So, the latest Fairfax poll isn’t flash for Labour and it’s the same old story of leadership. But don’t get too excited there’s no ‘trend’ in the Fairfax – they’ve polled just three times since the election. We also know that most pollsters have been over polling National for years. Instead, lets ask what the polls show now compared to the immediate pre-election poll.
Hmm. So, National – which won a one seat majority for the Right in 2011 has lost support since the election in every poll.
Also, with a single exception (Roy Morgan in 2008) every pre-election poll has overpolled National in the past two elections. When you correct for that, you get a surprisingly tight spread between the polls. The raw results have a 5% spread, the corrected ones just a 2.2% spread, centred around 45%.
Halfway through their second (and, if you believe Lusk/Slater last) Key’s National have lost an average of 3.4% in the polls.
45% is the danger zone for National. In this position, they might govern if they can cut a deal with Winston (if he gets back in). If they continue to lose support and end up in the low 40s, then even that won’t save them.
Of course, it’s far from a done deal. Shearer is the, um, the key. If the Left is to govern, people have to see him as a PM. He’s got better in recent months. Here’s hoping he gets a lot better in the next 18.
Bonus for poll-lovers. Everyone knows that only the Roy Morgan is regular enough to talk about trends (RM is also the most accurate on average in its pre-election polls). Here’s how that trend is looking: