Latest poll

February 15th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Fairfax have their latest poll done last weekend.

It has National 17% ahead of Labour and 7% ahead of Labour/Greens combined. Those saying NZ is heading in the right direction are 64% compared to 36% wrong track.

Very pleasing is that 67% are opposed to raising taxes to fund new initiatives, with only 27% in favour. Parties should be offering tax cuts, as NZ heads back into surplus, not tax increases.

Labour have dropped 2% in this poll and under Cunliffe not making more of an impact than David Shearer did. This poll result comes out in the same week when one Labour MP showed his colleagues how to run an issue well, and get most of NZ onside – as Shane Jones did with Countdown. More than a few of his colleagues will be wondering if the party made the wrong choice.

47 Responses to “Latest poll”

  1. Matt (255 comments) says:

    BBQ at Shane’s place, then?

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  2. duggledog (2,357 comments) says:

    I would prefer 90% saying the country is heading in the right direction. I could put up with 10% of my countrymen and women being stupid

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  3. Simon (1,596 comments) says:

    Cunnlife is looking like a Phil Goff tribute act.

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  4. WineOh (1,053 comments) says:

    Cunliffe must be sweating balls. He’s thrown close to everything but the kitchen sink at the Reptilian Overlord and despite his rhetoric has made no ground. Fundamental issue is that he has NO ISSUE. Everything he tries to campaign on he’s compromised by past positions taken by his party in the past. Go Nats!

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  5. tvb (5,510 comments) says:

    Jones resonates with the self employed tradesman who could vote labour. There is something fake about Cunliffe which is not helped by being so slippery with facts. He just has not. Shearer was sincere.

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  6. Zapper (1,238 comments) says:

    Fantastic result, albeit to be taken with caution and zero complacency. I can’t remember an election with more at stake, assuming Labour will actually implement some of the lunacy they’ve announced. Three more years please.

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  7. Yogibear (440 comments) says:

    Is the 36% of the country who believe the country is on the wrong track broadly the same proportion of the country not on Facebook? Spurious correlation or is David Clark the real villain in the poll rating?

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  8. tas (882 comments) says:

    That’s very good news. I’m always pleasantly surprised by how well kiwi voters see through politicians’ cheap attempts to win favour.

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  9. Bob (466 comments) says:

    The trouble is Key is doing a good job making it difficult for Labour to get traction. Most of the contentious issues don’t matter much to the public. The GCSB issue meant little to people.

    I have a lot of respect for Shane Jones. Mainly because he says what he thinks. He is not a party yes man. He has a good solid issue with the Countdown complaint. I suspect he would be a more formidable opponent for Key if he was Labour leader.

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  10. Southern Raider (2,099 comments) says:

    From the detailed analysis it looks like we just need to ban women and people living in Wellington from voting and National would them romp in with about 60% of the vote.

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  11. Monty (941 comments) says:

    The very good news is that the green Taliban have also slipped. I’m wondering if this poll was taken before the left love fest with Crim dot con became known? Or can we expect more slippage in left support as Cam slater reveals more.

    So labour are now looking shaken. They have not made any progress, increased taxes on rich pricks (who must be punished for voting national) is not getting any traction, the baby bribe has not worked. The message is NZ does not want more welfare. ( it actually wants less). And welfare bribes are the mainstay of and leftard election campaign. Worse for labour they will need to promote some level of economic austerity. How the hell will they do that?

    The left cannot catch a break against National who are making sure they are running a tight ship and not fucking up by visiting The fat German! not offering unaffordable policies! not drink driving! not speeding to rugby games! not defending Winston’s corruption! not cuddling up to extreme left parties such as the greens.. National continues to run a very well ordered clean tidy ship.

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  12. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    “There is no way the Green Party would ever dictate to any parent how many children they should have. Every child is a loved and wanted child.
    “It would also be racist to try to dictate family size, given that the various ethnic groups in our society have different birth rates.
    “The sentence in the policy that has been misinterpreted could have come from any family planning association pamphlet.
    “It reads: ‘Ensure that potential and existing parents have full and free access to countrywide Family Planning services so that informed decisions about the number and spacing of children can be made at the appropriate level, by the parents concerned’ (emphasis added).
    “Clearly it says the decision about how many children to have is one for the parents alone.
    “Like many people, the Green Party is concerned with the growing global population, and the pressure that puts on the Earth’s resources. The Greens have looked at the Ministry of Environment’s research into the carrying capacity of the New Zealand ecosystem.
    “Their document ‘Ecological Footprint of New Zealand and its Regions’ enumerates the carrying capacity of New Zealand, but the Green Party ‘recognises that a sustainable population level for New Zealand would not be “final and fixed” but flexible.’
    [ … how convenient for a left-wing party.]
    “However, it would be quite wrong to take from this that we are asking parents to have less kids,” Mr Locke says.
    “It is anathema to myself – as it is to the Green Party – that any person should interest themselves in the right of any one to choose how many children they have,” said Mr Locke.
    Britain is experiencing a baby boom as the number of births hit the highest level in 40 years in 2012, prompting warnings that more investment in public services will be needed in coming years.
    The country saw 813,200 births in the year to June 2012, the largest number since 1972, according to the Office for National Statistics’ annual midyear population estimates. Births in Britain have been on a rising path over the past decade, bucking the European trend, where ageing populations are seeing falls in fertility rates.

