Labour’s surge under Jacinda Ardern has us all talking about Labour vs National – who’s in front. This discussion seemed inconceivable just 2 months ago, and it is a sign how far Labour has come! Maybe Labour is ahead, maybe it’s National, rumour is that both parties’ internal polling has them neck and neck.
It is all good grist to the pundit mills of course, but it’s also old fashioned FPP thinking that misses a more important story, the huge mood for change. Labour and Greens represent a strong vote for change, and combined are almost certainly well ahead of the Nats. The other big chunk of votes is NZF. According to this excellent piece on The Spinoff NZF policy and rhetoric is much better aligned with the left than the right. Significantly, a clear plurality of Kiwis want NZF to go with Labour not National:
The latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton election poll has revealed Kiwis would prefer New Zealand First supports a Labour-led government.
The poll showed 46 per cent of respondents supported Labour, a third say National and seven per cent don’t want the party in government at all. The rest don’t know. …
Another way of putting this is that on current polling averages Labour have more options for putting together a government than National (in fact National may have none).
The mood for change is real, and it is significantly out-polling the stale status quo. After nine long years of National we have entrenched poverty, a crumbling health system, crises in housing and homelesness, dying rivers, and no credible commitment to reducing climate change. The government that sat on its hands all this time is not capable of fixing these problems. That is why we need to #ChangeTheGovernment, and that is why the mood for change is real.