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Defying Political Gravity

Defying Political Gravity

The latest wave of polls show slightly different stories but with a similar theme – National’s support seems to be defying political gravity.

The Fairfax/Ispos poll released on Friday morning shows National down 4.3 points but still at 50.8% with Labour on 26.1% (up 3.1).

The Herald/Digipoll had National up 0.7 of a point to 50.7% and Labour on 24.1% (down 1.1).

These were all taken after the release of the “Dirty Politics” book which many on the left hoped would at least dent National’s position.

A TV3/Reid poll earlier in the week had National on 45.0% (down 2.5 points) and Labour 26.3% (down 2.6 points). Despite this showing a fall in Labour’s support it did give its caucus some hope they might be getting near the first stage of having a chance at forming a Government – getting National below 45 percent and needing NZ First to form a Government. (See National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One? and Labour – Worst Case and Best Case Scenarios and National – The Worst and Best Case Scenarios written earlier this month).

No serious thinkers inside National believe polls over 50% will be reflected in the results on Election Day and to get near the 47% of 2011, while seeking a third term, would be a remarkable political achievement. Traders on ipredict are still picking National will get around 44% of the vote.

The biggest fear for Labour and greatest hope for National is a large part of National’s support base may have made up their mind and nothing will sway them towards Labour in the coming weeks. This could create a repeat of the “2002” effect and see support slip from Labour (and probably National) to National’s potential support partners to ensure different views are at least partly reflected in the Govt, or act as brake on National.

Labour will not have given up hoping the impact of “Dirty Politics” is still to filter through the public’s opinion and David Cunliffe’s positive performance in debates might yet lift them near the 30% they realistically need to have a chance of forming the next Government.

The results for National’s support partners are now becoming more crucial in who will form the next Government, only the Fairfax poll had NZ First below the 5% mark, while the last Roy Morgan Poll on August 20 had them on 6.5%, their highest level since September last year.

It still appears ACT will hold Epsom, United Future Ohariu and and the Maori Party Waiariki. The Conservatives remain a wild card in getting past 5%.

On the left of the spectrum, Internet Mana should pick up Te Tai Tokerau to ensure representation, if the fledgling alliance can withstand the policy and personality issues pressing on them in the next few weeks.
ends

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