On Saturday, the Herald carried the results of their latest Digipoll. The results are below with those of the previous four polls (August, July, June and May 07) in brackets in that order:
Lab - 39.6% (36.8, 42.0, 40.1, 33.6)
Nat - 44.8% (50.3, 48.5, 48.2, 50.9)
Grn - 7.2% (6, 4, 4, 6.1)
NZF - ?% (2.8, 2, 3, 3.2)
UF - ?% (0.0, 0.3, 0.3, 0.8)
ACT - ?% (0.9, 0.4, 0.6, 0.7)
MP - ?% (2.3, 1.8, 2.4, 1.7)
The preferred PM ratings show:
Clark at 46.8% (47.3, 48.7, 45.8, 42.1)
Key at 42.2% (39, 37.9, 42.2, 45.5)
Peters at ??% (6.9, 7.0, 5.2, 5.4)
This poll shows a big turnaround against National, just as the last one showed one against Labour. This is less expected than the previous month's turnaround, as far as I'm concerned.
The Nats will be very worried with this, because what it seems to show is that Labour's reframing of John Key last month has had some effect. The satire shows are now a good deal less friendly to the Opposition leader, and the government seems to have dramatically improved its political management.
In this poll, if it were borne out on election day, one would expect to see a Labour/Greens government supported by Maori Party MPs. Last month, the only possibility was a National government.
Next month's suite of polls will be interesting. Will the tide continue to go Labour's way or will this be a false dawn? The last week's events will do the Nats more damage, because they reveal aspects of political deception and because they remind voters of what they like least about the Nats: their ideological extremism. So I would hope for further progress based on National's SNAFUs, the popular welcoming of Labour's climate change announcements, and good press for Helen in Europe this week.