A dinner party conversation turned to politics because one of our number had been polled on the election. One of the questions she’d been asked was, what was the most important issue?
She said, that’s really hard to answer because so many issues are important. Health, education . . . how can you say one’s more important than the other?
She’s right but I opt for the economy when asked what’s most important. That’s because if it’s not doing well we can’t afford the high standard of health care, education and everything else we expect the public purse to pay for; and if it’s going well then more of us are better able to look after ourselves and fewer need the help of the tax payer.
That’s one of the reasons I opt for the bluer section of the political spectrum and because of that I’m encouraged by the latest Herald Digipoll survey which found most people reckon National is the best party to steer us through an economic downturn.
When asked whether a Labour-led government or a National-led one would better handle the New Zealand economy as the world faces a downturn, 49.6 per cent of respondents gave John Key’s party their support.
Helen Clark’s Labour was behind on 40.7 per cent – an 8.9-point gap that is not enormous but is larger than what has been seen in some earlier polls that have asked the same or a similar question. The rest – 9.7 per cent – either didn’t know or refused to answer the question.
With just two days to go until New Zealanders cast their ballots, the poll results suggest National is winning the battle to convince voters who would be the best economic manager.
Underlining this is the strong support National also enjoys when it comes to which party voters think will lead the next government.
National rated 49.5 per cent, and Labour was trailing on 36.8 per cent.
National leadership has a combination of experience in international finance, domestic business and government. Labour has academics who’ve failed to make the most of the good times and left the cupboard bare when we most need it well stocked.