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PoliticsSeptember 21, 2017

The final poll, and one that befits a pulsating campaign

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Pollwatch: The Newshub poll again shows National with a decent lead, but still suggests it could go either way. Not that kingmaker Winston Peters gives a rat’s arse, obviously.

To recap once more: there was Incredibly explosive, then Volatile and telling, then Dramatic and devastating. Tonight’s Paddy poll, conducted by Reid Research for Newshub, was trailed as Crucial and final. Big news, everyone: the election itself is cancelled.

Declaimed Gower on the news: “Power is in the balance. Control of New Zealand is in the balance. It is all on the line.” Fittingly, perhaps, this final published poll of such a turbulent campaign laughs in the face of anyone so foolish as to predict an outcome.

The numbers here square almost precisely with the Colmar Brunton poll for 1News from last night, which showed National on 46% and Labour on 37%.

National is close to making it across the line with support from ACT and the Māori Party. But not close enough were these numbers to bear out. They’d need NZ First. Labour could do it with both the Greens and NZ First.

Still, for National, which just a few weeks ago looked to be flailing as the Ardern tide washed over, this is a truly terrific result. Yesterday’s Colmar Brunton poll for 1News put National above its position in the same poll immediately before 2014, and so it does here.

In fact, there’s a good bit of plus ca change going on. Tonight, National sits in Reid/Newshub on 45.8%. Three years ago, just before the election, in the same poll, it was 44.5%. Labour are now on 37.3%, then 25.6%. The Greens, 7.1% / 14.4%. NZ First, 7.1% then, 7.1% now. Not that Winston Peters cares. “I don’t give a rat’s derriere about your poll.”

This is bad news for the Māori Party, too. They’re left, if this poll is reliable, hanging on to electorate results. Marama Fox would be gone.

Let’s back-of-the-envelope average out the numbers across the last four published polls: tonight’s, last night’s Colmar Brunton for 1News, the Roy Morgan and the Horizon:

National: 42.5%

Labour: 38%

Green: 8%

NZ First: 7%

Today’s poll also asked voters what they thought of Labour’s decision to reverse the “Captain’s Call” and hold off any tax changes until after the 2020 election.The vast majority thought that was the right decision. It might at least have staunched the loss of blood. Labour now depends on whether it can get that blood pumping again, in younger voters especially.

Keep going!