Coalition options

September 3rd, 2014 at 8:27 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The latest TV3 poll could see either National or Labour forming a Government.

But Labour could do only with the support of four other parties.

National could do so with the support of just one other party, either the Maori Party or New Zealand First.

National would be able to form a Government very similar to the current one, with the support of the Maori Party, Act and United Future on confidence and supply.

Labour would need both the Maori Party and New Zealand First, plus the Greens and Internet Mana.

Labour would actually need six parties including themselves as Mana and Internet only have a temporary alliance.

That means a Labour-led Government would need to get Labour, Greens, NZ First, Mana, Maori and Internet parties to all agree on something in order to be able to make a decision and progress law changes.

Think about that.

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Flavell massively ahead in Waiariki

September 1st, 2014 at 5:41 pm by David Farrar

A Maori TV poll just released of Waiariki has incumbent MP Te Ururoa Flavell on 50%, Annette Sykes from Mana on 21% and the Labour candidate on 17%.

Polls can be out, and Maori seats are hard to poll, but I think there is little doubt that the Maori Party will be back in Parliament. They are also marginally ahead in Te Tai Hauauru. I suspect Tamaki Makaurau may be very close also.

Depending on their party vote, they could get List MPs also. But I don’t think enough to make Tame Iti an MP!


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Debate polls

August 29th, 2014 at 8:05 am by David Farrar

Rachel Cunliffe blogs at Stats Chat on how meaningless opt in polls are. Three different opt in polls or surveys had Key ahead by 22%, Cunliffe ahead by 1% and Cunliffe ahead by 27%. They are NOT scientific.

I was on a plane so did not see the debate, but consensus seems to be David Cunliffe did well, apart from interjecting a bit too much. That is as I predicted.

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Latest poll

August 28th, 2014 at 3:44 pm by David Farrar

Have blogged the latest NZ Herald Digipoll at Curiablog.


This is the latest time and size weighted average of the public polls.


Maori Party ahead in Te Tai Hauāuru

August 28th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

I’ve blogged at Curiablog the results of a Maori TV poll on Te Tai Hauāuru.

This is the seat held by Tariana Turia. Labour and almost all the pundits have been claiming it will be an easy win for Labour. I’ve never been so sure, as I think personal loyalty to Turia will still play a part in this election – even though she is retiring.

The poll showed the Maori Party candidate ahead by 3%. That shows it will be a close race. With a 500 person sample, it means there is an 81% chance McKenzie is actually leading.

Maori TV are polling all seven Maori seats. Lots of interest in the seats held by Flavell, Sharples (retiring) and Harawira. They may decide who gets to govern!

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Is it 2002 all over again?

August 27th, 2014 at 6:22 pm by David Farrar

The latest 3 News poll has National down 2.5% to 45%, but Labour dropping even more (2.6%) to 26.4%. That is even lower than their 2011 result. So in National’s worst week, Labour drops even further.

There is volatility in the polls, but at this stage it is not people going from right to left. It is a transfer of votes within the right and left blocs. National losing to Conservatives and Labour losing to Greens and Winston.

The Conservatives at 4.6% is great news for them. Now it is just one poll, and let’s see what the others say. But it gives them what they need – relevance.

People will wonder what is the impact on the outcome if they made 5%? Well here is the result with them on 4.6% and 5.0%.

Conservatives 4.6%

Centre-Right 59 seats (Nat 57, ACT 1, UF1)

Centre-Left 53 seats (Lab 33, Greens 17, Internet Mana 3)

Centre 11 seats (NZ First 8, Maori 3)

This means National would need the Maori Party to govern, and Labour would need both NZ First and the Maori Party (plus Greens, Mana)

Conservatives 5.0%

Centre-Right 62 seats (Nat 54,  Conservatives 6, ACT 1, UF1)

Centre-Left 51 seats (Lab 32, Greens 16, Internet Mana 3)

Centre 11 seats (NZ First 8, Maori 3)

This means National would still need the Maori Party (or NZ First) to govern, but Labour would be unable to govern under any combination.


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Has Labour’s bribe backfired on them?

August 22nd, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Labour’s support among the elderly has slumped despite making free GP visits for pensioners the centrepiece of its election campaign launch recently.

A breakdown of the party vote according to age suggests a dramatic fall from 29.3 per cent among pensioners in last month’s poll to just 17.6 per cent in today’s poll.

Once the poll results are broken into age groups they are simply indicative.

