Gap just 4% in poll of polls


Colin James is doing a poll of the four most recent polls each week until the election.

The first one shows that the gap between a National-led government and a Labour-led one is just 4%:

National’s polling average may have peaked during July at 52.5% in the four polls up to mid-July. By end-July it was at 50.3%. That is still a very healthy figure under MMP but if National sheds only 4% by election day, it cannot count on a third term, even with help from ACT, United Future and the Maori Party.

At the comparable time before the last election National was averaging around 56%. It dropped 9 percentage points from there to 47.3% at the election.

(The POLL of POLLS is an arithmetical average of the four most recent major polls, and will appear as a special series of election columns every Saturday on until after the election on September 20.)

james poll








This isn’t all bad news.

National’s continued high polling could have led to complacency from supporters who thought they didn’t need to vote or could afford to play with their party vote and from people who want National to win but not too well.

Another important election pointer also looks to have gone through a peak in July: Roy Morgan’s measure of whether people think the country is going in the right direction or the right direction. Those saying “right direction” were at 60% in late July, down from measures ranging from 63.5%-65.5% through the previous two months.

But that is still a very high reading. In a first-past-the-post election it would point to an easy re-election for an incumbent government. It is one reason why National continues to poll so highly.


This isn’t an FPP election and while the positive view of the direction the country is heading in is good for national it isn’t good enough for complacency.

The contrast between a stable government led by a strong National Party and an unstable government led by a weak Labour Party which gives lots of bargaining power to the ill-assorted parties they’d need to have on board is stark.

But there is still a lot of work to do to convince enough voters to do the right thing – in all senses of the word.

It might help if more people realise that David Cunliffe’s yeah-nahing over whether or not Internet Mana will be in a government he leads is just words which don’t speak nearly as loudly as the actions of his candidates:












The marriage between Internet Mana and Labour which John Minto thinks is made in heaven  would be hell for New Zealand.

Another Green goes early


RadioNZ reports that Jeanette Fitzsimons will resign from parliament next month.

Once you’ve stepped down as leader it must be difficult to focus on being a backbench MP so I can understand the personal reasons for her doing so.

It also allows a successor to operate without being being overshadowed by the previous leader.

However, leaving parliament this easily is a luxury open only to list MPs who can resign without triggering a by-election.

Update: Just to clarify, I’m not criticising Fitzsimons for this decision.

RadioNZ poll


Yesterday’s post asking for additional nominations for RadioNZ’s best broadcaster and best programme attracted a modest response.

This could mean the most popular ones had already been nominated.

This could mean not many people are interested.

Be that as it may, I promised a poll and not one but two polls are now posted in the sidebar (thanks to Scrubone whose instructions on how to do it I managed to follow at the third attempt).

I’ll leave it there until I remember to close it (let’s not pretend this is scientific) and will send the winners a box of Whitestone Cheese.

Adam Smith asked for a most unpopular broadcaster category but I decided there was sufficient ignominy in not being included in the best

I was surprised no-one nominated Sean Plunket, if for nothing else but sympathy because he’s not allowed to write a column for Metro in his spare time. Cactus sums up that as only she can.

Radio NZ staff prizeless


That’s not a typo in the heading, although some are indeed priceless, but they are also going to be prizeless this year

Kiwiblog has a copy of an email sent to staff :

This is to advise you that due to budgetary constraints Radio New Zealand has – reluctantly – withdrawn from this year’s New Zealand Radio Awards. . .

 Passing quickly over the pedant’s observation that it should be owing to rather than due to, and get to the point which is: this is a shame, not just for the people who won’t have a chance to compete, but for the awards as well.

Some of the victories will be hollow if RadioNZ staff and programmes aren’t competing.

Maybe we should have a Bloggers’ Award for RadioNZ.

I’ll start by nominating Jim Mora for broadcaster of the year – and not just because he mentioned Homepaddock yesterday :).

Afternoons and Country Life  are my nominations for best programme.

UPDATE: If there’s enough nominations to make it worthwhile I’ll set up a poll to choose the winners (and do my best not to delete it as I did with the daylight saving one) – and donate a gift box of Whitestone Cheese to the winner.

Williams jumped or pushed?


John Key said on Agenda this morning that he’d expect out-going Labour president Mike Williams to resign from his government appointed directorships.

Radio NZ  reportsthat he has already done so.

But Mr Williams says he was advised by the agency that oversees Crown owned companies, the Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit or CCMAU, that his resignation was expected by ministers in the new government.

Mr Williams says he has now resigned from Genesis Energy, the New Zealand Transport Agency and GNS Science.

In a small country it id difficult to avoid appointing people who share your political affiliations and their ability to do what’s required is the most important thing.

However, there is a strong case for obviously partisan appointees to resign when the government changes and whether he jumped or was pushed Williams was right to stand down.

Election post mortems


John Key’s first extended interview as Prime Minister elect with John Campbell: part 1, part 2, part 3.

Sunday part 1, part 2, part 3,  part 4,  part 5.

Morning Report’s election special.

RadioNZ Sunday  – Sunday Group on the election and Media Watch on election coverage.

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