There's no question that the Key government has been taking a hammering in the media. It's also unarguable that some of National's policies are deeply unpopular with the voters. Asset sales, the Crafar Farms issue, the Sky City pokies deal: every time there's a poll on these issues (however unscientific), the results are damning.
So if people hate these policies, why do the polls say it's business as usual for National? The possible options:
- While the populace don't like these policies, voters think the negatives are outweighed by the good things National are doing.
- People don't like National, but they dislike the opposition parties more.
- The polls are unreliable/wrong.
- It takes time for public sentiment on issues like asset sales etc. to show up in polls. People are growing more dissatisfied with things, but it is not yet showing up in their voting choices.
- It's all a media beat-up, and people still love Key and his government.
I don't like this government, which makes me hopelessly biased. However, if you were to ask me to pick what is going on I'd tentatively pick the fourth option. I can't see how one story after another in the media focusing on cronyism and special deals for National's mates can in the end have any effect other than to erode National's support. Good things take time!
But then I would say that. What do you think is going on in the polls?