RSS

Barclay issue could dilute Labour message

22 June 2017

The Labour Party will have to think seriously about how much attention they give to the Todd Barclay. While it may seem natural to attack Bill English, will it win them votes?

If they look back to New Zealand’s last two Prime Ministers, they will see that attempts to discredit them failed on all counts. Many commentators predicted that John Key would lose popularity over ‘Ponytail Gate’, the GCSB issue and more. Helen Clark had her own challenges like ‘Paint Gate’ and ‘Motorcade Gate.’

None of these things appeared to affect political polls or voting behaviour on Election Day. My view is that people are more concerned about how much money they have in their back pocket. That’s why there was no affect.

How could this affect Labour?

The problem for Labour is that every time they focus on the Barclay issue, their core message gets diluted. For example, the recent announcement of their Immigration Policy has now been overshadowed. But that’s likely to be a bigger vote winner than the leadership of Bill English.

They also have the problem that if they do change part of their overall message to focus on leadership, they’ll probably lose because I suspect Bill English will still be a lot more popular than Andrew Little in the polls.

If I was advising the Labour Party, I would suggest they move on from this reasonably quickly and get back to focusing on why people should vote for them in September. They should also remember that events before the last Election prevented them from doing this effectively. And look what happened then.

Join my LinkedIn Group, “Media Training Tips for Modern Leaders” for tips articles, discussions on news media issues and the chance to ask me questions. None of these are available outside the group. Join here.

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

Leave a comment

Fields marked * are required

My Latest Blog Posts

25 July 2017
Labour needs to break message down to concrete terms
More
18 July 2017
Turei shows power of personal stories
More
10 July 2017
Why Steve Hansen's "like kissing your sister" worked so well
More

Subscribe to our newsletter and get our FREE ebook '5 Steps to Pain Free Media Interviews'

Get your copy now

Media Training NZ Limited
PO Box 105721
Auckland 1070
OR
PO Box 36-251
Christchurch 8011
Email: Pete Burdon
Tel: 029 200 8555
Website by
Limelight Online