He could have chipped in with the benefits of multiculturalism.
Oh get bent ya racist twat.
We should have done better on PV! We certainly tried. And, incidentally, when the specials come in, we'll probably equal 2011. But my party vote target was 10,000, ie getting back up to the levels before 2008. You certainly don't campaign in a safe National seat with any other intention than party vote turnout (at least not if you don't want to waste your money and time).
Anyway, our goal turned out to be a level nobody reached anywhere that I know of (that is, getting up to 2008 level or higher). The plan was to get people who didn't turn out in 2011 to do so, and we failed at that.
Bear in mind that my only previous personal cavassing experience was in the Chch East by-election -- it was quite shocking to understand how much people talk about voting for Key, or voting for Winstone, or whatever, as opposed to issues or policy. Leadership turns out to be super-important.
FWIW, the biggest negatives I got canvassing apart from DC were the super age policy (which is hard for me to defend because I don't agree with it either) and inchoate moaning about the man-ban thing (recall I've argued strongly in favour of those rules right here on PA). But they trailed.
the deliberate subversion of the campaign by various members of the Parliamentary and Extra-Parliamentary wings of the ABC faction, followed by various ABC MPs campaigning solely for the Candidate Vote.
Apart from Cosgrove, whose non-Labour campaign was outrageous, who else are you thinking of?
if the great strategy is “wait until the peasants come to Jesus after everything turns to shit custard” then Labour doesn’t deserve to govern.
I agree. Still, the environment your stragey is deployed in matters.
I do think that NZers will reevaluate their feelings about the economy when the housing bubble deflates and dairy prices regress to the mean. And notwithstanding the case James makes, it is hard to win when say the top third of NZ thinks they're doing great and the middle third identifies with them, and the govt is fronted by a very popular and talented leader.
I disagree that age is the problem
With you here. It would be better to talk about length of service. Time to give others a go. A new person in their 60s could be just the ticket.
by those in his own caucus too it seems
They were pretty good from the end of the leadership race up until the election loss. I am pretty angry about the orgy of leakage and public back-biting since then, from every quarter, and have said so to MPs I know.
How many of the "voted Labour all their life" people are actually Labour,
I'll take that one, as James' former campaign manager. Lots. We focus our limited doorknock and phone canvas resources on people that have canvassed Labour in the past or areas that statistically should be rich in Labour support (high deprivation index, low home ownership, good booth results in previous elections, that kind of thing). Ilam is dominated by Fendalton and Merivale but Aorangi, Bishopdale and Bryndwr where we went hardest are far different in demographic. To be honest, I got that same feedback too.
I'm sympathetic to the argument that DC got systematically destabilised by the dirty politics machine. On the other hand, there was the unaccountable quiet period after the leadership race that created that space. Also, once slimed, it's hard to get unslimed. It's a tough one.
Nat supporters who are bloody happy they got their cracks filled and house repainted
Well actually, there's a lot of quake damage and protracted EQC/insurance wrangles in the posh suburbs that you don't hear about (don't want to affect property values dontcherknow). Conversely, the areas we were doorknocking have heaps of rentals, and some pretty dodgy ones at that.
Right, of course media scrutiny and turnaround and reach and immediacy then was exactly the same as it is now and it was foolish of me to pretend otherwise. I bow to your mastery of the history of technology.
Gower is of course a synecdoche for the media pack. In Lincoln's day the telegraph was barely a thing.