After good news for Labour in the most recent TV1 and 3 News polls, the latest Fairfax poll is the third in the set confirming that the party has emerged from the recent media circus in OK shape. Tracy Watkins had this summary:
[The] latest Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll shows Labour leader David Shearer will also be buoyed, after the poll revealed a showdown with rival David Cunliffe boosted his standing among voters, who applauded his new-found steel.
Of 1062 voters we questioned, 34.7 per cent said they felt more positive about him than a year ago, and many cited the way he stared down the leadership challenge from Mr Cunliffe as the reason. …
The poll puts National on 46.2 per cent support, up 1.3 points on our last poll in August. Labour is on 34.4 per cent, up 1.8. Its rise is largely at the expense of the Greens, who drop to 10.5 per cent.
Of the others, only NZ First on 3.8 per cent comes close to reaching the 5 per cent threshold to win seats in Parliament, and the others will have to win electorate seats to survive.
The public response to the leadership issue, if true as reported, certainly highlights the difference between the world as seen by the majority of the voting public, and the world as seen by the activist readership of The Standard! (A complex set of issues there, subject of a later post perhaps). On Shearer and Key:
But [Shearer] still has a long way to go – in a contest between him and Prime Minister John Key, Mr Key is rated more statesman-like, focused, energetic and impressive by most voters. On a scale of zero to 10, Mr Shearer failed to get a pass mark for his performance over the last 12 months, rating 4.8 on average. …
Mr Key’s standing has also suffered, with 40 per cent of voters saying their opinion of him had got worse over the past year, compared with just over 2 per cent, who said their opinion had got better.
A second piece on the poll focused more on the issues:
Kiwis worried the country just isn’t working properly
National got into office promising to deliver a brighter future – but voters are asking where the jobs are.
The latest Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll revealed job creation and unemployment is the single most pressing issue facing the country. Nearly a quarter (24.5 per cent) are worried about high unemployment – which currently stands at 7.3 per cent – a 13-year high. More than 82 per cent rated the issue extremely important or important. It was followed by the growth of the economy, with 18.5 per cent singling it out as their top issue. Slightly more than 78 per cent thought it extremely important or important.
But even though National has bumbled its way through 2012, voters are still giving the Government the benefit of the doubt – blaming the sluggish economy on global conditions ahead of government policies. …
But our poll shows a slight shift in whether voters believe the country is on the right track. More than half say we are moving in the wrong direction – 51.1 per cent, up a smidge from 50.2 per cent in our July/August poll.
As far as I know that’s the last big poll of 2012, and with the Left / Right gap halved since the election, a reasonable place for Labour to be sitting at the end of the year. In my opinion National’s hopeless record on the economy will see them off in 2014. With policies like KiwiBuild and Capital Gains Tax, Labour is starting to offer the strong and clear alternative that the electorate will be looking for.