No honeymoon for Don Brash

Last updated 05:00 24/05/2011

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)

Labour 28.0 per cent (-3.0)

Green 10.0 per cent (+2.5)

NZ First 3.0 per cent (-1.5)

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.

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Flight 19   #1   07:22 am May 24 2011

What's up with Labour being on 28 percent? I thought they were supposed to be making a big comeback?

tane mahuta   #2   07:31 am May 24 2011

they'll show, as per this one, the greens continuing to rise, but completely ignored in any analysis.

Meh   #3   08:55 am May 24 2011

#2 unfortunately history with the greens show that they rise coming up to the elections and then at the polls people get cold feet and vote somewhere else.

Which is a shame.

However a rise in the polls is still a rise and the higher it goes the better. :) They did get extra members last time and with the performance of labour thus far are looking to do the same this time. If only the media would give them some attention considering they are the third largest party in govt. Maybe something even slightly comparable to ACT who have less than 3%??

Biased much?

Mark   #4   08:59 am May 24 2011

Surely the Maori Party with thier three safe electorates should be at least on 3 seats, if not 4.

Brown?   #5   09:26 am May 24 2011

Labour are shedding support to the Greens. Leftish voters disappointed with LAbour's performance this term who have nowhere else to go. What price a leadership coup this side of the 12 to 6 weeks out from the election? I doubt they are a happy caucus.

pseudopanax   #6   09:36 am May 24 2011

Exactly, @tane mahuta #2. David, you've just ignored a solid 10% of the respondents views, and whatever the larger ramifications of that may be. The Greens are a credible political brand, and this poll is dominated by 3 major parties. Your reluctance to acknowledge that does you no favours.

Cameron   #7   10:05 am May 24 2011

Just one seat for the Maori Party? Can we make some similar assumptions about their chances in a couple of electorates as we did with Dunne and Hone?

Wilbur   #8   10:05 am May 24 2011

No mention of the Greens, despite them being on 10% and looking increasingly likely to hold the balance of power? Odd.

ferd   #9   10:43 am May 24 2011

Why on earth is stuff running Farrar as a political commentator? His main source of income is the National Party. I guess he'll be getting a bonus payment from HQ for this effort.

David Farrar   #10   11:09 am May 24 2011

The Maori Party should show at 4 seats. My mistake and a new graphic will appear at some stage.

I agree very good result for the Greens. I've actually said for some months I think they could make 10% at the election. I didn't focus on it in this poll as I thought the lack of movement for ACT was the bigger issue.

What will be interesting is is Labour claw back support from the Greens in the wake of their conference. So I'll probably touch on the high support for Greens after the next polls if it endures. Maybe they can do what happened in Canada, and become the official Opposition!

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