The latest Roy Morgan poll continues the surge in Labour support that showed up in the leaked UMR poll a fortnight ago.
The Morgan poll, has Labour on 33.5% — its lowest recent poll rating was 26% in the Colmar Brunton poll on September 7.
But what will worry National is that the Morgan poll, like the UMR poll, shows its support well below its recent high of 48% in the Colmar Brunton poll.
Morgan has National at 41.5%
However, the Morgan poll has the two other Opposition parties, the Greens and NZ First down.
The Greens are on 12% and NZ First, perhaps surprisingly, on 8.5%, down one per cent on their previous month’s showing in the Morgan poll.
The net effect of this would be to give New Zealand First the balance of power.
But what might interest National is that the Maori Party showed a slight upwards move to two per cent.
Even so, National and its current support parties would have only 54 seats; not enough to form a Government.
But Labour and the Greens would also fall short with 56 seats between them.
That would leave NZ First holding the balance of power with ten seats.
Under this scenario, NZ First would have to commit to supply and confidence which ever party it put into Government.
NZ First’s relatively poor showing will surprise both itself and the National Party coming after a month in which it has held its annual convention and when Winston Peters has been highly visible with a series of speeches in provincial New Zealand.
National MPs, who discuss their own weekly polling results at each week’s caucus, have been saying that they believed they were losing some support to NZ First as was Labour.
But what the Morgan poll suggests is that National’s departees are in fact headed for Labour.
The Morgan poll is traditionally highly volatile. It’s had National up and down from the low to high forties all year but Labour’s 33% is the highest it has got in the poll since the last election.
Nevertheless, there were some signs on Labour’s part yesterday that it is still nervous about its standing in the electorate with the news that it had done a deal with the Greens so that they would not stand a candidate if there is a Roskill by-election later in the year should Phil Goff win the Auckland mayoralty.
However, Green co-leader Metiria Turei, was careful to stress to POLITIK that the arrangement was a one-off and that ultimately the Greens were not all that interested in by-elections because they were a list party.
She rejected any idea that Labour now owed the Greens, though in the pragmatic deal-making world of day to day politics it would not be surprising if the Greens did ask Labour to stand aside in a seat to get one of their co-leaders in as an electorate MP.
But the Morgan poll will add urgency (and credibility) to the Labour-Green coalition and may cause a moderate amount of panic among the Government ranks coming, as it does, on top of the UMR poll.