A tale of three polls


Colin James’ poll of polls on Saturday:

A new Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll published on August 15 again had Labour at a basement rating – 22.5% – and National cruising at 55.1%. But the poll-of-polls scarcely budged because that poll replaced a July Fairfax poll with closely similar readings.

Still, Labour’s average, at 27.1%, while off its mid-July lows, remained dire, though the interviews for the poll straddled Labour’s campaign launch on August 10. Labour will worry whether other polls due in coming days replicate the Fairfax.

National’s average did not change from its 50.3% in last Saturday’s averages. . .


TV3’s poll had National down a wee bit and Labour up slightly:

Party vote:

National: 47.5 percent, down 1.9 percent
Labour: 29 percent, up 2.3 percent
Greens: 13 percent, up 0.6 percent
New Zealand First: 4.6 percent, up 0.3 percent
Conservatives: 2.5 percent, down 0.2 percent
Internet Mana: 2.0 percent, down 0.2 percent
Maori Party: 0.8 percent, down 0.3 percent
ACT: 0.3 percent, up 0.2 percent
United Future: 0.2 percent, no change

Seats in Parliament:

National: 61
ACT: 1
United Future: 1
Maori Party: 2
Right total: 65

Labour: 38
Green: 17
Mana: 3
Left total: 58

Preferred Prime Minister:

John Key: 44.1 percent, up 0.3 percent
David Cunliffe: 9.9 percent, up 0.4 percent
Winston Peters: 6.7 percent, up 1.4 percent

1000 people polled, margin of error 3.1 percent

The ONE News Colmar Brunton poll showed both National and Labour dropping a couple of points:

. . . It shows National still in the box seat, with 50%, but down 2 points. Labour is also down 2 points to 26%. The Greens have moved up 1% to 11%, while New Zealand First has moved up 1% to hit the magical 5% mark.

But the big mover is the Internet Mana party which has doubled in support to 4%. The Conservatives are steady on 2%, while the Maori Party, and Act remain on 1%.

At 4%, and assuming Hone Harawira hold his seat, Internet Mana could bring in five MPs, including John Minto and Annette Sykes. . .

These aren’t big changes for the major parties and IMP’s rise could help National by scaring those wavering in the centre its way.

However, the message in both these polls is that in spite of the continued popularity of National and its leader, Prime Minister John Key who has almost five times the support of Labour’s David Cunliffe, the election outcome is far from certain.

If there’s a silver lining to the sideshow of the last few days and a softening of support in the polls it is that it is helping National get its message home to supporters that there is no room for complacency.

People who want a National-led government and/or don’t want the alternative of a weak Labour Party propped up the the Green, NZ First and Internet Mana Party must vote and vote for National.

Margin of error changes


People on the left hoping Labour’s rise in recent polls was pointing to certain success in next year’s election will have been disappointed by the results of two polls released yesterday:

The Fairfax Media poll, showed Labour and National were both up a couple of points.

. . . Labour is up two percentage points to 33.6 per cent since the last Fairfax poll, completed in August before the leadership spill that saw Cunliffe replace David Shearer.

But National is also up two points and holds a huge 17 point lead over Labour, winning the backing of more than 50 per cent of committed voters. . . .

Most of Labour’s support appears to have come at the expense of the Green Party which does nothing for the left block.

The One News Colmar Brunton poll showed a gap of only 11 between National and Labour:

Support for Labour and its new leader has stalled in the latest ONE News Colmar Brunton poll, with neither the party or David Cunliffe making any gains over the last few weeks. . .

But when it comes to preferred Prime Minister John Key still appears to have the golden touch, up one to 43%, while Mr Cunliffe hasn’t built on his strong start and is unchanged at 12. Winston Peters is steady on 4%.

In the Fairfax poll National had enough support to govern alone but that is very unlikely to be reflected by actual support in next year’s election.

Under MMP support for minor parties will determine which party governs.

In the second poll the right and left can both get to 60 but that’s not enough:

National has 58 seats and with one each from Act and United Future the centre right can muster 60.

But Labour’s 43 seats plus the Greens 16 and Mana’s 1 also gives the centre left 60.

The Maori Party with its three seats and New Zealand First could be the kingmakers.

This assumes NZ First doesn’t get over the 5% threshold and that Act and United Future both win a seat.

Before anyone gets too excited about the results, it’s only a couple of polls and the changes are in margin of error territory.

At best it shows that changing leaders hasn’t made much difference to Labour and if Cunliffe had a new leader’s honeymoon it’s over.

But we’ve more than a year until the next election.

Winning a third term was always going to be hard but not impossible for National and that hasn’t changed.

Labour’s lurch to left poaches votes from Greens


The latest One News Colmar Brunton poll has shows little change for Labour in spite of having saturation media attention during its leadership contest.

Its support went up only 1% to 34%. National’s support also increased by 1% to 47%.

But Labour’s biggest potential coalition partner the Green Party dropped 2% to 12.

That won’t be surprising to anyone who paid attention to the leadership race which signalled a lurch to the left in Labour.

Any votes that attracted were most likely to be poached from the Greens and the policies which moved people from green to red were least likely to woo people in the centre.

How can they spin this, let me count the ways


How can Labour spin the latest One News Colmar Brunton poll result? Let me count the ways:

1. Only one poll counts.

2. It’s a rogue poll.

3. We can pretend we didn’t leak details of the capital gains tax before polling was done.

4. Polling was done before the tax package was announced and that will be a game changer.

5. The tax policy is irrelevant because people aren’t interested in details.

6. Our supporters don’t have phones.

7. Our supporters are out/too busy when polling companies call.

8. Polling companies are owned by rich pricks.

9. We’ve got more than four months to turn things round.

10. We don’t comment on polls.

Only one poll counts but …


Of course there’s only one poll that counts and that’s the one held on election day.

