Was/wasn’t ACT list candidate Cathy Odgers (Cactus Kate) recounts the wearying psychological impact of poor opinion poll results on ‘tribal’ political party volunteers … from her own direct experience as a student volunteer in the early days of the minor right wing party (currently running something like 1.7% in the polls).

Fine, emotionally honest writing like this deserves a link … The Psychology Of The Polls

image: melanieflower.blogspot.com/ (click)

Skip then to the first poll results when ACT was launched still under Brand Douglas. I recall them quite vividly. Not for the numbers, as rather like the pain of one’s own birth, [the] human condition lets us forget such agony, but for the process of the team huddle around the television set, political veterans nervously excited about seeing the fruits of their hours of endeavour into the only thing that matters in politics – the polls.

The polls came out and being in the room when they did was akin to that of a level 100 times worse than being stuck wearing an All Blacks jersey when the All Blacks choke out of a World Cup.

I write of this experience with no fond memories. I write of it today to show the depth of despair that the Labour Party members, supporters and volunteers will be feeling after yet another week of poll shockers. I can feel their pain. …

I have been a volunteer for a Party that is at 1% in polls so I know just how gut-spewingly demoralizing it can be. Labour will never be at 1% in the polls, but it is one of the two major parties and is hemorrhaging support currently such that right now it is their equivalent of. Labour are tribal volunteers and the best and most loyal ACT members and volunteers were former Labour members. Unlike prissy National ones who only were really interested in supporting the Party when it is perceived to be “winning”, Labour are used to getting dirty and in amongst it walking the streets and Unions for support. …

Worth a read.

– P