Roy Morgan's monthly opinion poll published last night found support for National fell 5 percentage points to a three-year low of 41.5% in September from August, while support for Labour rose 8 points to 33.5%. Support for the Greens fell 2.5 points to 12% and New Zealand First fell 1 to 8.5%.
If replicated on election night, the respective support levels would put Winston Peters in pole position to decide who formed a Government.
The result is closer to the UMR poll cited by Andrew Little on September 13, and not close to the Colmar Brunton poll published on September 12 showing Labour at 26%, which Little described as "bogus."
The fall in support for the Government was also in line with the Roy Morgan Government Confidence rating, which fell 10.5 points to 117 points in September from August, with the percentage saying New Zealand was "headed in the right direction" down 6 points to 52 points -- the lowest since July last year. The proportion saying the country was "headed in the wrong direction" rose 4.5 points to 35%, its highest level since March 2013.
The poll of 864 voters by mobile phones and landlines was taken on September 18.
As referred to in yesterday's email, the result may reflect the growing unease about housing unaffordability spreading around the country in tandem with the Auckland 'halo effect' and comes despite strong business confidence and solid consumer confidence. Business leaders from companies such as ANZ, Vector and Kiwi Property have expressed concern in recent weeks about the over-valued housing market and its effect on future generations of workers, particularly in Auckland.
Greens not contesting Mt Roskill
In the first tangible sign of how the Green-Labour Memorandum of Understanding is working, Metiria Turei announced the Greens would not stand a candidate in the Mt Roskill electorate when a by-election is held to replace Phil Goff, who is widely expected to win the Auckland Mayoralty.
"The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election," Turei said.
"This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working. The Mt Roskill by-election will be closely contested, and we don't want to play any role in National winning the seat," she said, adding the decision had no bearing on other electorates.
David Seymour criticised the Green Party for being hypocritical, given it had criticised National's arrangement with ACT to endorse Seymour in the Epsom electorate.
"Strategic voting is a reality of MMP, but hypocrisy is optional. Labour and the Greens have shown how cheap their words are by participating in a deal that far eclipses the electoral arrangements they criticise every election," he said.
In other economic and financial news...
The Reserve Bank announced that Waikato University Vice-Chancellor Neil Quigley had been elected chair of the board, effective from last week. Quigley replaces Rod Carr, who said he had decided to step down as a director next year, and had therefore decided to resign as Chair. Kerrin Vautier, a consultant economist, was elected Deputy Chair with effect from Monday. Previous chairs such as Carr and Arthur Grimes have been former Reserve Bank executives, while Quigley has not held a role with the Reserve Bank. Former Reserve Bank economist Michael Reddell suggested a boardroom coup in his personal blog and speculated it was linked to Graeme Wheeler potentially not being reappointed for a second term next year.
Quote of the day:
Bill English quoted at the NZ Herald's Mood of the Boardroom breakfast event:
"You think a rising house market is a problem...you want to try being in a place where prices are going down."
Twitpic of the day:
Tweets of the day:
A woman goes to a job interview fully prepared and a man tries to wing it by being a blowhard. A not unfamiliar gender dynamic.
Donald Trump said Hillary doesn't have enough stamina to be President - then he proceeded to take about 500 sips of water.
The only winner tonight is the Voyager probe, which is speeding away from the Earth at 17 kilometers/second #debatenight
Have a great day