Hosking on the polls

July 26th, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Rob Hosking writes in NBR:

National’s support jumped 10% in the Roy Morgan poll, which closed in the final week of the school holidays, and there was a small explosion among political junkies over the weekend as a result.

It is wise to be dubious about any political poll which jumps 10% in any direction in the space of one month.

And, of course, the Roy Morgan poll, when it comes to volatility, makes the New Zealand exchange rate look about as stable as a steam roller.


The jump puts National at 53% support – and that is what has caused a lot of fizzing from activists.

The presumption had been that if there would be any movement, it would be against the government, mostly due to rising concerns, and certainly a lot of publicity,  about house prices and home affordability. …

But what it does show is that despite what has been a pretty embattled couple of months for the government, its support is holding up.

Disquiet ≠ vote change
Anecdotally, there is a lot of disquiet with the government even – or over some issues, especially – among the National Party’s support base.

But that disquiet is not translating into a shift in votes. Most people are capable of holding more than one idea in their heads at the same time, even if all too many political activists do not give people credit for being able to do this.

Absolutely. There are many areas I disagree with the Government and think they could and should do better. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to shift my vote.

The most important thing pointing to any change in the political mood tends to be not so much questions about individual political parties but a broad question about whether the country is heading in the right or wrong direction.

This is up slightly from 54% to 57% saying the country is heading in the right direction. While not reaching the regular 62-67% heights of either 2009 – 10 or 2014, the numbers opting for “right direction” have, since the 2014 general election, been running on average above what they were in three years from the end of 2010 to the end of 2013.

Rob Hosking is correct that the right vs wrong direction indicator is crucial.

Latest poll

July 21st, 2016 at 9:39 pm by David Farrar

I’ve blogged at Curia the results of the latest Roy Morgan poll.

After a month of headlines of the Government in crisis and how Labour has them on the ropes and this is a turning point, the poll shows a massive 10% vote shift for National.

National has gone from 43% to …


A few pundits may be regretting their columns.

Now as I commented on Twitter I don’t think there has been a 10% increase in support for National in one month, which would be 250,000 more New Zealanders suddenly deciding they will vote National. Roy Morgan is known as a yo-yo poll as it does tend to have fairly regular large increases and decreases. So it is probably the case that either their June poll was too low for National or the July poll too high – or both.

But regardless of how large the movement has been, it is beyond doubt that in a month of relentless negativity in the media, National has gone up in the Roy Morgan poll. I’ve done an analysis of how likely each party movement’s is genuine, rather than just sampling margin of error.

  • National up 10% – 99.8% likely to have gone up
  • Labour down 2.5% – 83.3% likely to have gone down
  • Greens down 3.0% – 95.2% likely to have gone down
  • NZ First down 2.0% – 92.2% likely to have gone down

Labour at 25.5% is 5.5% lower than they were three years ago in the same poll. And if you compare it to how National were doing in Labour’s third term, well National in July 2007 was at 49%!

Public Polls June 2016

July 11th, 2016 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar


The monthly polling newsletter is out. The summary is:

Curia’s Polling Newsletter – Issue 98, June 2016

There were two political voting polls in June 2016 – a Roy Morgan and a One News Colmar Brunton.

The average of the public polls has National 17% ahead of Labour in June, up 1% from May. The current seat projection is centre-right 58 seats, centre-left 51 which would see NZ First hold the balance of power.

We show the current New Zealand poll averages for party vote, country direction and preferred PM compared to three months ago, a year ago, three years ago and nine years ago. This allows easy comparisons between terms and Governments.

In the United States the real winner from the election campaign is Barack Obama. His favourability and approval ratings have been rising all year as Americans seem to think he isn’t as bad as the two people vying to succeed him.

 Clinton’s chances of winning have risen from 69% to 76% in the prediction markets as she has an average 6% lead in the polls. The electoral college projection remains constant with Clinton ahead by 126 electors.

In June in the UK they voted to leave the EU. Scotland may leave the UK. David Cameron is going, Nigel Farage has gone and Jeremy Corbyn is trying not to leave. A turbulent month in the UK where once again the polls were mainly wrong.

