Was it a rogue poll?
Without another time-exact poll to compare it to, it’s hard to know for sure, but the available facts suggest it is rogue.
Both Labour and National do internal polling consistently. Neither of them are getting these numbers.
Labour on 61 in the poll is too high.
National on 25 is too low.
A 36 point gap is way too big.
What we’re hearing is that internal polls are putting Labour more like the early 50s, National the early 30s.
The gap between them? Somewhere closer to 15-20 points.
Now that doesn’t really change the landscape much. Labour cruises to victory even if you adjust for what the internal polls are getting.
Also, a drop to 25 for National suggests the party’s supporters are reacting badly to Judith Collins. Again, this isn’t what we’re seeing elsewhere.
Over the weekend the Sunday Star Times ran some results from the Stuff/ Massey University election survey which showed voters responding positively to Collins taking over as leader. Before her leadership, only 24% of those in the survey said they would probably vote National. After she took over, the number jumped up to 40%.
But the fact is, regardless of whether this poll is right or wrong, it still has the potential to do damage. It’s bad news for the company behind it, Reid Research, because this is the second rogue poll from them in just over a year. You’ll remember the last one in June last year had Labour leading National by 51 to 38, and the very same night TV1’s Colmar Brunton Poll had National leading Labour by 44 to 42.
It’s also bad news for National. Because polls like these can become self-fullfilling prophesies.
Voters who are only half listening might see these, take it as gospel and throw in the towel with National and Judith Collins. This close to an election, voters are probably more mobile and prepared to change their vote than normal.
We’re expecting a TV1 Colmar Bruton poll. National will almost certainly be hoping that delivers a more realistic scenario before this poll starts influencing or even locking in perceptions.