On 7 May the UK Labour Party experienced a dismal defeat at the hands of the Conservative Party in the general election. The party had its worst result in 28 years, winning only 232 of the 650 seats in parliament.
New Zealand Labour leader Andrew Little said he was disappointed at the result, following his UK visit last month where he met with Labour leader Ed Miliband. “It’s disappointing from a fellow Labour Party point of view,” said Little, “but there are a whole heap of issues in that election that I’m not sure I necessarily understand myself.”
The defeat has come as a surprise to Labour supporters following a tight race reflected in pre-election polls. Heading into the election, the polls suggested Labour would be neck and neck with the Conservatives, polling at 46 and 45 percent.
Little pointed out that polls were inaccurate and suggested they likely shaped the result of the election. “I just think part of the hoodwink was that these polls were telling us what was likely to happen and they can’t possibly do that because they’re just not detailed enough and sophisticated enough to pick up what’s happening electorate by electorate,”said Little.
David Clark, Dunedin North MP and Labour spokesperson for Economic Development, said: “It is disappointing that the UK Labour Party hasn’t been returned to government after a long break.”
Clark said the New Zealand Labour Party has close ties to the Australian and UK Labour parties. “It’s interesting for us to see across to the other side of the world the exercise they’re going through in order to see what we can learn from it as well.”
Miliband resigned the leadership following the election.