On course for a change in government (Part Rua)
Continued from: On course for a change in government
The polls continue to look bad for Dear Leader and the Nats. The most recent, conducted by Fairfax Media/Ipsos, has National down on 44.9%,
Fairfax’s Tracy Watkins and Kate Chapman suggest that, at nearly 45%, “National has enough support for a third term“.
Nothing could be further from the truth, and the number of Undecided Voters – at 11.6% -will be the ones who will determine the next election in 2014 (if not earlier). Over one third of Undecideds leaned toward Labour, Greeens, and NZ First,
But most critically, we should not forget that National went in to the 2011 Elections riding high in polls.
For example, one year ago, a Roy Morgan Poll dated 28 July 2011, had National on 52%.
Two previous Roy Morgan Polls had National on 54% (June 13-26, 2011) and 49% (June 27 – July 10, 2011).
(Sampling 895 respondents)
Another example, using a Fairfax Media-Research International poll, conducted between July 21 and July 25 2011 – again, about a year ago – had National on 56%.
Again, Tracy Watkins wrote enthusingly,
“National continues its extraordinary run of popularity in today’s poll, recording 56 per cent support – enough to comfortably govern alone if the results were repeated on election night in November.”
(Sampling 1,004 respondents)
Averaging out the 28 July Roy Morgan poll of 52% and the July 21/July 25 Fairfax poll of 56%, gives us 54%.
National achieved nothing like that figure on election night on 26 November 2011, gaining only 47.31% of the Party Vote. Not enough to govern alone.
National’s support from Election Night has dropped from 47.31% to the current Fairfax Media/Ipsos polling of 44.9% – a drop of 2.41%.
But more critically, from July 2011 polling to Election Night voting, National’s support dropped from an averaged 54% to 47.31% – a drop of 6.69%.
The reason that this is so critical is that heading into the next election, National’s base polling has to start high, to take natural voter-support attrition into account.
Remember; in July 2011, National started high with 54% and 56% in the polls – then dropped to 47.31% on election night.
Now imagine if National’s polling stays at around current 44.9% support and heads into an election. Factor in natural voter-support attrition of (for example) 6.69% – and their election night result would be 38.21% – almost precisely the same figure National gained in the 2005 General Election.
The above figures are assumptions. But natural voter-support attrition is not, as Labour found to it’s dismay in 2002, after the ‘Corngate’ Affair.
With two years left (or earlier, as this blogger continues to predict), and many of National’s unpopular policies continuing to alienate the public, a loss of even 2% or 3% in support will mean the demise of National in power, and a new Labour-led government.
If/when Mighty River Power is partially privatised, expect National’s support to drop like a stone in a hydro-storage lake.
This is the simple reality that Fairfax neglected to mention in it’s story above.
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