The Epsom poll

May 6th, 2012 at 8:12 am by David Farrar

The Herald on Sunday reports:

Banks, copping heavy criticism over donations from Kim Dotcom and SkyCity listed as being anonymous from his 2010 mayoralty bid, has lost a great deal of support, according to the Herald on Sunday-Key Research survey.

Only 10 per cent of electors would vote for him now – down from 44.1 per cent at the election last November – and a National candidate would romp home. 

The poll results are no surprise, and reflect my gut feeling that voters will vote for a National candidate, no matter what.

I would point out though one historical fact. No poll ever done in Epsom has shown an ACT candidate winning the seat – and they did win in 2005, 2008 and 2011. Epsom voters understand the tactical advantage of doing so.

However that tactical advantage disappears when there is little possibility of getting 1.2% of the party vote and one or more List MPs.

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45 Responses to “The Epsom poll”

  1. Pete George (22,851 comments) says:

    I think a poll on Epsom is fairly irrelevant at this stage. If there was a by election there would be major thought given to assessing whatever parties and candidates stand. The current poll is practically asking a meaningless question.

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  2. Alan Johnstone (1,064 comments) says:

    The people of Epsom will do whatever they are told to by John Key.

    Key allowed ACT to exist to give those on his “right” who want to go harder and faster somewhere to go in the knowledge that they’d support in the house.

    I think he did this to allow him to run towards the centre and target the soft aspirational labour WWC vote.

    He now faces the problem of how to balance the needs to the soft centrist vote with the harder core.

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  3. nasska (10,680 comments) says:

    PG

    It would seem cast doubt on the popularity & mana of Banks within Epsom, referred to frequently on this forum only six short months ago. The smarmy one has burnt off nearly all his personal support over things that occurred before his candidacy for ACT was even mooted.

    It’s a shame that this mouth almighty wanker has been given the chance to terminally stuff a party he had no ideological connection to.

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  4. CJPhoto (217 comments) says:

    People didn’t vote for banks. They voted him because they thought it would bring in more than one support partner. Has there been a similar poll since the election once it was found there was no multiplier effect?

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  5. Dick Prebble (60 comments) says:

    You know what this says about Epsom voters?

    To put it bluntly, it means they’re a bunch of dumb fucks.

    Despite all of Rodney’s ass-kissing about how proud he was to represent such a ‘smart’ electorate.

    It’s just a bunch of conservative mum and dad voters who know nothing about economics, use ACT to prop up National, but if you actually ask them how they feel about ACT policies they probably wouldn’t have a clue and respond with something like: “Ohh, but John Key seems really nice so I’ll vote for him.”

    I hate Banks. As a libertarian ACT supporter, I thought it was ridiculous that Don brought him in. But given what he’s been able to achieve for ACT, with regards to charter schools, I would not think twice about voting for him over any ball-less National party candidate who is just going to go Labour-lite on any position John Key decides to go Labour-lite on depending on how many Left-leaning mum and dad voters he wishes to appease. Is he corrupt? I don’t know, but if someone like John Tamihere received a golden handshake yet supported private hospitals and schools I would vote for him anyday because I give more shit for policies rather than personalities. And that’s something that is severely lacking in the NZ population. I can guarantee that if Helen Clark was not such an ugly looking woman she would have easily beat John Key in 2008.

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  6. Pete George (22,851 comments) says:

    nasska – I’m sure Banks’ popularity has plummeted in Epsom, but that’s got little relevance if there’s a by-election.

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  7. nasska (10,680 comments) says:

    CJPhoto

    ACT still chose Banks because of his high profile in the electorate although I agree that you could have obtained a similar result by dressing something found in the reject bin behind the Auckland zoo in a suit & pinning an ACT rosette to its lapel.

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  8. wreck1080 (3,732 comments) says:

    Act was on a constant decline since Richard Prebble.

    Funnily, I was never at all interested in politics until Prebble wrote his book exposing poor government spending.

    And, now his baby is dead too.

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  9. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    If John Key & National want to win in the next election big time (in other words to eliminate Labour/NZ-First/Greens completely from the face of the earth), it had to move and adopt all their policies and campaign on them (ie, cannibalize their policies). This means that all the parties to the left have got nothing to campaign on.

