Who is Andrew Little? Can Andrew Little win the media battle with John Key?

Labour Leader Little Andrew

Labour Leader Little Andrew

The media has already been writing up Andrew Little as the new messiah, yet they have not done any of the kind of deep analysis of him that sensible political media should be doing.

They are largely buying into the spin that Andrew Little is going to be better than Goff, Shearer and Cunliffe in the media, without explaining why.

The big issue for Andrew Little is his grim, dour persona does not help him connect with voters. The voters of New Plymouth proved this in 2011 and 2014, demonstrating that the usual “he is really good in person” doesn’t apply to Andrew Little.

It is harder to imagine him connecting with people on TV, as the camera is not kind to him.

Little faces an even bigger problem.

He is up against John Key, an extremely gifted politician who is exceptionally well liked. That is a problem in itself, but the bigger problem is that Key has a superb relationship with many of the media personalities who are not reporting on politics.

Even after what was described as a terrible week before parliament broke up Key was still able to visit popular FM stations and talk to the DJs who all obviously liked him.

Can Andrew Little convince the pop radio DJs to have him on their show, and can he build the kind of rapport with them Key has?

Or will the vast majority of voters who do not read the politics section of the paper, listen to red radio or care about politics  keep getting the message that Key is a good guy who is doing a good job.

The political class may be driven to distraction by the great unwashed not seeing Key they way they do, or Little the way they do.

This doesn’t change the fact that Key is extremely popular in sections of society that usually ignore politics.

Can Andrew Little compete with this popularity?



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  • Day Day

    Little might find a ‘gig’ on Red Radio.

  • johcar

    In the immortal words of Monty Python: “He’s NOT the messiah, he’s just a naughty boy!”

    Give him a few more months – these words will prove to be PROPHETIC (just don’t draw any pictures of me, or Monty Python, or we will unleash a fatwa!)

    • Justsayn

      A Monty Puthon fatwa may take the form of a rampaging Mr Creosote, smashing skulls with a perfectly frenched, rose pink rare lamb cutlet.

      • johcar

        Now you’ve made me hungry!

  • ozbob68

    Heard Little on TVNZ this morning, still banging the inequality drum, despite falling petrol prices and almost zero inflation, and massive demand for skilled labour (with a lower case L). How quick did they forget the lessons from the election?

    • Jas

      Skilled being the operative word. You just can’t turn up today and do unskilled labouring or any other unskilled work at the same numbers like yesteryear. Or if you do get an unskilled job expect skilled wages for the job and be ‘equal’ with skilled workers.

    • GoingRight

      Didn’t he look dreadful, the more he appears the more he will put people off him!

  • timemagazine

    Little Andrew might win the media, but the voters…no.

    • G M B

      I wouldn’t say win the media. He has it by default. Paddy Gower and company will still stick with a Commy , Socialist , unionist A hole.

  • STAG

    Little is finished, all swing voters i speak with still can’t bring themselves to vote Labour, the party is the problem and a grim faced table thumper can’t change that. 4th term, lock it in.

  • Pluto

    If Andrew Little is the answer… err… what was the question again ?
    He’s had all the luck he’s going to get, Union leader = free ticket to Labour Party leader, Labour Party leader = free ticket to adoration by the MSM, but that’s where it ends.

  • Eiselmann

    Angry Andrew couldn’t even pull off an impersonation of David Shearer let alone John Key

  • Nebman

    Any chance Andrew is betting on the fact that if Helen Clark could become Prime Minister (a similarly personality challenged individual), then he’s a shoe in?

    Of course he’s missing out on her tactical nous, ruthlessness and a totally useless opposition.

  • In Vino Veritas

    But then the media bought into the spin that Goff would be a good replacement for Clark, Shearer would be fantastic over Goff and Cunliffe would be light years ahead of Shearer. As did the Labour Party. And now, the same tired lines are being put out about Angry Andy. Desperation is and has been, Labour’s long time bedfellow. Perhaps Labour need to cut the crap.

    • kayaker

      When you look back over the names of the post-Clark era, Shearer was their best bet. They’ve progressively gone downhill since then. Same old same old.

    • Desperation is a stinky cologne

      • In Vino Veritas

        Indeed, and they reek real bad.

