Last poll of year is a bit boring but Audrey Young manages some weapons grade spin on behalf of Labour

The Herald’s last poll of the year is real margin of error stuff.

Labour is up a bit, so is National, NZ First and Greens down a bit…otherwise it is a bit meh.

It didn’t stop Audrey Young spinning this as a massive lift in labour’s fortunes despite them still being under 30%.

Labour’s popularity has jumped three percentage points in the first political poll since Andrew Little took over the leadership and the first major poll since the September 20 election.

But National’s support has also risen, while support for the Greens and New Zealand First has declined.

Labour is on 28.9 per cent, a rise of three points from 25.9 per cent in the Herald-DigiPoll survey conducted in the last week of the election campaign.

Its party vote in the election of 25.13 per cent was close to the poll result, so it can safely be said the party has had a lift.

Mr Little was elected on November 18 after the resignation of David Cunliffe.

National’s support rose 2.2 points, from 48.2 to 50.4 per cent in the poll, conducted in the second and third weeks of December.

Audrey Young then proceeds to list all the bad things that happened to John Key since the election…almost as if she is re-telling them so maybe, just possibly…hopefully even, that the mud will stick where it hasn’t yet.

Since the election, Prime Minister John Key has had mixed fortunes. He has attended Apec and the G20, and clinched a free-trade deal with South Korea.

But he has proposed sending training troops to the Middle East – an idea opposed by Labour – seen dairy prices plunge and forecasts of a surplus disappear, and been on the back foot after a damning report from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, who found the neutrality of the Security Intelligence Service had been compromised in its dealing with an Official Information Act request lodged by blogger Cameron Slater.

Meh…national is up 2.2 % Audrey…and to cap it all off so is John Key’s popularity.

Mr Key is preferred by 65 per cent, a slight rise of 0.7.

But almost 50 per cent reacted positively when asked how they rated Mr Little’s performance – 24.7 per cent said “good”, 19.4 per cent “very good” and 5.3 per cent “excellent”. Another 23 per cent said it was “adequate” and 7 per cent “poor”.

Questioned on party affiliation, 24.2 per cent of those polled said they voted Labour last time and were likely to again.

But more encouraging for Labour is that 14.3 per cent said they had not voted Labour last time but were likely to do so next time.

Mr Little’s early polling figures are less pronounced than were his predecessor’s. Mr Cunliffe began with 16.8 per cent personal support soon after his election as leader in September last year, and Labour peaked at 37.7 per cent before a gradual decline to 25.13 on election day a year later.

But Mr Cunliffe was once a minister and had a higher profile and the leadership contest, prompted by David Shearer’s resignation, was a high-profile event.

All three previous Labour leaders, Mr Cunliffe, Mr Shearer and Phil Goff, got the party to a peak of just above 35 per cent in the polls and peaked in personal support at 18 per cent or 19 per cent.

Oh my, those results didn’t suit the narrative did they?

So despite the list of dirty politics accusations John Key and National remain as popular as ever, Andrew Little has apparently lifted Labour to under 30%…but his personal results are worse than David Cunliffe, David Shearer and Phil Goff.

No wonder the Herald buried this poll in the Boxing Day edition, they spent a metric shit tonne of cash on it and it didn’t match their editorial stance. Note they still had to use my name in order to get better Google hits.

Boo hoo, Merry Christmas Shayne and Tim.


– NZ Herald