Silly old Audrey just doesn’t get it

Audrey Young thinks Labour has the wood on National now after Mt Roskill.

In Mt Roskill it was not just the emphatic win that mattered – 66 per cent of the vote to 28 per cent for National’s candidate – it was how Labour won.

It used a field campaign style, taken from the United States, and adopted by the Victoria Labor Party, which used it to elect Daniel Andrews as Premier in 2014.

It was adopted by New Zealand Labour to successfully campaign for Justin Lester as Wellington mayor and, for a second time, successfully in the Mt Roskill byelection.

It establishes a network of field organisers and volunteers, uses data to determine which voters are persuadable, and a style of personal connection with them and carefully chooses the issues on which to connect.

It will be the template for Labour’s campaign for the 2017 election.

Oh really?

I was talking to one of my Labour sources yesterday. He said that Labour had thrown absolutely everything at Mt Roskill. They called in every unionist they could get, every campaigner, strategist and as many volunteers as they could to retain the seat.

Which is all well and good when it is just one electorate to campaign in. It also helps that National has the hapless trio Steve Joyce, Jo de Joux and Paula Bennett bollocksing everything up.

However to say this sends the signal that Labour will do well in a general election is just fanciful day-dreaming from a senior journalist who should know better.

Those same people who poured into Mt Roskill will be spread rather thinly around other electorates and other battles around the country. Their cohesive and coordinated approach in Mt Roskill can’t and won’t succeed nationally because those were the all the resources Labour had and all the resources they will have for next year as well.

This piece is typical of Wellington beltway commentators out for a day in the sun in Auckland. Mostly it is rubbish and the balance is wishful thinking.


– NZ Herald