But what makes the movement more credible is that New Zealand First, which assiduously courts the grey vote, has gone from 4.7 per cent support among the over 65-year-olds last month to 8.9 per cent of the older vote in today’s poll.

We can estimate how significant these changes are.

We don’t know how many over 65s were in the poll sample of 750, but let’s estimate 200.

A fall from 29.3% to 17.6% has a 99.3% chance of being a true fall, and only a 0.7% chance of being just random sample differences. So it is safe to conclude Labour has fallen in support from over 65s despite their bribe.

An increase from 4.7% to 8.9% has a 94.8% chance of being a true increase, so it is likely they have gained support from over 65s.

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The Herald Pref PM rating

August 21st, 2014 at 6:12 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

John Key’s popularity has dived by 8.5 points in the first political poll since Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics was released, according to a Herald DigiPoll survey.

Mr Key is still well ahead of Labour Leader David Cunliffe but Mr Cunliffe has jumped by 4.1 points.

Mr Key is preferred Prime Minister by 64.8 per cent, compared with Mr Cunliffe on 14.6 per cent.

The figures do not necessarily reflect the party vote standings which will be released in tomorrow’s Herald.

What this story doesn’t mention until later on is Key’s rating jumped 8% in the last poll, so this takes it back to where it was two polls ago. Here’s his rating since the 2011 election:

  • Apr 2012 64%
  • Jun 2012 64%
  • Sep 2012 66%
  • Mar 2013 63%
  • Jun 2013 65%
  • Sep 2013 56%
  • Dec 2013 62%
  • Mar 2014 67%
  • Jun 2014 66%
  • Jul 2014 73%
  • Aug 2014 65%

I’ve never known the Herald to release one part of their poll before the main poll. My guess is that the party vote figures have not moved much, so they released this early to try and get a bad news story in, to justify their frenzy over the Hager book.

National were at 55% in the party vote last poll. There is no way they’ll be that high again. The two polls before that were 50% and 51% so anything at or above that level would be pretty good in my view. And recall this poll is taken entirely after the Hager book was released.


Greens and Labour in Canterbury

August 18th, 2014 at 6:04 am by David Farrar

Georgina Stylianou at Stuff reports:

Cantabrians appear more likely to vote Green than people anywhere else in the country, a new poll suggests.

Data from the political poll shows the Green Party gained 8.8 percentage points, according to surveys done at the start of this month, putting the party on 21.2 per cent support in Canterbury against a national average of 11.3 per cent. …

 Labour lost traction in Canterbury for the second month in a row, with the latest data putting it on 14.2 per cent, down 10 percentage points. Last month, Labour lost 3 percentage points while National gained the same amount. National is polling at just over 55 per cent – down 4 percentage points from July – of the Canterbury party vote. …

Right-wing blogger and commentator David Farrar said the Greens and Labour had been competing for the same votes.

At a regional level, the data had a higher margin of error so to “say Canterbury is more Green . . . will require them to stay at that level for another month or so,” Farrar said.

Only 108 people in the poll were from Canterbury. That is a 9.4% margin of error

Greens went from 12.3% to 21.2%. There is a 94.7% chance their vote actually lifted.

Labour went from 17.2% to 14.2%. There is a 71.1% chance their vote actually dropped.

There is an 89.1% chance that the Greens are actually polling higher than Labour in Canterbury.

So none of these are at 95% confidence, but they are more likely than not by some distance.

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Two more polls

August 17th, 2014 at 7:45 pm by David Farrar


Details of the two TV polls out tonight are at Curiablog. The weighted average of the polls is shown above.


Labour hits new low

August 15th, 2014 at 6:36 am by David Farrar

No we’re not talking their tactics, but their poll ratings.

The latest Fairfax Ipsos poll has Labour down to 22.5%. I’e blogged the summary at Curiablog.

The gap between the right and left blocs is 27 seats.

Labour’s support by demographic is:

  • Men 18%
  • Women 27%
  • Auckland 25%
  • Upper NI 16%
  • Wellington 23%
  • Lower NI 30%
  • Canterbury 14%
  • SI 27%
  • Under 30s 26%
  • 30 to 44 25%
  • 45 to 64 21%
  • 65+ 19%

Note this poll was taken after their announcement of free GP visits for elderly New Zealanders, and after their campaign launch which is meant to be what gives you a boost in the polls.

There’s going to some very nervous Labour List MPs on this result, who will be cursing the unions and activists for their choice of leader.


