I’ve sat through countless candidate college and campaign training sessions where aspiring MPs have been told if the PM is talking about them when he wants to be talking about something else, it’s rarely good news.
Given the amount of time he’d had to be talking about a couple of senior members of caucus recently, a big hit in the polls could have been expected.
There was a drop in support for National in the Stuff.co.nz/Ipsos poll, but not a big one, and Labour went down further:
While both major parties took a slight hit, National remains high on 47.6 per cent support.
That was down 1.8 percentage points on our last poll, but still enough to govern alone if the results were mirrored on election night. . . .
Labour has slipped 2.3 percentage points to 29.50 per cent, taking it below the morale-busting 30 per cent threshold for the first time. . .
There will be a multitude of reasons for this, among them is that each time he got the opportunity, the PM said, that the side shows exercising political tragics weren’t what matters and then talked about what does – the economy, health, education, law and order, welfare.
Meanwhile, Labour wasted valuable media opportunities trying to manufacture scandal instead of talking about the things that really matter to people.
The result is they lost 2.3 percentage points of support and David Cunliffe dropped 3.9%
One of the factors helping National’s support is voter confidence in the country’s direction:
. . . But Labour’s biggest enemy may be the improving economy, with the poll showing 63.6 per cent of voters believe the country is on the right track. . .
There’s still more than four months until the election and anything could happen before then.
It was rare for a party to get more than 50% support under FPP, there’s only a very faint hope this poll would be replicated at the election and allow National to govern alone.
The only certainty to take from this poll is that what the opposition concentrates on, and the media appears to be interested in, isn’t what matters to most voters.