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Don’t expect the impossible of Ardern

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, August 4th, 2017 - 29 comments
Categories: jacinda ardern, labour, leadership - Tags: , , , ,

I enjoy a ray of hope as much as the next leftie, and Jacinda Ardern is off to an incredible start, but let’s not burden her with impossible expectations – that would be destructive in the long run.

Peters is trying to do it as he predicts that Jacinda could be worth 7 per cent to Labour in the polls. Maybe, in the long run, maybe more. But don’t expect it next poll. Don’t expect an instant turn-around in a decade of unquestioning support for National. Consider:

Audrey Young: Ardern does not need to be Labour’s Joan of Arc

Ardern does not have to become Labour’s Joan of Arc to succeed. Those expecting her to be the party’s salvation and deliver them the Government benches in eight weeks’ time have set their expectations too high.

One thing that is not likely change is the influence of Winston Peters and New Zealand First over the result of the election even if Ardern turns around Labour’s fortunes.

Her task is to save Labour from a humiliating dive in the polls. Even maintaining its current position would be success of a kind. If she gets it heading north again, she will be a legend.

The Left is not ahead in this election and nothing can be taken for granted. Ardern just might be the breakthrough that wins it, but no one should assume that. We’ve got to fight, as Jacinda put it herself, the fight of our lives.

At the moment Ardern is all things to all people, and the honeymoon is great. But inevitably as policy decisions are made, some people will be unahppy (not left enough, not pragmatic enough, and so on). And no doubt Ardern will make mistakes:

Ardern: ‘At some point I’ll make a mistake’

There will come a time, Jacinda Ardern says, when she stuffs up.

The media glory will have subsided, she will be grinding away at the coalface, and she will do something wrong.

“Inevitably, at some point, I’m going to make a mistake. Newsflash, here and now, I will make a mistake. But the test of anyone’s leadership is how they then manage it in the aftermath.” …

Wise words.

It’s been a great few days, and anything could happen from here. But don’t be discouraged if/when miracles don’t occur. Good things take time. And it isn’t down to one leader, we all have work to do.

We can still have fun with memes though!


29 comments on “Don’t expect the impossible of Ardern ”

  1. chris73 1

    Its good to be positive and all but I get the feeling theres going to be a lot of disappointed lefties after the next election so I hope they don’t blame Jacinda as its not her fault Labour won’t get into power

    • AB 1.1

      Right-winger “gets a feeling” that is (unsurprisingly) completely consistent with his underlying prejudices. Thinks it’s worth telling the world about it.

      • Tony Veitch (not etc) 1.1.1

        I can do ‘feelings’ too. I have a feeling we’re going to see a dramatic collapse in support for National in the next couple of polls. I do, very much do hope people won’t blame Bill, or Paula, or Stephen, or Nick, or Judith, or Gerry or . . . or . . . because that wouldn’t be their faults.

        • Well they’re already slowly bleeding support… it’s also possible that Ardern’s announcement will actually shore that up a little if National feels under threat, maybe, and their less enthusiastic voters decide to rally, but I’m expecting their slow decline to continue but not to dramatically collapse.

  2. simbit 2

    Let’s do this.

  3. It’s impossible to know what will happen from here. It seems likely that the change of leadership will at least stem Labour’s slide and it’s likely to recover but by how much is anyone’s guess.

    Ardern certainly impressed with her first media conference, but Live on Stuff yesterday she was vague about a number of issues and policies, she will have to sharpen up on a lot of topics and deliver more than feel good platitudes.

    Davis as deputy was a very good move, that will help.

    But it isn’t just about Labour. Greens may be in serious trouble now as Turei’s beneficiary campaign stunt appears to have backfired.

    Labour will likely benefit if the Greens lose support, but that won’t help Labour+Greens.

    Whatever the ups and downs of each p[arty are it looks likely the election will be close with a number of coalition possibilities unless National holds up their vote – I’d be surprised if they do,

    It’s very early days for an Ardern led Labour and she and the party will be tested but she looks to have jump started a rejuvenation.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Backfired = 3-4% lift in polled support, but don’t let facts get in the way of your bland malice.

    • dukeofurl 3.2

      Where were you Pete when John Key played the ‘lie on his enrolment form’ game

      To get support for his nomination against a sitting national MP he used the address of a house he owned in the electorate, all the while he and his family where living in another house in Remuera. This was supported by company documents where his address was required. Of course after the election he never lived in his electorate either.

