Messy Marketing in the 2017 New Zealand Election: The Incomplete Market Orientation of the Labour and National Parties

  • Jennifer Lees-MarshmentEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Political Marketing and Management book series (Palgrave Studies in Political Marketing and Management)


This chapter explores the extent to which National and Labour followed the market-oriented party model in 2017. Drawing on multiple qualitative and quantitative primary sources including interviews with senior practitioners, analysis of 170+primary sources and Vote Compass main survey and post-election data, analysis finds that Labour took the edge in overall orientation towards listening and responding to the public whilst National’s lack of responsiveness ultimately lost National control of government. Market-orientation is still important. Labour’s marketing was imperfect and failed to demonstrate delivery competence, but they tried to respond to voter concerns whilst National was dismissive of market research, focused on their strengths rather than voter concerns and relied on their record instead of focusing on future promises. National need to respect, reflect, and reform and Labour needs to deliver in government, while creating space for new product development for 2020 to maintain their market orientation and win again.


Market-oriented party Market orientation Delivery National Labour 


Primary Sources

  1. Ardern, Jacinda. (2017). Quoted by RadioNZ in ‘labour ready to ‘do this’, but not with Turei as a minister’, August 4.
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Academic Sources

  1. Esselment, Anna. (2012). ‘Market orientation in a minority government: The challenges of product delivery’ in Political marketing in Canada, edited by Alex Marland, Thierry Giasson, and Jennifer Lees-Marshment. Vancouver: UBC, pp. 123–138.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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