After leading in the polls for three years, at the last election National got 44.4 per cent of the vote, only for Labour, on just 36.9 per cent, to form the government. Could it happen again? Labour is dropping in every poll. At 47 per cent, Labour needs a partner to govern again.
At 1 per cent New Zealand First is dog tucker.
The Greens are just above the 5 per cent threshold. The Greens do better in opinion polls than elections. The Greens' young supporters forget to vote. The Greens need a good overseas vote. With Kiwis not travelling and Jacinda's international popularity the overseas vote will not save the Greens.
The use of Covid recovery funds for a private Green school is not going away. One day last week a wealth tax was a bottom line and then next day the Green Party claims to have no bottom lines. A Labour/Green coalition does not sound like a stable government.
Judith Collins won the leaders' debate. With an audience of one-third of all voters, it is the biggest event of the campaign.
Debate wins make a difference to a factor that pollsters cannot measure, enthusiasm. Will those polled actually vote?
Elections are won by the party whose supporters turnout. In 2017 there was "Jacinda mania" yet 20.99 per cent of those who had registered did not vote.
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This election there is less enthusiasm. Non-voting could be a record.
The Covid clusters are in Labour's heartland. Will voters who have been unwilling to let their children return to school go to the school to vote? Why vote when the election is a foregone conclusion?
Early voting does not help Labour. Labour needs an Election Day organisation to get out their vote. In Auckland Central, I had more than 400 volunteers on Election Day turning out the vote. Are volunteers willing to door knock in Covid hot spots?
Collins' debate performance makes National supporters more likely to vote. The more debate victories she has, the more enthusiasm.
Paul Goldsmith's "irritating" mistake is not helping National but Grant Robertson's attacks are absurd. A finance minister whose spending promises rely on the Reserve Bank printing $100 billion cannot claim $4.1b is a fiscal hole.
Act is rising because David Seymour says both parties' borrow and spend plans are reckless.
Today there is a 30 per cent chance that Collins' debate victory, Act's polling and a low turnout mean Labour could "win" the election and National become government. Under MMP the losers can win.