National is on 48.5 (up one); Labour 36.4 per cent ( up 4.4); the Greens 9 (down 1.7); New Zealand First 2.5 (down 3); Mana 0.5 (up 0.2); Maori Party 1.1 (down 0.4); United Future 0 (down 0.3); and Act 0.1 (down 0.1).
The bad news for the left is that:
much of Labour’s lift appears to have come at the expense of its potential coalition partners, NZ First and the Greens.
With respect to the much debated Labour leadership:
Mr Shearer’s ratings as preferred prime minister increased by nearly six points to 18.5 per cent – his highest ranking in the survey so far
For once John Armstrong gets it right:
Unflashy Shearer starts to turn the numbers around
Up, up and away? At last, a significant surge in David Shearer’s rating as most preferred prime minister. The popularity of the unassuming Labour leader has jumped by more than five percentage points to just over 18 per cent in today’s poll. …
The rise is vindication aplenty for Shearer’s belief that solid personal poll ratings are built on substance rather than false pizzazz and pretending to be someone you are not.
Taking the former approach meant he had a pretty torrid first year as leader and failed to convince doubters in his party that he is up to the job. Today’s poll should go some way towards silencing those critics. It will serve as justification for the Labour caucus decision to back the unflashy Shearer ahead of the more colourful, more heart-on-sleeve David Cunliffe. The poll might even have a slight band-wagoning effect as voters realise it’s now okay to like Shearer. …
But the critics will not be silenced completely. …
As the comments below will no doubt quickly prove!
Shearer’s leadership was always a bet on his background and his potential appeal as a less politicised politician. His current ratings are solid for an opposition leader at this stage of the electoral cycle, and there is a lot of dirty government water still to pass under the bridge before we vote again. Labour may win its bet yet.