Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Kate Hawkesby: Poll drop for Labour, more RSE workers for NZ


So, a poll comes out which sees Labour drop 10 points, and voila, seasonal workers are on their way back in.

I'm not sure how much detail of what's in those polls gets given to the parties in advance, but we can assume based on what happened next, that Labour had the tip off on one particular question.

The poll included a question about what more the Government could do.

The answer to which was: loosen up the borders a bit, more exemptions for seasonal workers.

And boom, look at that.

An announcement rolled out yesterday that indeed they're welcoming them back in from Samoa and Tonga, seasonal workers.

If that's what a 10 point drop in the polls can produce in 24 hours, what could a 20 point drop do?

Would they vaccinate the entire country in a week?

One thing we know this Government hates is flailing popularity.

It's a government who has become accustomed to riding high in the polls, critics would argue the subsequent arrogance they're showing around this is actually going to be the undoing of them.

So when some real tangible issues start biting them in the bum, and it affects poll numbers, they're quick to move.

It shouldn't take a poll slump to force them to act, that's showing barely concealed contempt for your electorate, but the horticulture sector's been crying out for workers for so long, I'm sure they're feeling relieved this morning.

But you have to hand it to the marketing whizzes inside this Government, they know how to take a bad news headline and quickly bury it with a good news one, thus, spinning the media cycle away from a bad poll, and onto the next shiny new thing; some border exemptions.

I thought it was very telling yesterday that the PM went back to playing her best trump card and using her magic words, which light up the hearts and souls of her support base 'the pandemic'.

In reacting to the poll dip, she made sure she blamed it not on her party, but on 'the pandemic'.

Basically, she was blaming the uncertainty of the pandemic on the poor poll result.

In reality, saying it’s less about her, and more about us and where we’re at.

"2021 is hard," she explained, "we all thought 2020 was the really difficult year with the pandemic, but we have all accepted now that 'this pandemic' is not going away as quickly", she told Newshub.

She also said her job is to “share the plan through,” which is a revelation, given people have been asking for a plan for months and months.

Waiting and waiting.

So, a bad poll result and now some seasonal workers on their way, and the promise of a plan.

A busy week so far for the government, we watch with interest.

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.

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