Trans Tasman notes that this week’s poll continuing the dismal trend for Labour confirms that the party needed more than a change of leader.
Labour’s slump in support in the latest poll underlines the party’s problems are more deep seated than can be overcome by a change in leadership. David Cunliffe’s poll ratings are now below those of the man he replaced. But even though anxiety among lower-ranked MPs is growing over their electoral future, there is unlikely to be any fresh moves to change the leadership, despite Shane Jones looking a better bet. The Herald-Digipoll confirmed the trend in other polls, though it’s the first to show Labour below 30%.
The only major changes in the party since it lost the 2008 election are three leaders and rules which can inflict a leader on the caucus without its support.
It is offering almost all the same old stale faces and most of the new policies announced are failed ones from the past.
. . . The significant lesson Labour doesn’t appear to have absorbed is the bulk of voters think the country is heading in the right direction.
The latest poll showed the gap between those who think things are moving in the right direction, and those who do not, expanding from around 3 percentage points to more than 17 points compared with December. Yet this week in Parliament Labour MPs were strumming the theme the present Govt has the worst economic record of any Govt for the last 40 years. They haven’t got the message the Key-led coalition has won the battle on fiscal prudence. And with such a mindset, fresh promises of new spending provoke the opposite response among voters to the one they are seeking. . .
Labour might think the economic and natural disasters since 2008 have been beyond the government’s power. But many voters recognise the difficulties National has faced, the progress it has made in dealing with them and the positive difference it is making.