The mystifying rise of Jacinda Ardern

As Labour’s leadership debacle lurches nowhere fast, the only winner thus far appears to be Jacinda Ardern. A One News poll (or what One News sometimes likes to call a poll, despite it being a self-selecting online survey. Please, just leave the polling to Colmar Brunton…) found her to be the front-runner for leader. Pundits touted her as a dream deputy leader, should either Grant Robertson or David Shearer emerge victorious. She was apparently on a ticket with a Robertson according to Stuff, but then, eighteen hours later, wasn’t according to the NZ Herald, although she was apparently being considered by Robertson.

Personally, I find it a little mystifying. After all, her track record isn’t exactly the stuff of legends. She’s lost the previously safe Labour seat of Auckland Central twice in a row to Nikki Kaye (although yes, she did cut Kaye’s majority, despite unfavourable boundary changes) and in her role as opposition spokesperson for Social Development, she’s failed to land a hit.

Perhaps the big drawcard is simply that she’s young, attractive and hasn’t yet managed to make any major mistakes. Mind you, if those are the qualifications required to make Labour deputy leader these days, it shows just how far Labour has sunk.

Perhaps others would care to enlighten yours truly as to why Ms Ardern has secured the hearts and minds of the commentariat?

UPDATE (30/09/14):

A friend offers an explanation to me:

She radiates charisma. Door knocks herself, asks the right questions, leaves handwritten notes, and generally puts the people back into politics. That’s how she is making people feel. And it seems to be working! Add that to her back catalogue of do-gooding, and some ‘young hotness’ (she’s better looking than her photos) and you can see why her name keeps coming up…

Apparently I need to meet her in person and it will all become clear…



  1. Pardon my cynicism but anyone with the nickname “My Little Pony” and who regularly gets schooled by Paula Bennett will make a superb leader for the Labour party.

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