In Australia the polls were very accurate in the election in terms of the two party preferred vote. Almost all showed a very narrow margin to the Coalition.

In Canada Justin Trudeau’s popularity continues to rise.

We also carry details of polls on housing plus the normal business and consumer confidence polls.

This newsletter is normally only available by e-mail.  If you would like to receive future issues, please go to http://curia.us10.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=e9168e04adbaaaf75e062779e&id=8507431512 to subscribe yourself.

Correspondence and feedback is also welcome to the same address.

So how did the UK pollsters do?

June 26th, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Better than for the UK election but overall still not great.

First let’s look at the polls of polls. None predicted Brexit, let alone by 3.8%. Their summaries were:

  1. The Economist – tie
  2. HuffPost – Remain +0.5%
  3. Elections etc – Remain +1.2%
  4. Telegraph, FT, Number Cruncher, Britain Elects – Remain +2%
  5. What UK thinks – Remain +4%

And the individual polls:

  1. TNS – Leave +2%
  2. Opinium – Leave +1%
  3. Survation/IGG – Remain +1%
  4. YouGov – Remain +2%
  5. Ipsos Mori – Remain +3%
  6. ORB – Remain +7%
  7. ComRes – Remain +8%
  8. Populus – Remain +10%

So TNS did best and many well out. The only two to predict leave were both online polls, not phone polls. The phone polls are bolded and online polls in italics

Latest poll

June 21st, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The latest Roy Morgan poll is at Curia. Greens up and National and Labour down.

How electorate seats may affect things

June 10th, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

A reader writes:

The latest one news poll came out tonight and projects a 122 seat parliament.

My understanding is that this is based on the act party, United future and Maori all getting more seats than their party vote says they should get.

Would you be able to do some commentary on your blog about what affect it would have on the make up of seats of nats won Epsom and ohairu, and labour won all the Maori seats.

I would have thought it would mean a Nat majority government?

Would be interested to see if by having those three minor parties out if it would make all the difference.

Would national consider knocking them out for ts own benefit?

Generally speaking if a party wins an electorate seat and gets under 0.4% party vote then it is an over-hang seat and helps their side of politics. If they get over 0.4% then it depends on the actual result as to whom they take the seat “off”.

Here’s what the Colmar Brunton result would be like with no seats won by ACT, UFNZ or Maori Party.

  • National 58 to 59
  • Labour 35 to 35
  • Green 15 to 15
  • NZF 11 to 11
  • Maori 1 to 0
  • ACT 1 to 0
  • UF 1 to 0

On the original result Nat/ACT/UF/Maori had 61 seats out of 122 – one short of a majority. If National and Labour won seats off the small parties then National would have 59 seats out of 120 – two short of a majority.

Public Polls May 2016

June 8th, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar


Curia’s monthly newsletter is out. The summary is below:

Curia’s Polling Newsletter – Issue 97, May 2016

There were two political voting polls in May 2016 – a Roy Morgan and a Newshub Reid Research.

The average of the public polls has National 16% ahead of Labour in May, down 3% from April. The current seat projection is centre-right 58 seats, centre-left 51 which would see NZ First hold the balance of power.

We show the current New Zealand poll averages for party vote, country direction and preferred PM compared to three months ago, a year ago, three years ago and nine years ago. This allows easy comparisons between terms and Governments.

In the United States Clinton’s chances improved in May with a projected 126 elector lead in the Electoral College. Overall satisfaction with the direction of the US remains extremely low at a net -40%.

In the UK Remain is at 65% and Leave at 35% in the prediction markets. Brexit trails by 3% in the average of the polls.

In Australia The election is on a knife edge with the current seat projection being the Coalition having a one seat majority only.

In Canada Liberals remain sky high in the polls and confidence of the country direction has reached a new high of +27%.

We also carry details of polls on the Kermadecs, housing and US ship visits plus the normal business and consumer confidence polls.

This newsletter is normally only available by e-mail.  If you would like to receive future issues, please go to http://curia.us10.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=e9168e04adbaaaf75e062779e&id=8507431512 to subscribe yourself.

Latest poll

June 8th, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

I’ve blogged at Curia the results of the latest One News Colmar Brunton poll.