    Much of the increase was due to higher birth rates among immigrant households: nearly two-thirds of the increase between 2001 and 2007 was due to foreign-born women according to the ONS. A fifth of Britain’s projected future population growth will come from births to immigrant families, according to figures from the University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory.
    Other factors that researchers suggest may be contributing to the rising number of births include the increasing use of fertility treatments by older women and economic support to low-income women in the form of tax credits and childcare assistance.

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  13. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    It is anathema to me personally that left-wingers should repaint their ship green. The Green party is just the Red Army Advancing Under Brush.

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  14. Pete George (24,828 comments) says:

    This poll result comes out in the same week …

    It came out in this week but the polling period preceded it, it was up until Monday ((February 8-10) .

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  15. tas (882 comments) says:

    National’s goal should be to be able to govern without relying on Winston Peters. He was the thorn in Bolger’s and Clark’s sides in their third terms. I don’t want to see Key suffer the same fate.

    Ideally, NZ First would fall short of 5%, but if they get in and National works with them, National should have other support partners it can use if Peters throws a tanty.

    In response to comments about National running a tight ship: Brownlee is captain of the good ship SNAFU Christchurch. I think that is one of National’s biggest liabilities, although it doesn’t gain much attention these days.

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  16. big bruv (15,556 comments) says:

    Meanwhile, over at the EPMU and Labour party funded Standard the socialists are all in deep denial. They remain confident that this is all a jack up and that the media is part of a great conspiracy to keep Cuntliffe from the treasury benches.

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  17. bhudson (4,770 comments) says:

    I can see why Cunliffe and Labour would feel aggrieved at this obviously rigged and biased poll.

    They clearly polled people outside of Labour stronghold electorates, so how could it possibly represent what New Zealanders really feel?


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  18. duggledog (2,357 comments) says:

    National’s goal (if they govern alone) should be:

    To signal a phasing out of the DPB within 5 years, with any children born whilst on it the mother and father’s problem, not the tax payer
    To introduce competition for ACC
    To abolish Maori seats
    To finish all treaty claims within a year
    To cut taxes
    To spend a bit of $$ on the military instead of expecting AU to do it all
    To introduce much harsher sentencing for criminals from car thieves to murderers
    To deport any immigrants who misbehave in their first five years of residency

    I could go on

    Otherwise what’s the point

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  19. OneTrack (4,602 comments) says:

    Bob – “The GCSB issue meant little to people.”

    What was the GCSB issue? Due to an incoherent law (Labour), the GCSB had been spying on kiwis for a long time, including all through Helen’s reign. We need a surveillance agency.

    Key clarified the law. Job done.

    Can Labour/Greens/left-leaning MSM explain what else he was supposed to do?

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  20. Urban_Redneck (243 comments) says:

    It’s always interesting to look at the male/female split in these polls. Females always tend to favour the parties of self-declared paternalistic, big government.

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  21. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    I think that academia should have to justify itself, for example look what Maori Studies spews out. Several departments goal is promoting multiculturalism through immigration while their ideas are in decendance as evolutionary psychology is on the rise.

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  22. radvad (956 comments) says:


    Remember Tricky saying earlier this week that Key was raising a distraction because “he must be reading the same polls I am”.


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  23. Nookin (4,570 comments) says:

    “Can Labour/Greens/left-leaning MSM explain what else he was supposed to do?”

    1. Apologise profusely to K.C.
    2. Buy him the Coatesville manor as a gift.
    3 Bestow honorary citizenship on K.C.
    4 Have an annual fireworks display in his favour.
    5 Give Russel his flag back.
    6. Acknowledge to Penny that she is regarded as a threat for years and has been under constant video surveillance.
    7. Pay Penny’s rates.
    8. Sack John Banks.
    9. Cut off all diplomatic relationships with USA.
    10. Expel James Cameron.
    11. Make copyright theft of the work of NZ artists compulsory (unless they are Green party members).
    12. Resign from power.

    Other than that, not much.

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  24. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    I think people have a gut feeling about welfarism. Not that they don’t want welfare but that the issue has been captured by people with a narrow unrealistic world view. People have seen the excesses of the past decades and the class of person which has evolved (including the class of politician).

