It's the end of the first week of the school holiday recess from Parliament. You'd think Phil Goff would have been taking advantage of the political vacuum here to get a headline or two, but not so. So we've given Phil a headline tonight.
Why? Gary Morgan from the Roy Morgan polling company explains:
The latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows support for John Key’s National-led Government has strengthened to 58.5% (up 3%), comprising National Party 53% (up 2.5%), Maori Party 3% (unchanged), ACT NZ 2% (up 1%) and United Future 0.5% (down 0.5%).
Support for Opposition Parties has fallen to 41.5% (down 3%); Labour Party 29% (down 4%), Greens 8.5% (down 1%), New Zealand First 3% (up 1.5%), and Others 1% (up 0.5%).
If a National Election were held today the National Party would be clearly returned to Government.
The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating is well up, 7.5pts to 144 with 65% (up 4.5%) of New Zealanders saying New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to 21% (down 3%) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction.’
So, interest rates have gone up, power and fuel prices have gone up, the government has introduced its ETS (which we revile) and Labour has been attacking the government on multiple fronts. And what's happened? Between them, Labour and the Greens have DROPPED five percentage points, whilst National is up 2.5 points to 53% support.
Where to now for Phil Goff? We daresay there will be a number of MP's from Labour's caucus asking that question of themselves and of one another, whilst sending texts and exchanging e-mails. If Labour can't get traction in this environment, commonsense says that they are history for 2011.