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The decline and fall in National’s polling under English

Written By: - Date published: 4:19 pm, September 10th, 2017 - 144 comments
Categories: bill english, election 2017, jacinda ardern, Judith Collins, national, paula bennett, Politics - Tags:

This election is starting to feel like a rerun of 2002.  I could not believe how bad the campaign was back then.  The campaign launch felt like a funeral and nothing went right.

And when the dust settled National polled 21%.

This is a graph that has surfaced showing relative changes to National’s polling after English took over as leader.  I have not been able to double check the earlier figures for 2002 but certainly during the campaign support for National slid by 9% points.

It is not pretty.

I am not saying that it will match this again.  But a result in the low 30s is not out of the question and is looking more and more likely.

And if this occurs you can bet there will be a leadership spill.

Already the likely starters are showing up.  Paula Bennett is a non starter.  She is also in serious trouble.

Bridges?  Too unlikeable.

The only two possibilities are Nicky Kaye, who worked out the best way to deal with Jacinda Ardern was to avoid debating with her and Judith Collins.

Fun times …

144 comments on “The decline and fall in National’s polling under English ”

  1. Vaughn 1

    Amy Adams? Todd McLay? I don’t pretend to know very much about either of them, but surely they’re better contenders for National party leadership than Collins. But I agree with you regarding Kaye. She and she alone offers National the best chance of trying to blunt the influence of Jacinda.

  2. Chess Player 2

    English is no kind of leader, and while everyone could see that last time, it seems some need a reminder.
    This reinforces, of course, how many NZ voters are driven by personality politics as opposed to the policies themselves.
    Many were happy with Key, but are not happy with Bill, even though the policies have not changed much.
    Same for Labour – the difference between Little and Ardern is the reason for the higher polls, as the policies haven’t changed radically on that side either.
    As for who would replace English?
    I’d say someone who’s ambitious but dumb will get the job and do the work of leading the opposition for a while before being rolled in time for the next election.
    Take your pick – there’s plenty of options in their caucus….

  3. Stephen Doyle 3

    Judith as caretaker, rally the troops, take it to the opposition etc. Then early 2020 gets rolled by Simon Bridges. ( He’s a man.)

  4. Roy 4

    They really are a dire bunch. Look how many good people there are in the L/G bloc who could lead… Grant, Andrew, James, Marama, even Tracey Martin is better than anyone in NP. the mask has well and truly slipped.

    • Yes ,… the John Key mask.

    • lurgee 4.2

      We’ve had our own fair share and then some of indifferent leaders.

      Let’s not get too cocky just because National are caught in the Goff years … A wry nod, and a sympathetic wink, rather than jeering.

      Because we’ll be back there again, soon enough …

  5. UncookedSelachimorpha 5

    Glad to see the back of this National government. But it is sort of perverse that the behaviour, ethics, policies and beliefs of John Key were if anything worse than those of Bill English, and yet such a different perception from the general public. In no way do I think English is worse for NZ than Key was – both are appalling.

    • boggis the cat 5.1

      An honest regressive is preferable to a dishonest regressive.

      Key is a slippery, dead-eyed, weirdo, with some ability to act like a normal human being. English at least acts in accordance with who he is. (In my ‘I am not a psychiatrist, but’ opinion.)

      • tracey 5.1.1

        In rugby parlance English is a Todd Blackadder. A really steady domestic player and people wanted him to be a good All Black but he wasnt.

        I do think English is a good Nat team man. I bet the cowards who will line up to plunge the knife post election were no where to be seen when Keys replacement was needed.

    • tracey 5.2

      Key was caught in so many lies or in misleading. The difference? Seems to be the willingness of the media to shine a light on it.

  6. Incognito 6

    The Incredible Shrinking Mandate.

    The mandate that got wheeled out to justify just about everything under the sun, but without letting the sunlight in, of course.

