sparky the swings from poll to poll are largely within the margin of error of the polls. With the left and right combinations similar the result can be different even with changes within the margin of error of the polling.
Unless support drains away from National, or Labour implode, it would seem that the election result will be unclear even as we go into the 2014 campaign.
The reporting of this poll on stuff had an interesting detail:
“Pollster Duncan Stuart said a breakdown of undecided voters suggested many were “soft” National supporters, who had started looking around.”
So basically an increasing number of people over time are getting bored of the current government that we’ve had for over 4 years, their lives haven’t really changed that much for the better, but they don’t really see the opposition as a workable government in waiting, so they are just kind of uncertain…
This also seems to gel with the differences between the Fairfax poll and the Morgan poll a few days ago. They are both on reasonably large samples and conducted at the same time, but the Fairfax poll has National at 45% and the Colmar Brunton poll has them at 49%.The big difference here is that the Colmar Brunton Poll has only 10% undecided and the Fairfax poll has 17.2% undecided. That is a massive difference and will be down to interview approach.
I’ve worked in and managed teams calling out on political surveys in NZ and Australia. The reality is that a whole bunch of people you speak to say they don’t know who they would vote for – they don’t feel that they have enough information to make a decision or they don’t want to give a ‘wrong’ answer in case they change their mind later.
Most people will give a preference if prompted with something like “So which party of the ones I listed, if you had to choose, who do you think you might prefer to vote for, even if it’s only a very small preference?” It was many years ago that I last conducted the Colmar Brunton Poll – but I’m fairly sure they employ a technique similar to this. That allows for picking up in changes of mood amongst the 20% or so of floating voters who are undecided.
The undecideds are a difficult group to get to grips with – on the one hand you don’t want to be reporting the preferences of people who are disengaged from the political process and may not show up on the day, on the other hand theirs are the votes which swing elections. They are often making their decision not on the basis of a good understanding of the policies of all parties and their implications but based on broad perceptions of the political brand or personalities involved rathern than anything substantive: “John Key seems friendly and down to earth”, “Those Labour people seem to be quite angry and negative”, “That Goff guy has been around for years”, “The Greens seem young and energetic and that Maori girl co-leader has such a warm smile”, “Winston is a bit of a character but he did achieve a lot for people like me with the supergold card and pension increases”.
Too early and too close to call an election at this stage. National simply need to get on with their programme and stop fucking around. The Asset sales programme is starting to sound like a future Tui’s ad. Key is fortunate that Labour has been so inept over the last 2-3 years but cannot continue to rely on that, he needs to demonstrate that hsi government is capable of delivering on the things we voted for.
hehehe… Just saw PG’s post – very much the same conclusion…
Yup – the next election will be decided by the undecided’s (just like 2011 was – National won by around 1% but several percentage points worth of former Labour voters didn’t show up on the day).
Just had a look at a few of the results on CuriaBlog – the Roy Morgan poll is interesting – it has the lowest level of undecideds (3-4%) and they consistently poll the Greens a couple of points higher than the other polls (and above their actual representation in parliament which is about 11%). This is the risk of pushing too much for a preference.
Your pot smoking uni student might give a verbal preference for the Greens when somebody calls them up at home and asks them, but when expressing their preference actually involves remembering which day the election is on, getting out of bed on the right day, walking down to their local school, standing in a line and ticking a box then those two points of Green support disappear.
Richard29 – the undecideds don’t make good stories so they make dramatics over a percent or two, but you just have to see the late move to NZ First last election and the predicted drop below 50% for National to not get any hopes up this far out.
Your comments were very interesting, explains a lot of what I had suspected, I’ve blogged your comments, worth circulating them.
Parata is not helping National in CHCH with a recent survey saying 71 per cent want her gone..Her extraordinary inability to apologize was captured many times on TV..It is not a good look..Key’s faith in her raises questions about his judgement especially as he credited her with such good communication skills..This opinion is simply not borne out by the facts.
