According to John Armstrong in today’s NZ Herald:
Perhaps the only surprise in National shedding a hefty five percentage points in the latest opinion poll is that the drop in support for the governing party was not even greater. National’s slide in the One News-Colmar Brunton poll from 54 per cent support in mid-April to 49 per cent follows a period when the Government has been paddling in deep and dangerous political waters where the currents of public opinion run particularly strong. Moreover, it has often done so without ensuring it has the means to extricate itself should it get into difficulties.
The Roy Morgan poll, which surveys voter preferences more frequently, had National slipping to around 49 per cent a couple of months ago. Moreover, support has since remained around that level….
The message National should take from the poll is that it needs to lift its game in terms of political management, rather than continue its relaxed, sometimes lackadaisical approach. That did not matter so much when it was surfing the poll wave. It does if the polls are now on the turn. The lesson for Labour is that it is still having huge trouble reconnecting with voters. The One News poll is good news for Labour in that National has fallen below a crucial psychological barrier of 50 per cent support.
The timing of the election next year will remain up in the air for some time, but the strategists for National must be thinking of the advantages of a campaign before the world cup. So the push to up the game (of both these main contendors) is about increase in intensity.