      Signing the enrolment form is a statuary declaration. Its even worse when you are the one running for the seat, not just wanting to vote

  4. Ad 4

    Anthony, there will not be a change of government unless the impossible happens.

    The alternative government still appears weak and incoherent.

    It’s OK to project onto Ardern for a bit.

    In fact there is no other way.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Exactly. On the other hand we probably don’t need an expectation that Jacinda has to fall on her sword if Labour doesn’t win the election either. Think Mike Moore.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        I try not to think about Mike Moore as Prime Minister.
        Pretty awesome dude in person and outstanding U.S. ambassador.

        But OMG those final days of the fourth Labour Government and its embarrassing campaign. Just OMG.

  5. millsy 5

    She needs to stay on if/when Labour loses.

  6. Adrian thornton 6

    Don’t worry I for one won’t be disappointed, as I have such low expectations already.

    Ardern hasn’t given any signals that I have seen that should encourage any progressive leftie that she is anything but more of the same…I would be more than happy to be proved wrong on thing over time, but I am not holding my breath.

    • dukeofurl 6.1

      Well then , that 1% that represents your point of view will just have to go where it can. I hear Hone Harawira is running again- theres your man, but a vote for him is to prop up national.

  7. ianmac 7

    Jacinda is going to be on 9 to Noon this morning shortly.

  8. ianmac 8

    I supported Andrew and now I support Jacinda. We have high hopes but the reality of politics is that the Government machine will set out, with the help of the MSM, to trip her up, find fault, plant rumours. It will be a tough ride but we will still support Jacinda whatever.

    • dukeofurl 8.1

      yes, extactly. I remember well John Key in his first election campaign as leader needed BIll English as his chaperone in interviews- he just wasnt up with the issues.

      Jacinda of course is very polished and capable on the issues. But Im sure the beehive has its minions trawling back through JA’s words in Hansard to feed lines of attack to its poodles in the media. Dirty Politics engine is idling as we speak

  9. savenz 9

    Anything is possible and Corbyn and the UK proved it. But putting the whole burden of winning on the Labour leader is what has caused so much friction in Labour in the past.

    Jacinda radiates positivity. I think she can do it, although I think that Little was also on target to do a deal with NZ First and already had one with Greens to do a change of government.

    If Jacinda can woo the National supporters and undecided voters to vote for her, with the Greens up in the polls and finding new voters who had not had a champion before and NZ First pretty steady and also able to attract the rural folks who have had enough of the NZ on Trade Me for $1 reserve sell em off approach by National and close down their schools and hospitals, then the centre left will continue to grow and increase their 50% share from the last poll to win by greater margins.

    Only one other election has had a 4th term government and it seems highly unlikely that Bill English and his band of thieves divvying up government contract money for their cronies will be able to pull it off. But of course Natz fight dirty and are desperate in a relaxed sort of way. Even Gower has started getting little pep notes from his masters.

  10. red-blooded 10

    Let’s remember that Corbyn didn’t win. He succeeded in taking back the mana of the left and he energised a lot of people – he deserves credit and respect for that. He wounded the Tories and they’re very unlikely to get through the next election. He didn’t have to win in order to succeed on many levels. I think that’s pretty much what Anthony is saying.

  11. xanthe 11

    I disagree with the headline of this post!

    funny thing in politics and at the voting booth , its expectations that drive the result!

    I say please DO expect the impossible of Ardern…. because thats a very real path to achieving it in the election environment!

  12. Ad 12

    Ardern expects the impossible of Ardern:

    Ardern’s press conference this afternoon also revealed the Labour Party’s campaign slogan:

    “Let’s do this”.

  13. Ad 13

    Mike Munro is back advising Labour.

    The Clark leadership was never as good as when Munro to ran the media for Clark.

    He is the best.

  14. Incognito 14

    Good post that re-emphasised two things:

    1) How much influence polls have
    2) How much influence a dozen or so people have who work in & for MSM

    I think that both points – they are linked, BTW – are exacerbated by our geo-political position, i.e. NZ is an island(s) at the bottom of the world. In other words, if the Southern Cross cable would accidentally be cut political life and associated reporting would not change one iota. Parochial comes to mind.

  15. The Real Matthew 15

    For once Winston Peters is actually saying something accurate!!

    Kiwiblog had an excellent analysis of the polling bump experienced following leadership change. Looking at what’s happened previously and given Labour’s low recent polling my expectation is that Jacinda adds 7-9% to Labour’s polling.

    I would be very surprised if the next set of polls did not start with a “3” for Labour.

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