    Bryce Edwards wrote a Herald article last year saying that National & Labour are almost the same in their policies (small differences between them but those are unimportant). If National ever do that, I reckon that its supporters will still support it since they have no where to go, unless they want to vote Libertarianz, but libertarian political philosophies is far too rightwing for National’s supporters , therefore, very unlikely that they would vote for the Libz.

    A campaign manager doesn’t need a PhD in political science like Bryce Edwards or Brian Edwards to figure this out. If I’m John Key, I would try to kill all the parties (out of existence) in the left in the next election by adopting all their policies. Once those parties are out of the way, then come the election in 2017, National can then reverse of those Labour/Green/NZ-First policies it adopted in 2014 election.

    National has got nothing to lose in doing so, since it is a leftwing party already .

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  10. flipper (3,563 comments) says:

    Until John BANKS is either found guilty of making a false Loc Gov election declaration and given a prison sentence that disqualifies him from sitting in Parliament (that is not the same as being stood down as a Minister), or he voluntarily (no one can pressure him) resigns his Epsom seat, this discussion is nothing more than Sunday morning madness.
    Let us all take a deep breath and recognise it for what it is – media/left wing/labour continuation (or revenge for) of the failed teapot saga.

    Banks may be many things. But he is not a pussy. He will not give a toss about the media, (us) bloggers and the left wing. .

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  11. Keeping Stock (10,100 comments) says:

    McCarten reckons that Key is sticking by Banks so that he can get his Budget legislation passed. I don’t buy that. Act has a confidence and supply agreement with the Nats, and even if Banks is stood down as a Minister (or stands down), Key cannot require him to resign as an MP.

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  12. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    KS,

    There seems to be a whole lot of FUD around the question of a majority and the budget. National has agreements with ACT, UF and MP that guarantee support on matters of confidence and supply. They do not need Banks’s vote to pass the budget.

    Google clears the mists of FUD very quickly on this. Below is a link to the detail of the agreement between National and MP. It is made clear in the first paragraph…

    http://www.national.org.nz/PDF_Government/Maori_Party_agreement-11_Dec.pdf

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  13. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..and given a prison sentence..”

    he dosen’t have to get a prison sentence..

    ..he just has to be found guilty of a crime that has a two year sentencing option..

    ..which what he is accused of has..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  14. burt (7,820 comments) says:

    flipper

    Until John BANKS is either found guilty of making a false Loc Gov election declaration and given a prison sentence that disqualifies him from sitting in Parliament

    Just like Peters did – Doooh !

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  15. burt (7,820 comments) says:

    DPF

    Do you know what the time limit for prosecution is under the local government donation declaration laws ?

    Is it not 6 months like central government ?

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  16. flipper (3,563 comments) says:

    Burt…
    May be you are thick.
    Banks has not been found guilty of any crime.
    If he is he must go.
    Peters was not found guilty of any crimer
    The voters made their choice.

    We still have a rule of law nation, do we not?

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  17. Australis (99 comments) says:

    DPF

    The number of National MPs is determined by their NZ-wide vote. It Goldsmith had won Epsom National would’ve had to drop one list member to compensate. So, they would not have a majority.

    Is it different in by-elections?

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  18. Pete George (22,851 comments) says:

    Australis – it’s different for by-elections, as the number of list candidates is fixed for the whole term on the general election result.

    If Banks resigns and forces a by election, and Goldsmith (or any other national list MP) stands , wins and resigns as a list MP they arev replaced on the list but gain the electorate seat, so National would gain one seat overall at Act’s expense.

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  19. Colville (2,081 comments) says:

    On Stuff…

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6867584/Craig-could-be-Nats-new-act

    If CCCP sucks up to the PI consertive christian voters it would actually take away some of Labours core voters, cant be bad!

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  20. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Australis,

    In short, yes it is.

    Proportionality is only maintained through to the official declaration of the general election results (may not be 100% semantically true, but easiest way to put it). Any events after that do not affect the proportionality in the house.

