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Labour (38%) closes gap on National Party (44.5%)


New Zealand Labour (38%) closes the gap on National Party (44.5%) as election looms.

Finding No. 4316 - This is the latest result from the Roy Morgan New Zealand Poll conducted with 841 electors over the period August 18 - 31, 2008.: September 04, 2008

In early September 2008 the New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows National Party support at 44.5% (down 3.5%) only 6.5% ahead of the Labour Party 38% (up 4%) — the closest the two major parties have been for nearly a year, since October 2007 when the National Party led 45% cf. 40.5%. If an election were held now New Zealand would have a Coalition Government likely to be led by the National Party.

Support for the NZ First Party of Winston Peters has dropped significantly in the wake of the party funding scandal with NZ First down 4% to 2.5% — the lowest result for NZ First since September 2007.

Support for the Greens was 8% (up 0.5%), Maori Party 3.5% (up 1.5%), ACT NZ 1.5% (unchanged), United Future 1% (up 1%) and Others 1% (up 0.5%).

The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating has risen strongly for the third New Zealand Morgan Poll in a row, rising 11.5pts to 115. It is now at its highest level since being at 118.5 in late February. For the first time since February, a majority of New Zealanders 50.5% (up 6%) say the country is “heading in the right direction” compared to 35.5% (down 5.5%) that say the country is “heading in the wrong direction.”

There has been a similar strong rise in the Roy Morgan New Zealand Consumer Confidence Rating which has leapt 12.4 points to 107.3 and is up 25.3 points since early July.

Gary Morgan says:

“Helen Clark’s Labour Government has closed the gap on the National Party as Election Day draws nearer. Since trailing by 21%, 30.5% cf. 51.5% in late June, Clark has closed the gap to only 6.5%.

“The first cut in interest rates in five years in July, down 0.25% to 8.00%, has driven the strong increase in the Roy Morgan New Zealand Consumer Confidence Rating — and given renewed strength to the electability of Labour with the prospect of further rate cuts to come.

“A personal tragedy on a camping trip taken by Helen Clark and some of her closest friends has also given voters a chance to see that Clark is not just the ‘consummate politician’ she is often portrayed as. Her efforts to revive a dying friend have given New Zealanders a renewed perspective and respect for the tough Prime Minister they’ve known for nearly a decade.

“The lack of a clear policy direction from the opposition National Party has given Helen Clark and Labour renewed hope of winning an unlikely election victory as the National Party has yet to make the case for why it deserves to form the next New Zealand Government.

Electors were asked: “If an election were held today which party would receive your party vote?”

This latest Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone with a New Zealand-wide cross-section of 841 electors from August 18 — 31, 2008.

Full results and charts: http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2008/4316/

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