Adam Bennett at NZ Herald reports:
Almost one in five New Zealanders who oppose the partial sale of Mighty River Power intend buying shares in the company anyway, according to a Herald-DigiPoll survey.
But the survey also indicates opposition to the sales plan is softening, with just over half of the 750 respondents saying they are against it compared with almost two thirds a year ago, and as much as three quarters before the 2011 election, which was largely fought on the issue.
According to the poll, conducted between March 11 and March 17 during the Government’s initial Mighty River Power advertising blitz, 52.2 per cent of respondents opposed the sale and 41.9 per cent supported it.
That’s a big change – from almost 75% against to just over 50%.
I have always assumed that any referendum vote would be a massive vote against.
Every CIR to date has always had a massive vote in favour of the desired outcome of the petitioners. The results have been:
- Firefighters 88%
- Size of Parliament 81%
- Justice reform 92%
- Smacking law 87%
How much of a political disaster would it be for Labour and the Greens if they lost the referendum? They’ve spent $400,000 of their parliamentary budgets on getting people to sign the petition. The referendum may cost the taxpayer up to $10 million to run. They’d be laughing stocks if they lost the vote they spent so much money on trying to achieve.
Of those opposed almost a fifth intended buying shares while 30 per cent of all those polled said they would buy shares. The survey has a margin of error of 3.6 per cent.
Turnout could be fascinating. Those who have purchased shares and support partial asset sales may be highly motivated to vote in the referendum as if the referendum endorses the sales it would discourage Labour, Greens and NZ First from confiscating their shares back after the election. And those against may wonder what is the point when one or two companies have already been floated by the time of the referendum.Tags: Asset Sales, Polls, referendum