    You have to love our FPP-styled approach to democracy …

  7. ScottGN 7

    The NBR would seem to agree with you about Nikki Kaye. They splashed her all over the front page of last Friday’s edition as a possible contender to take National into the 2020 election.

  8. Carolyn_nth 8

    Wild Card – Simon Power to return to politics in next year.

  9. dev 9

    Nicky will go first but won’t get anywhere. Apart from Helen Clark, when was the last time ‘the next prime minister’ in parliament before the start of that party’s term in opposition?

    • alwyn 9.1

      What exactly are you asking?
      The new PMs since the second World War, who came into the job by taking over from a Government from the alternative side, were.
      1949 Holland
      1957 Nash
      1960 Holyoake
      1972 Kirk
      1975 Muldoon
      1984 Lange
      1990 Bolger
      1999 Clark
      2008 Key
      Only Holland, Lange and Key became PM after entering Parliament when their own party was in Opposition. Even at that Holland had been there for 14 years.
      The simple answer to you question is Bolger, the one immediately before her in taking over from the Opposition. Hers was the normal route, not an exception.
      Of those who took over the job during a parliamentary session, rather than an election, all of them, that is Holyoake, Marshall, Rowling, Shipley and English had been in Parliament during their parties last term in opposition.

      • Richard Christie 9.1.1

        What exactly are you asking?

        Yes, dev’s comment/question is incoherent.

      • tracey 9.1.2

        Thanks for this.

        I got confused after Bolger. Who is the she you are referring to? Shipley?

        • alwyn 9.1.2.1

          No. That was Clark I meant there..
          Dev’s question, to which I was replying was “Apart from Helen Clark…….”, I was referring to Clark when I said “her” and “hers”. I see why you got confused though. It isn’t terribly well worded is it? I meant that Bolger, like Clark, took over directly from the Opposition job rather than succeeding one of their own party.
          Also it should have been your not you before the word question.
          I guess my comment was as confused as Dev’s.

  10. Kat 10

    Maggie Barry………..huge experience with pruning, cutting back, weeding out, fertilizing, leaf raking and composting. Not to mention a dab hand at spreading the manure. Has the required previous celebrity TV personality status to keep MSM entertained. No real social or economic skills required as normal for a Nat. Should be a shoe in.

  11. Pete 11

    “Paula Bennett is a non starter. She is also in serious trouble.”

    The electorate forecast has her at 52%+. That’s not in trouble. She’ll cruise in.

    http://insights.nzherald.co.nz/article/2017-election-forecast/

    • I really , really hope she does.

      We can then look forward to decades of a Labour led govt being in power.

    • ScottGN 11.2

      I don’t think that was the trouble Mickey was referring to…

      • Pat 11.2.1

        lol..+1

      • Pete 11.2.2

        41 people in the country saying she is in ‘trouble’ means nothing. If she had ‘trouble’ and it was out like the Aaron Smith thing, or a ‘troubling situation’ which the electorate was aware of, think Northland, it might be or some relevance and even significance. She doesn’t, it isn’t.

    • mickysavage 11.3

      She is in trouble in that her personal rating amongst National’s caucus has plummeted for some reason I cannot put my finger on.

      • Pat 11.3.1

        large extinct native flightless birds

      • ScottGN 11.3.2

        That Herald forecasting tool throws up some weird results though.
        It has Winston coming third in Northland for example. And doesn’t even mention Raf Manji in Ilam.
        Good to see that it does, however, forecast Labour piling up some seriously good Party Vote totals in the south and west Auckland heartlands, Dunedin and Wellington.

        • ScottGN 11.3.2.1

          Also has Priyanca Radhakrishnan taking Maungakiekie of the Nats though which is good to see. Labour tends to hold that seat when it is in government.

        • Pete 11.3.2.2

          Does it throw up weird results because of the weird factors they base their opinions on?

          “Predictions for candidate vote by electorate take into account the trends in previous elections and polling data. These are hardest to predict because of tactical voting.”

