Labour and info graphics

Since we are now officially in an election campaign, the next few months will see a significant increase in the number of political info graphics being circulated on social media. Two from the Labour party have come to my attention. (National party info graphic post to come in a couple of hours.)

Firstly there is this one:



The first thing I find interesting about this is that the whole image is in a colour normally associated with the National Party. The comparison that is being used is rather meaningless. It provides no indication as to how much this debt apparently is. There is also now source mentioned for where they got this figure. The text with the image, in the body of the Tweet, also starts with the name of the National leader.


labour 2


This info graphic is better in some ways, however its main failing is being so text heavy. Images on social media need to be quick and simple to read, powerful and striking. Why are meme’s so successful? They are striking and simple. The same applies to political campaign images for social media.


Labour seem to have taken the response to their Kiwipower info graphic to heart and gone away from trying to use accurate graphs. However, in this case it weakens their message. Also, once again their citing of the source of the information is not that useful. It doesn’t tell people where to go and look for the information. However, on the info graphic that David Cunliffe posted about power prices, there is an exact citation for the source of the information.


Labour have done, and can do better, when it comes to info graphics. There needs to be consistency across their graphics.


Due to the nature of social media and political campaigns, people will attack the statistics or claims made.  Below are the links from the Press Release section of the Labour Party website to releases advocating against government spending cuts, or for increases in other spending areas. Social media allows people to respond to the graphics a party puts out. So that party needs to be prepared for direct responses that its target audience may see.


Steven Joyce must hold full independent inquiry

 DAVID CLARK | 12 MAR 2014