July public polls

August 12th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar


Have published the monthly newsletter summarising the public polls. Labour’s trend continues. The executive summary is:

There were six political polls in July – two Roy Morgans, a One News Colmar Brunton, a 3 News Reid Research, a Herald DigiPoll and a Fairfax Ipsos.

The average of the public polls has National 25% ahead of Labour in July, up 2% from June and up 11% from April. The current seat projection is centre-right 68 seats, centre-left 52 which would see a centre-right Government.

In Australia Tony Abbott’s net approval rating has risen 14% in the wake of the shooting down of MH370.

In the United States the country direction falls to a massive net -40%. 

In the UK David Cameron’s ratings are improving, as is the contry direction. Scottish independence polls show the no vote ahead by 5% to 14% with an average 9% gap.

In Canada the Liberals have opened up a large lead over the Conservatives, and would be able to form a minority government on current polls.

The normal two tables are provided comparing the country direction sentiment, head of government and opposition leader approval sentiment for the five countries. 

We also carry details of polls in New Zealand on fat tax, health food ratings, school policies, the man apology, the Mana/Internet party plus the normal business and consumer confidence polls.

 This newsletter is normally only available by e-mail.  If you would like to receive future issues, please go to to subscribe yourself.


Labour third in Epsom

August 10th, 2014 at 6:17 pm by David Farrar

One News reports:

Six weeks out from the election and the National Party is leading the way in the Epsom electorate, a poll has revealed today.

A Colmar Brunton poll carried out by TVNZ’s Q + A programme sees National sitting with a comfortable lead in the Epsom electorate, with 60% of those polled in the electorate saying they would vote for National in the election.

The Green Party, in second place, trailed far behind with only 16% of Epsom voters saying they would give their party vote to the Greens.

Labour were 3rd on 14%.

This makes you wonder how many other seats or areas now have Labour in 3rd place for the party vote? The Greens will be very happy, and Labour should be quite worried.

When polled on who they would vote for with their electorate vote, 44% of Epsom voters said they would vote for National MP Paul Goldsmith while 32% said they would vote for Act Party candidate David Seymour.

When asked if they were aware that Prime Minister John Key is encouraging National Party supporters to give their electorate vote to the Act Party candidate, 70% said they were.

When asked if this would change who they would give their electorate vote to, 45% said they would vote for Act’s David Seymour, while 31% said they would still vote for National’s Paul Goldsmith.

That looks pretty comfortable for David Seymour. ACT have never actually led in a public pre-election poll in Epsom despite winning in 2005, 2008 and 2011.  So for them to be ahead six weeks out is a pretty strong signal that they will win the seat.

This means that a vote for ACT will not be a wasted vote. Last time they got 1.1%. If they get 0.1% more and get 1.2% then they get a second MP.

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Voters reject Labour’s class size policy as best use of money

July 23rd, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

New Zealanders would rather money was spent on improving teaching standards than on reducing class sizes, a Herald-DigiPoll survey reveals.

Education has become a political battleground before September’s election, with both major parties promising to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on it.

Asked about their priorities, more than 60 per cent of those polled said they would spend money on trying to improve teaching standards rather than cutting class sizes.

Labour has included reducing class sizes in its election policies.

Another of its policies, a promise to pay schools which do not ask parents for donations, gained support in the poll.

National has pledged $359 million for a scheme that would pay the best teachers and principals more.

Labour countered by promising to use that money to instead hire 2000 more teachers and reduce class sizes.

Asked about those policies, 61 per cent of those polled said the money was better spent on trying to improve teaching standards.

Thirty-five per cent thought it should be used to cut class sizes.

Excellent. Voters understand quality is more important than quantity.

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Labour at 15 year low in Herald Digipoll

July 20th, 2014 at 11:16 am by David Farrar

Another day, another rogue poll. At what point will Labourites accept they are polling well under 30%?

The Herald reports:

Labour’s support has slumped to its worst rating for 15 years in the latest DigiPoll survey, putting critical pressure on leader David Cunliffe.

Its 26.5 per cent support is a slide of four points since June.

With just two months to the election, Labour could slip into the disastrous territory held by National in 2002, when it polled 20.93 per cent in the face of the highly popular Labour Government.

On this poll of decided voters National would be able to govern alone comfortably and gain another 10 MPs.

National has jumped 4.5 points to 54.9 per cent. A Stuff/Ipsos poll earlier this week also put support for National at 54.8 per cent.

