@nzlabour @NZGreens There just isn’t no missing million out there hanging out for that hard-left clarion call @rsalmond

Rob Salmond has written a great blog this week on the ideological spectrum of New Zealand voters based on the New Zealand Election Study.

In the course of his blog he drove a tremendously big stake through the heart of the old left fantasy that if Labour or Greens goes left, a large block of voters not voting for them now or not voting at all (the missing million voters) will shake lose its false consciousness and follow you:

But “pulling the centre back towards the left” is massively, massively hard.

You win those people over by being relevant to them as they are, not by telling them they’re worldview needs a rethink. It is just basic psychology. Tell people they were right all along; they like you. Tell people they were wrong all along; they don’t.

And if you win a majority of centrists, you win. The New Zealand Election Study series records six MMP elections in New Zealand – the three where Labour did best among centrists were the three Labour won.

That’s another message from the academic study I quoted above – in Germany, Sweden, and the UK, the elections where the left did best among centrists were the elections where they took power. As their popularity among centrists declined, so did their seat share.

What is more disturbing for the old left fantasy of the missing million is voting for the Labour Party or Greens is correlated with ignorance rather than knowledge.

Furthermore, the more people know about economics, the less likely they are to vote for the left as Eric Crampton explains:

When they get to the polls, the ignorant are significantly more likely to support the Labour Party (4% increase in predicted probability for a standard deviation increase in ignorance) and significantly less likely to support the Green party (1% decrease in predicted probability) and United Future (0.5% decrease in predicted probability).

Understanding economics strongly predicted supporting National in 2005, which comes as little surprise: the National Party leader was former Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. A standard deviation increase in our “economic thinking” index correlates with a 5.7% increased probability of voting National, a 1.5% decreased probability of voting NZ First, and a slight decrease in the probability of voting United Future and Maori.

To make matters worse, Crampton found that joining political organisations does little to cure ignorance of politics or otherwise lead to a political awakening. Sometimes active political affiliation reduces ignorance, other times such organisational membership intensifies ignorance.

via Salmond on the centre | Kiwiblog and StephenFranks.co.nz » Blog Archive » Why the left wants everyone to vote.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jim Rose
    Sep 13, 2015 @ 00:12:21

    Reblogged this on Utopia – you are standing in it! and commented:

    Like

    Reply

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