Last week I wrote about a Horizon poll which suggested that the Nats’ mishandling of the Rena disaster was costing them votes. That’s probably one of the factors behind the drop in their support in the latest 3 News / Reid poll. It’s the Nats’ largest drop (in this poll) since becoming the government.
National 52.3% (down 5.1%)
Labour: 30.2% (up 3.6%)
NZ First: 2.4%
Here’s a summary from Duncan Garner:
Gap closes between Key and Goff in poll
The first television poll of the election is out; the latest 3 News Reid Research Poll shows the gap between the National and Labour Party’s narrowing with just 27 days to go until the election.
It comes on the day National launched its campaign for a second term in office and a disruptive start to National’s campaign launch. Protestors marched out their gripe, saying there are too many kids living in poverty. The protest marks a rocky month for Prime Minister John Key.
He was criticised for the government’s slow reaction to the Rena’s grounding on Tauranga’s Astrolabe Reef, saying “we did everything we could”.
He was then accused of not telling the truth over the government’s two credit downgrades and his explanations were not convincing.
This is its biggest drop since [National] took office three years ago.
The gap is still 22 points but once you add the Greens and the possible return of Winston Peters, things get tighter for National. …
We also asked voters how are Mr Key and Mr Goff performing. Amongst those who say Mr Key is performing well, he slumps just over five points. And more people think he is doing a poor job.
A long way to go yet, but it’s an encouraging start to the election campaign for the Left. Now if the focus turns to the Nats’ actual record while in office, their empty headed presidential-style campaign, and the clear and important policy differences between National and Labour, the next poll in this series just might show the gap closing further!