- Date published:
8:34 am, October 13th, 2020 - 30 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, david cunliffe, election 2020, jacinda ardern, national - Tags: Christopher luxon, dan bidois, denise lee, simeon brown
The 2014 election campaign still burns in my memory. The Labour Party was clearly divided, unity and discipline was lacking and the electorate could sense it.
Things were that bad we had Labour list MPs not campaigning for the party vote. Clearly they thought that their own personal abilities and talents would mean that the electorate would refuse to go along with the tide of public opinion and buck the trend and re elect someone they had previously voted out. Unfortunately for them they were wrong.
Cosgrove was the 6th ranked Labour MP at the time.
There were other examples. Some MPs in safe seats were campaigning only for the electorate vote and the Party vote billboards did not see the light of day.
The result was almost inevitable. Labour received 25% of the party vote although interestingly 35% of the electorate vote.
National ran the perfect MMP election campaign. Every billboard had John Key on it. Result wise they received 47% of the party vote and 47% of the electorate vote. Their discipline was impressive.
It is no secret that after the election Labour was in a poor state. Thanks to Andrew Little’s determined leadership discipline and unity improved markedly. And thanks to Jacinda Ardern’s inspired leadership things have kicked on since then.
Fast forward to now and the boot is clearly on the other foot.
National’s advertising is fragmented and when you look at the efforts of National candidates in marginal seats you can see there is no coordination. And they are focussing on their own electorate campaign and not on the party vote campaign.
Denise Lee’s advertisement above is an example. This effort from Dan Bidois below also fails the two ticks test although it does at least mention National.
And this billboard is frankly bizarre. For the MP of Pakuranga to double down and be seeking electorate votes is unbelievable. Pakuranga in particular is the sort of seat where the only thing you do is harvest party votes.
To add to the sense of a complete lack of discipline Alfred Ngaro has been at it again.
I blogged earlier about his insane attacks on Phil Twyford alleging that Twyford wanted to legalise all drugs and allow full term abortions.
Ngaro’s Facebook post was deleted and Judith Collins made soothing noises. But Ngaro has now doubled down on what he said.
A seemingly chastened Ngaro deleted the post. It was a small, unsavoury episode, no big deal, and for Ngaro and National at least it had the virtue of passing quickly – except it hasn’t. I called Ngaro on Sunday and he doubled down. He said he only deleted the post because trolls had attacked his wife, and accused her of being behind it.
As for his accusations against Twyford, he said, “I stand by those comments. I do not resile from them … I’m not about to apologise for speaking up.”
I said, “But your comments about Phil Twyford would appear to be total lies.”
He said, “Phil Twyford might want to check the record.”
I said, “What are you talking about?”
He said, “Have a look at the Family First website.”
Anyone relying on Family First for information need to have a reality check.
Braunias also highlights Ngaro’s completely unchristian approach to the poor. When asked about clothing allowances for residents in a retirement home clearly suffering from poverty he said this:
“We need to stop thinking about services and start thinking about outcomes,” he blathered. I got in his face afterwards and said, “They’re poor. They need clothes. What are you going to do about it?” He said, “It’s not about fixing the problem.”
I wish to go on record and declare this is the worst thing I have ever heard any politician say out loud.
If I was National’s campaign manager right now I would be throwing a huge tantrum and lecturing every sitting MP on the importance of the party vote. Every ad should be aiming either exclusively for the party vote or in marginal seats for two ticks. Candidate only ads are a waste of time and actually are harmful to the campaign. Every time a candidate gets an electorate vote but loses a party vote the party goes backwards. It is a sign that National’s central control is completely lacking that this sort of advertising is happening.
This is like 2014 but in reverse and far worse. At least in 2014 there was no surge of leaks against the leader during the campaign.
However, this is MMP and anything is possible. Make sure that you and your whanau and friends get out and vote for their favourite progressive party. Otherwise on Sunday morning you may wake up to Judith Collins being your Prime Minister.