    If Banks resigns and Goldsmith wins the by-election, he will resign his list seat before the official declaration and the next on the National list will take it. Goldsmith then returns ad an electorate MP and National have one more MP than their general election result and maintain their current majority in the House

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  21. backster (2,079 comments) says:

    FLIPPER is right…Labour and their mass media allies found a soft target and attacked it with rumour and innuendo and lies and hypocrisy from Mallard. Even if BANKS has offended he has broken a stupid local body ‘process law’ which all other parties break. The only thing questionable is whether he has done so efficiently.

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  22. burt (7,820 comments) says:

    flipper

    “we still have a rule of law nation”

    14 years of retrospective validations and endless “not in the public interest to prosecute” under Labour suggest we don’t.

    Perhaps you could list the other countries where the PM gets to kill off a court case against themselves using the power of parliament.

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  23. burt (7,820 comments) says:

    Flipper

    Winston admitted telling us lies and was required to re-file his returns to include the donations he had not declared and had denied ever getting.

    Is the electoral funding law written such that an offense is not committed when you admit to being dishonest a year later and say “move on” ?

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  24. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    “Perhaps you could list the other countries where the PM gets to kill off a court case against themselves using the power of parliament.”

    Zimbabwe

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  25. burt (7,820 comments) says:

    Chuck

    Exactly !

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  26. gump (1,488 comments) says:

    “Perhaps you could list the other countries where the PM gets to kill off a court case against themselves using the power of parliament.”

    Italy – Silvio Berlusconi

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  27. big bruv (13,311 comments) says:

    Phool

    “..he just has to be found guilty of a crime that has a two year sentencing option..”

    So how long did you get for bashing and robbing the Chemist?

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  28. mavxp (494 comments) says:

    National should split 50:50, or even 60:40 into two parties, Nat-A and Nat-B (or Nat-lib and Nat-conserv… whatever).

    Be strategic and divide the safe seats evenly between each new party. Stand candidates off against each other in marginal seats only. This would ensure a more representative right wing within an MMP parliament, since there are now several left wing parties who get disproportionately more representation.

    Nat-lib party vote can be free to chase the disenfranchised Labour supporters, and Nat-conserv can keep to the traditional National values, without compromising.

    Over time it may be possible for Nat-lib to work with Labour, or Greens, without compromising Nat-conserv policies, but still keeping the lefties (more) honest when in power, but will of course prefer to work with Nat-conserv.

    A new minor party on the right is, by observation, very diffcult to make viable. Starting with a large encumbent MP base to begin with is a different strategy that could well work much better.

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  29. Daigotsu (450 comments) says:

    “14 years of retrospective validations and endless “not in the public interest to prosecute” under Labour suggest we don’t.”

    Probably the worst thing Helen Clark did was when she changed the law so that the time period 1999-2008 was considered to be 14 years, not 9. Damn Lefties messing with the space-time continuum!

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  30. burt (7,820 comments) says:

    Daigotsu

    You make a perfect lefty…. You have no idea what I’m talking about do you … but that won’t stop you defending the indefensible will it.

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  31. burt (7,820 comments) says:

    backster

    Even if BANKS has offended he has broken a stupid local body ‘process law’ which all other parties break.

    Even if Labour did break the electoral funding laws so did other parties, all but one in fact. Add to that the fact that almost all other parties were doing the same thing and had been for years and it’s obvious any current interpretation of the law is wrong. These people wrote the laws so they understand them better than the anyone – move on.

    What do you reckon we just validate Banks and move on? Imagine digging into the other candidates and being required to prosecute them as well… oh just so inconvenient.

    I guess the ‘others did it too’ defense was good enough for Labour so why shouldn’t it be good enough for National. Hell the ‘take a minister at his word’ card has been rejuvenated so why not bring ‘others did it too’ back as reasonable grounds for breaking the law one more time.

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  32. John Boscawen (146 comments) says:

    David, if you are going to quote historic facts you should at least get them right.

    You said that no poll ever done in Epsom had shown the ACT candidate in front. This is not correct. Polls in both 2005 and 2008 both showed Rodney Hide in front.

