National/Act (47%) would beat Labour/Greens (46%) if there were an election held tomorrow, according to the latest One News Kantar poll.
Sure, these things go up and down like a … well you know what they go up and down like.
Greens at 9% appear to be sweet, but that’s a bit of a sideshow to government.
We need to look a little deeper at the confidence people feel. It’s at its lowest level since Ardern was elected in October 2017.
Confidence in the government has fallen 54.4 points in just a year.
It may well be that any political leader who has led through the pandemic will take a major hit, whether they be Scott Morrison, Justin Trudeau, or Boris Johnson. Ardern has managed through a crisis but there is no ‘fairness’ to how the public will react to that.
With National and Act aiming for that tried and true formula of decreasing taxes and stopping ‘wasteful’ spending, the pressure is on Labour to reassert with policy frameworks that show that New Zealand really is going in the right direction.
It would be weird to see Labour lose the 2023-4 election when the economy is so good in employment and export prices, government books are much better than expected in terms of both debt and income, there’s not much legislation happening, and a severe domestic crisis has been largely averted.
It’s also perplexing that the confidence decline is hitting even before inflation was accelerating and ’91 wasn’t $2.12 – $2.30 already.
Labour haven’t hit bottom in terms of confidence.
The set pieces that enable the government to re-gain discourse dominance are largely in the hands of the Minister of Finance now, but Budget is still 2 months away.
What are Ardern’s best ways to recover this?