Identity politics trumped class politics in the 1970’s and has never gone away.
There are so many different factions within the left, all trying to protect the interests of the identity group that its MPs represent, that they are essentially eating their natural share of the vote up through identity politics.
In terms of policy, knowing that many swing voters have reasonable aversion to blatant identity politics, there exists an opportunity in New Zealand politics to move back towards class politics on the left.
The Greens were looking like they could move away from progressivism and environmentalism to take over the Labour Party’s “opposition” role, but they’re still not there because they haven’t divorced identity politics.
John Key will do anything for a 3rd term, so this analysis doesn’t apply to the National Party or ACT. He’s playing the “everything except raise the NZ Super eligibility age” strategy.
Despite the dismissal by the Radio New Zealand listening & tweeting elite, there are a lot of Waitakere men & women who make up the 800,000 non-voters who can’t find an identity champion for their socio-economic situation in 2013 New Zealand.