Labour's poll woe deepens
Labour is struggling to make any dent in National's huge lead, with today's Stuff.co.nz/Ipsos political poll showing it is still trailing National by a staggering 30 percentage points.
Even with allies the Greens included, the core Centre-Left bloc trails National by more than 17 points with just over two months to close the gap before polling day.
The only glimmers of hope for Labour are that it has reversed the slide in our previous poll, rising 1.7 points to 24.9 per cent, and is making some headway with previously undecided voters.
Today's poll has National on 54.8 per cent support down 1.7 points from our last poll.
John Key is the preferred prime minister among most voters, at 53.7 per cent support to David Cunliffe's 12.8.
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The news was no better for Labour leader David Cunliffe in the latest Roy Morgan poll, released late yesterday, which showed his party on 23.5 per cent against 51 for National, although the Greens were up three at 15 per cent and potential ally New Zealand First was on 6 per cent.
Ipsos pollster Matt Benson said in today's survey undecided voters were shaping up as an important factor and their numbers had been volatile in the previous three polls.
Today's poll, which follows Labour's recent election-year Congress and a series of targeted announcements on education policy, shows more decided voters, with Labour clearly benefiting from the change.
But 15.3 per cent of voters still don't know who they will vote for.
That will bring little cheer to Labour, however, as it prepares for its election campaign launch now just weeks away.
Booming confidence in the economy appears to be buoying National's support, with 64 per cent of those surveyed believing the country was on the right track, the highest in our survey since 2012.
Satisfaction with the Government's performance has also held up, suggesting Labour is running out of time to articulate a convincing argument for change.
The poll also sounds a warning for some of the minor parties, with both NZ First and the Conservatives struggling to get traction.
NZ First is on 2.6 per cent in today's poll while Colin Craig's Conservatives are on 1.3 per cent.
Only the Green Party has held up in support, and at 12.4 per cent still offers Labour a potential lifeline.
Craig has chucked millions of dollars at his party but there has been no payoff in terms of rising support.
On current polling he will need National to gift him a seat, but it will want to see him poll closer to the crucial 5 per cent threshold before it does so.
NZ First may be suffering from leader Winston Peters' refusal to spell out a clear position on which way he might lean if he is kingmaker on election night.
Key has hinted Peters may reposition himself closer to National ahead of the campaign proper and that may give some voters a reason to cast a tactical vote in his direction.
The Dominion Post