I’ve been doing a bit more thinking about last night’s 3 News poll (my original analysis is here). I’ve spoken to one or two Labour people who are far less optimistic about the numbers than myself. Fair enough: the last time Labour was polling higher than National was 2006 – we’re not used to good news from polls.
Four additional points, all rather important…
- This is the first time the “left block” (those parties now in opposition) have polled higher than the “right block” (those now in government) – since 2006. This is very significant.
- The 3 News poll is not a rogue poll, it is part of a trend. It is in line with the other two, Roy Morgan, polls published this year (here and here).
- Looking at the change in support in the 3 News poll – Labour has gained 3.3% support – and it’s all come at National’s expense. This is excellent news. In an MMP environment, the only way to form a government is if you and your mates have the majority of the vote. David Shearer is only going to become Prime Minister if he can take votes off the National Party, and so far it looks like this is happening.
- John Key’s own personal popularity (45.6%) is lower than the National Party’s (46.5%) for the first time. Ever. If this trend continues, then it’s only a matter of time until his leadership will come under question, and the vultures (Steven Joyce, Judith Collins etc) will start to circle.
There is still a lot of work to be done, and a lot of water to go under the bridge. Neither of these can be over stated. Still, these are very encouraging signs.