New poll will have sharp impact on National's leadership race, Edwards says

Bryce Edwards says the "First Baby" effect, solid management of Labour's first 100 days and a successful Waitangi celebration are behind Labour's poll bounce.

Labour's surge in the latest 1News-Colmar Brunton poll is, in part, driven by a feel-good "baby bump," political commentator Bryce Edwards says.

The poll has Labour up nine points to a 15-year high of 48% and National down 3 to 43%.

The Greens are down two points to 5% and NZ First down two to 3%. Minor parties are 1% or lower.

"The January announcement of Jacinda Ardern’s pregnancy was another magical moment in the prime minister’s rise to the top – and it’s been incredibly well received. It’s really helped foster that continued Jacindamania," Dr Edwards says.

The Victoria University academic says there was "solid political management" of Labour's first 100 days plan and this year's Waitangi celebrations. 

"Somehow Ms Ardern pulled off an incredibly peaceful and successful Waitangi visit, which gathered plenty of great press coverage and good feeling. Her Waitangi Day BBQ was a particular highlight," Dr Edwards says. As ever, image matters.

Before Nat race but will impact it
The poll is largely not a reflection of National's leadership race, which as of this morning includes Steven Joyce.

Colmar Brunton says it was taken on February 10-14 (50% mobile, 50% landline), with 75% of people surveyed before Bill English announced his resignation.

"No one in National will be particularly surprised by the party’s support dropping three points. But it will give greater impetus to the need to find the “right leader” and Labour’s surge to 48% will heighten some panic in the party about how National can possibly knock out this government at the next election," Dr Edwards says.

"This might well push MPs to move away from choosing a 'status quo' candidate like Amy Adams or Simon Bridges.

"The poll result is therefore likely to help Judith Collins’ campaign – she’s the one who is campaigning the hardest on the need to be able to take on Ms Ardern and go hard against Labour. Her message might resonate strongly with her colleagues in the wake of this 'wake up call' poll for National."

Could new-entrant Steven Joyce be considered a status quo candidate?

"Yes, but he’s also a combative candidate like Ms Collins, which also will make him appealing under the poor circumstances," Dr Edwards tells NBR.

Greens, NZ First under pressure
No one is going to be surprised at the decline in popularity for the two support parties in the government, says Dr Edwards, who predicted this pattern soon after election night.

"This is what seems to happen to every minor party in government. In fact, throughout our 21 years of MMP, every single minor party that has gone into government has come away with reduced popularity at the subsequent election," he says.

"So it seems to be an inescapable curse for all minor parties."

The flipside of being kingmaker is you're destined to disappoint roughly half your supporters. 

In 1995, NZ First received 13.35% of the vote. After its fractious coalition with National, it received 4.26% in 1999.

Similarly, Winston Peters' party received 10.38% of the ballot in 2002 but, after supporting Labour, it fell to 5.72% in 2005 and a life-threatening 4.07% at the 2008 election.

He adds, "Nonetheless, this will have those parties worried. It could therefore have an impact on the Green Party co-leadership election campaign. Party members will want to know how the leadership candidates will address this perennial problem. The question might well favour Marama Davidson, who not being a minister, is already campaigning on her ability to be able to communicate and campaign to keep the Green Party’s brand not being overshadowed by being in government."


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22 Comments & Questions

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Is anybody else wondering about the accuracy and reliability of these polls? They were only ±15% out come election day. Great job.

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Final election result (%): Nat: 44.4, Lab: 36.9, NZF: 7.2, Green: 6.2

Final 1 News-Colmar Brunton poll (Sept 20): Nat: 46, Lab: 37, NZF: 5, Green: 8

Final Newshub-Reid Research poll (Sept 21): Nat: 45.8, Lab: 37.3, NZF: 7.1, Green: 7.1 

There were grumbles during the campaign about pollsters use of landlines for all or parts of some surveys. But, given each survey is weighted to census data, using landlines just means it takes a bit longer to get a representative sample of the population. The poll in the story above is 50% landlines, 50% mobile.

There are also perennial grumbles about undecideds being left out of most surveys. But election after election, the undecideds (if they vote) break down along similar lines as the rest of the sample.

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you are correct, however in my brevity I failed to mention that I was referring to the initial 'shock' polls which had Labour ahead of National (i.e.: while Clark Gayford was out diving, or was it midweek spearfishing?). Those early polls were misleading. Meanwhile it's obviously not even an election year.

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Crusher Collins needs to crush Jacinder and her evil communist party.

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Crusher Collins has more ties to the Communist party than Jacinda. China Collins is a more apt name. Drumming up the sell off of NZ on her taxpayer funded trip to China, on her hubbies Oravida behalf.

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She has family connections to China too. Her Islander husband is half Chinese.

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What happens if the top 3 all get the same number of votes? Who gets the casting vote to decide the Leader & Deputy?

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Crusher needs bring on the holy water to fight Lucifcinder !

Crushing the beast just wont do the job!

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This poll tells me that the, "old honky brigade', is not amused that their beloved Mr No went with labour and the greens.
Perfectly predictable.

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Its becoming clear that, as crazy as it sounds, if National wants to compete they need to scour their ranks to find a woman of child-bearing age who is willing to become pregnant under the full media glare and subject to social media opprobrium.

By comparison, Bill English fathered 5 children while he was in leadership roles and at best was mentioned in passing, mostly met in the media with snide sniggers and back-handed slurs on his religious beliefs.

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That's because one has charisma and one simply didn't

It would work for John Key as a guy but would never for boring Bill
That's why National has to be careful who they select as their leader - and only one has potential charisma - Mark Mitchell - the others are all same old same old and boring

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No it is because we have a systemic disrespect for men in play.

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What the poll says is that National without Bill English will be 40% or under 40% at the next poll and Labour will be 50% or over 50%

If National goes with Collins or Joyce they will definitely be under 40%
Time for National to be brave and pick new blood like Mitchell with Adams as deputy. All other combo's have too much baggage that could rear it's ugly head anytime between now and the next election

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So I call it now.

The new leader will be a woman as they are on the same wavelength as Jacinda plus there will be no #metoo issues.

Joyce is too linked to the old guard. Bennett will go.

Bill will write his memoirs, go on the circuit and then disappear on a trekking holiday.

NK would be a natural choice young, dynamic and attractive-just saying...

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I just know John Morrison above is hanging out for an arithmetical approach and so will love this.

This is a contest between those already at the top of the list and the secure in their list positions next block down, and in true MMP style the (survival) tail wags the dog.

Upper most in everyone's mind will be “where is my list future in a 40% party vote National party in 2020 with a cut off at number at say 48 MPs. Currently there are 53 national MP’s – so 5 are in danger. But because of safe seats the true list cut off ( or the bubble as they say in Pyeongchang) is between list places 30 and 43.

The alleged preferences according to NZHerald press gallery today's A3 are marked below

KEY
A = Adams, B = Bridges, C= Collins X= didn't make the cut in 2017.
From spot 24 down I have identified if the listed MP is there by SEAT or LIST

Nuk Korako43 is most endangered and may believes Bridges is his safest play, Joanne Hayes36 is next possible list 2020 casualty and is said to be making the same call, Parmjeet Parmar34 is toast in Mt Roskill and is said by NZH to see Judith as his only hope, Jian Lang33 apparently still believes in Bridges for her list slot and needs promotion to survive 2020, ditto Bakshi32 and Hudson30, but Melissa Lee31 on the bubble is going Adams with the ladies.

