realistically, [National] can expect some fallout from the secret taping and the 'Hidden agenda' campaign. That won't show up in this poll, but will probably knock them below 50% next month in most polls - assuming Labour keeps up some sort of pressure and doesn't cock up spectacularly - and under 45% in the Morgan polls which seem to predict a lower - probably more accurate - level of support). (1)And so it came to pass - National creeping in at 44.5% in the latest Morgan poll (2), while Labour look boisterous on 38%.
I can't help but feel smug about my God like genius.
Labour should resist the urge to share in my glory, however. My prediction for the next Morgan poll is a rally in National - lets say 47%, and a diminuation in Labour's - to 35%, as the effect of the Winston Peters fiasco starts to turn people off Labour. The Greens will stay strong at 8% or above, as Labour voters switch to them until the Peters thing dies down.
(Of course, predicting this fairly obvious movement in the polls isn't really an indication of my genius - but as the 'proper' commentators were squealing about National "romping ahead," I can afford to feel a bit superior) (3).
The real meat in the poll is not the minor shuffling of the headline numbers - unless a trend is sustained over several polls, that's pretty insignificant - but in the significant and sustained rises in good vibrations among the people:
The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating has risen strongly for the third New Zealand Morgan Poll in a row, rising 11.5pts to 115. It is now at its highest level since being at 118.5 in late February. For the first time since February, a majority of New Zealanders 50.5% (up 6%) say the country is “heading in the right direction” compared to 35.5% (down 5.5%) that say the country is “heading in the wrong direction.”The right might want us to think that we live in a totalitarian Hellhole that would make Kim Jong-il blanche, and they are fleeing the country, but it just isn't so. There was a world wide recession, people felt miserable for a while. Now they are starting to feel better as the economic cycle bottoms out and things start to get a bit better.
There has been a similar strong rise in the Roy Morgan New Zealand Consumer Confidence Rating which has leapt 12.4 points to 107.3 and is up 25.3 points since early July. (4)
National should be very worried about this - if people are starting to not hate the government, and starting to feel that things are going to be okay, then the main reason for voting for National evaporates. That is what will lead to a real, long term and perhaps fatal decline in their lead, not talk of secret agendas, vague comments on tape and name-calling.
1 - As described previously on lefthandpalm: http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2008/08/new-poll.html
2 - "New Zealand Labour (38%) closes the gap on National Party (44.5%) as election looms," poll results published by Roy Morgan Research, 4th of September, 2008. (http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2008/4316/)
3 - As described previously on lefthandpalm: http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2008/08/what-is-wrong-with-journalists-in-this.html
4 - As per #2, above.