This book reveals the market research, strategy, branding and communication behind the unpredictable 2017 New Zealand election result which saw Jacinda Ardern elected Labour leader just 8 weeks before the election to become Prime Minister. Utilising rich data sources that include a 250,000 Vote Compass survey and interviews with key political advisors, it explores the alignment of the policy of National, Labour, the Greens and NZ First with party supporters, demographic segments and undecided voters. It also analyses the leadership communication and branding of the leaders Bill English, Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little, as well as the advertising by minor parties ACT, the Greens, United Future and the Maori Party. The book provides advice for practitioners, such as: focus on being responsive, communicate delivery competence, differentiate in policy and advertising, build an energetic and charismatic leader brand and be flexible when planning.
Jennifer Lees-Marshment is Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at the School of Social Sciences at University of Auckland, New Zealand. She is author/editor of 12 books, including The Political Marketing Game (2011) and Political Marketing: Principles and Applications, 2nd edition (2014). Her research interests include political marketing, leadership, public input and governance.