          What polling data is there in Northland specifically relating to candidates? What relevance do “trends in previous elections” have in that seat related to NZF?

          What polling is there in Whangarei that has Reti on 45% , Tony Savage on 29% and Jones on 13%?

          They make allowance for special factors in Epsom. What that equals is that the numbers are opinions based on guesswork.

      • Ad 11.3.3

        Curious.

      • KJT 11.3.4

        They have scored an own goal with the bene bashing of Metiria Turei.

        Bennet is just as vulnerable, as no one gets through WINZ unscathed, if they survive, unless they have a lot of outside help and resources.

      • Craig GlenEden 11.3.5

        you dont want to put your finger any where near IT, Mickey. haha

      • tc 11.3.6

        More unsavory dealings they’re trying to do a richard worth/prominent nz with perhaps ?

        Pullya lives the limelight and a good dog whistle so its suss shes not about the place spreading her odious persona helping the nact cause.

    • greg 11.4

      thats to we get to work on her benefit history and leak her private details what comes around goes around

    • tracey 11.5

      He doesnt mean she will lose her seat but will not get Leadership. Hint of character: proud to be a westie. First sign of competition buggers off to upper class dominating Upper Harbour

  12. Hongi Ika 12

    New Zealand First have the best policies and the best leadership however they are not covered by MSM unless there is some shit to fly around http://www.nzfirst.org.nz

    • Union city greens 12.1

      They haven’t and they don’t. Winston’s fucked this election, then he’s dead.
      Shane Jones loses to Ron Marks as leader to take NZ1st into oblivion to join Dunne and UF. Old people and racist bigots find someone else to appease their shallow mindedness.

      • alwyn 12.1.1

        Oh well. When NZF go they will be following the current Green Party into the outer darkness.
        I see the Greens were apparently going to announce what they would do about Climate Change today. Did they do so? Was it the same as the policy the Labour Party announced on Friday? If so will any news media report it?

        • KJT 12.1.1.1

          Greens will get 8%, don’t worry.

        • boggis the cat 12.1.1.2

          Their policy is here:
          http://www.worthsaving.org.nz/

          Or were you referring to something more specific?

          • alwyn 12.1.1.2.1

            It hardly seems worth reading.
            Is there anything there that Labour didn’t announce on Friday?
            For parties with this fabled “MOU” Labour really do seem to be putting the boot into the Green Party don’t they?
            Were the Green party advised about what Jaciinda Ardern was going to do on Friday?

            • WILD KATIPO 12.1.1.2.1.1

              … ” It hardly seems worth reading ” …

              I hate to say it , alwyn , but erm… your none too subtle attempts at keeping the faith with a sinking National is kind of getting… less than convincing,…. shall we say….

              • alwyn

                You really don’t know anything about my political views you silly boy (or silly girl).
                I don’t have any “faith” in a political party. I would be only too happy to be able to support Labour this election but they really don’t appear to be capable of running a Government.

                The National Party are clearly old and tired. The problem is that the main alternative doesn’t have any willingness to let us know what their economic policies really are. What are they going to do with their taxes and at what levels will they be set?

                My only consolation if Labour get in is that they will have to form a coalition with Winston, who will control the silliest of their policies. I also do not expect there to be a “Green” party in the house.
                Perhaps someone will be able to form a genuine environmental party before 2020 which has room for a Kennedy Graham but can dispense with the likes of Davidson.

                • Ha!… we have seen you staunchly sing the praises of National for the past few years and now they look like they are going to cave you seem to be warming to Labour.

                  With , of course, the caveat of inserting that Labour ‘they really don’t appear to be capable of running a Government ‘.

                  So that just shows that either you don’t know you’re own mind or vote on personality / whoever’s likely to win, – rather than policy. OR , – you are being duplicitous intentionally.

                  It would appear that the only reason you say that , … is not because you ‘ would be only too happy to be able to support Labour this election ‘ , – but rather as a continuance of your tired jaded attempts at painting the Left Bloc as National try’s to , – as a risk , as financially incapable. Despite the surpluses of the Helen Clarke govt which National was the benefactor of , – and are now squandering.

