Fairfax have a new political poll out. National is up and Labour are down (their last poll had Labour up and National down). Fairfax Political Editor Tracy Watkins offers the obligatory post-hoc rationalisation here:
Labour has taken bold steps in policy, including its affordable housing plan, reforming the power market, a capital gains tax and raising the pension age.
Admittedly, there is a reason why policies like the capital gains tax and raising the pension age haven’t been tried before. They are deeply unpopular.
We heard this for years: a Capital Gains Tax is ‘political suicide’. Then Labour introduced it as a policy last election, the media polled on it, and it was actually pretty popular. 43% support; ie way more popular than the actual Labour Party, then or now.
There’s something similar going on in Vernon Small’s story about the actual poll results:
Mr Key’s decisive handling of the Aaron Gilmore furore and the aftermath of Labour and the Greens’ power policy have also helped lift National’s support.
Again, there’s actual hard data on public support for the Labour Greens’ power policy: the TV3 Reid Research poll found that 54% of the population supported it. That seems like an unlikely cause for a slump in popularity. I really dread that we’re going to spend the next eighteen months hearing the gallery assure us that policies that enjoy broad support from the electorate are ‘political suicide’.