Claire Trevett reports:
A poll on capital gains tax out this week provided the first glimpse of the political impact of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s handling of the Christchurch mosque shootings.
The Reid Research poll was commissioned by Business NZ, and intended to gauge public support for capital gains tax.
It began on March 15 – the same day as the terror attack. It ran until March 23 – two days after Ardern announced the detail of gun reforms at her post Cabinet press conference.
As part of it, the 1000 polled were also asked which party they supported.
Those figures showed Labour very nearly cracked the 50 per cent mark for support.
Once those who did not give a choice of party are taken out, Labour was on 49.6 per cent, National on 41.3 per cent and NZ First and the Green Party were languishing on 2.3 per cent and 3.9 per cent respectively.
In the last Newshub Reid Research poll from February, Labour was on 47.5 and National was on 41.6 per cent.
The poll literally started (by chance) on the day of the Christchurch terrorist attack. It is no surprise that Labour has gone up. The PM handled the attack very well. Labour should in fact go up in the polls when they do stuff well. And responding well to such an attack is of such importance, that I don’t begrudge any poll boost. To be blunt they deserve it.
But what is interesting is it was relatively modest. Here’s what the changes are from the last poll in February:
- Labour +2.1%
- National -0.3%
- NZ First -0.6%
- Greens -1.2%
So the increase for Labour has been mainly at the expense of NZ First and the Greens, who are both under the 5% threshold.
Those in National looking for a silver lining are pointing to the likes of US President George Bush, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Norway’s former leader Jens Stoltenberg who led their countries in times of great trial, but ended up losing elections on bread and butter issues such as jobs and taxes.
Labour are in a good position at the moment, but as the focus goes back on issues such as Kiwifarce, CGT, drug funding etc things could well change.