A new Colmar-Brunton poll that came out yesterday still showed Labour maintaining a lead strong enough to form a Government on its own.
No one should be too surprised that the polls have narrowed. I expect that they will narrow further in the coming weeks, before being determined by how well the individual parties perform on the campaign trail; how good their policies are and whether any high profile Members of Parliament make a damaging gaffe.
Yesterday’s Colmar Brunton poll had the following results:
- Labour = 50% or 62 seats
- National = 38% or 45 seats
- Greens = 6% or 7 seats
- N.Z. First = 2% 2 seats if an electorate seat won; out of Parliament if no electorate seat won
- A.C.T. = 1% / 1 seat if David Seymour holds Epsom
- Maori = 1% / 1 seat if it wins Maori electorate
- New Conservative = 1% / Out of Parliament
National has made some inroads because that peak of 59% for Labour was never going to hold up, much as the left would have absolutely loved it to. But National are still a long way behind Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party. Adding seven Green seats would give them enough to push through some of the more controversial measures that would help improve the gaping social inequality in this country. I imagine though that polling will tighten further in the next two months assuming National do not make any really big mistakes.
For National to make inroads into Labour, Michael Woodhouse needs to be put in his place quickly, because he is shooting off claims that have no substance and smack of desperation. Nikki Kaye needs to be reassigned to another role – perhaps as Senior Whip and perhaps given Education or something significant to keep her occupied. Todd Muller needs to come up with an original policy platform that does not involve the same tired old tricks, that would have worked long ago if they were going to work at all. Failing that, Labour will be the closest it has ever been to forming a stand alone Government.
For the Greens, whilst they would still be in Parliament, this might be another reminder of how far they have fallen since Metiria Turei admitted to benefit fraud. The party that I thought might – prior to the admission – pick up 16 or 17 seats in 2017 – has not really been the same since. The admission was one thing, but failing to be able to say it had already been addressed with Work and Income New Zealand cost the Greens thousands of voters who they might not get back.
For New Zealand First, a party I used to have a lot of time for, all the current poll is doing is continuing to show that its toxic combination of internal politics and divisive Members of Parliament, are undermining the good work done by the grass roots. Winston Peters might be the person no one should write off, but what if people decided that New Zealand First is really Winston First, as a National party member I once had a debate with, suggested?
As for David Seymour, A.C.T.’s vote have pretty much terminally collapsed outside of Epsom. He is pretty much a one man band trying to do everything. As such he has to get the party to help him chose which battles to fight and which ones to steer clear of. If in the unlikely case he does pick up extra votes, you can think his work around euthanasia and a decision to support the abortion legislation for that.
With this in mind, here is how I envisage an election today would have gone:
- Labour 47% = 57 seats
- National 38% = 46 seats
- Greens 7% = 8 seats
- N.Z. First 5% = 6 seats
- A.C.T. = 1% = 1 seat
- Maori = 2% = 2 seats – I do not think Labour will hold all of the Maori seats
New Conservative will most probably suck up the conservatives who have lost faith in National, but the 5% threshold or a seat in Parliament will be too much for them. Any disgruntled Green members may look at Social Credit, which has been placing expensive colour adverts in the Sunday Star Times.