Labour has serious questions to answer

Labour’s use of a controversial company previously accused of push-polling in Australia raises serious questions about its commitment to run a clean campaign, National Party Campaign Chair Gerry Brownlee says.

“This morning’s Rotorua Daily Post story on a poll in the East Coast seat omits a very important detail. The poll was conducted for the Labour Party by controversial political research company Community Engagement Limited.

“Australia’s Sunday Telegraph uncovered Community Engagement Limited was conducting push polling in key marginal seats in last year’s Australian Federal Election, asking loaded questions about Labor’s political opponents to gain sham poll results, which would then turn up in the media.

“This company is now operating in New Zealand’s election on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party. It is run by two ex-Young Labour Presidents, one of whom works in a taxpayer-funded role in the office of Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.

“Push polling is a dodgy and coercive political tactic and Labour has serious questions to answer if it is deploying such a method in our election.

“Labour’s use of push polling is a clear attempt to distract from its record of economic mismanagement which will put the jobs and livelihoods of Kiwis in areas like East Coast at risk. Economic growth halved and job creation collapsed under Labour, even before Covid. They cannot be trusted to rebuild our economy and they know it.

“Labour’s campaign is faltering and leaking push polls to try to get candidates over the line is pretty desperate stuff.

“Like Labour’s promises on KiwiBuild, infrastructure and the economy, the promise to run a clean campaign is up in smoke.”