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  25. AM1 (27 comments) says:

    Only one poll really matters, not these ones. But the signs are heading back in the right direction which is a positive sign.

    It is also comforting to know that the figures probably don’t reflect the latest lefty hypocrisy and dalliances with Dotcom. So hopefully that will also work to push the unholy alliance of the left down further in subsequent polls.

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  26. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    I wonder where the Greens would be without Russel Norman, Julie-Anne Genter Eugenie Sage?

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  27. alloytoo (1,037 comments) says:

    It’s interesting that the same people rejecting tax increases also reject tax cuts.

    The nation seems to recognize that our fundamental economic settings are sound and that there’s no need to tamper.

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  28. queenstfarmer (794 comments) says:

    <TheStandard>But this poll was taken before the public learned the shocking news that John Key sometimes talks to New Zealand’s most-read blogger!!! As this is a major issue affecting the daily lives of ordinary people, I expect National’s support will crumble in the next poll. The people will realise that John Key can’t be trusted with the economy or anything else, because he talked to a blogger.</TheStandard>

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  29. Andrew (90 comments) says:

    @AM1 I’m not sure David Shearer would agree that “only one poll really matters.”

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  30. igm (2,447 comments) says:

    Barry Soper reckons John Key has scared the populace to stop supporting his beloved mates of the left. Time this relic of the Clark demonstrating days, and close confidant of Chris Laidlaw, along with his protégé Bradford, were shown the door from NewstalkZB. Most of us get sick of this whimpering little creep trying to push his socialist views from a privileged position. Wake up Newstalk, this leech has had his day!

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  31. flipper (5,296 comments) says:

    igm (431 comments) says:

    February 15th, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Barry Soper reckons John Key has scared the populace to stop supporting his beloved mates of the left. Time this relic of the Clark demonstrating days, and close confidant of



    But, igm…I

    It is much the same sort garbage flows from Armstrong, from Campbell, from Gower, from Dann, from everyone at red radio, and all the other left wing scribblers (or, in 2014, tappers). I would like to think that apart from Rodders Hide , DPF, and Bobby Jones, there are other centre-right commentators. But for the life of me I cannot think of one.

    So …… how is it that our media has never produced a Tom Sowell or Mark Steyn ???? Or the TV wanker children never a Bill O’Reilly. The nearest we have to one in the electronic media is Leighton Smith. But the wankers at Newstalk ZB get all flustered when he lays into the left.

    It is a bugger of a world.

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  32. kiwi in america (2,686 comments) says:

    I thought the TV3/Reid Research poll was a bit off – it picked up the at first friendly media coverage of the baby bribe sorry bonus whereas this poll caught the backlash from Cunliffe’s fudging (again). Cunliffe is weak in the House – indeed all the Opposition questioners get their beans from the Nats. Shane Jones, in one debate and PQ session, shows his Leader how the job should be done. I always knew the Labour Constitution amendments, giving control of the leadership election to the party (a more hard left base) and the self serving unions, would end in tears. This is just the beginning as 2014 is winding up to be a boomer.

    Still National cannot be complacent and must have a better GOTV system that treats the election as a cliff hanger because the media will screw the scrum in Labour/Greens/Winston’s favour every time.

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  33. slightlyrighty (2,423 comments) says:

    I like Stumbleupon from Firefox. It links to websites that I may find suited to my tastes based on preset parameters. One of my options is comedy. I think I may well see the Standard popping up soon during a stumble session. Have you read the stuff they write? It’s either biting satire, or indicative of a paranoid mindset. In any case, it’s hilarious!

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  34. flipper (5,296 comments) says:

    Good analysis KIA

    (PS…One time MFAT’er, J H, sends regards, and says he thinks he knows you) 🙂

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  35. coge (211 comments) says:

    It’s becoming abundantly clear, Cunliffe is not a problem for National. But he is a problem for Labour.

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  36. Warren Murray (400 comments) says:

    Everyone seems to be giving credit to Jones re Countdown. I quite like the way the Government is able to take over these issues and where there is any credence to Jones’ claims, the Government will be able to claim the credit for fixing it. Jones deserves credit for finding an issue that actually matters to most ordinary people, Key recognised it and the government appears to be moving to address it.

    OTOH, the nonsense over passport costs / duration makes the government look petty. Here was a chance for the Government to, once again, take the initiative and take an easy win. Instead we see Dunne defending the indefensible. John Key was heading in the right direction when he expressed sympathy over frustration that passports only last five years. An easy compromise would have been to reinstate the 10 year life of a passport and leave the fees as are.

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  37. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    I think Labour can thank the (type of) people at The Standard-“the voice of the NZ Labour Movement” for it’s poor showing. They hated Shearer.

