Labour’s poll lower


The 1 News Colmar Brunton poll released this week was bad news for Labour.

Its own poll is even worse.

Newshub has been leaked poll results from the company that does Labour’s internal polling which show it is in big trouble, two-and-a-half months out from the election.

The results show Labour is on 26 percent support – crashing from 34 percent in May. . . 

National is chugging along as usual – currently on 42 percent – then Labour (26 percent), the Greens (13 percent) and New Zealand First (14 percent). . .

The Roy Morgan poll released last night held better news for Labour:

The overall support for the governing National-led coalition was down 3.5% to 45.5% with National support down 3.5% to 43% while support for their Coalition partners was unchanged with Maori Party on 1.5%, Act NZ on 1% and United Future on 0%.

Support for a potential Labour/Greens alliance was up 4.5% to 44% driven by the 5% rise in support for Labour, now on 30.5%, while support for the Greens was down 0.5% to 13.5%. Support for New Zealand First was down 1% to 8%.

But that poll usually has bigger changes than the others and it’s the trend which matters.

The UMR polls shows a downward trend for both National and Labour.

That’s similar to what happened in 2002 when many voters didn’t think National, the bigger Opposition party, had a chance, but Labour, the main governing party,  didn’t benefit.

Act, NZ First and whichever iteration of what is now United Future was then, mopped up support instead.

This time neither Act nor United Future are gaining but NZ First is.

People tend to bank the good things a government does and the longer a party is in power the more people will take issue with what it does, or doesn’t do.

Even though polls continue to show a reasonable majority think the country is on the wrong right track, that might not be enough to return a stable, National-led government.


Mood of the nation puts Key on top


UMR’s annual mood of the nation report shows National with the highest rating since tracking started in 1991.

Even more notable is John Key’s rating:

During 2008 his favourability rating (“very favourable” or “somewhat favourable”) was consistently in the mid 60s, but it jumped to 75 per cent at the beginning of 2009 and then stayed in the high 70s throughout most of the year. Mr Key’s rating peaked at 80 per cent and then 81 per cent in June and October.

No other politician, in a series dating back to 1996, has recorded a favourability rating as high as that.

The proportion of voters with an unfavourable opinion (“somewhat unfavourable” and “very unfavourable”) was low for a politician, moving between 16 per cent and 20 per cent for most of the year.

However, his unfavourability rating climbed to 22 per cent towards the end of the year, reflecting the slight drop in National’s popularity.

This high positive and low negative rating would be notable at any time, but it’s even more of an achievement when it’s been such a tough year economically for the country and individuals.

What’s not to love?


In spite of the findings of the UMR survey  which found most rural people are happier with where they live that those in towns and cities, rural life isn’t for everyone.

A rural real estate agent told me she loves lifestyle blocks because people who buy them stay an average of three or four years then decide it’s not for them and put the property on the market again.

Some are put off when rosey dreams or rustic romance are thwarted by rural realities, like the former city slickers who was upset by what she thought was porn in the paddock. Some just find it’s not what they thought it would be.

 But for others, like Bevan and Sharon Shannon who moved from a 17th floor flat in Battersea, London to Eketahuna,  the transition from city to country more than lives up to expectations.

 I’ve lived in town and country – from Great Mercury Island with a then human population of nine , to London and enjoyed them all because it’s not just where you are but what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with that contributes to making you happy.

But, that said,  while I enjoy visiting towns and cities I’d prefer to live in the country and I think those of us who live in this part of the world are especially blessed.

Not convinced? Just look at at Peter Young’s  brilliant scenes of rural New Zealand and tell me what’s not to love:

 Hat Tip: Bull Pen

Happily rural


There’s no surprises in a UMR survey which found that rural residents are happier with their location than people who live in small towns, suburbs or city centres.

The UMR Research survey of 750 New Zealanders people aged 18 and over found 90 percent of rural residents would most like to live in a rural area.

. . . More people wanted to live in a rural area than did so, at 26 percent, while 22 percent wanted to live in a small town.

Fewer people wanted to live in the suburbs or central city than did so, with 39 percent keen on the suburbs and 11 percent on the central city.

More space, less traffic, fewer people, fresher air . . . why wouldn’t you be happier in the country?

UMR asks its own questions – yeah right


Do you believe that the company hired by the Labour Party to poll on its behalf just happened to ask it’s own questions?

No, nor does Inventory 2 over at Keeping Stock.

…but it seems that UMR has been asking questions of voters without sanction from the party that it is contracted to…  

The relevant questions are over Helen Clark’s handling of Winston Peters and the donations debacle and include one on whether she has been frim enough.

UMR has a professional reputation to maintain. Which is more likely: it blotted it’s copy book by asking a few random questions of its own devices or Helen Clark mis-spoke when she said neither she, her staff nor the party had authorised such polling?

Still not sure? Think about what the big issue of last week was and whether a party would want to know what the public thought of how it was handling it.

Labour didn’t give instructions about questions on that issue. Yeah right.

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