The latest Roy Morgan poll shows confidence in government plummeted during the Hobbit debacle. The poll was conducted over the two weeks between Peter Jackson suddenly claiming the Hobbit would go overseas and the Hobbit Enabling Act being rushed through Parliament. It shows confidence in government falling to a new low for Key’s administration. At the beginning of the year, nearly three-quarters of the population agreed the country was heading in the right direction. Barely 50% do now.
Confidence in government is falling close to where it was when the Labour government lost the last election.
The party polling numbers bounce around as you would expect but the trend there is also clear. The gap is gradually closing.
Since, March National has polled below 50% as often as above. The spikes above 50% are becoming less frequent, the forays below 50% are getting deeper and longer. Labour’s core support is solid around 33% but the challenge is to push it higher. Last year, there were dips below 30% where it looked like base support could be eroded. Now, the spikes are upside, into the mid 30s.
The Greens continue to poll strongly around 8% (notice how there’s none of those tired old media comments about them not making 5% this time round). Meanwhile, ACT support is whithering away, which will leave National with real problems forming a coalition. Especially if Peter Dunne loses his seat
As the trend continues to close, Key is going to have even more reason to go for an early election. If you were him, would you wait another 13 months on these numbers?
Despite the way too many media commentators have automatically written off Labour since the last election, this is going to be a close fought race. With Labour/Green polling in the low 40s and National/ACT around 50%, and a closing trend, it only takes a few percentage points shift to change the result. That’s the kind of shift that could easily happen in a campaign dominated by a double-dip recession and National’s privatisation agenda – for instance.