Home > The Body Politic > National – The End is Nigh

National – The End is Nigh

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This recent Roy Morgan poll in the ‘Dominion Post‘ caught my eye,

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Source

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At first glance, the Fairfax report sounds like good news for National and terribly bad news for Labour.

On closer analysis, nothing could be further from the truth. The story is mostly ‘spin’ – a somewhat disingenous attempt to paint the poll results in a good light. National’s own Party strategists will be viewing that poll with considerable dismay.

Here’s why…

A corresponding poll by Roy Morgan in March last year, had National on 52.5% and Labour on 32.5%,

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Comparing March 2011 with March 2012, we see the following results:

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2011 Poll Result

2012 Poll Result

+/-

National

52.5%

48.5%

– 4%

Labour

32.5%

30%

– 2.5%

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Both parties have actually dropped – not risen – as the Fairfax story claims.

Then we compare the Roy Morgan results with last year’s  election results, and the figures become even more interesting,

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March 2011 Poll Result

November Election

March 2012 Poll Result

National

52.5%

47.31%

48.5%

Labour

32.5%

27.48%

30%

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Now let’s factor in the pre-election polling results from Roy Morgan, in the week prior to the November 26 general election,

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March 2011 Poll Result

Pre-Election 2011 Morgan Poll

November 2011 Election

March 2012 Poll Result

National

52.5%

49.5%

47.31%

48.5%

Labour

32.5%

23.5 %

27.48%

30%

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Now a clearer picture emerges and nothing could be further from the truth with regards to the Fairfax report. As the polling – and the General Election results – amply illustrates, National is heading down, steadying currently at 47-48%. (And expect further falls.)

Conversely, Labour dipped from a March 2011 high of 32.5% to 23.5%, and is now climbing again.

More importantly – and this is the point that will be unsettling for National’s party strategists – a year ago,  National went into the 2011 general election from a high of 52.5%. (Other polls had National even higher at 55%-plus.) From that high, as campaigning by other parties offered alternatives to voters,  National shed some support, and their final end-result was 47.1% – a drop of of 5.19%.

If – as is likely – polling patterns are the same in the next couple of years,    a change of government in 2014 is inevitable.

My advice to David Shearer;

  • Get your party policy sorted, asap.
  • Get your party restructuring sorted, asap.
  • Treat other Opposition parties as your coalition partners and with respect. Form a broad Front. This will be the new reality, and if you can show that opposition parties can work together, the public will take notice.
  • Get a (new?)  speech writer – someone who has a flair with words, ideas,  and understands what is required to spark the public’s imagination. Yes, people want policy. But more than that, they want hope and a vision. JFK had it by the truckload.
  • Lastly, and most important;  act as the Prime Minister-in-Waiting that you are. Treat National as an Opposition-In-Waiting, and dismiss their policies accordingly. In fact, don’t be shy in stating boldlly that National’s policies are temporary; have a Use-By date; and Labour will review them.

This is what National has to look forward to in the next couple of years,

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Labour is now a government-in-waiting.

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= fs =

  1. 19 March 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Labour will only be Government if it takes all sectors of society with it – and that includes the working class and trade unionists – not just the welfare underclass. Labour has to institute investment that will create job creation. Kiwis need houses to live in. Housing NZ needs to be reformed to build house/homes for those who can never afford to buy their own homes. National says a state house should not be your home. You have no right to live in state houses for long. Where do you go when you have lived in a state house for ‘too long’? Labour should take a leaf out of the first Labour Government’s manifesto which was to house New Zealanders. National sold off about 14,000 housing units in the 1990’s and few if any went to occupying tenants. As much as Piggy Muldoon was maligned in the 1970’s – his government sold state houses to the occupying tenants. The problem with his policy was that deposits and repayments were too high for the average working family. Many who bought their state homes were shift workers on high wages. Some info for you young man?

  2. 19 March 2012 at 12:37 pm

    No argument there, Peter. In fact, I remember the Nats flogging off state houses in the late 1990s. (I nearly bought a couple, in Dunedin.)

    At the same time, National introduced market rentals for state housing and tenants had to apply for an accomodation benefit – which landlords treated as a subsidy, and simply ratcheted up rents accordingly.

    That particular experiment in the free market was another miserable failure.

    I concur also that Labour must,

    * take along all sectors of society. Having social groups like low wage earners slagging off beneficiaries, etc, is counter-productive and plays into the Tory’s hands,
    * implement investment that will lead to job creation
    * build more state housing
    * encourage building communities rather than throwing people out of their homes

    The new Labour-led government in 2014 (if not earlier) will have a busy time ahead of them.

  3. 19 March 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I don’t know why anyone believes Labour looks after the “welfare underclass.” Labour cut the base rate paid to DPB recipients when they brought in WFF, so they received $20 a week, not $40 like everybody else. The key difference between UB and DPB is that single parents actually DO have a job – it’s called raising a family on your own. Contrary to our more community-based past, where families (notably mothers) stepped in to help others who needed a hand, that rarely happens now. The real truth is that motherhood has been downgraded and hollowed out – when mothers in nuclear families HAVE to work for their families to survive, it creates resentment against single mothers who they see as getting paid to be mothers. WFF was always catch-up – the old Family Support was never indexed to inflation, so the value of it eroded over the years. WFF restored the value – we never got any more.
    Suddenly, mothers aren’t good enough to raise kids under five – it’s now a profession. What happened to family bonding? Free play?
    Note that it’s a dominantly male workforce at the PoA. Women aren’t as stroppy as men, don’t tend to rock the boat, their watchword is endurance. Great for employers. What used to be known as the working class has been completely done over by both parties. The social cost of men and women turning against each other (viz custody, child support wars, competing for jobs) has been enormous.
    The economy used to be run for the people. Now we run for the economy. Something deeply wrong with that core value.

  4. John
    20 March 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I agree with your advice to: “act as the Prime Minister-in-Waiting that you are. Treat National as an Opposition-In-Waiting, and dismiss their policies accordingly. In fact, don’t be shy in stating boldlly that National’s policies are temporary; have a Use-By date; and Labour will review them.” almost made me stand up and applaud! But I’m groovier than that, so I refrained..

  1. 1 April 2012 at 9:49 pm
  2. 1 May 2012 at 12:18 pm

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