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Herald poll shows Nats’ lead collapsing

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, August 28th, 2008 - 36 comments
Categories: election 2008, greens, labour, national, nz first, polls - Tags:

Today’s Herald-Digi poll is the first to be released that was taken after the secret agenda tape scandal had fully emerged and had some time to sit in voters’ minds. Which makes it worrying reading for National. They have lost 5.4% support (54.4% to 50%) and Labour has benefited from that loss picking up 5.5% (30.8% to 36.3%). As with the other polls this month, the gap between the two parties is closing but this is by far the biggest narrowing; National’s lead has dropped from 24.6% to 13.7%.

To be fair, the last Herald Digipoll was out of step with the rest of the polls, showing Labour falling in July, while the other had it’s support bouncing back from the low 30s to mid 30s. So, in part, this poll is probably correcting that divergence. Nonetheless, 5% shifts and an 11% closing of the gap are highly unlikely to result from statistical variance. It seems likely we are seeing voters’ mistrust of National and their secret agenda starting to flow through into voting intentions. If National’s support keeps falling, even at a slower rate, they will rapidly find themselves in a position where they don’t have options to form a government despite being the largest party – if National doesn’t poll over 46% it will struggle for want of allies to form a government.

New Zealand First ought to worry too. Their support has dropped significantly, from 4.1% to 2.1%. Remember, these numbers are from before any impact from the Privileges Committee hearings and the Owen Glenn letter could be felt. (it is now in National’s interest to see NZF not return to Parliament and create a large wasted vote; the larger the wasted vote, the less close to 50% National needs to poll to govern. Hence, Key’s change of stance on Peters).

The other minor parties have bounced around a little but it’s probably more statistical noise than anything significant. The Greens are the only minor party to poll over 5%.

The next poll up is the Roy Morgan, due out today or tomorrow, it will be interesting to see how its trend moves.

36 comments on “Herald poll shows Nats’ lead collapsing”

  1. Scribe 1

    ACT moving from 0% to 2.3% is another big development. Having two extra seats on the Right could be the difference between being able to form a government and not.

    I expect ACT will get about 4% when all is said and done. Even with that canary yellow jacket.

  2. Patrick 2

    Good point Scribe, those three seats will make things interesting, especially seeing as number three on the ACT list is Roger Douglas, who Rodney still says he wants in Cabinet, while Key is saying the opposite. Interesting times. But you’re right in that there really can’t be any doubt that ACT would help prop up a National government.

    A genuine question though – what makes you think that ACT will continue to increase in support given how low they have been for so long?

  3. sdm 3

    Using your logic, how relavent are these polls as they do not take into account Clark’s handling (or lack thereof) of Peters.

  4. Scribe. don’t treat your audience as if they’re innumerate, we all understand margins of error. Obviously, ACT wasn’t actually on 0.2% at the time of the last poll – the difference between that poll and this one is probably mostly statistical variance.. of course, ACT might be picking up a little bleeding from National but one poll showing a 2% movement doesn’t mean much when a party is polling in the 1-2% range.

  5. Zarchoff 5

    So, based on that, Winston gone, Roger Douglas back! I await the inevitable National flip-flop on Douglas in cabinet.

  6. sdm. polls are relevant but you have to remember that

    a) they do not reflect very recent events
    b) they have margins of error and small statistical variance is normal between polls even if no change has taken place in the actual population
    c) not all people polled actually express an opinion – 17.1% were undecided in this poll
    d) there are methodolgical biases in polling that may negatively effect certain parties’ polling – they don’t call cell phones, they only ask for one respondant per household (so larger households may be underrepresented)

    captcha: “provisio notes” – i swear

    [lprent: less than 60% of the voters are accessible using phones. Places like north shore are considerably overrepresented, and south auckland is vastly underrepresented. In the end unless they provide the methodlogy, I treat all miniscule polls with suspicion. ]

  7. Rob 7

    Ohh but the support will come right back people have had enough of the Winston saga, and Helen using it to get through bills she wants in such as ETS.
    They see Helen now as devoid of Political integrity and doing everything to stay in ABSOLUTE POWER. Even at the expense of good leadership and governance.The truth is coming out faster and faster every day and this will’turn around and bite Labour in the polls. Great move by John Key showed intestinal fortitude.

