Friday, October 10, 2008

Political Poll Stunner

Morgan Poll, full results here

The latest New Zealand Morgan Poll of potential voters shows Labour (37.5 percent) closing the gap on National (40.5 percent) to within 3 percent compared to a gap of 11 percent a fortnight ago.

The results appear to contradict other recent polls in the last fortnight that suggest National leads by 16-19 percent. Other poll results will be needed in order to determine whether the gap has really narrowed.

In earlier polling in September, greatest support for National in the three main centres was in Auckland (47.5 percent), followed closely by Christchurch (46) and then Wellington (43). Labour drew greatest urban support in Christchurch (38.5) , followed by Wellington (36.5) , with Auckland (32.5), by far the largest urban centre, trailing far behind.

In terms of support for minor parties, crucial to either of the main parties prospects for forming a government after the General Election, the Morgan poll has the Green Party at 9 percent, up 2.5 percent; New Zealand First down one on 4 percent; ACT up 2 to 3.5 pecent; the Maori Party at 2 percent; and United Future at 1 percent.

On these poll results, Labour might have the best prospect for forming a government after the election. With 48 seats, Labour might be able to broker a deal with the Greens' 11 seats and Maori Party's 6 seats in a 123 seat parliament. Or it could rely on support from the Progressives and United Future.

To form a government National would need, at a mininum, support of the ACT party and the Maori party.

Pollster Gary Morgan, in unusual editorial comment for a pollster unsupported by polling data, maintains that "there are increasing doubts about National Party leader John Key’s readiness for the highest office in the land", not only in terms of Key's failure to make complete personal finance disclosures but also his ability to handle the financial crisis besetting New Zealand and the world. Key also hurt his chances, according to Morgan, because of his refusal in collaboration with PM Helen Clark not to participate in a televised leaders debate. Full commentary here.

PM and Labour Leader, Helen Clark opens Labour's election campaign in Auckland on Sunday.

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