Editorials on polls

May 27th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

editorial:

Political opinion come so thick and fast during an election year it is tempting to pass over them with indifference.

The results of two announced at the weekend, though, were so contrary to conventional political wisdom that they demanded attention. …

A well-received Budget took the heat off last week, but the consensus was that the first opinion polls taken while those events were still fresh in voters’ minds would punish the Government.

The outcome was quite different – not only were National and the Prime Minister up and Labour, its leader David Cunliffe and most Opposition parties down, National would, if the results were translated into votes at the election, win sufficient seats not to need a support party. 

The well-received Budget may explain part of it. One of the polls found that even two-thirds of those who identified themselves as Labour supporters backed it.

But another part of the explanation for the poll results may be that what transfixes those in the Wellington political bubble can often be less than earth-shattering in the wider world where most voters live.

I think that is right.  I think Labour especially suffers from Wellingtonitis because so few of its MPs come from provincial areas. The test is what the mums are talking about at the school gates or what the chatter is in the smoko rooms. Almost none of them were talking Oravida.

The Herald editorial:

So much for Oravida, Judith Collins, Maurice Williamson. National’s troubles of the past two months have evaporated in two separate public opinion polls taken since the Budget. Colmar Brunton, for TVNZ, and Reid Research for TV3, both find more than half of their sample intending to vote National. This must be devastating for Labour, whose sustained barrage on Ms Collins in Parliament over the past two months does not appear to have moved any votes.

They have moved votes. From Labour to National.

Four months out from the election, Labour is the party in trouble. It ought to be polling well above 30 per cent by this stage to have much hope of success in September. If its result is not 10 or more points higher at the election, it must be doubted it could lead a credible government.

David Cunliffe said his aim is to poll higher than National – at a minimum get into the 40s. 116 days to go.

Labour leader David Cunliffe said of the latest polls, it is “still fairly early days” and they would “bounce right back again”. It is very late in the day. Most voters make up their minds well before the election campaign begins, though it is true that campaigns restore voters’ usual loyalties. Labour is likely to do better than 30 per cent, National will almost certainly fall short of 50 per cent.

But right now the prospects for Labour could hardly look worse. It has fired its best shots in the past two months and the voters are unmoved. The economy is growing, the Prime Minister is popular and so far there is no prevailing mood for change.

But as both editorial say, Labour might make it through a Labour-Greens-NZ First-Mana-Dotcom alliance.

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23 Responses to “Editorials on polls”

  1. beautox (422 comments) says:

    Keep telling yourself it’s “early days” Cunners. Truth be told you’re well over half way through your leadership of the nasty party.

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  2. Redbaiter (8,801 comments) says:

    Doesn’t really matter if Cunliffe wins or loses, stays or goes.

    John Key is doing Cunliffe’s job, probably much better than Cunliffe himself or any other Labour person could do it.

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  3. alloytoo (541 comments) says:

    I think Maurice Williamson was a bit of an own goal for the opposition.

    Not only did it detract from their assault on Judith Collins, it also demonstrated how John Key could act swiftly to deal with even perceived corruption or misuse of power.

    By contrast we’re all still speculating about the identity of David Cunliffe’s secret trust donors, and just how much Dotcom offered Russel Norman for the independence of our judiciary.

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  4. georgebolwing (845 comments) says:

    I’m confused.

    On Saturday, according to the Herald’s political correspondent, Labour is “starting to look like contender”.

    Today, their editorial writer suggest “Labour is the party in trouble”.

    Could I suggest that editorial writer is providing a balanced assessment of the facts, while the political correspondent is writing crap.

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  5. tvb (4,418 comments) says:

    Even though you are a big fan of Grant Robertson, clever man personable etc etc but he is Wellington centric. Neither Williamson nor Collins problems had much beef. But the Labour Party were and possibly are still developing a narrative that National is too cozy with some rich Chinese donors. There is no doubt that a generous donor gets special access but then so do party workers who give their time to the Party. That occurs in all political parties. The Labour Party gives its corporate donor unprecedented influence power and access to their Party. And the Mana deal with the Internet Party looks like they are selling a list spot for a large amount of money. Such are the differences between Internet and Mana, except for my tongue in cheek observation they both believe in confiscating private property without compensation.

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  6. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    National-ACT-United (with Maori Party and Conservatives if necessary)

    vs

    Labour-New Zealand “First in any coalition” (with necessary assistance from Green-Mana-Internet and Maori Party).

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  7. kowtow (8,441 comments) says:

    last para of the Press editorial needs a wee bit of work….

    “What transfixes us wankers in the media bubble can often be less than earth shattering in the real world where most voters live.”

    And that applies to so many of their nearly created sacred cows…….income and every other form of dreamed up inequality, global warming, “asylum seekers, multiculturalism,biculturalism,……..

    Those tossers are in as much of a bubble as the Wellington types they claim are “bubbled”.

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  8. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    What does my head in about these poll analyses is that there is far too much focus on what Labour is doing wrong and what they need to do to win. How about the flip side for balance. To get 50% there must be something National is doing right or at least doing less wrong. It all seems to be about what Labour needs to do to win. If National were doing something fundamentally wrong then voters would be looking elsewhere. The media are priming us up for the time when National starts shedding votes and the tables start to turn. But what about some balance here. No political party can take votes for granted. What does John Key and the National party need to do maintain their slim lead. However, then again as most journalists seem to be living in a bubble, probably their advice is not what is needed right now.