Key’s dodgy answers re the Sky City deal won’t help National’s prospects either..
The silence over the Mainzeal fiasco and Yan and Shipley’s involvement and advocacy on his behalf is doing little in the integrity stakes.
On the ground , the cost of living is escalating and wages are stagnating..A recent Aussie visitor who was here three years ago was staggered at the cost increases in CHCH.
The screwing down in the health sector is increasingly taking its toll.
These are just a few recent things..In the back of many people’s minds is the memory of National’s tax cuts for the rich..We no longer have great things like community education. It is difficult not to see National as governing by the rich for the rich.
And as for Key’s attidude towards islam of ”live and let live” it is like many of his other utterances , simply lame.
Even Crosby Textor and Steven Joyce’s drawl won’t save National at the next election.
There was no late move to NZF at the last election. This is just a lazy notion made up by lazy journalists and others so easily willingly to swallow the propoganda that NZFirst was finished..Hide and go had such the thorough outing in the media they did not expect a resurrection which just shows how easily fooled many people are..
Another example of pollsters trying to influenece elections with a guess that National will take Epsom off ACT. This assumption assumes that the people of Epsom will actively choose to elect a Labour govt by dumping ACT. If anyone can give me any reason why Epsom voters would do that I will vote the Green Party myself.
The seat projection for Epsom is nonsense, it is a classic example of pollsters trying to influence the outcome. Not one poll in Epsom has ever been correct, which proves either incompetence or bias. The pollsters need to be called to account.
The racist Maori Party will be history after the election. The Left is preparing to take power and damage our country even further, after six years of timid and inconsequential National Party governing.
I kind of agree and kind of disagree on whether there was a late swing to NZ First.
I know there were some Labour voters who voted tactically (similar to National Voters in Epsom) to get NZ First above 5% thinking that this would make the difference between victory and defeat for Labour – in the end it didn’t.
There is a big similarity here with the recent Lower Saxony election in Germany (also MMP with 5% threshold) where Conservatives voters split their vote to keep the Free Democrat Party (Liberal Party) above 5%. The final result saw a doubling of the FDP vote but didn’t change the outcome of the election because it was just a reshuffling of votes on the right not a swing away from the left. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/lower-saxony-election-results-make-fdp-dependent-on-merkel-a-878781.html
Where I agree with you is that I think the polls tend to understate the resilience of NZ Firsts voter base (there is probably a fairly firm hard core of around 4%). I suspect that between electoral cycles NZ First vanishes into that grey “Don’t know” space – for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it is decidedly uncool to vote NZ First. Have you ever seen somebody at a party or social event mention that they voted NZ First – laughter and mocking normally ensues. From my days on the phones I can remember the embarrasment and equivocation in peoples voices when they said they’d back NZ First, as if I might suddenly take time out from the phone interview to tease them.
Secondly, Winston has built his political persona and brand around being this outspoken controversial maverick figure who will “keep the bastards honest”. His whole pitch is going for the protest vote – those people who vote because they feel they should but are equally disengaged from all sides of the political spectrum. The thing about the protest vote is that it is buried in that grey ‘no preference’ space between elections and only reveals itself on the day.
I would not go as far as you in your criticism. But I agree that National are very poor communicators. The latest CHch school situation is a good example. Their media people should put a simple bullet point Press Release out giving all the basic facts ( the 9300 empty seats , the cost of rebuilding/repairing affected schools , the shift in the population to different suburbs etc). Then the average person would be able to see the reasons behind the decisions ( they may not come to same conclusions but at least they would see why the decision was made). Most of these facts came out but I had to search through all sorts places ( including comments on blogs) to try to piece it together.
( DPF did it on here but did go far enough –maybe he did not have all the info. and it is not his job to do it anyway)
Not one poll in Epsom has ever been correct, which proves either incompetence or bias.