What is interesting is they polled before and after the Labour-Green MOU was announced. Here’s how the seat allocation changed:

  • CR – 59 before and 62 after
  • CL – 49 before and 52 after
  • C – 14 before and 9 after

Before the MOU was announced National could not form a CR Government without NZ First. After the MOU polling showed they would be able to.

Tex on Public Polls

May 29th, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Mark Textor writes:

As my business partner Sir Lynton Crosby noted at a post-election forum after the 2015 UK ballot, there were more than 600 polls published in the two years leading up to the election.

As reported in The Australian he observed: “When you look at the proportion of the percentage of time of news coverage devoted to the process of an election versus the issues of an election, it was well approaching 70 per cent in the UK where people were talking about the process of the election.”

My analysis would put Australian “process” percentage at round the same proportion.

And the geese parallels don’t end there.

Data obtained from Emeritus Professor Murray Goot of Macquarie University, show that in the UK, from the dissolution of parliament to election day there was a remarkable 3.5 polls per day published and force fed to voters. The same analysis shows that in Australia in 2013, despite having a significantly smaller voting population, there was an equally remarkable 3.2 polls per day from the proroguing of Parliament to election day.

Over the last decade and longer there has been a real change from reporting on policies and political issues to reporting on “process” stories.

Hundreds of polls will have been published since the last election and by the end of this campaign. And will the public be any wiser because of these? No, because like the process that produced foie gras, it’s the poor geese that get covered in shit. As my business partner points out: “If you think a campaign should be about ideas and communication with voters to give them a sense of empowerment and understanding of issues, then I think we really had to question the role that they [the polls] started to play in [campaigns].”

When you have this incredible frequency and focus on published polls it is the polls and their (usually small) vote movements that become the most frequent story rather then the issues. So we are none the wiser about the nature of issues in the world outside because all we are fed is the fat off published polls – the vote movement.

One solution is for more published pollsters to follow the guidelines recommended by WAPOR (the World Association for Public Opinion Research). They say: “As good practice in conducting pre election polls, researchers should: … measure key variables such as … reasons for party choice or attitudes on issues or other aspects of the campaign. Such polls will have greater political and social value if they do not confine themselves only to measuring voting intention but also explore the reasons for party choice and opinions on important campaign issues”, or indeed, journalists feasting on a menu of topics beyond the foie gras of polls or campaign dynamics.

I agree entirely.

How 538 got Trump wrong

May 25th, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Nate Silver writes on how he got Donald Trump so wrong (as almost everyone did). He notes:

But it’s not how it worked for those skeptical forecasts about Trump’s chance of becoming the Republican nominee. Despite the lack of a model, we put his chances in percentage terms on a number of occasions. In order of appearance — I may be missing a couple of instances — we put them at 2 percent (in August), 5 percent (in September), 6 percent (in November), around 7 percent (in early December), and 12 percent to 13 percent (in early January).

Silver notes five things:

  1. Our early forecasts of Trump’s nomination chances weren’t based on a statistical model, which may have been most of the problem.
  2. Trump’s nomination is just one event, and that makes it hard to judge the accuracy of a probabilistic forecast.
  3. The historical evidence clearly suggested that Trump was an underdog, but the sample size probably wasn’t large enough to assign him quite so low a probability of winning.
  4. Trump’s nomination is potentially a point in favor of “polls-only” as opposed to “fundamentals” models.
  5. There’s a danger in hindsight bias, and in overcorrecting after an unexpected event such as Trump’s nomination.

The interesting thing is that if you just looked at the polls, then you should have concluded Trump would win. He basically led in every poll for six months. But everyone found reasons to argue why the polls would change. 538 for example places great store on endorsements. And endorsements have been a good predictor in previous elections, but as Silver notes the sample size of previous elections is not great.

So one lesson from this is not to ignore the polls. They’re not always right, but polls vs assumptions, polls tend to win out.

Another source of info I look to is the prediction markets. At the moment they have Clinton at 66% likely to win and Trump 32%.

Latest poll

May 25th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

A Newshub Reid Research poll was released yesterday. Details are at Curia.