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  9. Unity (576 comments) says:

    My feeling is that the media are natural Labour supporters or very left wing. I know National is also rather left wing these days but the media still gravitates to Labour – for some unknown reason!!

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  10. radvad (765 comments) says:

    Time to ask Cunnliffe, Russell and Winston their position on a coalition deal with Manacom.

    Also interesting to note the Greens have got off their sanctimonious high horse when it comes to Dotcom’s millions “corrupting the democratic process”. Dotcom has bought more than access to Ministers, he has bought a whole party but the crusading Aussie immigrant is silent.

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  11. GPT1 (2,121 comments) says:

    The test is what the mums are talking about at the school gates or what the chatter is in the smoko rooms. Almost none of them were talking Oravida.
    Non aligned people who spoke to me about this were generally ambivalent. Some thought there was karma in Collins getting in the shit because she is divisive but as one person said to me “frankly I couldn’t give a foxtrot about who she had dinner with it’s just nice to see her get some back”. That attitude isn’t going to change votes.

    The other point is that most the voting public have fairly low opinions of politicians’ behaviour so even a hit such as Williamson isn’t going to change votes. Especially when that wound was cauterised so promptly.

    Most people pretty much like Key, there’s nothing to horrible happening and the economy is starting to rise. It’s hard to push back against that.

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  12. OneTrack (3,089 comments) says:

    “but the media still gravitates to Labour – for some unknown reason”

    That’s where all their mates are. And lefties are nothing if not tribal – National are the enemy, and they don’t seem to have clicked that National are now further left than Helen.

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  13. OneTrack (3,089 comments) says:

    “he has bought a whole party but the crusading Aussie immigrant is silent.”

    That’s because DotCom has bought two parties – Internet-Mana is just the second one.

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  14. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (888 comments) says:

    Never underestimate MMP. It always helps the party with the most number of friends….which is unfortunately uncle Cunliffe….

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  15. Viking2 (11,467 comments) says:

    What interests/puzzles me is why everybody considers the Internet/Mana party is friend of the Labour Party.

    It may well turn out not to be so and we could conceivably have a situation where the Nats, have no or not enough friends except them.
    After all Dunne could go, the Maori Party may not be up to much and Act and the Conservatives don’t add much value.

    What will the Nats do then?

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  16. Fentex (971 comments) says:

    Political opinion polls come so thick and fast during an election year it is tempting to pass over them with indifference.

    I think Dim posts (or one by someone else) tracking poll are the only ones people need concern themselves with. Individual polls bouncing around are of little concern and only lead to people and the press jumping from irritating narrative to narrative.

    It isn’t hard for a government to poll well after a budget. Even back in the day when they meant more relief from not being hammered by a black budget would look good in polls.

    Now the relief from lack of disruption is used to argue no one cares about Collins apparent corrupt behaviour anymore. As if one poll hopping up or down is informative of peoples opinions beyond what’s on their mind that day. Makes much more sense to keep a weather eye on the trends to me.

    Which isn’t good news for Cunliffe. It’s looking like ditching Shearer was a panicked mistake for Labour right now, and something Cunliffe may regret if a sufficient loss sees him rolled next.

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  17. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Calling it early.

    ACT and the Internet Mana (IaM.com) to both get 2 seats. 1.5% each.

    The Maori Party to win 2 and United 1. 1.5% between both.

    Amongst the little parties that leaves National ahead 3 seats to 2, with the Maori Party even handed their 2 seats either way.

    Thus National needs to head off Labour, Greens and NZ First by itself.

    With 3% to other parties (2.5% Conservatives) on current polling trends it is about

    National 47, Labour 30 Greens 10 and NZF 5.5.

    The vulnerability for Labour is NZF falling below 5%.

    Result

    ACT New Zealand 1.50% 2 1.65%
    Green Party 10.00% 12 9.92%
    Labour Party 30.00% 37 30.58%
    Mana 1.50% 2 1.65%
    Māori Party 1.00% 2 1.65%
    National Party 47.00% 58 47.93%
    New Zealand First Party 5.50% 7 5.79%
    United Future 0.50% 1 0.83%

    Totals 97.00% 121 100.00%

    With 58 + 2 ACT and 1 United, only National can form a government.

    The Maori Party’s 2 seats secure a working majority.

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  18. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    http://www.elections.org.nz/voting-system/mmp-voting-system/mmp-seat-allocation-calculator

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  19. Left Right and Centre (2,975 comments) says:

    Fentex – Shearer or Cunners – would it make any real difference if it was still Shearer ? When the product is flawed – do you really care who’s trying to flog it to you ?

    I hate it when kowtow kracks me up. I’m going to spend a few minutes repeating the words ‘media bubble’.

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  20. Redbaiter (8,801 comments) says:

    Get a job bludger.

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  21. lazza (381 comments) says:

    “But as both editorial say, Labour might make it through a Labour-Greens-NZ First-Mana-Dotcom alliance”.

    Wot would “This” conglomerate be called? maybe “Rocky Hyphenated-Horror Show Party”, or just the plain … “Losers”.

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  22. Left Right and Centre (2,975 comments) says:

    Russ – I’ve got a job for you. Motivational life coach.

    Maybe you could help me out by faking a reference ? I’d need some contact details.

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  23. Left Right and Centre (2,975 comments) says:

    Looks like someone’s using multiple accounts . . . very subtle genius.

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