The NZ Herald poll made a certain amount of sense. Sure they’ve probably over-estimated National’s current support as they always do (see DimPost’s poll work), but National down more than 5% and Labour not making traction in the wake of Dirty Politics shouldn’t be surprising.
The media script is as always: Labour do something wrong, Labour bad. National do something wrong – terrible politicians.
We had Paddy Gower saying if someone looked at Labour’s emails we’d find the same thing, despite the fact that they don’t (nor indeed anyone but National) have anything like WhaleOil. The Standard was breathlessly named, but anyone taking a cursory glance will see the difference. No giving civil servants details out and having death threats for leaks they didn’t do for a start…
National’s defences of “Labour do it too” – even if they were untrue – wouldn’t have helped convert the vote to the red box.
And the Greens? They were much more front-footing the issue. Labour has difficulty going negative given they’ve chosen to focus on Vote Positive. So a gap opens for the Greens and they took it, with their official complaints and media presence.
And with their never having been in government, guaranteeing they’ve not used such dirty tricks, their track record of “clean green”, not wanting to play dirty, and their having been in parliament long enough to not come across as completely naive – it’s no wonder they are more the recipients of National’s drop.
NZ First – with Winnie’s record of finding corruption when in opposition – will also gain, and probably a little for the Conservatives too. Like in 2002 when Nicky Hager’s Seeds of Distrust dropped Labour’s support it didn’t go to National, but third parties. Probably not ACT this time – they’re hardly the anti-corruption party now, nor United Future, as Dunne’s done.
Labour meanwhile have to try and get their Vote Positive through the crowded Dirty Politics media.