Another question asked in the 2014 Election Study was where voters say each party on a 0 to 10 scale where 0 is hard left and 10 is hard right. They were also asked where they assessed themselves.
ACT was assessed as the most right party with a median score of 8. Both the Conservatives and National had a median score of 7.
The median voter score was a 6 – so slightly centre-right. United Future was placed there also.
NZ First is in the middle on 5. The Maori Party slightly centre-left on a 4.
The Mana and Internet parties were judged to be hard left.
I find it interesting that Labour and the Greens both have a median of 3. Once upon a time the Greens would have been seen as more to the left of Labour, but now they are seen as not far apart.
Now consider all the left activists who claim Labour need to go further to the left in order to win. They are already three away from the median vote on six. National is only one away from the median voter. So going further to the left for Labour just makes them look more extreme.
As the median voter is a six, then a three is as far away from them as a nine is.
For Labour to win, they either need to shift the median voter from a six to a five (very difficult to do) or they need to shift the perception of themselves from a three to a four. I doubt they will, and they will be surprised when they fail again.