Poll of polls

Radio New Zealand average all the latest major polls and compare those results month by month. ?A bit like Nate Silver, they assume doing that provides a higher quality result. ? It certainly dampens down the results and shows a more steady trend.

The two opposition parties sit at the same position as they did before the 2014 election, at which Labour plummeted to 25 percent.

Labour’s polling average is up 4 percentage points on its December average, to 30.6 percent, but its running mate, the Greens, fell two points to 11.3 percent.

At the same time National is down three points to 45.7 percent.

That leaves the gap between National and the combined Labour and Greens at 3.8 percentage points, down from 9.4 points in December and 7.4 in February.

The poll keeps New Zealand First, led by Winston Peters, with a March average of 8.7 percent, as the potential kingmaker – meaning its chosen coalition partner would likely form government.

Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities party has begun to register, with a 0.5 percent average in March. ACT (0.5 percent) and United Future (0.2 percent) still have no traction.

And the Conservative Party don’t deserve a mention I note.

Next, RNZ try to credit Labour’s gain on the “Jacinda Effect” , and National’s losses on the “Bill Effect”. ?I’m not sure that it is that simple.

Labour’s rise (it was languishing on a 27.8 percent average through February) might be partly a “Jacinda effect”. New deputy leader Jacinda Ardern has been outpointing leader Andrew Little in preferred prime minister ratings in some polls.

Conversely, National’s fall might be partly a “Bill effect”. Prime Minister Bill English’s ratings have been falling this year, as John Key’s sudden departure from the role in December sinks into voters’ consciousness.