A parallel exercise involving party members and Labour-supporting members of affiliated trade unions revealed that the Labour movement itself saw things rather differently. They thought they had lost because people did not appreciate what Labour had achieved; that voters had been influenced by the right-wing media; and that while Labour’s policies had been right, they had not been well communicated. More than three quarters thought their party had not deserved to lose, and most rejected the idea that the Labour government had been largely to blame for the economic situation. They thought the swing voters they had lost (and needed to win back) were ignorant, credulous and selfish.
This resonates with me as it seems to apply to many NZ Labour activists also.
All most people had heard from Labour was that it was against whatever the coalition happened to be doing. This included welfare reform, one government policy people spontaneously praised. In focus groups before the 2010 election, participants who were asked to choose an image to represent Labour would very often select a picture of a slob lying on a sofa to symbolise what they saw as the party’s indulgence of people living on benefits when they could be at work.
Would be fascinating to do here.
The publication is 47 pages long and very interesting.