Should Labour be worried about today’s poll in the Herald which contrary to other recent polls showed the gap between the parties rising? Colin Espiner doesn’t seem to think so, suggesting:
I wouldn’t take much notice of the Herald DigiPoll. This one’s even worse than the last one. It was taken over THREE WEEKS and interviewed just 770 people. Most of the major polls are of 1000 people are taken over one week. Three weeks is simply too long to get a meaningful result. The DigiPoll is also an ‘omnibus’ poll – ie political questions are thrown in alongside stuff like what brand of soap powder you buy. The DigiPoll is showing the gap between National and Labour widening when four other polls with bigger sample sizes taken more recently have shown it narrowing. I don’t think this poll is worth the cover price of today’s Herald.
And in case you missed it, he said some interesting things about Mr Key’s about face on supporting Working for Families too:
National has long said it wouldn’t change the basic structure of WFF, of course, but it had dropped hints that it was considering alterations to stop this middle-class welfare creeping quite so far up the income scale. Key has said many times that he considers this to be a disincentive to work, that middle-income families should be paying less tax in the first place rather than getting a handout, and that the ‘one size fits all’ approach of WFF wouldn’t work.
In fact, back in 2004, Key called it ‘communism by stealth’ and opined that ‘it didn’t work very well in Eastern Europe and it won’t work very well here’…
There is one danger for National in all of this, though, and that’s that it inoculates so many policies that voters begin to wonder whether there really is any point in changing governments at all. If the policy differences disappear then it really does become a straight horse-race between Helen Clark and John Key. If Key is shown up by Clark during the campaign, National has absolutely nothing else to offer besides slightly bigger tax cuts.