Jacinda Ardern raised the roof | The Jackal

21 Aug 2017

Jacinda Ardern raised the roof

The Labour party's campaign launch yesterday at the Auckland Town Hall was, by all accounts, a resounding success.

Not only did new leader Jacinda Ardern cause the venue to fill to capacity, she also announced a number of great policy initiatives that have already received international attention.

Even the New Zealand journalists attending gave Labour praise, in particular everybody’s favourite reporter to hate, Patrick Gower.

Yesterday, Newshub reported:

Jacinda Ardern is Labour's 'new hope'

Jacinda Ardern delivered one simply exceptional line in her speech today, calling the fight against climate change "my generation's nuclear-free moment".

It is catchy, credible and has cut-through. It is a great line. It is an absolute banger of a line.

At this rate Steven Joyce will have to buy Gower a whole cheerleaders wardrobe.

But there’s one remarkable overseas article in particular that indicates we’ll have a much-needed change in government after the next election.

Yesterday, Rueters reported:

New Zealand opposition leader launches campaign for 'brave' tackling of inequality

New Zealand has been buoyed by some of the strongest economic growth among advanced countries in recent years.

But Ardern said, for many, pay rises were not keeping pace with a rising cost of living and the gap between rich and poor was getting more entrenched.

She said she would never question the importance of a strong economy but the difference between the major parties was what “we use as the signs of success”.

“I will always maintain that a successful economy is one that serves its people. Not the other way around,” she said in Auckland.

“And that means judging success differently.”

The Labour party will account for the number of children lifted out of poverty in each budget, as a measure of economic success.

This is perhaps one of the best measurements to ensure economic success isn’t just determined by factors that have no impact on our unacceptable rate of impoverished children.

Strangely though the article doesn’t even mention the National party’s policy announcements. In fact it barely even mentions New Zealand's unelected PM, Bill English.

Her opponent in the Sept. 23 election, Prime Minister Bill English, took the reins last December when John Key announced his surprise resignation after eight years in the role.

Only a single paragraph about English taking over from John Key doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Perhaps the authors realised that after a number of favourable polls it’s likely Labour will win the election.

Ardern had an immediate impact in the polls upon becoming opposition leader, with her party jumping 9 points to 33.1 percent, its highest level since 2014, just days after her appointment at the beginning of this month.

Polling commissioned by the Labour Party and released ahead of her campaign launch put the party three points adrift of the incumbent National Party.

The UMR poll had Ardern’s favorability rating at 70 percent, compared with 57 per cent for English. Ten percent viewed her unfavorably compared with 37 percent for English.

This weekend the Maori party also announced their preference to work with Labour and the Greens, signalling their intent to change the government.

National's other coalition partner, Peter Dunne, will likely lose Ōhāriu to Labour's Greg O'Connor and the last rogernome, David Seymour, is also looking shaky in Epsom.

The National party are therefore in serious trouble, especially since attempts to regain public attention with election bribes and policy re-announcements have failed to find much cut-through.

Combine those PR disasters with Labour's momentum from the Jacinda effect burning brightly and it’s little wonder we’re seeing such a large shift in the polls.

To get a sense of the Let's Do This positivity, read Jacinda Ardern’s fantastic speech here.