A Steal

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AUCKLAND, Today: Labour not only won the 2020 election but also the marketing battle as it scooped up around half the nation’s votes despite spending far less than National, according to a report by NZ Herald business reporter Chris Keall.

Keall writes: “Nielsen has tallied political parties’ year-to-date ad spending, and it reveals National, on $2.8 million (just over half the $5.4m total), spent the most overall, and the most per-seat, as it crashed to its second-worst total of the MMP era.

“The Nielson numbers exclude social media, but figures for July to September Facebook and Instagram spending show a similar pattern online, with National also the biggest spender.

“National won 35 seats on the night (which could slip to 34 after half a million special votes are finally counted if there is a similar trend to 2017) and received 638,606 list votes. That means the party spent $80,560 on traditional media for every seat it won or $4.42 per vote.

“Labour paid $1.11 per vote (excluding social media) to National’s $4.42.”

“Labour spent $1.3 million and won 64 seats (which could rise to 65) and, with those half-million specials still to be factored in, has 1,171,544 list votes. In other words, the party spend $20,250 per electorate won, or $1.11 per vote.

“NZ First, which clattered out of Parliament with zero seats got the wooden spoon. It spent $298,000 or $4.69 per vote for its 63,534 list votes.

“The Greens were the most cost-effective, spending just $1990 per seat and 11c per list vote – but their numbers do inflate when social media is factored in (see below), there they spent four times as much as traditional media in September alone.

“ACT also got strong bang-for-buck, albeit against a backdrop where it was always poised to make gains as David Seymour’s euthanasia push gained majority support and the party benefited from disaffection with National on the right.

“It spent an average $27,270 per seat won (10) and $1.43 per vote.”

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