Prime Minister John Key is more popular than he has ever been, scoring preferred prime minister on 73.3 per cent, compared with Cunliffe on 10.5 per cent and New Zealand First’s Winston Peters on 5.5 per cent.

Its a good result but with MMP the guy preferred with 10.3% can beat the guy preferred by 73.3%. Labour could poll in the 20s yet still form a Government. There is no room for complacency. Every vote is important.

Labour’s total support is down from 30.5 per cent in June, but it is disproportionately down among male voters, with only 23.9 per cent of men backing Labour, compared with 29.1 per cent of women.

I apologise for polling so badly as a man.

Political commentator Chris Trotter said the poll indicated Labour was “more or less bereft of hope”.

“Labour is in an extremely parlous position, and the situation is deteriorating.”

I never regard someone as dead until I have chopped the head off, put a stake through the head and burnt the corpse. A lot can still happen in 62 days.

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Two new polls

July 17th, 2014 at 7:41 am by David Farrar

Two new polls out in the last 24 hours. A Roy Morgan last night and a Fairfax Ipsos poll this morning.


This shows the current size and time weighted average of all the public polls.

Labour have been in the 20s in the last seven polls. The last two polls had them at 23.5% and 24.9%. The average of all polls has them polling below what they got in 2011. By comparison in Sep 2011 they were polling at 32.5% so they are now polling 7% lower than at the same stage of 2011.

This is no reason to be complacent, as National always drops away when in Government during an election campaign. However it is hard to see how Labour can credibly form a Government if they get a result in the 20s, even if it becomes mathematically possible.

Just 65 days to go until the election.


June public polls

July 6th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar


Look at that trend!

The summary of the monthly polling newsletter is:

There were a whopping seven political polls in June – three Roy Morgans, a One News Colmar Brunton, a 3 News Reid Research, a Herald DigiPoll and a Fairfax Ipsos.

The average of the public polls has National 23% ahead of Labour in June, up 5% from May and up 9% April. The current seat projection is centre-right 67 seats, centre-left 53 which would see a centre-right Government.

In Australia Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s approval ratings fall from +6% to -11%, but despite this Labour increases their two party preferred lead to 10%.

In the United States the country direction gets more negative and President Obama’s approval ratings fall in all three major policy areas. 

In the UK Labour has a narrow 4% lead over the Conservatives but Ed Miliband continues to have awful approval ratings, dropping to -45%. Scottish independence polls show the no vote ahead by 3% to 19% with an average 12% gap.

In Canada the Conservatives are now projected to win more seats than the Liberals, despite being behind in the polls.

The normal two tables are provided comparing the country direction sentiment and head of government approval sentiment for the five countries. A new third table has been added, comparing approval ratings for opposition leaders in the four countries that have one.

We also carry details of polls in New Zealand on coalitions, Team NZ, Maui’s Dolphins, most important issues, MMP, tax cuts, National’s leadership, the Mana/Internet alliance, political fundraising, capital gains tax, cannabis and immigration, plus the normal business and consumer confidence polls.

This newsletter is normally only available by e-mail.  If you would like to receive future issues, please go to to subscribe yourself.



Latest poll

June 26th, 2014 at 6:41 pm by David Farrar

I’ve blogged at Curiablog the latest poll results from 3 News Reid Research.


This is the average of all the recent polls, weighted for size and recency.


Labour hits 23%

June 19th, 2014 at 7:17 am by David Farrar

I’ve blogged at Curiablog the results of the latest Fairfax Ipsos poll which has Labour plummet to 23% and National up 9% to 56%.

It is important to note that this poll was taken BEFORE yesterday’s revelations that Cunliffe denial’s about involvement with secret Labour Party donor Dong Liu were false. God knows where they would be today, except to say they seem well place to beat National’s record low of 21% in 2002.

Stuff says Labour would be reduced to 29 seats on this poll. They have (effectively) 23 electorate seats so that means they would get only six list MPs. Of course it might be fewer than that if NZ First does make 5% and/or they win any extra Maori seats.

So who loses their seat on this poll:

Kelvin Davis, Carol Beaumont, Rajen Prasad, Moana Mackey and Andrew Little all go, plus no replacements for Jones, Fenton and Prasad,

The MP on the verge of losing her seat is Jacinda Ardern.  But she could be saved by Labour’s gender equity rule. For this election 47% of caucus must be female.   That means at least 14 of the 29 MP must be female.  Of Labour’s 23 electorate seats (I include Kelston), nine are female. So 5 of the 6 List MPs must be female. So David Parker would just keep his seat, but all other male List MPs would be gone.


