This paper uses data from the New Zealand Election Survey to examine how the prevalence of different issues in party manifestos affects both how individuals perceive the ideology of these parties and which party for whom they voted. We examine whether the impact of eight different types of issues varies by each individual’s gender, age, qualifications, ethnicity and income. New Zealand is an ideal country for examining this question as it has a unicameral legislature which is elected using a Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system. Hence, each party’s share of the seats in Parliament roughly mirrors its share of the overall nationwide party vote. Furthermore, any party with at least a 5% overall vote share or one directly elected member is represented in Parliament, which typically results in between five and eight parties being included.