Labour leader David Cunliffe is adamant his party can win
the general election despite two demoralising poll results this
However, University of Otago political scientist Bryce
Edwards says the polls reinforce each other and Labour is
picking up an unfortunate narrative as being a loser in
Yesterday's Stuff.co.nz/Ipsos poll and Wednesday's Roy Morgan
poll had a yawning gap between support for National and
Labour, at 30 percentage points (54.8% versus 24.9%) and 27.5
percentage points (51% and 23.5%), respectively.
As preferred prime minister, Mr Cunliffe drew only 12.8%
support in yesterday's poll, well behind Prime Minister John
In Queenstown yesterday, where he has been holidaying with
family, Mr Cunliffe told the Otago Daily Times the polls were
not what Labour would like to see and it had more work to do.
''Having said that, of course, they are a point in time and
it is the election date itself that is the most crucial.
''We will be going all out to muster every possible vote and
we can still win this election.''
The party did not necessarily have to change its message. The
key to attract marginal voters was message consistency, he
''You'll see more from us which will, I think, resonate with
the public about being here for middle-income Kiwis and more
Dr Edwards said the demoralising polls might have Labour's
support in the mid-20s but a win for the Left bloc, including
the Green Party, was not impossible.
''The problem is it [the poor polling] creates a narrative of
Labour being losers in this election.''
Undecided voters are looming as an important factor in the
election. The Stuff/Ipsos poll said more than 15% of people
were unsure of which party they will support.
Labour gained 1.7 points to 24.9% after a series of
Mr Cunliffe said Labour expected that shift to continue as it
targeted areas with traditionally high Labour voter turnout
and policy which would appeal nationally.
He latched on to a dip in Fonterra's latest Global Dairy
Trade auction as a sign the economy - seen as a Government
strength - was turning sour. Labour would focus on the
stagnating regions to try to break the Government's good-news
messages about the economy, he said. Median incomes in 13 of
the country's 16 regions had gone backwards since National
took office in 2009.
Mr Cunliffe met Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden
yesterday to discuss housing and other local issues.