How could this happen – Stuff has a story about what people are saying about Simon Bridges and Jacinda Ardern?
It comes from Labour’s pollsters so it’s no surprise the former’s word cloud is almost entirely negative and the latter’s is almost entirely positive.
David Farrar, who is quoted in the story, says this is dirty politics:
. . . I don’t think anyone should doubt Labour explicitly approved the release of this data. The fact they refuse to deny it speaks volumes.
The reality is that research data doesn’t belong to the polling company. It belongs to the client. The client is the only entity that can approve something being released. Only if the polling company is its own’s client, do they get to decide.
So what we have is that in the middle of the allegations from Jamie-Lee, they polled people on what they thought of the National Party Leader, and then released the data as a way to damage him.
This is not something we have seen before.
It is not a long way removed from a political party releasing an advertisement that said something like “We asked 1,000 people what they thought of xxxxx and 72% said they think he is a liar”. That sort of ad is seen as the most negative type of advertising you can do. Labour have basically done this, by way of releasing their polling data knowing it would get to the media.
Now contrast that with the Labour Party Leader who maintains she believes in gentler, kinder politics. Well her party just launched a classic dirty politics strike against her main opponent. So that should tell you something about how genuine her stance is.
It actually a perverse compliment to Bridges. Labour wouldn’t bother with this sort of nastiness if they didn’t see him as a threat.
It could also backfire.
Only political tragics are interested in the minutiae of politics but most voters believe in giving people a fair go and this is anything but fair.
It’s political strategy without moral principles, personally abusive and to use that much over-used word, it’s bullying.
Muck sticks to the hand that throws it. Labour has sullied itself by this move and tarnished its leader’s star dust. Given how much its support depends on her appeal, the strategy’s not only nasty, it’s stupid.