The Newshub story says Key has plummeted as Preferred PM as he has dropped 1.5% in 6 months. This is of course not even statistically significant let alone a plummet of any kind.

I thought it would be useful to compare the Preferred PM ratings of May 2016, with May 2007 – the same point in Labour’s third term.

In May 2007 the PM was at 30% Preferred PM and in May 2016 the PM is at 37% Preferred PM.

In May 2007 the Opposition Leader was at 32% Preferred PM and in May 2016 the Opposition Leader is at 9% Preferred PM.

So Clark was trailing by 2% in May 2007, while in May 2016 Key leads Little by 28%.

Also for those interested in May 2007, National in Opposition was 12% ahead of Labour in the polls. In May 2016 Labour in Opposition are 16% behind National in the polls.

Yet Newshub trumpet their poll as bad news for National!

Latest poll

May 24th, 2016 at 6:52 am by David Farrar

I’ve blogged at Curia the latest poll (Roy Morgan). It basically reverses the previous month’s poll. Seat projection is CR 57 and CL 51 so NZ First would hold the balance of power.

Another poll shows Trump leading

May 23rd, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

There’s been another poll out showing Trump ahead. It is of course early days, but it does show that Trump is consolidating his support.

This poll is the ABC/Washington Post poll – normally one that is highly reported.

Some interesting aspects:

  • Trump net favourability -17%
  • Clinton net favourability -16%
  • 51% say they want a third choice
  • Independents – Trump +13%
  • Moderates – Clinton +10%
  • Whites – Trump +24%
  • Non-Whites – Clinton +48%
  • Men – Trump +23%
  • Women – Clinton +14%
  • Under 40s – Clinton +8%
  • 40 to 64s – Trump +8%
  • Over 65s – Trump +3%
  • North East – Clinton +6%
  • Mid West – Clinton +4%
  • South: Trump +10%
  • West: Tie
  • Urban: Clinton +21%
  • Suburban: Trump +10%
  • Rural: Trump +35%

Beware of geographic breakdown of polls

May 22nd, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Hamilton residents and New Zealand First supporters are among four groups which want fewer migrants allowed in the country.

In a recent Colmar-Brunton political poll, people were asked about the number of migrants the Government should let in to the country.

The results showed 42 per cent of those polled in Hamilton, wanted the Government to let fewer migrants in.

Other groups polled which also wanted fewer migrants included 38 per cent of those living in small towns or rural areas, 53 per cent of Maori and 40 per cent of New Zealand First supporters.

Overall figures showed just over half (51 per cent) of New Zealand voters polled believed the number of migrants being let in is about right, close to a quarter, or 27 per cent, said the government should let fewer in and nearly a fifth, or 18 per cent say the Government should let more migrants in. Four per cent said they did not know.

This is a good example of why one should be wary of reading too much into some poll breakdowns.

The poll is of 1,000 people. Around 3.5% of NZ live in Hamilton so I’d assume only 35 people from Hamilton were polled. That has a margin of error of around +/- 17%.

Not a statistical tie

May 17th, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Politico reports:

A new poll of Georgia voters finds Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton nearly tied in a general election matchup.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll shows Trump with a 4-point lead over Clinton, 45 percent to 41 percent, which is within the poll’s 4.26 percentage point margin of error.

The sentiments expressed by independents further contribute to the statistical tie between the two presumptive nominees.

It isn’t a statistical tie. I do wish media wouldn’t use that term. It is good media point out a lead may be within a margin of error, but not good when they suggest that it is effectively a tie.

For a poll of 822 voters, the chance that Trump is actually leading is 89.2% and the chance Clinton is leading is 10.8%. This is less than the normal 95% confidence interval so Trump is not necessarily leading – but 89% probability is not a tie.

50% is a tie and 95% is statistically significant. I’m not sure what the term is for probabilities between 50% and 95% but it is not a tie – ie a 50.1% chance you are leading is not the same as a 94.95 chance you are leading.

