TVNZ and TV3 both had new polls out last night. It’s always bearing in mind that each poll is only a single, very error prone data point. Stepping back and looking at the average polls over the last year, adjusted for their bias compared to the election result (thanks again to Peter Green for the R coding), we see the broad trends emerge.
My take on this is that Labour’s small target strategy has entered the realm of diminishing returns. Shearer has kept a low profile ever since his ‘I don’t have a dream’ speeches bombed (presumably this year is now designated his training wheels year) and this resulted in temporary gains for Labour because it coincided with a truly horrible six months for the government. Now they’ve peeled off soft votes, they’ll have to work harder for the rest. The Greens remain pretty steady.
As usual there’s a narrative vacuum from both main opposition parties. There’s no coherent critique of the government or substantive alternate vision. So whenever there’s a scandal or policy failure it takes place in this vacuum. And, as usual, National is very adept at crafting and promoting its own narratives. Unless this changes I don’t see these polls moving much over the next six months.