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Monday, 3 March 2014

What's important to you in election year?

From Colmar Brunton on Twitter.
As part of their February poll, Colmar Brunton has published the top issues for voters at this years election (fancy graphic on the right).

The top issues are:
  • Education (40%)
  • Health (37%)
  • Jobs (30%)
  • Child Poverty (27%)
  • Wages (23%)
  • Crime (21%)
  • Asset sales (17%)
  • Income tax (17%)
  • House prices (15%)
  • Inequality (14%)
  • NZ flag (2%)
There's also a break-down by the two major blocs (i.e. National vs Labour/Greens) and detail on undecided voters. It's good news for both sides - the good news for the opposition is that they've succeeded on getting child poverty onto the political radar.  The good news for National is that their supporters views are much closer to the views of undecided  voters. It's the undecided voters who determine where elections are won and lost though, so on the picture this polling gives is brighter for National than the opposition. The challenge is to have policies that reflect what the voting public wants.

Just look at the major policy announcements: National's big announcement at the start of the year was focused on education and increasing its quality, while Labour's was on a new baby bonus. The Greens' first announced a policy on making schools "community hubs", something the government is working towards anyway. They then made a second big policy announcement on subsidies for solar panels, following revelations of meetings between their co-leader and Kim Dotcom.

Health and jobs are also big issues - health is surprising given how few headlines its had in the past few years. Jobs are an understandable issue given the squeeze many of us have faced as a result of the recession and global financial crisis. The good news for National is that unemployment is falling, and after-tax wages are increasing.