April Public Polls

May 16th, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The situation in NZ was:

9 years ago 3 years ago 1 year ago 3 months ago Last month This month
National 47% 45% 49% 47% 46% 46%
Labour 36% 33% 29% 28% 28% 27%
Greens 8% 12% 11% 14% 14% 12%
NZ First 4% 4% 7% 7% 9% 11%
Nat over Labour +11% +12% +19% +19% +18% +19%
Nat over Lab/Gre +3% -1% +8% +5% +4% +7%
Right Direction 55% 62% 60% 61% 58%
Wrong Direction 34% 27% 28% 29% 31%
Net Direction +21% +35% +32% +32% +27%
Preferred PM
National Leader 27% 39% 42% 40% 40% 39%
Labour Leader 37% 15% 11% 8% 9% 7%
NZ First Leader 3% 3% 10% 8% 9% 10%

National’s party vote is lower than a year ago but slightly higher than three years ago.

Labour’s party vote is lower than one and three years ago.

The Green’s party vote is around the same as a year ago.

NZ First party vote is up from a year ago and up from three years ago.

You can subscribe to the full newsletter at http://curia.us10.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=e9168e04adbaaaf75e062779e&id=8507431512 for fuller details of polls in NZ, the US, the UK, Australia and Canada.

Latest poll

April 26th, 2016 at 8:28 pm by David Farrar

Roy Morgan’s monthly poll is out and blogged here.

Quite different to Colmar Brunton. CB has National up while RM has National down.

Both CM and RM have Labour down, and well under 30%.

CM has NZ First down 1% while RM has NZ First up 3.5%.

KDS and polls

April 17th, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Pete George notes a tweet from a pollster:

Andrew from Colmar Brunton just tweeted:

Wow this week’s poll! The criticism has been much worse than usual. NEVER happens when Labour support increases.

Labour is down 4 to 28%, the first time they have dipped below 30 since the 2014 election, and National is up 3 to 50% – see One News/Colmar Brunton April 2016.

The reaction from the left, apparent on Twitter and at The Standard, ranged from disbelief to  blame, of everything from bad or corrupt polling methods, misleading or corrupt media and John Key.

Hard core Labour supporters have now had nearly eight years of post-Clark frustration and disappointment and daashed hopes.

On current performances (of the party and of leader Andrew Little) this looks unlikely to change any time soon.

Labour has faded from a major party with a widely respected leader to a struggling party with diminishing status.

They are on to their fourth leader and their latest one seems to be heading towards failure, probably hastened by this week’s lurch into dirty politics.

It’s the problem again of people living in a bubble. They and all their friends hate John Key and adore Labour, so how can the polls possibly be right.

Of course the polls are not always accurate. At the last election they under-estimated support for National and over-estimated support for the Greens!

2014 NZ Election Study on the issues

April 14th, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The final post looks at views of New Zealanders on various issues from the NZ Election Study.

The first two, and most important are has the Government done a good job and has the economy been good or bad.

73% of NZers said the Government had done a good job in the last three years and only 21% said a bad job.

That’s a staggeringly low level of people saying the Government had done a bad job.

NZES asked about whether we should be spending more,  less or the same in various areas. The table below summarises this:


Health and education stand out as the two areas NZers most want more spending. This is no surprise. They have a net 65% support.

After that is housing and law enforcement on around net 40%.

Then environment on 34%, superannuation 27% and business & industry 19%.

The three areas where NZers want less spending is defence at -1%, welfare -20% and unemployment benefits -29%.

Then they asked NZers if they agreed with a series of statements, that are below.


The biggest agreement at net +63% was people should have to work for the dole.

Next biggest agreement was that Government should subsidise or assist companies with research and development followed by income inequality is too large and should be reduced, unions are necessary to protect workers and exporters should get financial assistance.

NZers also think big business has too much power, we should assist international sportspersons and film makers and SOE privatisation has gone too far.

There is modest agreement that trade unions are necessary to protect workers at +9% and raise the super age to 67 at +4%.

Minor disagreement at -1% that many on welfare don’t deserve help, that NZ needs a Capital Gains Tax, unions have too much power (-3%) and lowering benefits helps people stand on their own feet (-4%).

More significant disagreement that the Government should help banks in times of crisis (-15%), we should have more immigration (-35%) and abortion is always wrong (-40%).

