The two latest polls will increase the pressure on David Shearer. I actually think it would be silly for Labour to panic over polls just six months after an election. Rebuilding and changing a brand takes time. Their biggest challenge is not their leadership but defining what they stand for.
However it is clear there are rumblings in Labour. The Standard and Tumeke have both run posts openly disscussing whether there will be a leadership challenge. It is also clear from reading comments that many Auckland activists still think that the caucus erred in not choosing David Cunliffe, who arguably was the party’s preferred candidate.
Also Steve Gray has blogged (in less diplomatic terms than expressed here) that the Wellington gay community has been discussing that Grant Robertson will challenge Shearer in the near future.
I may be wrong, but I don’t think that anything will happen this year. But neither is Shearer guaranteed to the election, as Goff pretty much was. I think the danger zone would be early next year, if Labour stay flatlined all year.
The problem for Shearer is that he may now be in a vicious cycle. The more speculation over the leadership, the harder it is to get resonance with the public. However it is worth noting he is still being given a fair chance by the public. Only 26% say they think he is performing poorly, while Goff’s comparative figure peaked at 54% performing poorly.