|General Election, July 27, 2002||20.9||41.3||7||10.4||n/a||n/a||7.1||6.7||n/a||6.6|
|General Election, September 17, 2005||39.1||41.1||5.3||5.72||2.12||n/a||1.51||2.67||n/a||2.48|
|General Election, November 8, 2008||44.93||33.99||6.72||4.07||2.39||n/a||3.65||0.87||n/a||3.38|
|General Election, November 26, 2011||47.31||27.48||11.06||6.59||1.43||1.08||1.07||0.60||2.65||0.73|
I was pondering the latest Roy Morgan poll results and this table in particular.
Thinking about the minor parties, it struck me that ACT has nothing going for it.
Greens have environmentalism.
NZ First has a charismatic leader.
The Maori party has race.
Mana has extreme disaffection.
United Future has religion, though losing it to the Conservative Party.
But what does ACT have?
Freedom isn't it. Because all of the people who fall into the above categories would consider themselves primarily interested in freedom. Freedom is highly subjective.
Capitalism? Business people are pragmatists and will vote for a likely, safe result. And most don't actually mind government being significantly involved in the economy.
ACT has no brand. It has nothing for people to emotionally identify with.
This isn't an attack on ACT. It's just my explanation for why they poll so poorly. ACT is going to have to do something very radical if they want to survive the 2014 election.
I'm not much of a marketer but I'd go back to basics and hammer personal responsibility hard. Get spokespeople outside of parliament making statements that make National look wishy washy.
When New Zealanders took responsibility for themselves, their families, their friends we had a stronger economy, more social cohesion, less inequality, less crime. But it can't be a backwards looking campaign. In many ways the country is a much better place to live in today than in the 1950s and 60s. Women in particular play a much bigger role in the economy and have much more autonomy. But there is a group of women (and their children) shut out as a direct result of diminished personal responsibility. ACT needs to keep consistently showing that individual responsibility is paramount. For example, a child failed by a parent can never be fully compensated by other minor players in their lives. They need to be brave enough to say things that will be unpopular in parliament and with the media but will resonate with a large, non-vocal section of the population. BUT they need more voices.
Unfortunately John Banks may be an impediment to gathering those voices.