Labour has changed the messenger and hardened its message.
That’s helped shore up its core support but the polls indicate it hasn’t done much to change the total vote for the left.
There are two reasons for this – the message and the messenger.
The hard left message resonates with the left but it repels those in the centre who have to be won over to gain enough votes to govern.
Then there’s the messenger.
National’s leader John Key is consistent, he doesn’t change his message to suit what he thinks will appeal to his audience.
He talks about what he believes in and what a government led by him will do.
He is the same man for all people.
What you see and hear is what you get and you know what he stands for.
Labour’s new leader David Cunliffe has already got a reputation for trying to be all things for all people, changing his message to suit the audience.
It isn’t working and it won’t because all it does is send mixed messages and raises big questions about what he really believes in and what he really stands for.
Most voters aren’t stupid.
They want sincerity, honesty and consistency.
They get that from John Key, they’re not getting it from David Cunliffe.