Polls show Labour in big trouble.

Over the last three days two polls have been released showing big leads for National over Labour. The first is a NZ Herald-Digi-Poll. The results are as follows:
National: 50.9%- 64 seats.
Labour: 33.6%- 43 seats.
Greens: 6.1%- 8 seats.
NZ First: 3.2%- 0 seats.
Maori Party: 1.7%- 4 seats (2 overhang).
United Future: 0.8%- 1 seat.
Act: 0.7%- 1 seat.
Progressives: 0.4%- 1 seat.
Destiny: 1.5%- 0 seats.
I emailed Andrey Young for the results of the smaller parties, which are not mentioned in the original article. the seat calculations above are asuming no seats change hands. If NZ First wins an electorate, it will have 4 seats, National will go down to 63 seats and Labour down to 41, and the Progressive seat becoming an overhang.

There is more bad news for Labour in the latest One News Colmar-Brunton poll. The results are:
National: a massive 56% with 70 seats.
Labour: 31% with only 38 seats.
Greens: 6%- 7 seats.
NZ First: 2%- 0 seats.
Maori Party: 3%- 4 seats (1 overhang).
United Future: 1%- 1 seat.
Act: 1%- 1 seat.
Progressives: below 1%- overhang seat.

The One News Colmar Brunton Poll should not be relied upon as it is very biased towards National, but it does show a significent swing to National that shouldn’t be ignored. If the results of either of these two polls were the election night results, then National would govern alone, and it would be the biggest election win since 1951. However I strongly doubt that the elction noght result would look like this, even if a snap election were held now. Firstly the election is still a year away, things can change. Second, Kiwis don’t like the thought of a single party government. If National were to enter the campaign with a lead like this (a big if), voters would leave National to stop it governing alone. Third, National will have to release more detailed policy proior to the elction, and more scritiny will be placed on National once this happens. Forth, during election campaigns, the minor parties get more media attention, and there is a shift from the big parties to the minor ones. Fifth National could remain vulnerable to questions of trust, given the Hollow Men book and exclusive brethren. In 2008 National will have to be whiter than white, and any suspition that the activities of 2005 are being repeated could hurt National badly. Lastly, Labour has a history of being willing to do anything, no matter how corrupt or unethical, to keep power, even stealing $800 000 of taxpayers money for a pledge card. I have no doubt that in 2008 in a desperate attempt to stay in office, Labour will again offer big bribes to keep power, which could dwarf the intrest free student loans and working for families bribes at the last election. If Labour gives big tax cuts in the 2008 budget it could take wind out of National’s sails. having said that, I don’t think NZers are as susceptible to election bribes as some may think, and tax cuts in the 2008 budget will probably be too little too late.

In spite of all of the above, Labour should be very worried by this. It should not be dissmissed purely as a honeymoon for Key, or a short term thing, because Key has now been leader for 7 months, and even after the Orewa speech, support for Labour didn’t fall so low and Brash never overtook Clark as prefered PM. Also the poll surges to National after Orewa and the chewing gum budget had clear single causes: race realtions and demand for tax cuts. The fever over those issues gradually subsided. this time its more from a range of issues, but mostly Labour being tired and NZers seeing it as time for a change. The final reason why Labour should be worried, is because if these results continue into early next year, the election won’t be a labour-National contest. Instead it could be a contest over who National’s coalition partner will be- ie 2002, with Labour and National swaping places.

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