The only way is . . . ?


Any hopes Labour might have taken from last week’s One News Colmar Brunton poll which showed a slight increase in support will have been dashed by last night’s 3 News Reid poll which shows they’ve dropped 3.8 to just 27.1%.

That would mean they’d get just 34 seats. Several sitting MPs would lose their jobs and only one new MP would come in on the list – former party president Andrew Little.

If, as often happens, loss of party support leads to fewer votes for individual MPs the party could also lose some electorate seats. That wouldn’t affect the overall number of MPs they get but it would further weaken the party.

The only way to go from 27% ought to be up  which is what happened last time Labour was there and it could happen again. But this poll shows not just Labour but left as a whole is less popular.

The two coalition supporters Labour could rely on also lost support. The Green Party dropped .5 to 7.7%. New Zealand First had a similar drop to 2.8% which is only just over half way to the 5% threshold needed to get into parliament without winning an electorate.

The Maori Party which could choose to go with Labour or National, or stay out of government had a slight increase in support – up .2% to 2.5% and Act which would go with National or stay on the cross benches was up 1.1 t0 1.7%.

National went up 2.9 to 57.5% and dearly as I would like that sort of result on election night it would be virtually impossible to translate that level of support into votes.

Although Kiwiblog says the TV3 poll was the most accurate one in the last two elections it’s still seven and a bit months until election day and anything could happen before then.

Labour might be in despair about their lack of traction but National can’t afford to be complacent when the only likely way to go from these poll heights is down.

However, those of us on the centre right can take heart that the public does appear to realise that borrow and spend policies won’t help and policies which lead to more savings, investment and export growth is what we need.

In MMP you need partners


Remember the coloured graphs on television before the last election?

The ones that showed Labour with lots of friends – New Zealand First, the Greens, the Maori party and Jim Anderton; and National with just Act and Peter Dunne?

The commentators took great delight in explaining MMP 101: It’s most unusual for a party to be able to govern by itself. A major party needs one or more parties which will give it enough support to govern in coalition.

What will the graphs look like in the lead up to the next election?

Labour and Phil Goff might take some heart from the rise in the latest 3 News Reid Research Poll.

But the small increase in support from a very low base doesn’t take it anywhere near power when it’s done on the back of a speech almost guaranteed to allow the Maori Party to win all the Maori seats and spurn Labour as a coalition partner.

The options for 2011 look like National plus the Maori Party and/ or Act on one side or Labour and the Greens on the other.

I’m counting Anderton as Labour (if he stands again) and assuming Dunne will do the sensible thing and not stand again.

I’m ignoring New Zealand First.

If it looks as if its approaching 5% support, I hope that enough floating voters will be so appalled  at the prospect of a Labour, Greens, New Zealand First coalition they’ll vote for any other party to stop that happening.

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