    According to TV1 News tonight (lead story on http://tvnz.co.nz/) Winston Peters told the Privileges Committee that he did not attend the 2006 Karaka Sales.

    BUT >>>>

    See Hansard Volume 629, Week 6 – Tuesday, 14 February 2006
    [Volume:629;Page:1055]

    Tuesday, 14 February 2006
    Madam Speaker took the Chair at 2 p.m.

    http://tinyurl.com/5e2m4v

    Winston Peters: “I will give members an example relating to Don Brash and the National Party. I saw them at the Karaka saleyards this year. ‘

    Plus this photo: http://tinyurl.com/5bokzx

    [lprent: Doing a lot better. Roughly on topic, using links, and quotes to support your argument. ]

  8. Scribe 8

    Patrick: A genuine question though – what makes you think that ACT will continue to increase in support given how low they have been for so long?

    Steve: Scribe. don’t treat your audience as if they’re innumerate, we all understand margins of error… ACT might be picking up a little bleeding from National but one poll showing a 2% movement doesn’t mean much when a party is polling in the 1-2% range.

    ACT has been invisible for the best part of three years. Rodney is putting them back on the map by being the person who is holding Winston to account.

    The disdain for Peters in the court of public opinion is obvious; Rodney’s dogged attacks will help the party’s election day result greatly.

    Want a friendly bet on ACT’s result, SP?

    captcha: first litter (NZ First’s? might be some interesting reading in there)

  9. r0b 9

    They see Helen now as devoid of Political integrity and doing everything to stay in ABSOLUTE POWER.

    Bad news Rob, the only leader lately seen as devoid of Political integrity was dear departed Don Brash who did nothing to stand up to the HOLLOW MEN.

    These poll results are good news, but only a start. We need to see a lot more movement over the next few months if NZ is to avert the disaster of a National / Hollow Men II government…

  10. Steve – if that’s the case, the PM had better take the trip up to Gov House this arvo and tell the GG that she’s going to the country before the tide turns again – because make no mistake – it will.

    She and Winston Peters are wedded at the hip now, and any gains over the secret tapes dirty trick are going to be short-lived.

  11. Dom 11

    Will Hide really assist ACT’s position by attacking Peters? Yes, it’s keeping Hide in the news, and note that news is about Winston, but precious little else. This will help Rodney win Epsom but will it increase ACT’s party vote?

  12. Rob 12

    Hey great news have just heard that Helen has put more pressure on Winston again because of conflicting comments in other words. She is worried about The Crosby Textor strategy as she was looking desperate. This falls right into National hands and shows that she was prepared to throw out Political Integrity to try and garner support for her Emissions Taxation Scheme. It didn’t take long for the Nats to get back on the front foot again did it?

  13. Dom 13

    Given this week’s own goal over road tolls Key is having too much trouble getting his foot out of his mouth to put it anywhere near the front!

  14. Steve – this changes EVERYTHING

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/08/breaking-news-helen-knew-too.html

    Clark knew all along, but let Peters stay on as a Minister. No ifs, buts or maybes – she has to resign and dissolve Parliament.

  15. Rob 15

    Steve

    You are absolutely right if she knew and he is found guilty it is a very poor look for Labour this will be punished at the polls. Again it shows the need to stay in ABSOLUTE POWER at all costs political integrity, It has shown our parliament in a very bad light . Labours governance of this affair has been appalling. The public wont forget

  16. yl 16

    IV2,

    how does this change anything,

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10529498

    this says that she found out, asked Peters if it was true, he said no.

    Helen Clark has said along that she has to take the word of her minister first.

    The the committee finds something out then she can make a ruling.