                  Silly boy.

                  • alwyn

                    Actually I am the classic swinging voter.
                    Over the last 36 years I have voted Labour in 1981,1984, 1987, 1999 and 2002.
                    I voted National in 1990, 1996, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014.
                    I don’t think any Government should go more than 3 terms. They get old and tired. Key was the only major politician I can think of who realised he was worn out and left on his own terms.

                    The Clark Government did quite a good job in their first two terms. However in 2005, in a desperate bid to get a third term they brought in the totally crazy interest free student loans system and the equally foolish Kiwisaver. It did absolutely nothing to increase the New Zealand savings. It merely switched them to a ridiculously subsidised form of savings.
                    Labour then led New Zealand into the GFC a year ahead of anyone else and left our prospects in the pits in 2008. They had totally stuffed the economy and left us with the prospect of a decade of deficits.

                    We may get a Labour led Government. God knows what they will do with the tax system and with Industrial relations policy.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      What a load of drivel. The decade of deficits happened under National, caused – according to Treasury, who made the prediction – by global economic conditions.

                      The predictions assumed that Labour wouldn’t adjust its spending to suit.

                      Then, gullible fools like you believed English and Key when they talked out of both sides of their mouths – saying one thing to business audiences (“the is the rainy day the government has been saving up for”) and another to their dupes (that’s you).

                      After nine years you still haven’t woken up to being played. It’s pathetic.

                      Edit: when the sky fails to fall on your head over the course of the sixth Labour government, get some personal responsibility and acknowledge it. Earn some of your dignity back.

                    • tracey

                      And yet you repeat Nat memes likre they are fact ad nauseum. Can you link to Nats full costing of their spending promises up to and including the first home buyer bribe yesterday

            • tracey 12.1.1.2.1.2

              Do National, Act and MP consult each other alwyn?

              You seem to dislike the transparency of an agreement to work together to defeat National? Can you post the independent costings link for Nationals spending promises including the bribe to first home buyers yesterday?

              • alwyn

                “Do National, Act and MP consult each other alwyn”.
                I very much doubt it during an election campaign. They are, if they are sensible, campaigning exclusively for their own parties.
                So are the Labour Party, as far as I can see. They may have been happy to have a MOU when they were polling very badly but I don’t think they will be taking any notice of it now. They will be, as any party should, be trying to get as many votes for themselves as they can.

                On their current polling levels they will need Winston but not the Greens. Indeed, I can see no reason why they should want the Greens in the house at all, and their campaigning and policy announcements appear to be having the effect of cutting off the Green Party air.
                They won’t announce that they have cut the Greens off. That could cost them some votes of their own. They certainly won’t be helping them though.

                Remember 2005 when Labour abandoned the Green Party at the altar?
                I think they will do it again if they can get away with it. After all the certainly aren’t talking about including the Green Party in Government are they? All they is promising is that they will give them a telephone call.

                • tracey

                  LOL@ you being an alleged swinging voter. You cant let go the Nats apron strings

                • tracey

                  I have been getting stick here for saying Labour may well go with NZF altho today Winston showed a preference for Nats. You swing in the sense that you vote for whichever party is the current incarnation of Me-ism.

                  • alwyn

                    “today Winston showed a preference for Nats”.
                    I didn’t see that, although it doesn’t surprise me. I commented on this topic the other day.
                    Winston is likely to attack Labour and the Greens if he sees the slightest chance that they could form a Government without him.
                    Have a look at the second half of this comment from last week.

                    Labour takes the lead in RNZ poll of polls


                    It isn’t a new opinion either. Look at the last part of this comment in March 2016

                    Can We Trust Winston Peters?


                    You should never expect him to do anything except promote Winston’s best interests.
                    As for your view that ” You swing in the sense that you vote for whichever party is the current incarnation of Me-ism.”.
                    I follow the view that I will vote for the people who will provide the best future for New Zealand. I am far to old to bother that much about my own future.

