Seymour becomes a star in the poll dance – but let’s see a spotlight on the hard policy ACT has choreographed

ACT  leader  David Seymour  seems  to  think  he is  dancing  with the  stars  once more. Whether  he’s  in  step  with the  music is somewhat uncertain.

At  any  rate, he’s boldly  putting  it  about:

“We can  win in 2023.”

Point  of  Order has  received from  him a  note  on  how the latest  polls   are  trending in  which he  asserts the gap between the Government and the Opposition is closing.

He  cites the  latest Taxpayers’ Union Curia poll,   in  which  ACT is steady on 16%, while Labour is down 6 points to 39%.

“In the last 12 months, National has regained its election night polling and we have doubled our support.Two months ago, the gap between the centre-left and centre-right was 19 points. It’s now just 6.

“In the most important barometer of the mood of the country, more New Zealanders now believe the country is heading in the wrong direction than the right direction”. Continue reading “Seymour becomes a star in the poll dance – but let’s see a spotlight on the hard policy ACT has choreographed”

Polls bring Labour back to earth while a warning is sounded about the need to brace for next economic crisis

So how  is  the  political landscape looking as the country  inches  slowly  towards   the goal  of  being 90%  vaccinated against Covid-19?

The  government  which  just 12  months   ago  was  blissfully floating beyond electoral threat somewhere  in the  political stratosphere  has  come  back  to  earth with something  of  a thud.

But National,  still  apparently  without  the  capacity  to  strike  the  wavelength  to  reach the  public  as  it  did in its  heyday, has   yet to find  its  old  mojo.  By  comparison, ACT  has been  flexing   a  new kind of   muscularity, without  suggesting  it has  yet  the  ability to  land  a  killer  punch

Meanwhile  a group  of  top  economists  is  warning   that  the  seeds  of  the  next   economic  crisis  have  been  sown. The steps taken by countries, including New Zealand, to counter the economic impact of Covid-19 have masked and in some cases exacerbated the risks.

“The Covid-19 financial support package has kept Kiwis off of the dole queue and saved many businesses from bankruptcy,” report co-author Bryce Wilkinson​ said.

“However, the government should promptly repay those debts in order to be prepared for the next financial shock. Failing to prepare now for the next financial crisis could destroy New Zealanders’ nest eggs and threaten their livelihoods.” Continue reading “Polls bring Labour back to earth while a warning is sounded about the need to brace for next economic crisis”

PM’s announcement of a Covid lockdown might trigger more Jacindamania – but Govt gaffes have triggered a slide in support

New Zealand’s first Covid community case  in many months struck  just as  the  country  has  been  fretting over  how  the  government   might  frame  its  re-opening to  the  world after the  pandemic.

The government’s response – another Alert Level Four lockdown – was announced (eventually) during  a prime ministerial press conference, televised live, which dominated 6pm news programmes.

Whether this will provoke  a  fresh  bout  of  Jacindamania, like that New Zealand  experienced  before the  last  election,  is  far from  certain.

The  mood  of the nation has   been  shifting  in  recent months,  showing  the  signs  of  tetchiness  that  should  put  any government  on high  alert.

Coincidentally,  a new  poll  by UMR  has   pointed  to  Labour’s  support  sliding from  48%  in  July  to 43%  this  month,  with  the  Greens  on  7%,  down  one.

On the  other  side  of the political  fence,  National has risen  4 points  to 28%  and ACT  to 13%,  up 2%, but that still leaves a  big  gap  to  be  closed  by  the  centre-right  parties. Continue reading “PM’s announcement of a Covid lockdown might trigger more Jacindamania – but Govt gaffes have triggered a slide in support”

Polls show Labour on a high and the economy is in good nick as Robertson polishes Budget 2021

Labour  MPs  are a  happy bunch  of  campers. Party polling  is  solid, their  leader  has gained  recognition round the  world  that few other NZ prime  ministers have  enjoyed, and  their  opponents  are  in disarray.

The  government  has  steered  the  country   through  the Covid-19  pandemic  with  little  of  the  strife  that  has  ravaged  other  populations.

What’s  more   the  economy is  in good  shape, despite   the   damage  suffered  by  key sectors like  tourism, aviation  and   international  education.