    I dont think this changes much

  17. yl 17

    Rob,

    “Labours governance of this affair has been appalling. The public wont forget”

    well based on the trends of the last few polls, you are wrong,

    either the public have forgot, or dont care.

  18. Jasper 18

    The nats will continue sliding downwards to a 40% polling base.

    Labour will pick up roughly 38% of the vote.
    Labour + Anderton + Greens + Maori Party may well mean another coalition agreement.

    The MP are most likely going to win all the Maori Seats, and at least 3 electorates which will give them roughly 10 – 14 seats in parliament.
    I don’t see them working with National at all, however it is a worry that they do support the 90 day bill.

    SP – No post on Key being delusional and working with October 18 for an election date?

    [lprent: You know how that goes – writers pick what they want to write on. ]

  19. Rob 19

    YL

    The public didnt know about Helen hiding this until midday today. Hey whay about the 15 previous polls or do you have selective memory

  20. jasper too minor an issue. meaning to do something on Kiwibank profits.

    Inv2. The leader of Labour is not responsible for the funding arrangements of another political party.

  21. Steve – surely you jest! Helen Clark was happy to accept money from Owen Glenn and to bestow an honour upon him. She knew that he had given money to NZ First, despite what Peters told her. She must have had cause to question his integrity, even privately. Yet she has let him keep his Minsiterial warrant, whe has let him represent New Zealand (and her government) on the world stage, and has repeatedly defended him in the House.

    This is not an issue of “the funding arrangements of another political party” and we both know it. It is an issue of her credibility, and that of Winston Peters. And it is an issue of her fitness to hold the office of PM. And frankly, she falls short.

  22. monkey-boy 22

    I know how much we enjoy castigating ‘secret agendas’ here, you know, when they say one thing as a ‘line’ and actually have a completely different agenda in the background.

    Sickening isn’t it?

  23. Inv2. remember the timeline – the donations to Laobur wee in 2005 and 2006, the honour was debated by the appropriate comittee after Sir Howard Morrison, Glenn’s friend nominated him for the third time,(he had been turned down twice before) in 2007.. it was in Feb 2008 that Glenn mentioned a donation to peters to her on what was only the second time they had ever met… its not like Clark and Glenn know each other well… obviously when she called Peters and he denied it, that created a conflict of evidence.. but its not like she should have automatically accepted the word of Glenn – she doesn’t know him and its years after he helped labour financially.

  24. sdm 24

    “The leader of Labour is not responsible for the funding arrangements of another political party”

    That sales pitch wont work. But I would love you to run it. Unfortunately to Labour – Peters is linked at the hip to them.

    Thats how it will look. I think the election has just been lost.

  25. I think the election has just been lost.

    Oh noz! The election’s been lost. sdm has told it like it is!!!

  26. Daveski 26

    Any election campaign has highs and lows. National has struggled in recent weeks, partly through loose lips and party through a correction of what were at least historically artificial highs and lows for the Nats.

    Events over the last 48 hours change that.

    The left clearly have to deal with double standards all over the place.

    What a laugh – HC knew all along. All the justifications you can try won’t wash – HC has shown that she is the slippery one and if there is any secrets it’s on the left. The connection between Labour, NZF and Glenn is yet another nail in the coffin.

    The reason why SP won’t post on the election day is that there’s no way Labour wants to go to the polls with this hanging around.

  27. Steve said “she doesn’t know him and its years after he helped labour financially.”

    Oh dear Steve – have you forgotten the interest free loan? That’s ok – so did Mike Williams 😉

  28. Daveski – are you suggesting that Helen Clark had …a secret agenda??

  29. r0b 29

    Daveski – are you suggesting that Helen Clark had a secret agenda??

    No see a Secret Agenda is when you swallow dead fish, lie to the public, say that you won’t change any of Labour’s excellent policies that you have just adopted, and then get caught out telling the truth, when several of you senior ministers let slip that a National government has no intention of keeping those promises. Back to the 90’s! That’s a secret agenda.

