It was just yesterday we were saying the polls have been bad all year for the Government. The tide has turned, and the trend has started.
Fortunately for Labour, the latest two polls out yesterday didn’t include that calamitous mess that passed for a visit to Auckland by the Prime Minister.
Both polls, Curia and the Talbot Mills, formerly UMR, are roughly the same. Giving a broad assurance they have a level of accuracy. They also confirm the overall trend for the year. The opposition is up and the Government is down.
The gap, and this is the important part, the gap between the left and the right is closing dramatically. What must be remembered, and most of the media don't seem to get it when reporting this stuff, whether National has 26 or 34 doesn't matter as long as the difference has gone to ACT.
It's the cumulative number that counts in a MMP environment. Which is why Labour will be grateful to the Greens who, still despite being mainly invisible, with the possible exception of James Shaw, are holding up pretty well with their usual 8-ish score.
Winston Peters is a player, as mad as that may sound. But at 4 percent plus, he's close enough to be taken seriously and he's barely said a word.
Here is the most important part of these two sets of numbers. For Labour, they are deserved. This is what you get when you are not just incompetent, but arrogant with it as well.
The Covid rollout has been a disaster. This year has been a write off. The vaccines that weren't there, the hunger games MIQ, the anguish and damage of yet more completely avoidable lockdowns, no plan or detail in sight, and this is what you end up with: support that gives up on you and drifts elsewhere.
The other numbers in the polls around handling of the economy and Covid reflect the party's demise. The shine is off and the reality has hit.
It took Labour under Helen Clark until the third term to blow it with arrogance. This lot are doing it in their second.
The next vote isn't until 2023. So, time is on their side, if they have the where with all to reboot. But that's the thing with arrogance and incompetence, if you're useless, it's a fairly permanent state. And if you mix that with arrogance, you can't actually see or admit how useless you are anyway.
Under normal circumstances, this would be a wakeup call complete with alarm bells because numbers don’t lie.
Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.
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