the latest RM poll who are steadfastly snorer’s fans.

    • Chris 32.3

      Little smiley face!

  33. Bruce 33

    Lets look at what Key does: We have an issue important to many NZers… “Oh shit lets tell the voters what they want to hear to make criticisms go away”

    Shearer could learn from this.. while its not ethical, it works.

  34. Descendant Of Smith 34

    At this point I care little about the people cause I want to know about the policies Labour are going to adopt.

    I could add to my old list but seriously can Labour in it’s current guise come even close to implementing a single left wing policy such as:

    8 hour workingday
    40 hour working week
    Decent minimum wage
    Increased taxation of the well off
    Increasing benefit rates to a liveable amount – at minimum putting the $20-00 per week back on benefits – you know the $20 per week they put back on super and the one they had 9 years to put back on benefits but did not
    Centralised wage bargaining forcing firms to compete on the quality of the product and service not on who can pay the crappiest wage
    Ensuring minimum salaries are say 120% of the minimum wage to stop employers getting around the minimum wage requirements
    Building more state housing and letting people live in their state houses for their entire life if they wish – you know giving people security
    Employing people with disabilites and young people in the public sector to give them an opportunity for a decent life and a good start – cause the private sector won’t and will never employ them all
    Regional development to support rural areas and not just farmers

    These things were not even “left” when I was growing up they were normal

    Maybe I’ve missed their press releases – don’t tell me Labours not a rightwing party.

    • LynW 34.1

      Yep, I’m with you DOS. Is it really too much to expect a fair and reasonable system for the majority of New Zealanders.

    • Draco T Bastard 34.2

      Ensuring minimum salaries are say 120% of the minimum wage to stop employers getting around the minimum wage requirements

      That can be addressed with the same legislation that brings back a 40 hour week – double time for any work over 40 hours.

  35. Phil 35

    Anyone else think about the irony of a King being the only one to take effective action against a conservative government?
    An unelected monarch going in to bat against a flagship Tory policy?
    Makes me giggle.
    Oh, and while I’m at the gates of irony, what’s this bout no Jacinda, no Chardonnay socialists leading the Labour party? This when we have a Labour MP openly demonstrating against those of another sexual persuasion, animals, I think was how he described gays.
    What a hoot, where is that old Solidarity from our current crop of leaders?
    Also, and thankfully finally, as my sides are hurting now, reclaim the party? Start another party of the left? Think Scargill and the “Real Labour Party” back in the UK, now that was a wild and woolly ride I can tell you. Having to wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes at this point.
    Labour? Over and out.
    I don’t mind being politically homeless anymore, it’s better than being politically shameless.

    • kiwicommie 35.1

      Anarchist-Communism and Anarcho-Capitalism are better alternatives to being ‘left’ or ‘right’ as non-state systems without corporations are a far better ideal than state socialism or state capitalism. The ‘left’ or ‘right’ still makes you pay for electricity, education, healthcare and water (rather than giving it out for free through progressive taxation); government can be described as just another inefficient, democratically elected corporation or a state monopoly. But for now it is fun to just vote for parties based on issues you believe in, usually small parties have something to offer.

  36. Leopold 36

    No – Keep Helen Kelly out -she is far more valuable in rebuilding the union movement than being a powerless backbencher in the Loser Party

  37. burt 37

    Still 20% too high !

  38. Matthew Hooton 38

    David Shearer would be much higher than this if he hadn’t accepted Grant Robertson and Fran Mold’s advice re the claim about the GCSB video. A real shame for Mr Shearer.

    • Paul 38.1

      A sincere comment?
      Or just the usual bait?

      • Matthew Hooton 38.1.1


      • Anne 38.1.2

        If it’s sincere then a fair enough comment.

        If it’s merely bait then we know what to think of the claim.

        So, which is it Matthew?

        Edit: both! – it would seem.

        So folks he hasn’t told us anything that wasn’t already known or guessed.

        Conclusion: must try harder.

        • Matthew Hooton

          i said, it’s both

          • PlanetOrphan

            Come on then MH, tell us the little dream sequence that conspired it M8! 🙂

        • Paul

          Bait is trivia – isn’t that looking for a unintelligent debate?
          A sincere view is the opposite as it is open to new ideas.
          If you want to persuade people round to your point of view, don’t play games.
          I am assuming you voted National or another party of the right. You are on a left wing blog site.
          Why are you arguing the case for Mr Shearer? Would you vote Labour if he was leader?

          • Matthew Hooton

            I think I have voted for Act more than for National, but, in general, I am a National voter. But I would be more likely to vote Labour were David Shearer its leader than, say, David Cunliffe or Grant Robertson. I think that is true of most of my friends who are more centrist than I am, and who have a record of switching between National and Labour.

            • Jim Nald

              Let’s hope David Shearer is reading this because if he is chasing after votes like Mr Hooton’s, then Shearer should leave the Labour Party asap and join National.

              But if I were Michelle Boag, I would slam National’s door shut in Shearer’s face.

            • mickysavage

              That does it. I am supporting Cunliffe …

              • McFlock


                The tories here remind me of the orders Churchill gave to some of the irregular warfare units in WW2: they were tasked with sowing “alarm and despondency” among axis forces.

    • Dv 38.2

      And mr Key would be a lot higher. Too if he didnt “forget” so much. A real shame for mr Key.

    • PlanetOrphan 38.3

      That’s the problem with “Spoken Mystery”, DS handles it much better than JK without a doubt.
      But never worthy of continued silence, get the info out and move on.
      Don’t let it sidetrack the issues NZ are looking for.

      DS needs something a lot more solid that he can get his teeth into.

  39. fabregas4 39

    And one poll later up 3.5%. All that angst. It is the trends that count. By this I do not mean that the trends are positive for Labour.

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    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago