Poll reversal puts National back in front

Back in front (Photo: Jerry Yelich - O'Connor)

Rob Hosking on National's comeback in the latest poll

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READ ALSO:  Final debate: Ardern, English trade blows as National pulls in front

You could call it a rollercoaster — although that would be a comparison giving nausea-inducing sideshow rides an unfairly bad name.

The latest public opinion poll – this one from Colmar Brunton/TVNZ – has the National Party back in the lead, with 46% of those surveyed saying they would vote for the governing party.

That is six points up on the previous Colmar Brunton poll last week.

Labour is down seven points, to 37%. New Zealand First has dropped below the Green party and is trembling on the brink of political oblivion at 4.9%.

The Green Party has risen one point to 8%.

That is a sizable turnaround for National.

It comes after a week that saw Labour leader Jacinda Arden on the back foot over spending and tax policies.

The minutiae of those policies probably went over the heads of most voters.

But certainly the arguments over whether there really was a $11 billion hole in Labour’s fiscal plan, as claimed by national finance spokesman Steven Joyce, or whether Labour had simply put its operating allowance in the wrong part of the spreadsheet and at the same time run far too optimistic a projection of what spending would be needed in areas outside health and education, really didn’t matter much.

Translated into seats, the 1 News-Colmar Brunton poll would give National 58 and its allies ACT and the Maori Party one each for a total of 60. The total size of the new parliament will depend on overhang but 61 will be the bare minimum required for a majority. That would mean National would have to run to NZ First (six seats). Labour would have 46 and the Greens nine seats according to Colmar Brunton's result.

They sowed some doubt in the minds of wavering voters – but the net outcome was probably a rough draw. 

Ms Ardern’s tax wobbles were more damaging. She was clearly at sea on some tax issues – being unable to initially give a straight answer on a land tax and the family home – and then the deferral of a capital gains tax until a second term compounded the general impression of a party that does not quite grasp the implications of its often rather slogan-based policy positions.

Hence the drift back to National.

Mr English has not had a great week but then he seldom does. He did not have a bad week either, and that in the context of this election was probably what mattered. 

The usual caveats apply: This is only one poll in what has been an extremely volatile election campaign. There is a maximum sampling error of plus or minus 3.1

READ ALSO:  Final debate: Ardern, English trade blows as National pulls in front

RELATED VIDEO: Interviews with both leaders in the final weeks of the campaign. 

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15 Comments & Questions

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It's a sad indictment on New Zealand that 8% of us are comfortable with a Green Party whose policy is to take the hard-earned money away from families that work, and redistribute it to beneficiaries with no requirement that they either: look for jobs; remain drug-free; or take proper care of their children.

The Green's policy on welfare will only increase the numbers of poor people being lured into having an extra child they can't really afford, driving them deeper into poverty, and increasing CO2 emissions. It is the opposite of what a true environmental party would have as their policy.

Genuine environmentalists understand that the biggest difference to carbon emissions will come from:
1. Having one fewer child (saves 57 tonnes CO2 per year)
2. Ditching your car (saves 2.4 tonnes CO2 per year)
3. Stop flying by plane (saves 1.6 tonnes CO2 per return transatlantic flight)
4. Going vegan (saves 0.8 tonnes CO2 per year)
http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541/meta

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Yes, but good luck getting into govt campaigning on policies designed to limit the number of children people have.

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The greens are all for prolific breeding amongst the families who can least afford to, as this in time will increase their voter base.

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It isn't over yet - the fuel crisis wasn't factored into this and nor has the Saudi deal as such. If the Maori party don't win a seat and NZ First stay under 5% it's still very very tight

The big question is what is the weather forecast fir Saturday and likely turnout on the traditional main voting day

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Mr Scribe thanks for the Memory . Collect your pay, sign off, return unused stationary and leave by the left gate.

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Oh I am so loving your commentary now Scribe...that faint whisper of desperation from two days ago is turning into cold blooded fatalism. Please post more, I'm really enjoying it!

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The polls may not be as accurate as in the past - as we saw in the UK and the USA - landline polls as against mostly on cellphone these days
Also once the election is over National has minimal chance of getting a majority without Winston - and that is not a given. The Maori party may also be obliterated if Flavell loses his seat to Tamati Coffey - which is on the cards
So gloat until Saturday as much as you like - but you still should be worried
I can hear the crying and depression already on Saturday night at about 9pm. (Edited)

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The only result that could possibly be indicated by 9. p.m. Saturday would be a landslide win to National.
Be careful what you wish for . . .

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What would Auckland be without a regular new crisis?
Anyway mate, I don' t know if you have taken the Trump factor into account.
You may not have noticed , but in the POTUS reality TV show that we call the "united nations" Trump appears to have just declared war on Iran.
Netanyahu, for one , is absolutely sure that this is what he heard , in the best US presidential speech ever.
Just saying.
Now, about that "safe pair of hands " . . . . .

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Any polls in the Northland electorate?

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No one can argue against you this time The Scribe. The big question is " what is the weather forecast for Saturday?". It looks sunny where I am.

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Labour stating that lots of money should be spent on a fossil fuel pipeline that even the oil companies say is not necessary. Is the ultimate own goal. As with a single announcement they have annoyed both left and right leaning voters.

No wonder both National and the Greens have gained. And Labour has split the left vote some more.

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Polls so volatile this time around, and as we have learnt from Brexit and Trump...

It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings.

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Looks like the wheels have come off the Labour party positive campaign. Have just watched Phil Twyford climb into Paula Bennett spitting in her face while calling her a liar numerous times. What a bully!!

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Yes I must admit that he did come across as a bit of a prick. He just treated her with contempt. The interviewer should have intervened, and pulled him into line. She looked a bit shocked at times. Bully-boy tactics indeed.

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