The much anticipated 1 News/Colmar Brunton poll is out. It tells more or less the same story as the last one, and the one before that. But it confirms that Sunday’s Reid Research poll was a rogue. That said, we can be reasonably certain that Labour will be the largest party on 19 September. This would represent a historic swing.

The only real question to my mind is: will Jacinda Ardern become the first Prime Minister since 1993 to govern with an absolute majority? I remain sceptical. Data from the New Zealand Election Study would suggest that a large proportion of voters make up their minds during the campaign. On average, nearly 20% decide in the final week. In a close election they can make all the difference, particularly where small parties such as NZ First and the Greens are concerned.

Then there are the newcomers. Billy Te Kahika has registered in the preferred Prime Minister poll (1%) and the NewConservatives are on 1.2%. Given the margin of error, it is possible that the populist vote could be underestimated. I don’t for a moment think that either the NewConservatives or Te Kahika’s party will get over 5%. But don’t be surprised if they contribute a higher than average wasted vote. And that could be important. Labour’s ambition to govern alone may depend on it.

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