It takes a great deal of gall to be discussing your victory prospects, when the polls are saying you are on a hiding to nothing.
But in politics, it’s fair to say, giving any hint of doubt about becoming the next Prime Miniser would result in sad old Phil Goff being sent to the knackers’ yard by his self-serving colleagues.
And so we are subjected to the risible news that Goff says he is confident his party can win the election despite the latest poll showing support at a dire 10-year low.
That poll was the TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll, which put support for Labour at 27 per cent – down 7 percentage points from its last poll in May – while National was up one point on 53 percent.
A real ego-deflator for Goff would have been the result showing –
Prime Minister John Key had 54 per cent support as preferred prime minister, while Mr Goff was on 9 per cent.
Ah, but Fanciful Phil can count on swaying all those undecided voters – can’t he?
TVNZ today revealed the number of undecided voters had dropped since the previous poll, suggesting more people had made up their minds about who they would support at the November 26 election.
Eight per cent were undecided on who they would give their party vote to, down 3 points from the previous poll, while 14 percent were undecided on their electorate vote, down 2 points.
The respective positions of the parties is somewhat akin to Goff riding a Clydesdale in the Melbourne Cup and finding he has covered only 864 metres and has 2336
metres to go to get to the winning post.
National is a thoroughbred which has covered 1696 metres – more than half the distance – and has just 1504 metres to go. Moreover, with John Key in the saddle, it is pulling away strongly from the rest of the field.
It’s too late at that stage for placing a bet.
But if he could, it seems, Goff would still be putting his money on the Clydesdale.
Goff told reporters today that Labour could win the election.
“We have other polls that we look at, and those polls have us doing significantly better. I’m confident that on the day that we can win.”
Goff also said polls went up and down – a bit like a book-maker’s odds – but he preferred them to go up.
He said there had been only “two real polls” this year – the Botany and Te Tai Tokerau by-elections, which both saw Labour improve its support.
“The crunch point came, people went out to vote, Labour held and improved its vote.”
Fair to say, a TV3 Reid Research poll shows National at 55.1 per cent and Labour at 29.9.
That’s a better showing for Labour. But it is better for National, too.
Goff disagreed the TVNZ poll put pressure on his leadership.
“I’m going to lead the Labour Party into this election and there’s never been any question about that, apart from in the minds of some people in the National Party, their spin doctors and one or two who believed it.”
In other words, he will stay in the saddle until the race is over.
Good for him.
But Alf is putting his money on a new jockey being put in the Labour saddle before the 2014 race.