  13. Adrian 13

    Cometh the hour, cometh the man ! . NICK SMITH, tanned, rested and ready.

  14. Ad 14

    Bennett with Bridges as Deputy.

    Bennett is fearless in the House and bested Ardern easily in debate. Hard to see Joyce continuing.

    Big question is Shadow Finance.

    (Unless Winston goes with National.
    Not impossible at all.)

    • ScottGN 14.1

      Quite apart from the fact that Bennett has become a bit of a liability for National her combative, patronising style would do nothing to help the party if they are put into opposition.

    • Robert Guyton 14.2

      Bennett is unlovable. Lovability is what this election’s all about (donchaknow!).
      Jacinda!

      • Ad 14.2.1

        Love is great for getting elected. But when Ardern crashes the property markets, what the Opposition and the mortgage-owning bourgeois need …

        …is hate.

        Hate and rage.

        For that, a Bennett-Collins combination would be awesome to behold.

  15. Ian Macdonald 15

    Bridges/Kaye

    • tracey 15.1

      God please not Bridges

    • tc 15.2

      Yeeees slimey bridges please yes, he can respond to some q&a over his portfolios from incoming ministers to show everyone what a lying little sock puppet he is.

      Once they’re gone the job of ensuring nz is well aware of their gutiing and wrecking begins, lest we forget etc.

  16. Kat 16

    Cameron Slater……………… nothing to lose after going through the bottom of the barrel and the Nats like helicoptering leaders in. Bennett would remain as deputy and they would be the first twin – like Nat leaders which would have huge celebrity status with the MSM.

  17. So the consensus is : Sweetie for PM , and ‘Bridges’ Bridges for Deputy.

    Yep ,… that oughta do it.

    Perfect.

  18. irascible 18

    Once the PR spin stops the incredibly shallow pool the National Party can draw its MPs from becomes obvious. How about Gerry Brownlee as Leader in the interim?

  19. Ad 19

    Joyce as leader, Bridges as Deputy.

    That would be very markets-agreeable.

  20. Robert Guyton 20

    Mary! Don’t forget Mary.

  21. ianmac 21

    @ Micky ” Paula Bennett is a non starter. She is also in serious trouble.”

    Is there anything specific for Bennett’ serious trouble?

  22. Tricledrown 23

    Double Dipped out Djavu 2002.

  23. If they go down in the woods today ,
    They’re sure of a big surprise
    If they go down in the woods today
    Nats better go in disguise

    For every Lab / Green that ever there was
    Will gather there for certain
    Because today’s the day the
    New Zealanders have their election !

    Election time for the Left wing Bloc,
    The Left wing Bloc are having
    A lovely time today
    Watch them, catching all the votes,
    And see them governing with a loud hip hip – hooray !

  24. Kat 25

    Wild Katipo…….the long warm sunny picnic is about to begin.

  25. swordfish 26

    I have not been able to double check the earlier figures for 2002 but certainly during the campaign support for National slid by 9% points.

    Depends which Pollsters you look at:

    The 2002 New Zealand Election Study’s polling suggested the Nats had already crashed well before the final month of the campaign, remaining pretty steady in the final 4 weeks between 20-25%.

    The Herald-Digi showed a relatively steady 8 point decline over the final 50 or so days of the campaign (from 31% (10 June) down to 23% (26 July), the day before the Election)

    TV One Colmar Brunton recorded an 11 point fall for the Nats over the final 2 months (32% down to 21% – with a particularly heavy decline over the final 10 days of the campaign – plunging from 27% down to 21%)

    While TV3 showed some similarities with the NZES, recording a very mild decline over the final 50 days of the campaign – the Nats already down on 24% as early as 10 June, then drifting down slightly to 21% by their final poll, 2 days before the Election.

