The NBR poll - a vote for NZF is a vote for Labour.
This has really rattled the centre-left, especially Labour. It should rattle the Greens even more. Labour does not want to govern with NZ First, and neither does National. Jordan Carter from Just left says he'd rather be in opposition than govern with NZF. Helen Clark, on the other hand, wants power at any cost.
But the public seems to like NZ First. Here's the results/seats ( thanks toDPF)
National 38% 48 seats
Labour 37% 46 seats
NZ First 12% 15 seats
Green 5% 6 seats
Maori 2% 5 seats
United Future 1.9% 2 seats
Progressive 0% 1 seats
Total 123 seats
This poll, should it be translated to seats in the House, means the Greens look like being also-rans in terms of Government power - with a handful of people in Parliament. ACT will be history. Of course if the Maori party doesn't win five seats, as seems unlikely, there won't be so much of an overhang.
Despite the shift of votes from Labour (down four) to National (up four) , it is NZ First voters have to decide what's worse: A National or Labour led Government with NZ First, or a Labour led Government with the Greens. To them, the answer is obvious. Some of those on the centre left will desert the Greens for Labour to keep Labour in power, if they think Winston may pick National as a possible coalition partner-but that may lead to the Greens being out of Parliament. That’s why this poll is bad news for the Greens more so than for Labour.
I think Winston will pick Labour if he got the chance. And if more NZ First voters agree, we could even see NZ First's support stablising for a while - or even increase on the back of Labour voters who are only voting Labour to keep National out. On the other hand this could be offset by an ven greater reduction of NZF support to National to prevent Winston picking Labour as a coalition partner.
Interesting times when vote swapping between National and Labour is chanelled through NZ First.
The NZF support is the reason Helen Clark will want the election as late as possible. She hopes that NZ First has peaked and its support will fall before the election. So there goes my July 30 prediction.
The best option for stable government will be a lowering of NZ First's support to some of the minor parties like United Future, so that United Future could be the kingmaker - with National and Labour votespretty much the same as the is poll.
At least we know whom Peter Dunne will choose as he has said he'll choose the party with the most votes out of Labour or National. Winston, however, has given no guarantees - but I think he'll go with Labour if he is given the choice, even if Labour get less votes.
If people were following politics as much as bloggers and political journalists there will be a dramatic lowering of NZ First 's support at the next poll. Those votes will be spread around National, Labour and United Future. Surely no NZF supporter will vote Greens, but some will switch to United Future. Believe it or not. I know some that have, in the past.
But on the whole people don’t follow politics closely, so who knows what will happen.