The Ardern government may feel pleased it hasn’t fallen lower in the latest Roy Morgan poll, but there wasn’t much to cheer about, particularly for those MPs who it indicates face being banished to the political wilderness come election day.
The key element in the poll – the fourth in a row in the Roy Morgan sampling to show a change of government, were there to be an election now – is the decline in net country direction from -5% to -12.5%, as has been pointed out by another pollster, David Farrar.
The gender breakdown of the direction question is also pertinent: in February women were + 8% but are now -6%.
Of course, Covid is still dominating the headlines in the mainstream media, few of which level any kind of criticism at the Prime Minister – and there was barely a mention to be found in the media of the Roy Morgan poll.
Or was Trevett being ironic when she wrote:
“Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was trying something different by giving it to Williams, who is not tough on crime and can’t put on a convincing show of it – and was chosen for those reasons. Williams is also relatively inexperienced as a minister and that is showing – and is a liability in a portfolio which has rapidly become very political”.
What is clear is that Williams has made herself an easy target for National’s Mark Mitchell, himself a former policeman and well versed on issues of law and order.
And there is little doubt that with gang membership growing faster than the police muster, police response times more than doubling and shootings featuring regularly in the headlines, public alarm is becoming acute.
So National has got Labour on the back foot, not just on its recent handling of Covid, but on the cost of living “crisis” and law and order. What will be next?
Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton.