“Too close to call”
That is the pronouncement of the latest Roy Morgan poll that shows the National Party up to 45.5%, while Labour is down to 32%. The Green Party is one 12.5%, meaning that a Labour/Green coalition is only .5% away from National. However, New Zealand First have made a strong showing of 5% while National’s potential coalition partners have made a negligible impact. Because of this, if an election was held today it could go either way.
This is not good enough for Labour. The National government is flailing on so many things, and Labour has answers to them. First home buyers have almost disappeared from the market, because of high LVRs, which Labour wants to lower. House prices are skyrocketing, and the implementation of a Capital Gains Tax would go far in halting this. The government are losing touch with their approach to Pike River compensation. The list goes on, but Labour has failed to make a splash.
Well, they have not made a splash in the right areas. Roy Morgan hypothesises that the move to National in their poll has largely been from men. This is what happens when you let a women’s quota policy become your big issue. As I wrote previously in ‘Media Savagery Around Labour Needs to End!’, much of the publicity about Labour’s gender representation policy has been overhyped and spun out of proportion by the media. However, when Labour’s recent policy has been thoroughly underwhelming, journalists are forced to look elsewhere to find something that will capture public attention. Labour’s KiwiBuild and NZ Power policies are bold, innovative and exciting, but they were news weeks ago, and a week is a long time in politics. People have forgotten about them, and now when faced with policies like reduced LVRs and state owned insurance, which may be sensible economic policy but do not excite many people, then the excitement dies down.
David Cunliffe can do better than this. The man is an economic and financial genius, and one of the most inspiring politicians in the country right now. There are few in Labour that could do a better job at being Prime Minister. I would be surprised if this was the best he has to offer. We should expect big things in 2014 that will propel Labour in the right direction. However, this is Labour’s election to win, and “too close to call” isn’t going to cut it.