As many will have seen the latest Marae-Digipoll is bad news for Labour. However there is a lot of confusion over what one can or can not read into them.
On the party vote the Maori Party has 33% support from Maori voters, on both rolls. Maori make up 12% of the voting age population so one could estimate that at a general election they may get 4% party vote. This is assuming no non-Maori will vote for them in significant numbers. It also assumes Maori voting turn-out is the same as non-Maori. In fact it tends to be significantly lower so a 3% party vote is more likely based on that poll.
The way they show the margin of error for the electorate candidates is rather misleading. The 3,6% margin of error is for the seven seats combined. On average for each seat it will be 9.5%. So taking a 9.5% margin of error into account, what does that tell us, based on this poll.
Dover Samuels will lose Te Tai Tokerau, with the lead at 95% confidence being between 18% and 50%
Jophn Tamihere will lose Tamaki Makaurau, with the lead at 95% confidence being between 19% and 53%
Nanaia Mahuta will probably keep Tainui, but the lead at 95% confidence is between -3% and 33%. The negative figure indicates a 5% possibility she is behind.
Tariana Turia will keep Te Tai Hauauru, with the lead at 95% confidence being between 32% and 64%
Mita Ririnui will probably lose Waiariki, but the lead at 95% confidence is between -2% and 32%. The negative figure indicates a 4% possibility he is leading.
Parekura Horomia will probably keep Ikaroa-Rawhiti, but the lead at 95% confidence is between -11% and 25%. The negative figure indicates a 22% possibility he is behind.
Mahara Okeroa will lose Te Tai Tonga, with the lead at 95% confidence being between 7% and 31%.
So on this poll the Maori Party will win five seats, and have a chance at a sixth. Their party vote would give them four or five seats so it is likely they will have an overhang, but only by one seat.
Based on list speculation to date the number of Maori MPs after the election could be a record high:
Labour: 10 Maori MPs (Jones replacing Tamihere)
National: One to three
NZ First: Six (assuming no change)
Maori Party: Five
Total: 23 to 25 out of 121
This could have Maori making up 21% of Parliament, despite being 12% of the adult population. So tell me about under-representation again!