Danyl on the polls

June 18th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Danyl Mc blogs:

What jumps out at me here is the comparison with the last election. Labour are trending down, just like last time – but now their votes are (mostly) going to National, not the Greens. Which makes sense to me: we have no idea what National plans to do in its third term, but that lack of vision is still preferable to being governed by a collection of left-wing parties who all hate each other but want to run the country together.

Nicely stated.

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Latest poll

June 17th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The Internet-Mana Party would get two seats in Parliament based on the first major poll since the two parties cut a deal to stand together.

But, three months shy of the election, Labour is still struggling and the left bloc is well adrift from National, which could easily govern alone based on theHerald-DigiPoll survey.

The results for the Mana Party, Internet Party and Internet-Mana Party totalled 1.4 per cent in the survey – a modest start for the newly launched party which was the centre of attention in the lead-up to the polling period.

That is enough to get new Internet Party leader Laila Harre into Parliament if Mana leader Hone Harawira holds his Te Tai Tokerau electorate.

But the votes appear to have been at the expense of the Green Party which dropped to 11 per cent, down 2.5 points since the last Herald-DigiPoll survey in March.

One extra MP for Mana, and three less MPs for the Greens. I’ll take that!

That will worry the Greens, especially if Internet-Mana, bankrolled with $3 million from Kim Dotcom, starts to pick up more momentum.


With a party vote based on the poll of 50.4 per cent, National maintains a strong lead and is 20 points ahead of Labour which is up one to 30.5 per cent. National would have 64 seats, enough to govern without any support partners and 10 more seats than the left bloc of Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana.

95 days to go.


NZ public poll methodologies

June 10th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar


Andrew at Grumpollie has put together this very useful table showing the different methodologies of the five public pollsters (I don’t count Horizon) in NZ.

Russell Brown at Public Address noted:

One big advantage for the political Left of John Banks’ sorry experience with the courts last week is that it meant people weren’t talking about the Left’s really awful result in the latest Roy Morgan poll.

Morgan has National up seven points to 52.5% support, and Labour and the Greens both down to a combined 38%. The Greens shed 4.5 points to slump to 9% support, their lowest level since 2011. This will hurt at The Standard and the Daily Blog, where Roy Morgan polls and their inclusion of mobile phones are something of an article of faith.

It’s possible that this is an outlier poll — it does, after all, show Act doubling its support — but while Gary Morgan’s commentary on the results is typically bonkers, there’s nothing in particular wrong with the company’s methodology. And, significantly, the swing is reflected in the regular Government Confidence Rating (whether New Zealand is “heading in the right direction” or not.) It simply looks like a very healthy post-Budget poll for National.

But a friend put another interpretation to me on Friday: that the public has had a look at Internet-Mana and decided a potential centre-left coalition is really not to its taste. Perhaps Labour has internal polling to similar effect, explaining the spluttering reaction of of a number of Labour MPs to the prospect of cooperating with the party of Kim Dotcom and Laila Harre.

The commentary on the Roy Morgan polls is generally hilarious, and somewhat removed from reality. This doesn’t mean their polls are inaccurate.

However what Andrew’s table shows is that we know very little about how they conduct their polls – which would help people make a judgement on reliability.

The other four pollsters have signed up to the NZ Political Polling Code. This requires signatories to publicly release significant aspects of their methodologies. This is an important step for transparency. Roy Morgan has not signed up to the code, and we don’t know a lot about how their polls are done. We don’t even know if they weight the polls to the NZ adult population.

This doesn’t mean their polls are wrong, just as it doesn’t mean pollsters who have signed up will always get it right. For example a poll I did on attitudes to smoking and lung cancer found a lower prevalence rate for smoking than the census. Now the census figure is almost certainly the more accurate, so the difference may be down to how people respond to a phone poll vs a census, or it may be that even with weighting we under-surveyed current smokers. Good pollsters will always be critiquing their own methodology and considering how to enhance or review it.

It would be a very good thing if Roy Morgan did release more information on their methodology, so people can understand their results better in the right context.

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Latest poll

June 5th, 2014 at 3:18 pm by David Farrar

The latest Roy Morgan poll is here.

