So there’s a serious disconnect between Labour gaining 5 electorate seats and getting their worst result since 1922.
Is that just because Labour failed to ask hard enough for the party vote?
When I stood as a candidate in 2011 the perceived wisdom was that a good local candidate / campaign can make a maximum 2% difference to the party vote result.
The big difference on party vote was on: primarily, the leader and whether people like him/her and what they have to say; and secondly, the caucus (/central spokespeople) and whether they looked like a team ready to govern and liked what they had to say.
So while there are some glaring examples (Clayton Cosgrove) of scared MPs running a non-Labour electorate campaign which most definitely will not be helpful (and the Labour General Electorate hoardings should have had a tick by Labour as well as the candidate like the Maori Electorate ones), I think the disparity is largely explained by a local effect.
People see their local Labour representative, they like them and what they’re saying, but they don’t have faith in the Labour caucus/leader – so they split their vote like they know they’re able. Even if their local candidate is asking first and foremost for a party vote.
A similar effect is seen in the US, where only 12% trust Congress as a whole, but most people will return their local Congressman – because they trust them, just not the others – nationwide…
Barring a few MPs with a sense of self-preservation, I would say Labour is gearing up much more for MMP, with their hubs to concentrate on Party Vote, and targets based on PV.
I don’t think the result can be blamed on the organisation (which could do with better funding, so it can do more – but that’s a separate issue), or on the policies, which seemed generally popular.
Beyond that I’ll leave my comments on the result, and where the blame does lie, to a long email to Moira to go into the review. Just like all Labour folk should be doing, instead of talking to journalists, feeding their desired story.
Instead I’ll be focussing my political energies on keeping the government held to account.
Media: also time for you to move on and let the internal process take its time. If you want to help democracy, this process needs to take some time to think through the issues and work out the best way forward for a voice for all who Labour represents – not urgently hounded resignations.