We heard the headline at the start of last night's 3News bulletin; their latest poll was "a shocker" for Labour. They weren't wrong.
It hasn't taken long for other media to pick up on the story. Both the Herald and Stuff are reporting on the 3News poll this morning, and it's not hard to see why. If the poll's findings were projected across a general election, the Labour Party would be annihilated; it's as simple as that.
The election is just seven months away, and Labour languishes at 27.1% support, down 3.8 points, and trailling National by over 30 percentage points. On the basis of last night's results, more than 20% of Labour's caucus would join the ranks of the unemployed.
Phil Goff hasn't fared any better. His "my handling of the Darren Hughes affair has strengthened my leadership" line is blown out of the water. Just 6.8% of respondents (68/1000) want Goff as Prime Minister, compared with John Key's rating of 52.4%.
Labour's front bench may be united behind Goff, but that is not where the chattering will come from. There are now around 10 Labour MP's facing very uncertain futures, and all must now realise that Labour is not going to win this election under Phil Goff's leadership. The prospect of wholesale unemployment may now be the catalyst for change.
Will Phil Goff survive the week? He may be saved by the fact that Parliament is in recess until 3rd May. But we reckon that any reprieve is likely to be temporary at best; 3News sealed Phil Goff's fate at 6pm last night.
UPDATE: Labour MUST be worried; over at The Standard, "Eddie" (thought by some to be a Labour Party staffer) is talking up Winston Peters' chances. Labour of course voted NOT to censure Peters for knowingly misleading Parliament shortly before the 2008 election, and it seems as though Labour will embrace Peters in 2011 if that is the price of power. That may help to explain Labour's current woes.