No honeymoon for Don Brash

22:09, May 29 2011
Roy Morgan polled 858 New Zealanders from Monday 2 to Sunday 15 May.
Roy Morgan polled 858 New Zealanders from Monday 2 to Sunday 15 May.

The first scientific poll since the leadership change in ACT shows no significant increase in support for the party now helmed by Don Brash.

Roy Morgan polled 858 New Zealanders from Monday 2 to Sunday 15 May. Rodney Hide resigned as ACT leader on Thursday 28 April, so this poll is taken entirely after that happened. The support for each party (with the change from the previous fortnight) is shown below:

National 53.0 per cent (+0.5)

David Farrar
DAVID FARRAR: Don Brash has a huge task ahead of him.

Labour 28.0 per cent (-3.0)

Green 10.0 per cent (+2.5)

NZ First 3.0 per cent (-1.5)

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ACT 2.0 per cent (+1.0)

Maori Party 2.0 per cent (no change)

United Future 0.5 per cent (no change)

ACT have increased by 1 per cent to 2 per cent, but they were at this level in late March anyway. This poll reflects my previously stated view that the way the coup against Rodney Hide played out alienated many potential Act voters.

Brash has said that he wants to get 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the vote. This poll shows he has a huge task ahead of him as the current poll rating is less than ACT got at the 2008 election.

The poll was taken before publication of his open letter to John Key, and associated advertisements, so the next set of polls may show what impact, if any, they have had.

It is unusual though to have not even had a honeymoon rise in the polls. Perhaps it only applies to your first (political) marriage.

On an assumption that ACT retains Epsom, Peter Dunne retains Ohariu, Hone Harawira retains Te Tai Tokerau, and Labour takes Wigram, the shape of a Parliament on this poll would be as shown in the top graph.
 
This poll was taken before the pre-Budget announcements on KiwiSaver, and the Budget itself. Labour will hope that they may get a boost from those, as their 28 per cent in this poll is an 18 month low for this poll.

As can be seen, National can easily form a Government based on this poll. But there are 186 days to go before the election.

The next set of polls are likely to be this Sunday. What do readers think they will show?

- David Farrar is affiliated to the National Party and is a centre right blogger.