Lloyd Burr: Jacinda who? Labour's new duo debuts at Victoria University

OPINION: Labour's new leadership team had their first ever public debut on Thursday - and it revealed Jacinda Ardern maybe isn't as popular as everyone thinks.

Even in the left-wing safe zone of Victoria University's Kelburn campus, hardly any students knew who she was.

Leader Andrew Little on the other hand, was recognised by almost everyone.

It was an eye opener for the new deputy leader, who's been touted time and time again as bringing something to the table that Mr Little apparently lacked: popularity.

But not on Thursday among the hundreds of students celebrating Orientation Week.

Newshub randomly asked 17 students if they knew who Andrew Little was. Nine knew he was leader, five knew he was a Labour MP and three had never heard of him.

We did the same with Jacinda Ardern: 10 people didn't know who she was, five knew she was deputy leader, one thought she was co-leader, and one knew she was an MP, but didn't know about her promotion.

"Look, I wouldn't expect everyone to know who I was," Ms Ardern said. "Part of my campaign opportunity is to make sure I go out and get amongst all of the student groups."

Andrew Little was happy with his level of recognition. "It's a very good sign and I'm very pleased," he said.

But don't get me wrong - from what I saw today, I believe the pair will be a force to be reckoned with when the campaign ramps up.

But Ms Ardern's lack of recognition with students will be a little worrying for Labour's hierarchy.

She's meant to be the party's shining star who can attract big crowds of young people, who overwhelm her with selfie requests.

She's meant to be Labour's golden girl who would instantly add popularity, charisma, humour and life to 'Brand Little'. 

It wasn't like that on Thursday. Yes, there were people asking for photos (and they far outnumbered the requests former leader David Cunliffe got at the last election). But it wasn't the instant 'Jacinda Ardern Factor' that many - including myself - were predicting.

It's early days. And the pair did look good today. I just had higher expectations.

Newshub.

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