Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Is the impossible possible?

It's just 17 days until New Zealand goes to the polls, and the gaps between the parties are supposed to be closing; right?

If you're Phil Goff, or a member of his caucus, the news this morning isn't good. Yes; the gap is closing. But unfortunately the only gap that is closing is the one between Labour and the Greens, and even that's not going in Labour's favour.

The Fairfax Media/Research International poll surveyed 1000 people between Tuesday last week, and this Monday, November 7th. It's a current a poll as one can get. Under the headline National heading for outright win here's Stuff's take on it (given that they commissioned it, together with a graphic of what's happened in the last week:

National is looking unstoppable on its way to a historic outright election win as Labour plunges in a Fairfax Media-Research International Poll.

The poll has National on 52.5 per cent, and Labour sliding to 25.9 per cent, 17 days from the election.

Labour would lose 10 seats if those results were repeated on election night, while National would get nine extra seats, and bring in a slew of new faces.

The Green Party has profited most from Labour's slump, rising to 12.6 per cent in today's poll – which would give it seven more seats in Parliament and nine new faces because of retirements.

National has barely slipped below 50 per cent in any public poll since it took power in 2008 – except for a period in mid-2010 when it announced a rise in GST. It dropped to 49 per cent in two consecutive polls.

With no minor party other than the Greens polling above single figures, it would take a dramatic turnaround in Labour's fortunes in the final two weeks of the campaign, or an even bigger boost to the Green Party, for National to slip below 50 per cent.

This is a woeful result for Labour; a 5.4% percentage point drop in just seven days; that translates to a 17.25% drop in support in just a week, at a time in the political cycle where the gap traditionally closes.

It would seem as though the 2011 General Election is going to be anything but a traditional one. The pundits are now even starting to talk of National doing the MMP impossible; read on:

A 50 per cent-plus win would be historic – no single party has won an outright majority under MMP, and the last time any party won more than 50 per cent of the vote was in 1951.

But National Party insiders are talking down that likelihood for fear voters will be turned off by the prospect of handing power to a single-party government and Prime Minister John Key has said he will do deals with minor parties regardless.

It's pretty obvious that last week did irrepairable harm to Phil Goff and Labour's campaign. "Show me the money" has stuck in the minds of voters, who appear not to be convinced by the release of Phil's Spreadsheet on Friday, midway through the polling period.

Can Labour recover from this blow?


pdm said...

It is going to take a lot of KFC in Porirua and South Auckland to stop Labour from sliding into oblivion below 20%.

Do they have the dosh to pay for it?

PM of NZ said...

One would hope that the answer to your headline question is no. Imagine what Adolf would be like post-election when his beloved Nats have the reins untrammelled for another three years of do-nothing mediocrity.

Having said that, it is great to see real New Zealanders rejecting Liarbour bribes along with their union associates.

nekminnit1983 said...

I know that the Nat stratergists are worried about the reporting that goes on around them governing alone. I know they would love to govern alone (and i certainly want them to as well), but the more it is talked about, the more unlikely it is as people may get scared off.

I also think that if the Labrats get their vote out on the day they will bring their vote up beyond what the polls may suggest (think 2005 election).

Nice to see though that Nats are holding up....EVERYONE was saying that the gap would close during this time....instead it has widened with the only gap closing being the gap between Labrats and the Greens....Could the greens become the new opposition??

Probably unlikely....but imagine the commentary if they did!!

One other thought that hasnt had much media analysis is that Labrats may actually lose some of their electorate seats that they only just managed to hold at the 2008 election!

Roll on 26th Nov!

Anonymous said...

If you're Labour this is great news. The analysis here, if you can call it that, is very superficial.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happens is God's will. Is that right INV2?
Is that something you believe? Many of us would like to know so I can determine whether this is a blog we should continue reading.

Ross said...

PM of NZ,

Your analysis of National and its strategy is not how I see it. I should hasten to add I am not a National Party member and have no connection with them - so no inside running here, just my own analysis and observations.

John Key has run a consistently inclusive government, that has avoided 'as much as possible' policy shocks or large policy direction changes that catch people out. Everything is signaled well in advance, and if it provokes too much of a backlash then is toned down or quietly let to die.

It seems like nothing is happening, but lots is happening slowly and steadily. It is very much a centrist policy that holds and keeps the middle ground. Hence the current popularity - people like this approach much better than wild swings from right to left and back again.

If you look at Australia - this was in essence John Howards strategy that delivered 4 terms in government and a slow but significant transformation of the Australian economy over that period. Helped of course by the minerals boom.

So, whilst many on the right of NZ politics want the glory and excitement of massive changes, it is very dumb politics, damaging to economic efficiency (as any big shocks policy or world financial are), and leads to division, reaction, and political swings.

I like the current 'steady as she goes approach' it is getting stuff done incrementally, it is encouraging enterprise, saving, investment and growth.

What I like most is it is a very hard strategy to counter politically - which accounts for much of Labour's thrashing about at the moment.

Good on John Key and National - running intelligent government and strategy

Anonymous said...

ross you've been sucked in.
"leads to division, reaction, and political swings."

left right split is nearly 50/50. very deep divisions. There are many many people who can't stand what the Nats are doing to the country, whether by stealth or by a very obvious dumbing down of the facts.

nekminnit1983 said...

I love it how anonymous is using personal attacks against INV2, rather than discussing the dreadful poll numbers of their ( i presume) dear Labour party.

Talk about avoiding the issue anonymous.

Allan said...

Ross you have hit the nail on the head with your comments. Although my right of center leanings would like to see the pace quicken up and the changes that are neccessary made more quickly to halt the country's slide into 3rd world status because of the stupid policies of the previous Labour regime, I think that John Key and the National Govt have the right strategy with slow steady shift back in the right direction. I just hope for the sake of the future generation of New Zealanders that they are given a real mandate at the next election to continue in this fashion and direction.

jabba said...

the Nats will not win enough to govern alone UNLESS it rains.
IF they do win enough, they will embrace the like of the Maori Party and even the Greens (shudder)and Labour will have another chance to reform and get rid of the deadwood .. but will they take this chance, didn't 3 years ago

Inventory2 said...

Well spotted nekminnit; if anonymous posters are attacking me, it must be a day ending in "day"!

PM of NZ said...

Jabba, the thought of Key bringing onboard the racist separatists and the tree huggers scares me likewise. And he is the person that is most likely to pervert the election with such a course of action. With a better than 50% finish, he will do anything to get that third term.

Anonymous said...

where are the attacks? Valid questions are often seen as attacks here are they? It'd be good to have all the info on the table to make informed decisions don't you think readers?

Inventory2 said...

@ Anon - 11.32am; what part of the information on this morning's Fairfax/Research Information poll isn't on the table? That, after all is the subject of the post.

James Stephenson said...

There's certainly more information on the table there, than Teh Harold's nonsense "Labour winning with young voters" story today...based on some unstated subset of 522 people approached on the street...

Anonymous said...

INV2 I was responding to Nekminnit1983 @10.41 which is a supplementary comment so can be referred to in further comments.

The only anon postings above were on the 'analysis' and a serious question about whether God had a will or not. No attacks there. Facts are important.

( I see Felicity has picked up my valid query on another post.. Cheers Felicity!)

jabba said...

when KS posts a post about God, I'm sure he will welcome you Anons and Flea, until then stick to the subject or piss off