NZPA Political Editor Peter Wilson reviews the week (no link):
On Friday night another poll showed National holding more than 50 percent of the party vote and leading Labour by more than 20 points.
Three previous surveys during the last three weeks, taken by different polling organisations, delivered very similar results.
They all put National above 50 percent, they all showed the gap at more than 20 points.
Contrary to the Government’s comments, public opinion isn’t volatile.
It’s about a solid as it gets, and the message for Labour is about as bad as it gets.
How long will Helen keep rubbishing every single poll as extreme? And I note that the John Key attack site has stopped publishing poll results since mid May, after previously recording every single one.
The trucking industry’s protest against the latest rise in their road user charges — clogging up feeder routes into cities around the country — would normally have been expected to provoke confrontations with motorists on their way to work.
Very little of that happened, and although industry claims of nearly 100 percent public support were probably exaggerated the truckies were getting the thumbs up from drivers.
Most of them probably weren’t aware of the details behind the Government’s actions that had infuriated the industry but they knew one thing — the protest was about rising costs and the truckies were fed up.
People are fed up. They’re fed up with the price of petrol and the price of food. They’re fed up with the Reserve Bank using the mortgage rate to control inflation and they’re fed up with the slump in the housing market.
Well I doubt many understand how the Reserve Bank acts but they are certainly fed up with high prices, high interest rates and falling property prices.
Before that, many of them perceived the Government as bossy and interfering. The law change that banned smacking was the catalyst for a swing against Labour, although it was a Green Party bill.
The Electoral Finance Act was introduced late last year amid strident opposition protest and a rash of mostly bad publicity.
And they deserve to lose for both laws. The first for the blatant dishonestry around what they were doing, and the second for trying to silence its critics and legalise its own use of taxpayer money for campaigning without it counting towards their limit.
The budget in May this year delivered tax cuts, but it did nothing at all to improve the Government’s poll rating. The reaction seemed to be “thanks, but you should have given it to us three years ago”.
This set of circumstances has come about at a really bad time for a third term government, and the impact could be catastrophic.
Not just in terms of the party vote, but in individual electorates. It is possible one could see Labour reduced to a mere dozen or so electorate seats, if the electorate vote margin is similar to the party vote. And the challenge for Labour will be whether to protect incumbent MPs on the list or allow some new blood to come in.
Against this backdrop, Labour’s attacks on National’s leader John Key risk looking like desperate diversions.
Voters don’t want more negative news, they want to hear something that will make them believe things are going to get better.
They are looking to National and John Key to deliver it, and whether or not he sold his family trust shares in Tranz Rail before or after he asked a question in Parliament about the railways isn’t going to make a damn bit of difference.
Yes, Labour’s biggest concern. That plus Crosby/Textor.Tags: NZ Politics, NZPA, Peter Wilson