So how does Phil Goff respond to Labour's latest poll setback? He blames the public! Kate Chapman from Stuff reports:
Labour Leader Phil Goff is refusing to accept his party's poor popularity saying its bad polling is because people aren't focused on the issues.
There are two ways of looking at Goff's statement. If "people aren't focused on the issues" (and later in the story, the RWC gets the blame as well), why did Labour release its game-changing CGT policy back on July 14th, four months before the election, and at a RWC venue to boot? Surely, if the people weren't going to focus on the issues until later in the campaign, Labour should have kept its powder dry.
But secondly, Phil Goff may just have misjudged the public's reaction. Give the people credit for being able to make their own minds up Mr Goff. And the public seems to have decided that by and large, the Labour Party they voted out of office three years ago has still not taken onboard the message that the electorate sent them.
Phil Goff would get far more respect if he was to say "Look; we accept that we are not connecting with people" and if he and his Labour Party colleagues actually took responsibility for the current bad polling. To continue to make excuses just convinces many of those who abandoned Labour in 2008 that they were right to do so.
The August Herald DigiPoll has been released, and in keeping with other polls released this month, it's not good news for the Labour Party; the Herald reports:
Three months before the election, the Labour Party's support has dropped again in the Herald-DigiPoll survey to its lowest this term.
Labour's support dropped among decided voters by almost two points to 31.5 per cent - its second lowest since 1999.
This follows a three-point drop the month before. Its lowest was in July 2008 when it polled at 30.8 per cent.
National remained steady on 52 per cent in the poll of 750 eligible voters - enough to secure it 65 seats in Parliament and govern without requiring support from other parties.
Labour would have 39 seats.
The Green Party and NZ First were the main beneficiaries of Labour's fall. The Greens went up by 1.5 points to 9.8 per cent - their highest in the poll since mid 2002, and enough to add three more MPs to the nine they have.
NZ First went from 0.9 to 2.4 per cent after its annual conference.
This is simply news that Labour neither needed or wanted. The Herald DigiPoll had been Labour's friend among the polls, with the party scoring higher there than any of the other polls. But even the DigiPoll now is getting perilously close to the 30% mark.
And the Herald story shuts the door on another of Labour's excuses. At the weekend on the Nation someone from Labour (and we can't recall whether it was Shane Jones or the panel of Stuart Nash, Carol Beaumont and Carmel Sepuloni) said that things would change once undecided voters made their minds up. Not so, according the the Herald DigiPoll; read on:
With three months to go before polling day, undecided voters had dropped from 11 per cent to 9 per cent this month - well below the same point before the 2008 election, when 17 per cent were still undecided.
The poll of 750 eligible voters was between August 19 and 26.
Oh dear; there are only half the number of undecided voters that there were at this time in the 2008 election cycle. Even if every single one of those gave their party vote to Labour, National would still be able to govern on its own.
Labour's caucus meets today, for the first time since the One News, 3News and Herald DigiPolls. If only the walls of the Labour caucus room had ears!