Roy Morgan reported again yesterday, and as you will see from the graph below, the game HAS changed for Labour, but not in the way that Phil Goff was hoping. In short there's been a 2% swap between the two major parties; National up two to 52% and Labour down two to 31.5%. Gary Morgan sums it up succuinctly:
The latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows support for Prime Minister John Key’s National-led Government is at 57.5% (up 2.5%). Support for Key’s National Party is 52% (up 3%), ACT NZ 2% (down 1%), the Maori Party 3% (up 0.5%), and United Future 0.5% (unchanged).
Support for Opposition Parties is at 42.5% (down 2.5%) — Labour Party 31.5% (down 2%), Greens 7.5% (unchanged), New Zealand First 2.5% (down 0.5%), Mana Party 0.5% and Others 0.5% (down 0.5%).
If a National Election were held today the National Party would easily be returned to Government.
This is bad news for the Labour Party, with the General Election now less than four months away. And it's merely confirmation of the bad news delivered by the other polls. Let's sum up the ones released in July (counting the latest Roy Morgan):
- Herald Digipoll: National 51.2%; Labour 36.1 % - difference: 15.1%
- 3News poll: National 55.1%; Labour 29.9% - difference: 25.2%
- One News poll: National National 53%; Labour 27% - difference 27%
- Fairfax poll: National 56%; Labour 29% - difference 27%
- Roy Morgan poll: National 52% - Labour 31.5% - difference 20.5%
Looking at all those recent polls, not just any one in isolation, must be scary for the Labour strategy team. It must be scary too for those on the lower reaches of Labour's party list, faced with the spectre of unemployment post November. If change is to come at the top, the momentum for that change will come from the bottom.