The latest Fairfax Ipsos poll result has attracted attention in Open Mike. Vern Small has interpreted the results as suggesting that National could win 64 seats. He has anticipated that NZ First will not be in Parliament which I think is dangerous.
Like all polls the results need to be taken with more than a grain of salt. Just before the last election Fairfax had National on 54% which is significantly higher than its election result of 47.21%.
And sometimes the trend is more important.
The choice of headlines is interesting. Last time it was “Poll a Major blow to Labour”. This time it is “National on wave of optimism”.
The raw data is that National is down 0.8% to 49.4%, Labour is down 1.8% to 31.8%, the Greens are down 0.7% to 10% and NZ First is up 1.3% to 3.6%. It is not clear from the figures but it was reported the Conservatives were up 1.3% to 2%. Kim Dotcom’s internet party did not register.
The breakdown, which needs to be treated even more carefully suggests that Labour has lost support in Wellington and the rest of the South Island, amongst men and amongst those aged 65 and up. Labour has improved support in Auckland and amongst 30 to 44 year olds. It might be that the baby bonus appeals to those likely to benefit and does not appeal to those who don’t.
In Christchurch National has shed 8% points while Labour has also lost 2.9%. The Greens and NZ First have both improved support significantly.
On issues Labour’s baby bonus has as much support as opposition, and a question on raising taxes inevitably met strong opposition.
Voters were evenly split on whether there should be a time for a change of Government although there was increased optimism on whether or not the country was on the right track or the wrong track.