I really think some media don’t understand MMP. As Judy Kirk always said, it’s the party vote that counts.
The latest One News Colmar Brunton poll has National at 45%, Labour 42%, Greens 6% and NZ First 5%.
It is frankly incredible that National is at 45% after nine months in opposition, and having lost John Key, Bill English and Steven Joyce. The poll means that they have not lost any of their voters, despite going into opposition and the change of leadership.
Compare this to Labour in July 2009 – they were at 31% and National at 56%.
Now of course on this poll there would still be a centre-left majority. But you don’t have elections nine months after the last one. You have them three years later and Governments often lose support as they go.
If National can knock out one of the two support partners for Labour, it’s basically anyone’s game. If they can knock both out they win. If they both get back in, then Labour stays Government.
Instead of focusing on the party vote, some in the media are saying it is a bad poll for National because Simon Bridges is only 10% Preferred PM. Well’s that stupid. Preferred PM has some importance, but nowhere near as important as Party Vote.
Would you rather be at 45% PV and 10% PPM or 35% PV and 36% PPM?
Well the last scenario is what Helen Clark had the week before she lost the election.
I know media need to justify polls with a big headline but in reality this poll shows no real change, despite the huge media over the PM’s baby. No movements beyond the margin of error.
What is useful though is that it counters the various left insiders who claimed they had internal polling showing National had dropped below Labour in the party vote. This is I presume the same internal polling that claimed they were only 2% behind in Northcote and only 1% behind National the day before the 2017 election.
People should always treat any story quoting internal polling with suspicion, and yes that includes people who make claims about National’s internal polling.
As I have said before my expectation was that National in opposition would drop to around 35% and have to work itself up from there. To be at 45% is excellent. It means they have to climb around 3% instead of 13%.