Fairfax suffered the double indignity of first having its poll contradicted by One News’ hours later and then Key himself mocking the idea that National is on 50%. Still rogue polls happen. That’s statistics. But we can try to look through the variation in single polls by comparing the 6 After David polls (including the Fairfax joke) to their 6 Before Cunliffe predecessors to see if there really has been a Cunliffe bounce.
Here’s the results (thanks to Curiablog for collecting the polls and making my life easier)
As you can see, there’s a real difference. Before Cunliffe, National average 47.1% to the Labour-Greens’ 44.4%. After David, that’s reversed with Labour-Greens averaging 47.4% to National’s 44.9%.
Labour is averaging nearly 4% more than it was under Shearer with half that increase coming from National, a quarter from the Greens, and the other quarter from the minors.
Of course, there’s statistical variation in a poll of polls, just as there is in an individual one, only less so. Still, the signs are pretty clear that there has been a Cunliffe bounce and a Labour-Greens government is now favourite for 2014.
Fairfax got one thing right: one swallow does not make a spring and one poll does not make a trend. But,looking at all the information together, it’s clear that there is a change in the air.