    • Positan

      The collective that passes for NZ’s “media” performs in the belief that what it writes/portrays will be swallowed almost unquestioningly by the majority of readers/viewers/listeners. Individual ambition has its influence and eventually self-perceived self-importance renders them victim to the certainty of perspectives that are stunted by their political rationale.

  • Captain Darling

    It’s his voice that I can’t stand. He drones on and on in a monotonous mumble, after a couple of minutes I lose the will to live.

  • Justsayn

    From future-wiki:

    St. Andrew, the hunter of scabs and the patron Saint of the affiliate. St Andrew rose to public prominence in 2015, having been elected leader of the Labour Party (at that stage in its decline from a main party to it current minor party status). St. Andrew was considered by many an unusual choice for the leadership, those in the unions (where he had previous led a leadership position) overrode the opinions of others to install him. Now most remembered for his role in initiating the internal turmoil the Labour Party suffered in the 2015 to 2021 period, commonly know as “The scab hunts”, St. Andrew stood aside in December 2016. The Green Party conferred an environmental sainthood on St. Andrew in 2026 for his services to their rise to leadership of the left.

  • Mick Ie

    Isn’t there a saying? Something about ‘explaining is losing’? Don’t you just love it?

  • Greg M

    I have no doubt Andy will win over the MSM, But voters are smarter that that. Even Labour voters won’t vote for the greens, and without them, Labour has no chance of ever being in power. Angry Andy will never be PM.

    • mommadog

      Andy doesn’t have to win over the MSM as they will continue to support whatever no-name was in that role as part of their anyone but National and Key behaviour. MSM was ready to support him, Grant or whoever got the job. Its more of the same. I really hope you are right about Labour and Andy never being PM. While JK is popular now he cant slack off and take his eye off the ball just because its third time around.

  • LabTested

    I was in the Tapu (Coromandel) pub on Saturday & there was a very prominent photo of John Key with someone I took to be the owner taped up on the mirror behind the bar. Tapu is not one of those flash holiday spots. Just a motor camp, boat ramp & takeaways. A working man’s pub proud to display a JK photo

  • MAWG

    I, for one, hope that the MSM continue to paint him as the Left’s Messiah. The discord that will occur when the man meets the people will only help cement Key’s status, as it did with Goff, Shearer and Cunliffe.

  • jay

    Simple question, simple answer. There is no way Andrew Little can compete with the popularity of John Key.

    Mr Little seems like a nice guy, but mere niceness won’t cut it. John Key is, as the article says, a gifted politician, I’d vote for him even if he was the leader of the macGillicuddy serious party.

    I have no doubt that he will go down in history as our greatest Prime Minister. Honestly, how the hell would you even begin to try compete with him?

    People like John Key are once-in-a-generation icons simple as that.

    • Steve

      The last generation’s one was Keith Holyoake…..

  • Adam Michaels

    He is a mumbling, grumpy muppet, filling in time before the next “leader” comes along.

  • Dave

    Andrew, unions and thug for life, leader of the Labour party by stealth, he is not really wanted. MSM repeaters are members of their union, that union is controlled by the CTU, they are the main promoters of Angry Andrew. Of course he has already won the media over, but he will never win the people over. Just like the Herald is in a death spin, those who blindly support and cheerlead for Labour and particularly Angry Andy will find their readership declining, just ask the herald.

  • HunuaRanger

    An Andrew Little walked into a brewery to throw a party.
    Nobody came (it was on strike).

    • WeaselKiss

      ………..and then lo, some friends did indeed turn up, a good bunch of lefties.
      But alas, they all discovered that none of them even knew how to organize a party in said brewery!

  • Aucky

    Didn’t the media write up Shearer and the Cunliffe as the new Messiahs? Neither had the ability to swing the vital centrist support needed to swing the polls or ultimately the election. Figuratively speaking the media have a turd on their hands that despite getting a double dipping of glitter will not cut the mustard with the voter. They tried so hard to con us in 2014 and Labour suffered a record defeat. It’s 2015 for God’s sake, pray tell what relevance a 1970’s style unionist has to the modern voter – Little is so irrelevant I’m not convinced that he isn’t a time traveller.

  • Tom

    Andrew who ?

  • NZ 2014

    The question should be: How long will it take for the labour party to change it’s leader again? How many have they had ? three since JK became PM in 2008.