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How political leaders make New Zealanders feel

9 Jan 11

Credit: Sunday Star Times
How political leaders make New Zealanders feel

The Sunday Star Times-HorizonPoll for the first time publishes how some of the main political leaders make New Zealanders feel.


The Sunday Star Times reports this morning that Labour leader Phil Goff makes us feel nervous, Act's Rodney Hide makes us angry, and Prime Minister John Key makes us hopeful. And, according to some political analysts, those feelings could be more important at election time than a candidate's policies on serious matters such as the economy, education, health, or selling state assets.


Horizon Research asked more than 2000 New Zealanders to rate a range of 12 potential political leaders on how strongly they evoked four positive feelings – did the candidate make them feel hopeful, proud, excited or comfortable, and four negative emotions – did the candidate make them concerned, nervous, afraid or angry?


Despite our front-page story today showing a Labour-led coalition could still win the 2011 election, the results of this separate feelings survey will be heartening to National Party strategists, after Key scored top in all four of the positive categories.


For negative feelings it was more of a mixed bag. Goff ranked higher than Key on concerned and nervous, but lower than Key on afraid and angry.


The Sunday Star Times' story on these research findings is here.

The feelings results in graphics form are here.

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