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Trend Reversal Sees Nats Losing Ground To Labour

Poll Trend Reversal Detects Rise In Labour's Popularity

By Selwyn Manning - Scoop co-editor.

Poll trends that tipped National to lead the next government have been reversed with the Herald reporting the Labour Party is now 6.4 points ahead of its traditional rival. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is the biggest loser dropping eight points as preferred Prime Minister to 10.3.

This morning's New Zealand Herald-DigiPoll shows Labour ahead by 6.4 points - a nine point turnaround against National from one month ago - and this morning's NBR poll has Labour ahead by six points compared to a month ago when National led Labour by four points.

This week's polls, while a snap-shot of what selected voters may be thinking, confirm a new trend offering hope for Labour. The trend-turn was first detected by Thursday's TV3 poll that showed Labour had caught up with National with both parties each on 39 per cent.

The main poll positions are:

  • Herald-DigiPoll: Labour 43.9 percent, National 37.5 percent.

  • NBR poll: Labour 41 percent, National 35 percent.

  • TV3: Labour 39 percent, National 39 percent.
  • New Zealand First appears now to be bleeding support to National with the TV3 poll showing support for New Zealand First dropping from 11 percent in June, to 7 percent in July. The Herald poll displayed a similar trend with New Zealand First falling from 11.8 percent in June to 7.1 percent in July.

    The polls reflect a change of mood since Labour attacked National leader Don Brash for his position on foreign affairs, nuclear policy, and his stated position on sending troops to Iraq. The polls were conducted before Labour released its tertiary loans interest relief package.

    The Herald's political editor Audrey Young reported: "Labour has risen 7.7 points to 43.9 per cent of decided voters and National has fallen 2.6 points to 37.5. The popularity of Helen Clark as preferred Prime Minister has risen by five points, to 53.8 per cent. National leader Don Brash has also had a rise, by 3.3 points, to 28.3 per cent. The biggest loser in today's poll is Winston Peters, who has dropped eight points as preferred Prime Minister to 10.3, and his New Zealand First Party, which has fallen 4.7 points to 7.1".

    The Green Party is holding ground: the TV3 poll shows the Green Party steady on 6 percent, while that is close to the 5 percent threshold required to enter Parliament, it is expected to firm up support during the election campaign.


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