Labour-Greens move ahead of National as scandal engulfs govt

The latest Roy Morgan poll shows a big fall in support for National (42.5%, down 6 percentage points) now well behind a potential Labour/Greens alliance (45.5%, up 5.5%).

Support for John Key’s coalition partners is little changed with the Maori Party 1% (unchanged), ACT NZ (0.5%, unchanged) and United Future 0.5% (up 0.5%).

Support has improved considerably for the opposition with the Labour Party up 2.5% to 31%, the Greens up 3% to 14.5%, New Zealand First 6% (up 0.5%), Mana Party 1% (unchanged). Support for the Internet Party is now at a record high 1.5% (up 0.5%), seemingly at the expense of the Conservative Party of NZ 0.5% (down 1.5%).

If a National Election were held now the latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows that the potential Labour/Greens alliance would be elected.

The latest NZ Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating has fallen to 135.5pts (down 7.5pts) with 62% (down 3%) of New Zealanders saying New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to 26.5% (up 4.5%) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction’.

Pollster Gary Morgan says, “Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows a large drop in support for National (42.5%, down 6%) after the scandals plaguing National claimed their first victim. Minister for Building & Construction, Customs and Statistics, Maurice Williamson, resigned his Ministerial posts last week after it was revealed Williamson contacted a top ranking police officer following the arrest of businessman Donghua Liu on domestic violence charges.

“Although Williamson has denied it, the clear inference drawn is that Mr Williamson was attempting to influence the police investigation of the matter to produce a favourable outcome for Liu. Williamson had allegedly told the police officer Liu was ‘investing a lot of money in New Zealand’. Parliament has this week extensively debated the furore surrounding Williamson’s decision to resign.

“In addition to Mr Williamson’s resignation, Justice Minister Judith Collins is taking ‘four or five days’ off work to rest and recuperate as questions continue to surround Collins regarding a dinner she attended with Oravida executives in Shanghai. Her husband, David Wong-Tung, is himself an Oravida director. Labour spokesperson for Internal Affairs, Trevor Mallrd, has used Parliamentary privilege to accuse Collins of making up to $500,000 by incorporating Oravida into her trip to China last year.”

Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile telephone, with a NZ wide cross-section of 847 electors from April 21 – May 4, 2014. Of all electors surveyed 6% (up 1%) didn’t name a party.

If Mr Morgan's scandal theory is correct, there could be worse to come for the government. His company's poll was mostly wrapped up by the time of Maurice Williamson's resignation, and missed the latest Oravida developments (Maurice Williamson resigned on May 1; the PM said Judith Collins would take a "refresher" break on May 6).

The govenment will be hoping the May 15 Budget — which is expected to show a return to surplus — will act as a circuit-breaker.

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