The  Labour  camp   is  confident  Grant  Robertson  will  maintain  the  political  momentum  when he  delivers  the   budget next  month.  After  all,  he  did  not  hesitate to  spend  up  large to  sustain incomes  when the  economy looked  as  it  would nosedive   during lockdowns. Overall, the  economy  kept a  surprising  equilibrium   despite  the  pandemic’s  buffeting,  and slippage in GDP  in the final  quarter last year.

Not  that  satisfying  the  range  of  demands  for  higher  spending  will  be  easy.  Problems  like child  poverty, housing  shortages,  and inequality have  intensified  since  Labour   took office.

Failing   infrastructure  has  underlined  the  need  for all  those  “shovel-ready”  projects  promised in the run-up  to  last year’s election, but  yet  to  be launched. Fortunately  for  ministers,   they  have escaped  the  obloquy heaped  on  predecessors  when  they trot  out  the familiar banality beloved  of   Beehive staffers  (“work is  going on in that  space”,  Cabinet  is  seeking advice  on that”, “I have  called  for  a  report”). Continue reading “Polls show Labour on a high and the economy is in good nick as Robertson polishes Budget 2021”

Perhaps we need Peters to temper the adulation and prevent the landslide re-election of the Ardern government

Jacinda Ardern and her  government  have  won global admiration  for  vanquishing the coronavirus.  At  home   their ratings   have soared.  Polls  show  more than  80%  of  those  sampled  support  the  way  the government  handled  the  pandemic  crisis.

New Zealanders  accept  without a blink the  virus is  universal  and  ubiquitous, a  threat to all humankind.  They  celebrate  how  as  part  of a team of  5 million   led  by  Ardern   (and Ashley  Bloomfield – whoever thought a public servants would become such a  cult  figure?)  they   repulsed  Covid-19.

There  is  adulation of  the  kindness  and compassion  displayed  by the  Prime Minister.

Other  governments, by  comparison,  have been  condemned for  their  bungling and  incompetence, the failures of   their  public  health systems,  and  death tolls criticised as needless.

Foreign affairs  commentator  Simon Tisdall  in The  Guardian  says  a  new  age of  revolution  is  dawning —  but  just  what  kind of  revolution it  may be    will rest on how the pandemic’s  shock waves and  after-effects are directed  and  shaped. Continue reading “Perhaps we need Peters to temper the adulation and prevent the landslide re-election of the Ardern government”

Pundits peddle opposing views on how PM should deal with Peters – but voters perhaps have other concerns

How voters react to the headlines generated by NZ First’s  latest financial  shenanigans may  (or  may not) determine  the outcome  on  September  19.

The most recent Colmar Brunton poll had NZ First down at  3%, so  some  commentators   are  already  writing  off   the party’s chances of  survival.

But the real question, as some authorities see it, is whether  Labour  will  suffer   collateral  damage  from  the fallout,  if the Serious Fraud Office probe into  the  operations of the  NZ  First  Foundation  ends  up  in court  action.  It could be  uncomfortable  all round for the coalition if  the  SFO’s  investigation  leads to charges which a court  ultimately  finds proven. Continue reading “Pundits peddle opposing views on how PM should deal with Peters – but voters perhaps have other concerns”

Polls apart – but what are we to make of political surveys when the results are so divergent?

What  to  make of the latest   opinion  polls?   Because they diverge  so far  from  each   other,  experts   say  one   must be  wrong.

Perhaps some of those pollsters who got the mood of the  Australian  electorate so  badly  out of kilter with the actual election  result have been  imported to  carry out   one or  other of  the two samples.    Or, maybe,  because  the polling  done  by  each organisation covered   different   periods, there  was  a  dramatic revision  in the political mood almost  overnight.

Even given the divergence, the pundits were virtually unanimous:  Simon Bridges  is  gone—if not  by  lunchtime,  then some time soon.

That’s, of course, what they said at  the time  of  the  last set  of  polls.

National’s leadership preoccupies these  commentators much more than the actual performance of the  government. Continue reading “Polls apart – but what are we to make of political surveys when the results are so divergent?”