The polls will tighten before the election.
Polls are only a snapshot of what is happening at the time.
The only poll that counts is the one of election day.
I know all that, but still I do enjoy a headline like this one for the front-page lead in the Dominion: National steams ahead National 54% Labour 35%
National has shrugged off its worst week under John Key to emerge even stronger in today’s Fairfax Media-Nielsen poll, which has it 19 percentage points ahead and comfortably governing alone.
Secret recordings and loose talk by National MPs may have had the Beehive in a spin – but voters appear to have disregarded them.
When you are interested and involved in politics it is sometimes difficult to understand that other people have lives which they get on with happily without being concerned about the minutiae going on in the Thordon bubble.
On today’s results, it is not just Labour facing a rout on election night – the ranks of the minor parties would be ravaged.
Meanwhile, the news just keeps getting worse for NZ First, dogged by controversy over party funding.
Its support has slipped back to 2 per cent, hard on the heels of a poll showing leader Winston Peters is the underdog in Tauranga.
But National leader John Key looks unstoppable – he is now the preferred prime minister for 43 per cent of voters, against Helen Clark’s 31 per cent.
And on page two:
Labour has just weeks to turn around a likely election rout before Prime Minister Helen Clark names the day she goes to the polls.
Today’s Fairfax Media-Nielsen poll has National shrugging off one of its worst weeks under John Key to maintain a seemingly unassailable lead – up three percentage points to 54 per cent support, compared with Labour, which is steady on 35. The rise is even more marked for Mr Key. His popularity as preferred prime minister is up four points to 43, with Miss Clark on 31.
The result is a blow to Labour’s hopes that a mini recovery in last month’s poll signalled the start of a fightback before an election date must be named.
Equally alarmingly for the Government, the lift in National’s support comes despite unguarded comments by National MPs to a cocktail party saboteur who leaked recordings of deputy leader Bill English’s suggestion that state-owned Kiwibank might be sold “eventually”.
His apparent undermining of Mr Key sparked Labour warnings that National had a hidden agenda. But voters appear to have taken those warnings with a grain of salt, and marked the affair down as loose talk, rather than a signal of sinister intentions.
As it was.
The results of the poll which surveyed 1102 voters; has a margin of error of 2.9%; and excluded 11% of those who responded “don’t know” are:
National 54% (up 3 from 51 in July)
Labour 35 % (35)
Green Party 4% (5)
NZ First 3% (4)
Maori Party 2% (2)
Act 1% (1)
United Future 0% (0)