Support for he Labour Party is below 30% in the latest Herald DigiPoll survey:
Labour’s support has sunk nearly six points and it is polling only 29.5 per cent in the Herald-DigiPoll survey.
The popularity of leader David Cunliffe has fallen by almost the same amount, to 11.1 per cent. That is worse than the 12.4 per cent worst rating of former leader David Shearer.
National could govern alone with 50.8 per cent if the poll were translated to an election result.
The popularity of John Key as Prime Minister has climbed by 4.6 points to 66.5 per cent. That is his best rating since the election but not as high as he reached in his first term when he often rated more than 70 against Phil Goff.
The increases in support for National and the Greens since December put them at their highest ratings since the 2011 election.
The Greens are up 2.3 points to 13.1 per cent and with Labour would muster a combined 42.6 per cent.
New Zealand First is down slightly to 3.6 per cent but leader Winston Peters’ ratings as preferred Prime Minister at 6.5 per cent suggest the party could still top the 5 per cent threshold required to get MPs under MMP without requiring an electorate seat.
Other polls have shown a decline in Labour’s fortunes this year but today’s is the first to have Labour in the 20s since Mr Cunliffe took over the leadership from Mr Shearer in September last year. . .
Polling began on March 6, in the midst of the fallout over his use of trusts for donations.
But it continued through last week when Mr Key condemned minister Judith Collins for her failure to declare a dinner in Beijing with her husband’s business associates. . . .
The last fortnight was dire for Labour and last week wasn’t good for National, but maybe it’s only political tragics who are really interested in these issues.
Mr Key said the poll was a confirmation that a majority of New Zealanders believe the country is heading in the right direction “but clearly there is a lot more work to be done if we are to create the jobs and increase the living standards that New Zealanders want to see”. . .
Asked if the issue of Mr Cunliffe’s of Ms Collins non-declarations would have affected the poll, he said: “Voters weigh up a great many factors when considering who to support but I continue to believe the strongest motivation is when a political party is focused on the issues that really matter to voters.” . . .
Individual polls bounce around but this one confirms the trend which shows National and its leader are popular, Labour and its leader aren’t.
There’s just six months until the election.
That’s time enough for National to slip a few points and make it difficult to form a coalition.
But it’s not a lot of time for Labour to climb out of the doldrums and convince voters it could offer good governance and stability with the collection of support parties it would need.