The Roy Morgan poll results have been included in the latest rolling poll from Molesworth and Featherston and shows that National – despite John Key’s confident prediction of a landslide victory (The Press, 9 Jun 2007) – is going to have to lift its game if it wants to present itself as a viable alternative. Current numbers show a tight fight. From this week’s M&F [offline]:
One new poll into the data this week, from Roy Morgan, showing the gap between the two big parties closing dramatically to about 5 percentage points. Of course the change in our rolling poll is muted, but the trend is still there & this week the gap narrows to just a tick over 10 points. The shift in seat distribution, though slight, is very significant however leading to an effective 61-61 hung Parliament between left and right. The numbers are (assuming sitting leaders & but not Phillip Field or Gordon Copeland & are returned and the Maori Party holds its four constituency seats):
National: 47.84, 59
Labour: 37.61, 47
Greens: 7.01, 9
NZ First: 2.65, 0
Maori Party: 2.21, 4
United Future: 0.99, 1
Act: 0.67, 1
Progressives: 0.19, 1
It is a 122 seat Parliament with overhang seats for the Maori Party and Jim Anderton & significantly both on the left of the spectrum. National can no longer govern with the support of Act and United Future alone (61 seats). Labour, Jim Anderton, the Greens and the Maori Party also total 61. At that point it would be down to some very fine negotiating skills and who blinked first. A very volatile Parliament indeed.
The Nats haven’t wanted to proclaim it too loudly but we all know those massive poll leads had them rubbing their hands in glee that they would be a majority government and could rule without reference to other parties. These results show that they have a lot of work to do to make that happen. So plan B is that they are going to have to find some more “like minds”. Will Bob roll over for Winston in Tauranga? Will they present a tame tax package to allow room for ACT? Will they invite the Maori party to their Xmas drinks?