But count or not,  last night’s One News Colmar Brunton poll provides a positive finish to the year for National.

Christmas has come early for National, which ends the year polling more than 20 points ahead of Labour.

But there’s no sign of cheer for Phil Goff with the latest ONE News Colmar Brunton poll showing him nearly 50 points behind John Key in the preferred Prime Minister stakes.

National streets ahead in final ONE News poll for 2010 (Source: ONE News)

Once upon a time . . .


Once upon a time in La La Land there lived around four million people, a statistically accurate number of whom were regularly asked for their opinions by polling companies.


However, bad fairies interfered with their judgement and the results  and the media who reported on them so that they never accurately represented reality.



Latest results from the latest ONE News Colmar-Brunton poll on 05/10/08 (ONE News images)

And because the popular and competent people who believed in the law of common sense knew that was the case they were able to carry on ruling happily ever after.

It’s only a poll but National’s 18 points ahead


Yes, yes, I know only one poll counts and that a lot can happen between here and the ballot box.

But I’m relieved that the latest One News Colmar Brunton poll shows that some of the mud in which Winston Peters has bogged himself is beginning to stick to Labour.

The poll of 1000 people which has a margin of error of 3.1% showed:

National 53%; Labour 35%; Green Party 5; Act 2%; Maori Party1.8% ;New Zealand First 1.8%.

John Key had 40% support as preferred Prime Minister, Helen Clark had 31% and defying all reason 3% of respondents would tick Winston Peters.

The report will be on line here soon.

50% say National not being open


There are three kinds of people in the world, those who can count and those who can’t.

I’m definitely in the latter camp so won’t be offended if someone who is less numerically challenged faults my reasoning on the results of the One News Colmar Brunton  poll. 

ONE News asked voters in the poll whether National is being open about its plans. Fifty per cent say “no”, while 37% think they are. And a quarter of National’s own supporters say they are not being honest.

The latest poll  from the same source shows National has just over 50% support. That means nearly half those questioned don’t support the party so it isn’t surprising if around that number give a negative answer to any question about the party.

But it is difficult to draw a conclusion without knowing what those questioned think of other parties. If people think the others are open in general, or more open than National in particular, the party may have a problem. But if those questioned think other parties aren’t open either, it’s a plague-on-all-their-houses sort of response which while not encouraging is something that will take time and a lot of evidence to the contrary to change.

I’m better at words than numbers and I’ve got a quibble about the wording of the story too. The question asked about being open, the opposite to that is being closed, reticent or holding back. That isn’t necessarily the same as not being honest so whoever wrote “… they’re not being honest”  may be drawing an incorrect inference because those who thought National wasn’t being open may not have thought it was being reticent rather than not being honest.

But maybe I’ve been infected by the dancing on the head of a pin reasoning seen in the privileges committee last night and my blue bias is not just showing but leading me to put a positive slant on a negative report 🙂

Plan A isn’t working


Last night’s One News Colmar Brunton  poll was not quite as bad for Labour as Saturday’s Fairfax Media Neilson one but talking about National  isn’t working for them.

From the Government’s point of view, it might be a good idea to stop talking about the National Party.

The uproar stoked up over the secret tapes, claimed by Labour as evidence of National’s secret agenda, doesn’t seem to have registered with voters.

… National’s leader, John Key, thinks there might have been a negative reaction to Labour’s strategy of using the tapes to attack his party.

And he could be right when he says it might have been perceived as a piece of parliamentary theatre, with no direct impact on anyone outside it.

“It doesn’t affect their daily lives…the economy is still front and centre stage,” said Key.

He has said that before, pushing the message that voters aren’t interested in sideshows and would like politicians to get on with debating issues that do affect their daily lives.

Like interest rates, the rising level of unemployment and the economic slowdown.

If the secret agenda assault really isn’t working, Labour is going to lose one of its main campaign weapons – persuading voters that they can’t trust National in government because it might inflict on them the sort of drastic and unpopular changes that marked the early 1990s.

Key is acutely aware of this tactic, to the extent that he has vowed to resign as Prime Minister and quit Parliament if superannuation is tampered with under his watch.

And in another counter move last week, he said National would legislate to ensure benefits increased in line with inflation.

They do now, but there isn’t a law that says they have to.

Key is trying to neutralise Labour’s “you can’t trust National” strategy, which worked in 2005 when it came out with its “don’t risk throwing it all away” slogan.

The way things are going, it won’t work twice. Voters don’t seem to be taking any notice of Labour’s warnings, they might be waiting to hear something real about how the Government is going to help them through the hard times many are experiencing.

When you are interested in politics it’s easy to think it matters. And while it does it most people have real lives with day to day conerns which matter far more to them.

Mud sticks to the hand that throws it and people worried about making ends meet aren’t impressed that playing if Labour is more concerned about playing in the dirt than working on running the country.

We like playing with trains


A One News Colmar Brunton  poll shows 68% of people support the Government using our money to buy back the railways.

One thousand voters were polled, and asked that given the final price tag will go well over the billion dollar mark would they support the buying back of rail and ferry services?

The results:

  • Yes – 68%
  • No – 24%
  • Don’t know – 8%

I wonder what the result would have been had the question asked: would you prefer taxpayers’ money was spent on health and education or buying back the railways?

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