    This Winston Peters mess, well, I don’t know what you’d call it beyond a fiasco, but a secret agenda it ain’t.

  30. Daveski 30

    IV2 – smack your wrist. There are never secrets, scandals or slipperiness on the left. That is the domain of the right.

    SP and the others in the HC fan club are simply hoist on their own petard. By exactly the same criteria that have been used to damn Key, Labour have been shown to be no better.

    I’ve been deliberate in my choice of words. Politics is a game played with high stakes. The left have argued that only the right treat it that way but all the evidence now shows that Labour is just as desperate to do whatever it can to retain power.

    Frankly, without wishing to sound like Hide, the whole episode is bad for NZ.

    Anyway, sit back and wait for the flip flops and double standards of Gold medal proportions!

  31. r0b 31

    By exactly the same criteria that have been used to damn Key, Labour have been shown to be no better.

    Ahhh – what? I’m genuinely puzzled as to what equivalence you think there is.

    HC is waiting for the Privileges Committee report, which seems to me like perfectly sensible thing to do. I know you Righties have whipped yourself into a frenzy of orgiastic anticipation and started stringing a rope for the lynching, but seriously, what is the problem in waiting for the PC to make its report?

  32. r0b 32

    Actually, I think SP may have it right here:

    Clark cuts the thread

  33. Scribe 33

    Jasper,

    The MP are most likely going to win all the Maori Seats, and at least 3 electorates which will give them roughly 10 – 14 seats in parliament.

    Do you know how MMP works? To get 10-14 seats, they’ll need to get 9-12% of the party vote. That’s not going to happen. If they win all 7 Maori seats but get 4% of the party vote, they get 7 seats and there becomes an overhang in Parliament (i.e. more than 120 MPs).

    They might be kingmakers, but the Maori Party won’t have 10-14 MPs.

  34. Daveski 34

    So r0b what is wrong with a Nat MP saying what might happen in the future? There is NO evidence of a secret agenda; in fact documented evidence to the contrary (Nats will not sell assets in first term).

    That hasn’t stopped the multitudes here concocting a mythical secret agenda and crowing from the hill tops.

    I’ve said the whole thing is sad. However, you yourself have shown how an objective assessment of the left’s actions is compared alongside the way the Nats actions have been assessed.

    I accept your justification of HC’s actions (I can happily agree with that) alongside a similar assessment of the Nats (there is no agenda; there is a policy to the contrary). Any other perspective is classic double standards.

    Regrettably, I’m off just as things get interesting 🙂

  35. r0b 35

    Sorry Daveski, I’m not quite sure what point you want me to address. Maybe when you get back you can rephrase? I’m soon off too however until late tonight.

  36. Monty 36

    So Labour’s real slippery and hidden agenda – but sadly timeing so much against them.
    1. Clark knew in Feb that Winnie the poodle had personally been given (yet undeclared) $100,000 for her good mate Owen Glen.
    2. Clark stood by while Winnie the Poodle lied about everyone who dared acuse him of corruption.
    3. Massive other rumours (probably all true) continue to surround Winnie the Poodle
    4. The whole thing blows wide open, (thanks to Sir Rodney) and Clark starts to panic –
    5. Matter referred to PC – Clark counts the days to the election – can she hold out the the SFO get involved.
    6. The SFO announce a week too early that they will investigate Winnie – in addition Owen Glenn to appear to the Privilages Committee and open up on all that he told Clark.
    7. The perfect Storm Brews – Clark needs to call the election urgently – but she wants to pass the ETS Bill.

    From Here Clark will pass the ETS Bill on Wednesday and immediately call an election next Wednesday to put a stop the the Privilages Committee hearing on Thursday Morning.

    Clark know knows the election is lost – her only ambition will be to prevent a complete routing on 18 October 2008.

    [lprent: What are you prepared to bet on that scenario coming off? I always like to place bets on sure things, and having a sucker someone else having a ridiculous belief certainty is the best way to bet.]

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