I’ve blogged at Curiablog the latest One News Colmar Brunton poll. It has National remaining at 49%.
For a couple of weeks now sections of the print media have been doing regular columns on how the Government is in crisis, has to regain control, running on empty, needs a circuit breaker to get past the malaise, MPs are so worried they’re having sleepless nights etc.
You’d think the Government was trailing the opposition, rather than being 18% ahead of Labour.
In fact half way through their seventh year, National is polling 4% higher than the 45% they entered office with in 2008. That is an exceptional result.
If we compare to the last Government, in May 2006 the Labour Government was at 38% and National opposition at 47%. So they were 9% behind, while the Government today is 18% ahead (or 9% ahead if you include Greens).
It would be interesting to look at news stories from May 2006 and see if they were describing the then Labour Government in as negative terms, as National has been described in the last few weeks.
Now this does not mean the Government is going to win the next election. Normally I’d say a party has no better than a 20% chance of getting a fourth term. However National’s current chances are a bit better than 50/50 I’d say. Far far from certain, but in a strong position.
Hopefully some of the commentary of the last few weeks may become more reality based – the reality being that what matters to most New Zealanders is very different to what excites the “beltway”. Once again, it is about the economy, jobs, incomes, schools, leadership, hospitals etc.
Tonight’s poll basically has no change in the party vote from February. The one area where there was significant change was Preferred PM. Andrew Little went down 1% to 11% and Winston went up 3% to 10%. So the main impact of the by-election has been Andrew Little coming close to ceding the title of opposition leader to Winston Peters. Labour may want to reflect on the difference between a strategic decision and a tactical one.