    So … A Tale of 4 Pollsters

    • … ” While TV3 showed some similarities with the NZES, recording a very mild decline over the final 50 days of the campaign – the Nats already down on 24% as early as 10 June, then drifting down slightly to 21% by their final poll, 2 days before the Election ” …

      Reminds me of an ocean liner sinking then finally coming to rest on the sea bed and finally settling into the mud …

    • tracey 26.2

      Swordy? Are you able to access polls for the Greens in elections prior to 2005 and how the polls matched, or did not, their election day result?

      I am interested in how the Greens fared when Labour was stronger. My sense is their core is aroubd 5.8_6.8% of the vote in those circumstances?

  26. silvertuatara 27

    1 more poll with English/Nat’s on the decline will it take for National to consider spilling Bill in the next 2 weeks. However so close to the election National must weight up the lack of cut through outside of the MSM a change to Nikki Kaye will make, and every day the election comes closer, there is one less day for her to visit the regions, meeting and greeting the people.

    If National do Spill Bill, then this will validate further the political commentators and general public’s comments calling out English’s support of Joyce’s Fiscal Hole Hit. The general public has seen through this National smear.

    The first week of Nikki Kaye’s position of PM, if this transpired prior to the Election, would be her repeatedly answering whether Joyce’s fiscal hole smear was a lie.

    If Kaye continued to support Joyce’s debunked smear then she herself would be called out on matters of trust, and if she came clean and admitted that Joyce was just plain wrong, then the whole National Party campaign for the past 2 weeks and the remainder of the election will struggle further with her own validation of Joyce’s smear campaign.

    I wonder if Barcley’s recording device is still floating around the Beehive, or perhaps lodged down the back of a seat on a Blue Electioneering bus…..would be interesting to see whether the temperature within the Nat Caucus has passed boiling yet and who is the next front runner to lead the National Party…either before or after the election.

    • Craig H 27.1

      In my opinion, now that voting has started, spilling any leader can only really hurt the chances, not help.

  27. tracey 28

    A friend of mine who is left on the spectrum spent yesterday with her father and his wife. Her father to her memory has only ever voted National or Act. Yesterday they both talked effusively about voting Labour. This kind of anecdote doesnt bode well for Nats. However this couple are in Hawkes Bay so maybe voting Nash? Which is like voting National 😉

    My father, a National voter since his second election with a couple of daliances with Act remains staunchly National and believes Joyces hole.

  28. tracey 29

     friend of mine who is left on the spectrum spent yesterday with her father and his wife. Her father to her memory has only ever voted National or Act. Yesterday they both talked effusively about voting Labour. This kind of anecdote doesnt bode well for Nats. However this couple are in Hawkes Bay so maybe voting Nash? Which is like voting National 

    My father, a National voter since his second election with a couple of daliances with Act remains staunchly National and believes Joyces hole.

  29. Thinkerr 30

    I’ve watched Judith Collins in the past 12 months or so. She’s playing by the book, and has never been on the media’s radar screen when troubles about. My money’s on the Crusher as the Matriarch of the next National, seemingly in its wilderness period. That means a male deputy, which in my guess is going to be Bridges, as the kind of character National would want to take to a winnable election as leader. English took them to the depths of despair in 02, and they had a winning formula by 08, so they might imagine doing it again with Bridges and a cheeky grin as with the transition from Brash to Key.

    Lets assume that the polls are accurately forecasting the outcome, though, and we get a Left government this year.

    This election appears to be the one I’ve been waiting for, or I hope so. For the first time there seems to be growing media recognition that neoliberalism is not what it was said to be and if the left win, I think there’ll be a post-election media opinion that it was the humanity factor that made the difference. That should mean that National will need to move away from the messages of the past (low-inflation-at-all-costs, tax-cuts paid for by benefit cuts, etc) before it can come back.

    Granted, there’s a lot of ifs and maybes in all that, but if its on the right track, its going to be the hardest thing to go back to the kind of conservative politics of the likes of Holyoake & Marshall.

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