The Herald reports:
Act leader David Seymour has overtaken National Party leader Judith Collins as preferred Prime Minister in a new UMR poll, a result described as “unprecedented” by the polling company.
The UMR July poll for showed Seymour had risen to 12 per cent as preferred Prime Minister, leapfrogging Collins who was on 10 per cent.
There is no doubt David Seymour is doing well. He has become a formidable political figure, and his caucus is staying on message.
National has had a tough few weeks. I actually think Judith has been fronting well on issues. and has taken clear stands on important issues. But there has been a lot of baggage which has disrupted National from getting publicity on the issues they want to.
The poll noted that was “an unprecedented result” in its poll – the first time an Act leader had out-polled a National Party leader.
It isn’t really unprecedented, not in terms of a third party leader outpolling a major party leader.
Take 1994 when Helen Clark was Leader of the Labour Party. Not only wasn’t she 2nd in Preferred PM polls. She was 6th!! The range in 1994 in the ONCB poll was:
- Jim Anderton 17% to 26%
- Jim Bolger 12% to 20%
- Winston Peters 9% to 13%
- Mike Moore 8% to 16%
- David Lange 4% to 9%
- Helen Clark 2% to 6%
So Clark was behind two former Labour Leader, and two Minor Party Leaders. She went on to do quite well.
I am not saying that the situation is the same. I am just pointing out that it is far from unprecedented.