The beginning of the end for Labour?
News that Helen is no longer the preferred Prime Minister for the first time in 8 years should scare the hell out of Labour, and the country – for all the ratbagging of Helen, National under John Key still don’t have any policy and a clear direction they will take the country in, the old saying that disaffected NZers only vote Governments out and never in may come back to haunt those hooded eyes of Helen.
Key ends Clark's 8-year reign as preferred PM
The soaring popularity of National's John Key has pushed Helen Clark off her throne as preferred Prime Minister, a position she has held unassailed for eight years. And Mr Key's role in getting a compromise on the anti-smacking bill may have been a big factor, something even Helen Clark concedes. Thirty-two per cent of voters prefer Mr Key compared with 30 per cent for Helen Clark, according to last night's TV3 poll conducted by TNS. His two-point lead reverses her nine-point lead in the same poll six weeks ago. She has lost seven points and Mr Key jumped four. National also leads Labour in the TV3 poll by 48 per cent to 36, which would get it close to being a single-party majority government. Labour's poor showing is expected to put more pressure on Finance Minister Michael Cullen to deliver a Budget this week that will reverse the retreating tide of support. Helen Clark yesterday attributed the result to recent events, including the backlash over the anti-smacking bill, which outlaws physical punishment of children.