Now this is dirty politics

There’s an article on Stuff where I’m quoted about some polling data made public by , ’s pollsters:

A document drawn up by Labour’s polling company delivers a brutal assessment of the public’s impression of National leader

Stuff has obtained a slide presentation which UMR, which has long been used by Labour for its private internal polling, sent to “ten or so” subscribers. …

David Farrar, the principal at Curia Research, National’s polling company, said sending the material to corporate clients made it likely it would quickly become public.

“They wanted this to get out there, but they didn’t want Labour to release it,” Farrar, who also runs Kiwiblog, a website which is largely sympathetic to the National Party.

Labour has distanced itself from the document and refused to say whether it approved or influenced what UMR released.

I don’t think anyone should doubt Labour explicitly approved the release of this data. The fact they refuse to deny it speaks volumes.

The reality is that research data doesn’t belong to the polling company. It belongs to the client. The client is the only entity that can approve something being released. Only if the polling company is its own’s client, do they get to decide.

So what we have is that in the middle of the allegations from Jamie-Lee, they polled people on what they thought of the National Party Leader, and then released the data as a way to damage him.

This is not something we have seen before.

It is not a long way removed from a political party releasing an advertisement that said something like “We asked 1,000 people what they thought of xxxxx and 72% said they think he is a liar”. That sort of ad is seen as the most negative type of advertising you can do. Labour have basically done this, by way of releasing their polling data knowing it would get to the media.

Now contrast that with the Labour Party Leader who maintains she believes in gentler, kinder politics. Well her party just launched a classic strike against her main opponent. So that should tell you something about how genuine her stance is.

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