TVNZ and poll results

The Herald reports:

TVNZ says it is dealing with about 50 formal complaints over its coverage of the latest 1News-Verian political poll, with some viewers – as well as the Prime Minister and a former senior Labour MP – critical of the tone of the 6pm report.

TVNZ political editor Maiki Sherman’s reporting of the poll results – all three parties that make up the coalition Government have lost support – was described by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon earlier today as “a little frothy and sensationalist”.

Among various adjectives, metaphors and analysis, Sherman variously described a “nightmare” poll for the coalition that would “absolutely rock the entire Parliament”. …

Former Labour MP Stuart Nash told Newstalk ZB’s Heather du Plessis-Allantoday: “I thought the TV One reporting on it was absolutely shocking, if I’m honest with you.

“I thought the tone that they portrayed was the sort of tone you do three weeks out from an election, not two and a half years,” Nash said.

It was more the sort of hype you would expect from Newshub that has a reputation for always being rather over the top, and did seem out of place on TVNZ which has tended to be more sober.

But was this a one off, or is there a pattern with how they are reporting polls. Take this one on the Fast Track Bill:

The actual result is 40% in favour and 41% against. To add together those against, those unsure and those who didn’t answer as 60% not in support is very misleading.

They do it again in this article:

In the 1News Verian Poll, voters were also asked: “Which of the party leaders do you think has the most influence on Government decisions?”

Around 51% responded with the prime minister, while about 49% did not.

That 49% is once again got to by including those who name another leader with those who were unsure.

And now a third example:

So in this case you actually have 52% who say the public sector cuts they support (agree or are too little) and only 35% say they are too much. That is actually a 17% difference but once again TVNZ adds in the 13% unsures to the anti Government option.

So in all three reports, TVNZ has added ensures and refused to say, to try and make it look like there is greater opposition to the Government than there is.

One poor framing could be bad luck. To do it three times, is a very very bad look.

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