Also some voting issues were canvassed.

  • On compulsory voting 44% were in favour and 53% against.
  • Lowering the voting age to 16 had 7% support and a massive 90% opposition.
  • 48% supported keeping the Maori seats and 39% opposed.
  • 35% would vote on the Internet if they had a choice, while 595 would still choose a polling place.
  • 45% were confident that Internet voting would be secure and private and 46% were not.
  • 14% were more likely to vote if they could vote online and 10% said they were less likely to vote.

Huge opposition to reducing the voting age to 16.

2014 Election Study on Leaders

April 13th, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Now we look at the favourability ratings for the party leaders in 2014. Again first those who have a favourable view of each leader.


No surprise that Key had the highest favourability at 60%. But considering this was done after two months of Hager and Dotcom allegations against Key, still a remarkable level.

The 2nd most popular leader is Winston. 30% of NZers like him. Will be interesting to see how that breaks down by which party they voted for.

The two Green leaders were next – Turei on 22% and Norman 20%.  In between then was David Cunliffe on 21%. When only one in five NZers like the alternative Prime Minister, then the outcome may not be a huge surprise.

Flavell does quite well for a minor party with 18% favourability, then Dunne on 13%, Craig 12%, Harawira 10%, Harre 7% and poor Jamie Whyte last on 4%.


This shows how many New Zealanders dislike each leader. The leader with the lowest level of dislike was John Key at 28%. One can have high favourability and unfavourability (think Muldoon), but this shows Key didn’t have a high level of dislike in 2014 – lower than any other leader.

Next lowest was Flavell on 32%, then Turei 37%, Norman 38%, Peters 42%, Whyte 42% and Dunne 46%.

Colin Craig had high unfavourability at 49% but this was less than David Cunliffe at 54%. That is a very high level of unfavourability for the proposed alternative Prime Minister.

The two most unpopular leaders were Laila Harre with 60% dislike and Hone Harawira with 64%,


This graph shows the net favourability for each leader. Key was the only leader whom more voters liked than disliked – at +32%.

The least unpopular was then Peters at -12%, Flavell -13%, Turei -15%, and Norman -18%.

After that Cunliffe was at -32%, Dunne -33%, Craig -37% and Whyte -39%.

Finally Harre on -53% and Harawira on -54%.

A pity they didn’t survey opinion on the true Internet Party Leader, Kim Dotcom – I suspect would be even lower.

Houston we may have a problem

April 12th, 2016 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar


This is the Preferred PM rating of the four Labour Opposition Leaders. Rather speaks for itself.

2014 Election Study on Party Position

April 12th, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Another question asked in the 2014 Election Study was where voters say each party on a 0 to 10 scale where 0 is hard left and 10 is hard right. They were also asked where they assessed themselves.

Party LR

ACT was assessed as the most right party with a median score of 8. Both the Conservatives and National had a median score of 7.

The median voter score was a 6 – so slightly centre-right. United Future was placed there also.

NZ First is in the middle on 5. The Maori Party slightly centre-left on a 4.

The Mana and Internet parties were judged to be hard left.

I find it interesting that Labour and the Greens both have a median of 3. Once upon a time the Greens would have been seen as more to the left of Labour, but now they are seen as not far apart.

Now consider all the left activists who claim Labour need to go further to the left in order to win. They are already three away from the median vote on six. National is only one away from the median voter. So going further to the left for Labour just makes them look more extreme.

As the median voter is a six, then a three is as far away from them as a nine is.

For Labour to win, they either need to shift the median voter from a six to a five (very difficult to do) or they need to shift the perception of themselves from a three to a four. I doubt they will, and they will be surprised when they fail again.

2014 Election Study on Party Favourability

April 11th, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Every election a major study/poll is done by the academics involved in the NZ Election Study. They’ve started to release data from their 2014 study and there is a trove of interesting data, which all parties should be looking at (if they want to increase their vote).

The first set of data I want to look at is party favourability. Respondents were asked to assess how much they like each party on a 0 to 10 scale. So a 0 to 4 is unfavourable and a 6 to 10 is favourable.