  • National 52.5% (+7%)
  • Labour 29.0% (-1.5%)
  • Greens 9.0% (-4.5%)
  • NZ First 4.5% (-1.5%)
  • Maori 1.5% (+0.5%)
  • Act 1.0% (+0.5%)
  • Conservative 1.0% (nc)
  • Mana/Internet 1.0% (-0.5%)
  • United 0% (nc)

Also right direction is 64.5% (+4.5%), wrong direction 24.0% (-4.0%).

Only one poll and Roy Morgan always bounces around a lot. But still quite a result.


Public Polls May 2014

June 1st, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar


That trend for Labour is very pronounced!

The newsletter summary is:

Curia’s Polling Newsletter – Issue 77, May 2014

 There were just four political polls in May – a Roy Morgan, a One News Colmar Brunton, a 3 News Reid Research and a Fairfax Ipsos.

The average of the public polls has National 19% ahead of Labour in May, up 5% from April. The current seat projection is centre-right 62 seats, centre-left 52 which would see a centre-right Government.

In Australia PM Tony Abbott’s approval rating has plummeted in the aftermath of the Budget. In one month it has gone from a net -10% to a net -29%. Two months ago he was 6% ahead as Preferred PM, and now is 11% behind Bill Shorten.

In the United States little change in the US this month, despite the scandal over veterans’ care. 

In the UK Labour has a narrow 3% lead over the Conservatives but Ed Miliband continues to have awful approval ratings. The UKIP was the big winner in the Council and European elections. Scottish independence polls show the no vote ahead by 7% to 12% with an average 10% gap.

In Canada the Liberals and Conservatives are projected to be almost neck and neck in terms of likely seats won.

The normal two tables are provided comparing the country direction sentiment and head of government approval sentiment for the five countries. A new third table has been added, comparing approval ratings for opposition leaders in the four countries that have one.

We also carry details of polls in New Zealand on the Budget, immigration, house prices, interest rates, spending, marriage and smacking plus the normal business and consumer confidence polls.

This newsletter is normally only available by e-mail.  If you would like to receive future issues, please go to to subscribe yourself.




Editorials on polls

May 27th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Press editorial:

Political opinion polls come so thick and fast during an election year it is tempting to pass over them with indifference.

The results of two announced at the weekend, though, were so contrary to conventional political wisdom that they demanded attention. …

A well-received Budget took the heat off last week, but the consensus was that the first opinion polls taken while those events were still fresh in voters’ minds would punish the Government.

The outcome was quite different – not only were National and the Prime Minister up and Labour, its leader David Cunliffe and most Opposition parties down, National would, if the results were translated into votes at the election, win sufficient seats not to need a support party. 

The well-received Budget may explain part of it. One of the polls found that even two-thirds of those who identified themselves as Labour supporters backed it.

But another part of the explanation for the poll results may be that what transfixes those in the Wellington political bubble can often be less than earth-shattering in the wider world where most voters live.

I think that is right.  I think Labour especially suffers from Wellingtonitis because so few of its MPs come from provincial areas. The test is what the mums are talking about at the school gates or what the chatter is in the smoko rooms. Almost none of them were talking Oravida.

The Herald editorial:

So much for Oravida, Judith Collins, Maurice Williamson. National’s troubles of the past two months have evaporated in two separate public opinion polls taken since the Budget. Colmar Brunton, for TVNZ, and Reid Research for TV3, both find more than half of their sample intending to vote National. This must be devastating for Labour, whose sustained barrage on Ms Collins in Parliament over the past two months does not appear to have moved any votes.

They have moved votes. From Labour to National.

Four months out from the election, Labour is the party in trouble. It ought to be polling well above 30 per cent by this stage to have much hope of success in September. If its result is not 10 or more points higher at the election, it must be doubted it could lead a credible government.

David Cunliffe said his aim is to poll higher than National – at a minimum get into the 40s. 116 days to go.

Labour leader David Cunliffe said of the latest polls, it is “still fairly early days” and they would “bounce right back again”. It is very late in the day. Most voters make up their minds well before the election campaign begins, though it is true that campaigns restore voters’ usual loyalties. Labour is likely to do better than 30 per cent, National will almost certainly fall short of 50 per cent.

But right now the prospects for Labour could hardly look worse. It has fired its best shots in the past two months and the voters are unmoved. The economy is growing, the Prime Minister is popular and so far there is no prevailing mood for change.

But as both editorial say, Labour might make it through a Labour-Greens-NZ First-Mana-Dotcom alliance.

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