Herald Digipoll

The last Herald Digipoll before the election is released this morning. Again it shows Labour continues to slide rather than close the gap. Phil Goff told us to wait and see.

National: 50.9 (up 1 point in a week)
Labour 28 (down 1.1)
Greens 11.8 (down 0.8)
NZ First 5.2 (up 0.3)
Act 1.8 (up 0.1)
Conservatives 1.3 (up 0.7)
Maori Party 0.4 (down 0.3)
Mana 0.3 (down 0.1)
United Future 0 (down 0.1)

On this poll it shows again why National needs John Banks to win Epsom. Winston Peters is also looming there but int he range that sets up my dream scenario that would see his party fall below the threshold on special votes.

Today’s poll also throws up a bizarre possible outcome – National winning more than 50 per cent of the party vote but still needing Act, the Maori Party or United Future to give it a majority in Parliament.

This could happen if today’s poll results were translated to votes.

The revival of New Zealand First – which National won’t deal with – could make the survival of Act crucial.

The Maori Party could be in the box seat to negotiate a confidence and supply agreement to give National a cushion of comfort if Act and United Future don’t make it.

The reason National could get a majority of party votes tomorrow but not a majority of seats in Parliament is the overhang factor.

If today’s poll figures were translated to votes, United Future, the Maori Party and Mana would get more electorate seats than their party vote entitlement.

When that happens, the size of Parliament expands beyond 120 seats, and the parties are allowed to keep the extra seats.

In this case, the “overhang” seats would take Parliament to 126 seats.

In that scenario, a Government would need 64 seats for a majority and in today’s poll, National would have 63 seats – based on the assumption that Act, Mana, United Future and the Maori Party will keep their electorate seats.

Once again we see another bizarre feature of MMP and another reason why we need to kick it in the guts. Overhang distorts the “perfect” system supporters say it is and in this case distorts it by 6 seats the largest distortion ever. Vote for Change in the referendum and Vote for Sm to get rid of the silly excesses of MMP.

Can you all now see why Labour, NZ First, Greens and 9 trade unions support MMP? The system benefits them. They look set to control?parliament?despite not one of them securing anything more than 30% of the vote and in some case far less.