1 B Bill English List
2 A Paula Bennett Upper Harbour
3 A David Carter List
4 J Steven Joyce List
5 B Gerry Brownlee Ilam
6 B Simon Bridges Tauranga
7 A Amy Adams Selwyn
8 A Jonathan Coleman Northcote
9 A Chris Finlayson Rongotai
10 A Michael Woodhouse Dunedin North
11 A Anne Tolley East Coast
12 A Nathan Guy Otaki
13 A Nikki Kaye Auckland Central
14 A Todd McClay Rotorua
15 J Nick Smith Nelson
16 C Judith Collins Papakura
17 A Maggie Barry North Shore
18 B Paul Goldsmith Epsom
19 A Louise Upston Taupo
20 J Alfred Ngaro LIST Te Atatu
21 J Mark Mitchell Rodney
22 A Nicky Wagner Christchurch Central
23 A Jacqui Dean Waitaki
24 B David Bennett SEAT Hamilton East
25 A Tim Macindoe SEAT Hamilton West
26 B Scott Simpson SEAT Coromandel
27 B Jami-Lee Ross SEAT Botany
28 A Barbara Kuriger SEAT Taranaki-King Country
29 A Matt Doocey SEAT Waimakariri
30 B Brett Hudson LIST Ohariu
31 A Melissa Lee LIST Mt Albert
32 B Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi LIST Manukau East
33 A Jian Yang List
34 C Parmjeet Parmar LIST Mt Roskill
35 B Jonathan Young SEAT New Plymouth
36 B Joanne Hayes LIST Christchurch East
37 B Ian McKelvie SEAT Rangitikei
38 B Simon O'Connor SEAT Tamaki
39 J Andrew Bayly SEAT Hunua
40 A Chris Bishop SEAT Hutt South
41 B Sarah Dowie SEAT Invercargill
42 B Nuk Korako LIST Port Hills
43 A Todd Muller SEAT Bay of Plenty
44 X Maureen Pugh NOT MP West Coast Tasman
45 B Shane Reti Whangarei
46 J Alastair Scott Wairarapa
47 B Stuart Smith Kaikoura
48 X Nicola Willis NOT MP Wellington Central
49 X Agnes Loheni NOT MP Mangere
60 J Simeon Brown SEAT Pakuranga
61 A Andrew Falloon SEAT Rangitata
64 B Chris Penk SEAT Helensville
65 A Erica Stanford SEAT East Coast Bays
67 A Lawrence Yule SEATTukituki
68 B Hamish Walker SEAT Clutha-Southland

My pick is that the 8th floor power block of Joyce/English/ Cuzzie Gerry (who's not saying much) will persuade Bridges and Mitchell to get in behind and stay safe for now, their worried bubble MP's will agree and the casualties to provide the spoils to the victors will be Amy's mob, especially Paula, and anyone who has "broken ranks" without a safe seat in their back pocket.

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Yeah Right!
You certainly have put a lot of work into this Mr Gavigan.
It's very good.
But into the equation must go, Labours performance as gov.??
For National it is a, Do we believe Jacinda is good for two terms? So we elect a "care taker" and go with say a Collins/Mitchel ticket? You know, the old "poisoned chalice" trick?
Or do we really think we can beat her next election and go with the likes of a Adams/Bridges combo?
You are quite right when you allude to the low listers wetting themselves and sometimes wetting outside the tent.
Cheers.

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An apology, Dr Jian Yang is a bloke.

and my bet remains that the blokey blokes at 3,4,5 will continue to rule the National Party.

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I disagree, sadly as is usual the pendulum swings too far and for the next two election cycles, "blokey blokes" will be told to keep quiet and keep out of sight.
For now the hand wringers and tearful will rule.

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Mark Mitchell for President.

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Lovely to see Peters work has now been done. Only thing is dont think he planned for him and his outfit to be also rans. Maybe appropiate on second thoughts . After all he is the Minister for Racing. His off course substitute Green Party,might even now vote against Peters Waka Bill. If they do they will get an immediate surge up on their polling.Karma has certainly visited Mr Peters in the latest polling ,what a shame.

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Leave Mr Peters out of this. He is enjoying his retirement job and he no longer has to worry about his party.

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The polls will be good for Labour as long as the baby craze overshadows the real performance of the govt. for the foreseeable future, every time there is a burp in the bassinet, it will be headline news , and a bump in the polls for Labour. Expect to see baby parade for votes at the next election .campaign .

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