Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ah the Polls

Latest poll looks pretty bad for Labour down to 27% which is not a good place to be. The good news for them is though with this 7% drop only 1% went to National so they are not losing any votes to Key.

People seem to be trying to spin this as a reaction to capital gains tax. This seems pretty unlikely given polling would have started at most a day after the first leak of the policy. 7% of voters do not change their party vote overnight because one policy is leaked by a party with no detail. It does not work that way. It would be difficult to rely on a phone poll for monitoring a change in opinion due to a capital gains tax anyway. Phone polls skew results naturally against the left (although this is mostly accounted for) because of the type of people who own landlines. This would be unnaturally skewed in the case of a situation where the main difference in opinion is likely to come between renters and owners of property. The current change is most likely a mix of the Whaleoil leak and statistical error (either the last one was too high, or this one too low).

In terms of a change its not really surprising to anyone the Greens can easily pick up Labour voters, they could also just as easily lose them. Given it is so obvious the two parties will coalition if possible people's support for them will fluctuate naturally. Contrast this with National who would love an opportunity to throw their coalition partners to the dogs and will do so if they get a majority. The change isn't so much of a big deal as everyone makes out.

What is more of an issue is that Labour is still around the 30% mark this far out from the election. They need to pick up their game and make up the difference if they want to be the government. The election is still by all means winnable, they are yet to be doing as badly as National under Bill English and are comparable to the start of Helen Clark's reign right now but Helen led the party to defeat in her first election which was meant to be unloseable and they can't afford to wait a term if they want to bring in a lot of the policies they are advocating at the moment because National will make it economically impossible.

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