So how many people had a favourable opinion of each party? This is an important measurement as it effectively shows the current maximum likely support for each party. If you don’t like a party, there’s no way you’ll vote for it. If they do like the party, they may vote for it.


National is viewed favourably by 58% of NZers. That helps explain why 47% voted for them.

Labour is viewed favourably by just 35% of NZers. This is very significant as unless they can fundamentally change the brand and image of their party, that is their effective lid.  And as they really need to get into the high 30s to be able to form a clear centre-left Government. So they have a favourability rating lower than the minimum they need to win.

The Greens are also viewed favourably by around a third of NZers. This is possibly the same third who view Labour favourably, which suggests Greens could get more votes off them. We won’t know for sure how much they overlap until NZES release the full data set.

I was fascinated that 15% had a favourable view of the Conservative Party. If things hadn’t fallen apart after the election, this indicates they had definite potential to break the 5% barrier. Also of interest is the Maori Party have 19% who view them favourably – suggesting again they could pick up more votes.

ACT and United Future both have less than 10% seeing them favourably. The change of leader of ACT may have changed that, but regardless a real challenge.

Now we turn to the Unfavourability – how many NZers say they don’t like that party.


National has the least unfavourable – only 28% of NZers dislike National. This will come as a surprise to hard left activists who live in a bubble where 100% of their friends dislike National.

At the other extreme the Internet and Mana parties were massively disliked and toxic. The thought of them deciding the Government was a turn off for many voters.

ACT have the next highest unfavourability at 55%. Not a big surprise with the Banks prosecution.  Also on 50% are the Conservatives.

All the other parties are in the 40s for Unfavourability.

Now we look at the net favourability – those who like less those who dislike.


Only one party has positive net favourability – National at +30%.

Labour and Greens are both slightly negative net favourability at -5% and -7%.  Following them is NZ First on -17%, and Maori Party -22%.

The next five are Conservatives on -35%, United -38%, ACT -37%, Mana -57% and Internet Party -72%.  The Internet Party may be the most unpopular party in the history of NZ politics.

Overall the data shows the huge gulf between National and other parties when it comes to both favourability and unfavourability.

Latest poll

April 10th, 2016 at 6:31 pm by David Farrar

I’ve blogged at Curia the results of tonight’s One News Colmar Brunton poll.

It is almost half way through National’s third term, so it is useful to compare it to the same poll halfway through National’s second term.

In April 2013 National was at 43% and Labour 36% – a 7% gap.

In April 2016 National is at 50% and Labour 28% – a 22% gap.

This is the lowest Labour has been since the election, and also the highest National has been. And taken after the flag referendum which Labour were convinced would damage National, so they opposed change against their own policy. Nice outcome guys.

Key Little is also at 7% Preferred Prime Minister. This is the lowest for a Labour Leader since May 2010. He is now 3% behind Peters.

Labour said in December 2014 their aim was to be polling at 40% by the end of 2015. It’s April 2016 and they’re in the 20s.

If I was a Labour MP, I’d be asking what exactly do they think will change in the next 18 months, so it isn’t a repeat of the last 18 months?


Public Polls March 2016

April 6th, 2016 at 11:00 am by David Farrar


Curia’s monthly newsletter is out. The executive summary is:

There was one political voting poll in March 2016 – a Roy Morgan.

The average of the public polls has National 18% ahead of Labour in March, the same as February. The current seat projection is centre-right 58 seats, centre-left 51 which would see NZ First hold the balance of power.

We show the current New Zealand poll averages for party vote, country direction and preferred PM compared to three months ago, a year ago, three years ago and nine years ago. This allows easy comparisons between terms and Governments.

In the United States Obama now has positive approval ratings for the first time in many years. The prediction markets have Trump at 44% likely to win the GOP nomination and Cruz at 36%. Clinton is at 83% to be the Democratic nominee.

In the UK polls show Remain just 3% ahead of Leave in the EU referendum.

In Australia the Coalition remain ahead of Labor but Turnbull’s approval rating continues to decline.

In Canada the Liberals have dropped 4% this month but remain well ahead in the polls.

We also carry details of polls on the NZ flag and cannabis plus the normal business and consumer confidence polls.

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