Feb 23, 2008

What Is Worse As The Headline On A Major Daily - Poll-axed or Glenngate?

Those in Labour hoping for an end to the domination of the Glenn scandal in the headlines may be wishing it were back on front page. Today's front page of the Weekend Dominion Post could not be worse for Labour. Accompanying a dreaful photo that has the PM looking more like the evil Emperor from Star Wars than usual, we have the headline Poll-axed. Sub headings are National's lead biggest since Labour took office and A mood for change. Even worse for the PM, the tone of the commentary by Vernon Small, Tracy Watkins and Tim Donoghue suggests that they have lost faith in any chance of a Labour victory at the polls. Clark seems secure in her party's leadership, but the tone is that she has become lame duck and that loss followed by leadership change in Labour seems inevitable.

What has caused this swing in attitude? The Roy Morgan Research poll? No, the latest Fairfax Media-Nielsen poll. This poll taken between 13 and 19 February - so only slightly influenced by Glenngate - shows:

National 55%
Labour 32%
Green 6%
NZ First 3%
Maori 2%
Act 1%
United F 0%

Even worse for the PM is the preferred PM rating. Key on 44% and Clark on 29%. The only good news that the political team can find is that Goff is not featuring in the preferred PM rankings - so they see this as easing the chances of an move on Clark's leadership from within the Party.

Clearly association with Labour is hurting both United Future and NZ First. It is probably not helping the Greens either. This has huge implications for the stability of Government.