Colin Espiner analyses the PM’s reaction to the polls:
Prime Minister Helen Clark is refusing to accept the latest round of poll results.
It seems that now not only is Fairfax’s Nielsen poll wrong, but TVNZ’s Colmar Brunton as well, and even the Australian Roy Morgan poll, once a Labour favourite.
I guess it’s nice to be in such esteemed company, given that the three pollsters are probably amongst the biggest in Australasia. It does make me wonder, though. I thought Clark was smarter than to deny the polls. Much better to accept there is a problem and try to deal with it than refuse to accept it is staring one in the face.
This is what the Prime Minister used to do. I remember when Labour fell well behind National during Don Brash’s meteoric rise to popularity after he took over as leader in 2003. Clark quickly realised that Labour’s affirmative action policies for Maori were a major turnoff for voters, and after initially calling Brash a racist she accepted that Labour had got it wrong and changed tack accordingly.
This tacking according to the prevailing wind has always been a hallmark of Clark’s leadership, and it surprises me to find her so becalmed. There really is no point in saying that three major polls are all wrong – much better to study them to find out why the results are so poor for Labour.
Clark’s strategic nous (which I agree used to be very good) seemed to have deserted her in 2006 and this shows it has not returned.Tags: Colin Espiner, Helen Clark, Polls