Colin Espiner comments on the latest TVNZ poll and what he thinks National and Labour’s internal polls saying they show National ahead by 10% to 12%, which is the average of the recent public polls.
In fact the average of the five public polls in June has a gap of 14%, down from 17% in May..
The Greens also appear to be developing a trend, having dropped from an average of over 9% late last year to just above 6% last month.
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Colin has some fairly harsh views on ACT:
ACT is rating a pathetic 0.3%, just above the fringe parties like Destiny NZ (0.2%) and Libertarianz (0.1%).
Gee, that kind of support really repays the faith ACT has shown in leader Rodney Hide’s new warm and cuddly approach, doesn’t it? Ever since Hide dumped his “perkbuster” role and went on Dancing with the Stars, ACT’s poll ratings have slumped. He might be a nicer guy, but voters no longer have a reason to vote ACT.
Signing the code of conduct along with Parliament’s hand-wringers and cuddling up to Labour is just going to make things worse. Hide reasons that he wants to turn ACT into an MMP party that can work with anyone. But Parliament already has plenty of those – New Zealand First and United Future, to name but two.
ACT’s point of difference was that it was an out-and-out, ideologically pure (well, mostly) libertarian party of the Right. It was a natural coalition partner for National. Its MPs knew what it stood for and so did the public. It only ever polled 5 or 6% of the vote, but that’s still 15 times what it is polling now.
ACT founder Sir Roger Douglas, always a man who calls a spade a spade, told it like it was at the weekend, describing ACT’s new relationship with Labour as a joke. He’s right. Unless Hide takes the party back out to the Right where it belongs, he’s going to find himself as the lone MP for Epsom in 2008.
I think Colin is being a too harsh here. I share his views that trying to be just another MMP minor party won’t work well as NZ First and United Future are there already. But I don’t think one can say all of ACT’s poll problems are post DWTS. Yes ACT got 5%+ in 96, 99 and 02 but in 2005 they got under 2% partly due to Don Brash. They have not been over 2% since the election, and in terms of monthly averages their high has been 1.6% and June 2007 is 1.0%, so again one can’t say it as as simple as Rodney going back to the old perkbuster from hell.
I actually think Rodney and ACT are being brave at trying to find a way to increase their ratings. I’m not convinced their choices have been the correct ones but there is no reward without risk. I would like a strong ACT party to be part of a future National led Government. So would many in National. But the way to achieve that is out on the right where John Key has nicely left you lots of space to play in.