The election 7 months out

Today is 7 months and 1 day until the last day the election can be held. And hopefully 7 months and 1 day until Helen Clark and her corrupt cronies get evicted from the positions of power they have abused to steal money for their last election campaign, and then rewrite electoral finance laws for their own partisan gain this election.

However, most of the New Zealand public, are still largely uneducated about the full level of corruption within the Labour Party, and its willingness to cling to power at any cost to our democratic system, the latest manifestation of such corruption being exposed today (which I will blog about latter). Although they may be aware of the fact Labour stole $800 000+ last election for its pledge card, they probably are not aware of the fact Labour was warned three time by the Chief Electoral Officer to include the pledge card in its election expenses, which it failed to do, and thus got away with overspending. They may be aware of the Electoral Finance Act (EFA), but they probably believe it helped end secret donations, instead of allowing them to continue as “protected donations”. I believe that if everyone in New Zealand knew the full truth about the pledge card and Electoral Finance Act, Labour would be polling under 20%, if not worse.

However, since the beginning of the year, Labour has made a long serries of policy anouncements, ranging from a tagging crackdown, raising the school leaving age to 18, keeping Auckland Airport in New Zealand US hedge fund hands, and other areas, and this diverted attention from the EFA. Labour has, partly from more discipline and partly better luck, managed (with the exception of the Owen Glenn story) to keep bad news stories (many of which were self inflicted) like the EFA, Taito Phillip Field, David Benson Pope, Trevor Mallard punching Tau Henare and so forth of the front pages, and time has passed since the Anti-smacking Bill turned many voters of Labour. This is reflected in the latest poll.

The Roy Morgan Poll which came out on Friday, has the following results:
National 47% (54 seats, down from previous polls, but still strong)
ACT 1.5% (2 seats, Roger Douglas coming to them has helped)
United Future 0.5% (1 seat, strugling to avoid overhang)
Total centre-right 49% and 57 seats (by centre-right I mean National and likely coaltion partners).
Labour 34.5% (43 seats, down a bit, but with coalitions competitve)
Progressive o.5% (Jim Anderton manages to escape being an overhang)
Green 9% (this could be an overestimation, unless, as Steve Pierson suggests in the Standard comments, they have gained a bounce from opposing the FTA. 11 seats if they are really on 9%)
Maori Party 3% (7 seats if they win all Maori seats, creating an 4 seat overhang, and thus hold the balance of power).
Total centre-left (defined as Labour plus likely coalition partners) 47%, but 62 seats, helped out of course by the overhang which makes life difficult for National.

This poll confirms what I and Labour already know. Labour can still win a forth term. National can not rely on Labour making mistakes to win (and had Labour not introduced the EFA or supported the Anti-smacking Bill, the polls would be very different), but must rely on making its own success, by releasing good policy and selling it well, and educating the public more about the EFA and pledge card. This is not to say Labour will win, it still has big challenges in front of it, and must shake of the perception that is destined to loose, is tired out of ideas and on its way out, but it can still win.

The election is still competitive, and if we want a change of government we will need to campaign hard for it.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Election 2008, Polls

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