Will polls influence vote?

October 7, 2010

In general elections advertising or polling which might influence voters is not permitted after midnight on election eve.

With postal voting for local body elections campaigning and polling continues after the ballot papers have been distributed.

The ODT published a poll  last weekend of Clutha, Central Otago, Waitaki and Queenstown Lakes Districts which showed a couple of close results but will it influence the vote?

In Clutha Juno Hayes, the sitting mayor, had 34.8% with challengers Hamish Anderson and Bryan Cadogan tied on 31.3%.

In Central Otago sitting mayor Malcolm Macpherson had 38.7% support with Tony Lepper on 37.8% and Jeff Hill on 23.4%.

The Clutha race appears to reflect dissatisfaction with the incumbent but the split in the opposition may let him slip through. However the poll had a margin of error of 11.4% so it’s still anyone’s race.

In Central results show those who support the incumbent should vote for him and those who don’t you’d have a better chance of unseating him if they vote for Lepper than Hill.

In Queenstown Lakes Vanessa Van Uden received 62.5% support with Simon Hayes on 32.8%. In Waitaki sitting mayor Alex Familton had 54.8% support with current deputy mayor Gary Kircher gaining 37.5%.

Both should give the leaders some comfort but with margins of error of 9.6% in Queenstown Lakes and 9.3% in Waitaki there  is still the possibility of an upset.

Did the poll influence my vote? No, I posted my ballot paper on Tuesday after reading the results but they didn’t show change my mind over who I was supporting.

However, had I not already decided who I was supporting the poll may have been a factor I took into account.

UPDATE: The NBR quotes AUT University’s Institute of Public Policy director David Wilson who says those worried about the influence of polls shouldn’t underestimate voters.

Saturday’s smiles

December 12, 2009

The driver loaded all of Pope Benedict’s luggage into the limo and noticed the Pontiff still standing on the curb..
 ‘Excuse me, Your Holiness,’ the driver said, ‘Would you please take your seat so we can leave?’
 ‘Well, to tell you the truth,’ the Pope said, ‘they never let me drive at the Vatican and I’d really like to drive today.’
 ‘I’m sorry, Your Holiness, but I can’t let you do that. I’d lose my job! What if something should happen?’ protested the driver.
 ‘Who’s going to tell?’ the Pope asked with a smile.

Reluctantly, the driver got in the back and the Pope climbed in behind the wheel. The driver quickly regretted his decision when, after exiting the airport, the Pontiff floored it, accelerating the limo to 205 kms.
 ‘Please slow down, Your Holiness!’  the worried driver begged, but the Pope kept up his speed until they heard sirens.
 ‘Oh, dear God, I’m going to lose my license — and my job!’ moaned the driver.
 The Pope pulled over and rolled down the window as the cop approached, but the cop took one look at him, went back to his motorcycle, and got on the radio.
 ‘I need to talk to the Chief,’ he said to the dispatcher.
 The Chief got on the radio and the cop told him that he’d stopped a limo going 155 kph.
 ‘So bust him,’  the Chief said.
 ‘I don’t think we want to do that, he’s really important,’ said the cop.
 The Chief exclaimed,’ All the more reason!’
 ‘No, I mean really important,’ said the cop.
 The Chief asked, ‘Who do you have there, the mayor?’

 Cop: ‘Bigger.’
 Chief: ‘ An MP?’

 Cop: ‘Bigger.’  
 Chief: ‘The Prime Minister?’

 Cop: ‘Bigger.’
 ‘Well,’ said the Chief, ‘who is it?’
 Cop: ‘I think it’s God!’
 The Chief asked, ‘What makes you think it’s God?’ 
 Cop: ‘His chauffeur is the Pope.’

40 more sleeps . . .

September 29, 2008

. . . until the election and the latest poll is still trending blue.

Poll right about left

September 14, 2008

The poll Keeping Stock is running in the sidebar of his blog asks who will get your party vote.

The options are:

Labour/NZ First

As the billbaord above the poll shows there is no need to waste space separating Labour and New Zealand First because a vote for the former is a vote for Peters in government and a vote for the latter is a vote for the former.

Pollsters Cup on Afternoons

August 16, 2008

The Pollsters Cup which I posted a couple of weeks ago was used to precede a discussion  on polling with Jim Mora and The Panel yesterday afternoon.

It went like this:

Next on the card is the feature race for the Pollsters’ Cup.


The early favourite is Undecided by May Be out of Confusion. Margin of Error, by Statistics out of Calculator has had some good runs and Don’t Know Don’t Care by Ignorance out of Apathy is also expected to make a strong showing.


Some commentators favour Time For A Change by Hope out of Desperation but others are picking Same But Different by Caution out of Experience. Minor Parties, by Disaffected out of Single Issue are at long odds.


There’s been a delay because there’s a question over the registration of Don’t Care. However, the stewards say a late entry is allowed under special rules so they’re under starter’s orders and they’re away.


Racing now and Time For A Change has the early running. Undecided comes next closely followed by Margin of Error leading  Same But Different by a nose then it’s a couple of lengths back to Minor Parties and Don’t Know Don’t Care is bringing up the rear.


Time For A Change is running strongly in the centre though Same But Different has come up on the right hand side; then it’s Undecided with Minor Parties a neck ahead of Margin Of Error and Don’t Know Don’t Care still trailing the field.


In to the home straight now and it’s anyone’s race. Margin Of Error has taken the lead with Same But Different, Time For A Change bunched up with Undecided. Minor Parties is running out of steam and Don’t Know Don’t Care is a good five lenghts behind.


To the finish line now and it looks like Margin Of Error just made it but it’s too close to call for the places. It’s between Time For A Change and Same But Different with Undecided in fourth place a nose ahead of Minor Parties in fifth and Don’t Know Don’t Care a distant last.



TV1 poll puts Peters out

August 10, 2008

Guyon Espiner has just announced the results of a One News poll in Tauranga.

National’s candidate Simon Bridges had the support of 48% of those polled, WInston Peters had 28% support and Labour’s Anne Pankhurst had just 15%.

Peters has to win the seat or get his party over the 5% hurdle and the poll showed 6% of people were willing to give New Zealand First their aprty votes. However, that’s not as good as it appears because it’s about half the support the party got in Tauranga at the last election.

The poll questioned 519 people and had a margin of error of 4%.

You can fool some of the people

July 28, 2008

This survey which asks do you believe Winston Peters? isn’t scientific, which is a good thing because 14.9% or respondents said yes.

It’s a self-selecting on-line survey which began on Friday – 74.3% said no and the rest were don’t knows.

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