I think it illustrates the futility of expecting accurate polling in an electorate where votes can potentially change the outcome of the election. In that situation a significant proportion of the voters wait until close to the election so they can assess the otions and possible scenarios.
The polls and media can stuff things up (adversly influence the result) when they report that Act might not win the seat, that might help boost the electorate chances of Act but can put people off party voting for Act around the country because doubts have been raised about whether it would be wasted vote or not.
The same thing happened in Ohariu. Private polling had shown that Dunne was fairly secure, but media polling and reporting promoted doubt. Dunne ended up winning comfortably enough but the party vote slipped everywhere else. Polls and reporting may have made the difference between getting another seat for United Future, and that would have been quite significant in the overall number of MPs and coalition possibilities.
I have only recently found this out; but to communicate with people under the age of 30 text messaging is the only way.
Forget snail mail. E mail does not seem to work, unless they have above average intelligence. For the great unwashed majority it has to be text.
I envisage a big increase in text messaging by political parties in the run up to the next election.
There was no late move to NZF at the last election. This is just a lazy notion made up by lazy journalists and others so easily willingly to swallow the propoganda that NZFirst was finished.
I don’t know what you base that on. NZ First polls before the 2011 election:
One News 2.9% – 05 November to 09 November 2011
3 News 2.4% – 3 November to 10 November 2011
Roy Morgan 3.0% – November 7-18, 2011
Fairfax 4% – 17 to 21 November 2011
Roy Morgan 6.5% – 22 to 24 November 2011
Election result 6.9% – 28 November 2011
Single poll (Roy Morgan) trends also show a late lift for NZ First:
3.5 August 15-28, 2011
3.5 August 29 – September 11, 2011
1.0 September 12-25, 2011
2.0 September 26 – October 9, 2011
2.5 October 10-23, 2011
4.5 October 24-November 6, 2011
3.0 November 7-18, 2011
6.5 November 22-24, 2011
This assumption assumes that the people of Epsom will actively choose to elect a Labour govt by dumping ACT.
It won’t make one jot of a difference. The “forgetful” MP for SkyCity and his cabbage boat have already ensured that ACT won’t get above 1%, so even if he were to be re-elected it won’t give the Nat bloc any more seats.
I would not go as far as you in your criticism. But I agree that National are very poor communicators. The latest CHch school situation is a good example. Their media people should put a simple bullet point Press Release out giving all the basic facts ( the 9300 empty seats , the cost of rebuilding/repairing affected schools
I thought so, too.
I don’t know what it is about National, but they can’t communicate to save themselves. What are their media people doing?
There is one, simply justification – and inescapable truth that justifies the closing of schools in Christchurch – 9300 empty seats. Repeat that at every opportunity, and most New Zealanders would understand it and agree.
Griff – “…..Seems there is little support for conservative policy’s in New Zealand.
Did you ever think that you might just be a lunatic fringe?…”
Maori women have the highest abortion rate in the world – this is quite telling – firstly, Maori women don’t think that living life as a Maori is worth it. Secondly, maori women are not supported by Maori men – the taxpayer supports them. Thirdly, maori are already ‘more of something else than maori’ – maori are dying out.
The Conservatives support Marriage and the family, and are also anti-abortion. Both policies, amongst others, can return Mana to Maoridom.
Maori childrens natural parents make the best parents for Maori. Maori womens’ boyfriends don’t. The Conservatives support this view.
The lunatic fringe is really The Mana Party. They have achieved nothing.
Am I the only person that thinks these polls are just a waste of time?
I mean, how far away are the next elections, for goodness sake.
And what about NZ First. It does not even rate at the moment and look what happened last time. The media is still getting over the shock.
If I had my way I would ban political polls altogether, or failing that limit them to one or two a year, with none whatsoever in the last six months prior to election date.
This morning there was a whole page of the Dompost not worth looking at. And I bet TVNZ and TV3 will be coming up with monthly or bimonthly polls from now until election date.