These days even the polls that have traditionally biased towards the right are moving left. Rob Salmond at Polity has a look at the latest NZ Herald poll. It is no wonder that National’s PR people including Audrey Young are spinning randomly like tops on a rough surface…
National up less than a point over Labour + Greens
From your New Zealand Herald this morning:
Polity’s poll of polls has a similar dynamic.
The Herald says this result shows the Maori Party holding the balance of power. I disagree, at least looking forward to the actual election.
The Maori Party’s delegation will very likely shrink, as they lose some of their electorate seats and their party vote stays low. New Zealand First, on the flip side, is a good bet to have a delegation of 6-8 MPs, despite sitting below the 5% threshold at the moment. (“Learning the lessons of history” and all that.)
Given this poll in December 2013, the best bet in November 2014 is that National and the Left Bloc remain more or less tied, and that Winston Peters gets to choose the Prime Minister. Despite all the angry words between him and John Key, I think there is a very real chance New Zealand First would opt for National in that situation. Second fiddle receives more baubles than third fiddle.
This landscape shaping up just like 1996 in some important ways. If voters want to change the government, their best choice is Labour, not New Zealand First.