In the 2014 New Zealand Electoral Survey – taken shortly after the election – researchers asked respondents for their opinion on our political leaders. Here’s the chart for Key:
People in the ‘Strongly dislike’ column would all like to think that the events of the last few days have shifted that distribution to the left. Maybe it has, but there’s no particular reason for that to be the case, and it seems just as plausible to me that it’s the other way and that more people like Key now, or, maybe, that some people have diverged from the centre.
Also, too, if you feel frustrated that Key is so popular and think that should change, I should remind you that complaining about him on twitter is the least meaningful way you can effect that change. Join Labour or the Greens, and/or donate money to them, and/or volunteer, and/or donate money to a rape crisis centre. Most of the people engaged in political social media debates are in the far left-most column or the far right-hand column and aren’t persuadable.