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  38. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    Shearers equivocation on the food for hungry children issue was poorly advised.
    Yes. I was pleased to hear/see so many good one liners and focus on income/wealth inequalities.
    But the main focus is still on the working poor and home ownership, rather than the plight of beneficiaries, renters and the need for more state and community housing.

    There are some very good mentions of poverty, damaging inequalities, increasing unemployment and people struggling to pay the bills. But there’s nothing specifically on improving social security, especially for people unable to work. It’s all about rewarding hard working Kiwis, improving the business environment and a fair society.
    Mary 1.3

    8 May 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Shearer made it crystal clear not long ago that “Labour is the party for workers”. Labour is not interested in doing anything about the ever-increasing underclass in New Zealand. Ask Shearer whether he’d support putting the words “participation in the community” back into MSD’s mission statement and he’d look at you as if you were from another planet.

    It was on that basis that I felt Shearer’s election was a failure. Helen got the nod and it was a big deal that it went to a woman. Then it reverted to a physically capable, heterosexual, white, educated and wealthy male. Yipdee fucking shit.
    And we struggle to even begin the process of developing an active and inclusive multiculturalism.

    Immigrants have become an indispensable component of the New Zealand labour market.

    Without them our economy would stall. It was David Shearer’s duty to explain that. As leader of the Labour Party his role is to counter ignorance with facts, and prejudice with values. In Christchurch last week he did neither.
    What the audience gathered at the Hornby Working Men’s Club deserved to hear from Shearer was an acknowledgement that Labour’s challenges are specific and immediate. To raise incomes by re-empowering working people and redistributing wealth.
    To make New Zealand a place where the diversity of its population is a source of strength and pride, not an opportunity for mistrust and division. To create a community of values, where loyalty is owed not to flags – but to principles.

    RIP Labour

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  39. Dave_1924 (919 comments) says:

    One swallow a summer does not make. need to see a run of polls with similar results from different polling outfits before this excites me. It is going to go to the wire

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  40. Fisiani (1,185 comments) says:

    If the election is fought on the economy, education, health and law and order then National should win easily.
    However the media will want the election to be about trivial issues such as the teapot bullshit, or whatever minor issue is flavour of the week. That would make it touch and go.

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  41. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    How many attempts were made to acheive the sample. What we don’t know is how many of the “bugger-offs” and answerphones would have voted. Telephone polls get about 30 per cent response. So why don’t the pollsters publish the actual response to random calling. And what about those people who can only be contacted by mobile – even if then still say “bugger-off”

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  42. Pete George (24,828 comments) says:

    johnwellingtonwells – if they sorted all that out what % do you think the main parties would be on?

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  43. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    Pete – God knows. The problem with poll reporting is that they calculate the margin of error based on the theory developed by Frank Yates at the Rhomstead Agricultural Research Station in the UK, where sampling theory was developed under controlled conditions and the texts he has written. When I was at the UN Statistical Office, Frank had retired and was working as an unpaid consultant. He was very sceptical of random, uncontrolled population samples and the application of theoretical sampling error, and contributed to a manual that I was writing on non-sampling error. Note that Louis Harris, one of the leading pollsters, always publishes a warning about sampling error in their polls. The best way is to assume that non-sampling error is reasonably constant in a pollster’s series of polls and that the margin of error should be calculated on the difference between the results of the same pollster’s polls, and not on what is currently done, is the margin of error of the absolute figures.
    Here endeth the lesson and no further correspondence will be entered into. If you want to know more then Google it. But be warned that the mathematics is a little tortuous.

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  44. Pete George (24,828 comments) says:

    I just wondered where you were coming from, perhaps I’ve been reading The Standard too much where every unfavourable poll result is because those polls are never accurate, they don’t poll cellphone users, the media are right wing, it’s not fair and Whale Oil is a prick.

    I know a bit about the maths but to me polls just give us a rough idea momentarily of where things are at. But I’m not a journalist who has to write up stories to justify the cost of polling.

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  45. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    A further point, if a pollster rings a telephone number, the larger the family then the better the chance that someone will answer the phone and will qualify. So if there is a large family, then what political party are they most likely to vote for.

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  46. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    I found the Louis Harris reference
    “All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    A full reference is at
    Definitely worth a read for those interested in polling

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  47. Pete George (24,828 comments) says:

    A common criticism of the latest poll is “IPSOS is always 5% too high for National”. They may have been at some stage but even that can’t be stated definitively, their pre-election poll might have been quite accurate a few days or a week or two before the election.

    I think the biggest problem with polls is how media use them to create stories as if they are an accurate prediction of an election in several months time. That’s abusing the concept of polling and debatably a corruption of democracy, but we’re stuck with it.

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