    From late August 2005, 3 weeks before the election, ACT’s internal polling showed Rodney had taken over the lead from Richard Worth. These were disclosed but not believed by the media and others.

    In the week immediately prior to the 2005 election an ACT supporter commissioned Roy Morgan to do an independent poll which was carried out on the Wednesday night before the election and released publicly on Thursday afternoon. It showed Rodney leading Richard Worth by 6 percent. I understand the supporter paid 10k plus for this. Despite the poll having been done by a reputable organisation it was also ignored by the media. John Armstrong wrote disparaging comments about ACT’s polls in Friday’s Herald but at least had the good grace to write to Rodney after the election and apologise.

    Rodney won on election night by 6 percent – the exact margin predicted by Roy Morgan.

    Rodney worked extremely hard for the following 3 years to earn the trust and respect of the Epsom voters. The last poll we did before the 2008 election showed Rodney winning over Richard by a margin of 2-1. Approximately 55 percent to 26. This poll was made public and we didn’t waste our time or money doing another one.

    [DPF: I meant no poll done by a media outlet. The point I was making is that despite media polls never showing ACT in the lead, ACT did win the seat three times - hence best not to overly rely on the polls in this seat.]

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  33. Tom Barker (103 comments) says:

    It’s a rogue poll. No way has Banks still got this much support in Epsom.

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  34. burt (7,820 comments) says:

    I bet when Clark was in peril her electoral support went up !

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  35. edd (150 comments) says:

    A bi-election is nationals worst nightmare. What if National and Conservative split the vote and labour comes home… What if some other blundering national MP gets caught out and stands down from a not so safe seat… After all the national party blundering so far it wouldn’t be a surprise…

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  36. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..A bi-election (sic..) is nationals worst nightmare.”

    heh..!

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  37. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    edd,

    What if National and Conservative split the vote and labour comes home…

    There is about as much chance of that happening as Phil Goff becoming Prime Minister.

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  38. edd (150 comments) says:

    @ bhudson

    You should be thanking Phil Goff. Had a moderate labour candidate stood as leader they probably would have won enough to block the blundering Nats…

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  39. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    edd,

    So you think Goff took Labour too far left with GST-free fruit and veges, increased top tax rate, his Swiss-cheese version CGT and Working for Families Not Working?

    Yes, I think you are right

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  40. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    Not to mention the nine fucking useless Froggie Choppers he bought! :)

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  41. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    The Frogs have taken on the mantle of building useless shit since the Pom’s surrendered the high ground a few years ago! :)

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  42. numcrun (9 comments) says:

    If National had won Epsom they would have got the same number of seats but Labour would have got an extra seat under the Saint Lague formula. And we’d have a Labour coalition government. So that’s why the cuppa tea was so important.

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  43. laworder (269 comments) says:

    I am still an Epsom voter, and voted for Banks in the last election (somewhat reluctantly, only because the alternative was the strong possibility of a Labour/Green/Mana government). I’ll wait for the outcome of all this before deciding what to do, but should there be a by-election would happily vote for Goldsmith if it comes to that, he was an excellent Auckland City councillor.

    I will wait and see what comes out in the wash

    Regards
    Peter J
    see http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz

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  44. Daigotsu (450 comments) says:

    “You make a perfect lefty…. You have no idea what I’m talking about do you … but that won’t stop you defending the indefensible will it.”

    Try again Burt I have voted National/ACT ever since my first election in 1996, and proudly.

    The fact that I know that 2008 – 1999 doesn’t equal 14 doesn’t make me a leftist.

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  45. Bogusnews (443 comments) says:

    John B,

    that’s very interesting as it tends to indicate what I have thought for a long time. ACTs problems are partly to do with an overtly hostile media. It would not surprise me at all if they did believe the polling (if Roy Morgan did it, then why not?) but refused to publish it because it would give ACT some air. I still believe that while Brash was a klutz, he wasn’t given a fair go.

    Frankly, I’m sick and tired of some snot nosed, 24 yo media jock with no life experience telling me how I should vote and what is news.

    No wonder (and thank goodness) the bloggs are so popular.

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