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The National Business Review - Latest Poll

Poll: Labour Ahead - Book That Never Was - Cure For Absenteeism - Trade Round Deadlock

OPINION POLL: LABOUR AHEAD

The latest National Business Review-Compaq opinion poll, taken by UMR Insight from November 11-16 on a sample of 750 people, gives Labour-Alliance a theoretical 10-seat majority over a National-led coalition in a general election. The poll gives Labour 35.6% of the party vote or 46-50 seats. Alliance, 10.4%, would have between 13 and 15 seats. National, by comparison, attracts just 30% - its lowest vote share in its 63-year history - giving it between 38 and 42. Act New Zealand is steady on 8.2%, which would give it between 10 and 12 seats, while New Zealand First has 4.6%, just under the threshold for representation. The Green Party has jumped a percentage point in a month to 4.6% and is poised to break the 5% threshold, which would give it six seats even if Jeanette Fitzsimons doesn't win Coromandel, as is likely.

BOOK THAT NEVER WAS

In a move that has stunned the book world, businessman David Levene has had a change of heart and blocked publication of an authorised biography days before it was to go on sale. Two years since the collapse of the Levene chain the pain is still too raw for the retailer to face. David Levene: a Man and His Business by Ian Hunter had already been printed and was scheduled to be in bookshops on Monday but the 10,000 copies will now be locked away in a South Auckland vault.

CURE FOR ABSENTEEISM

Healthcare company Aetna is rolling out a new product aimed at helping corporates claw back some of the hidden cost of absenteeism. Studies by the health insurer estimate the cost of productivity loss through absenteeism at $2.5-3 billion a year. The new integrated health and disability programme HealthWorks, brings together services in disease management, health promotion, health insurance, injury management and injury prevention.

TRADE ROUND DEADLOCK

With only 11 days remaining before the intended launch of the new global free-trade round in Seattle, diplomats in Geneva will spend this weekend trying to hammer out a concrete basis on which to start negotiations. World Trade Organisation negotiators have so far failed to agree on the agenda and a proposed Seattle declaration, prompting director-general Mike Moore to say this week that the danger of deadlock was "more real than ever."

For further information: Nevil Gibson, Editor-in-Chief Ph 0-9-307 1629 or email editor@nbr.co.nz

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