Tracy Watkin at Stuff reports:
Politicians may rate lower than used car salesmen in most polls, but it seems they are not all created equal.
A Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll reveals that Prime Minister John Key is by far our most liked and trusted politician, with 59.3 per cent of people liking him, and 58.7 per cent also trusting him.
Key is also well ahead of his opponents as preferred prime minister on 51.2 per cent.
Labour leader David Cunliffe appears to be more polarising, with those who like and trust him, and those who don’t, falling into roughly equal camps. His rating as preferred prime minister is just 18.2 per cent.
The bad news for Cunliffe is that only Conservative Party leader Colin Craig, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira and Internet Party leader Kim Dotcom are more disliked. Harawira and Dotcom are also the least trusted.
At least he beat out Dotcom!
Brian Edwards, veteran commentator and media trainer to former Labour leader Helen Clark and others, said for a political leader to be truly successful, they needed the public to both like and trust them – but being likeable may provide the biggest advantage.
“John Key is widely liked and I think this is a problem for anyone that wants to oppose him because that liking is the sort of liking people have for a mate or friend or someone they know.
“Key has got this easygoing pleasant demeanour, he doesn’t seem to take things all that seriously and kids around a bit, which gives him a very accessible personality. He enjoys this tremendous liking among the public, which is very difficult for his opponents to deal with.”
Even when people considered him to be dodgy on issues such as the SkyCity deal, or electorate accommodations in seats like Epsom, that was outweighed by the fact they liked him.
“With David Cunliffe he probably does not come across as such an easygoing, warm sort of character . . . he’s not hated, but I don’t think he enjoys that popular appeal John Key has.”
That was not fatal to Cunliffe’s chances of becoming prime minister, but it would make his job harder, especially with a “feel good” factor around the economy – “for some people at least”. “It’s going to be extremely difficult for Labour to win this election.“
Their best chances are a Labour/Greens/Mana Government endorsed by Kim Dotcom. But you can see above the problems associated with that also!