Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Mike's Minute: Polls show the Govt got the hit it wanted, but issues still remain

There would have been a sigh of relief last night.

Not just from the Labour Party, but in the two newsrooms who put the polls out.

It's rare two polls come out on the same day, and last time it happened they didn’t match, and therefore you had no idea who was accurate or not.

The two this week show pretty much the same thing - Labour get the predictable bump from a leadership change, which although it was more likely than not it wasn't a forgone conclusion, so they will be happy.

But it does give an insight into just how toxic Jacinda Ardern had become.

In one poll, it's a sort of tie, a hung parliament. In the other, it’s also a tie with the balance held potentially by the Māori Party.

Overall it shows you can safely say it's tight.

You can bring history in if you want - no Government in the modern era has changed leaders and gone on to win an election. And I don’t think by the time we get to October that’s going to change.

But polls are life and Labour have got a hit of oxygen that they so desperately needed.

There is another crack today with the cabinet reshuffle, not that that will change anything. The media will wander through the entrails but cabinets and their make-ups are belt way affairs. No one in the real world cares who the Minister of Internal Affairs is or what number in the pecking order they are

Chris Hipkins boosts Labour's popularity in the polls

And here is the really important thing once the flood waters get mopped up and we all get back to work for the year - the economy.

It's in real trouble and that's what makes or breaks Governments.

You might not like a media merger and the Government will scuttle that, but that was never swinging a vote.

A new leader is window dressing but we get over that quickly and given Hipkins has been as involved with every Govt decision as anyone, a small bump in the opening poll reflects the change as good as a holiday vibe.

It's not a profound shift from the stuff that’s got his party in the mess it has, and our country in the quagmire it is.

For National it's far from a foregone conclusion and Luxon has a lot of credibility work to do.

But this Government stunk pre-Christmas and even last night shows they still have poll trouble.

This is a Government on its way out and a leader who is caretaker, at best.

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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