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A big gap to close

Written By: - Date published: 9:12 pm, May 23rd, 2011 - 28 comments
Categories: election 2011, polls - Tags:

The latest Roy Morgan poll is not good reading for the political left.

Support for the government is at 57.5% (up 1.5%):
National Party 53% (up 0.5%)
Maori Party 2% (unchanged)
ACT NZ 2% (up 1%)
United Future 0.5% (unchanged)

Support for opposition parties is at 42.5% (down 1.5%)
Labour Party 28% (down 3%)
Greens 10% (up 2.5%)
New Zealand First 3% (down 1.5%)
Progressive Party 0.5% (unchanged)
Others 1% (up 0.5%)

On the Right, it’s interesting that this result completely discounts the dodgy Horizon “poll” that showed a big jump for ACT after the Brash take over. ACT are still languishing well below the 5% threshold, which has to be good news. The Mana Party is not yet included in the poll, so its potential impact on the Maori Party is still hard to assess. But in both cases National may be scratching for coalition partners.

On the left, while probably within margin of error, the loss from Labour seems to have gone to the Greens. But there’s no denying the 28% is bad news for Labour! Now is the time for the gap with National to start closing, thanks, not getting wider.

However, this poll reflects data collected to 15 May, so does not include either response to the sub-zero budget, or the first hints of Labour’s policy as revealed during the weekend Conference. With plenty of cracks now in Key’s armour, and the Nats’ total lack of ideas so thoroughly exposed by the budget, I still believe that the Left can and will win the November election. But, it’s a big gap to close.

28 comments on “A big gap to close”

  1. How come during every election year there are constant polls that show the Greens at 10%, and they normally end up getting 5.3-5.4% of the vote in the actual numbers.

    Seriously Rob, you actually think labour can win unless there is a major and I mean major scandal, national are a shoo in.

    • Jono 1.1

      Because a fair bit of the Green (& to a small extent, Labour) vote is made up of people who are less likely to go to the polls than the rest of the population, young people/students etc. That & i think all small parties vote share probably goes down a little bit on election day as opposed to polls because they’ve got less resources to identify and contact their supporters & then. help get them to the polls.

      But yeah, this poll is a bit of a bummer. I wish they’d stop asking if people will vote for the progressive though, given that Anderton isn’t standing at the election..

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        “given that Anderton isn’t standing at the election..”
         
        Have you got a confirmed quote on that? I see that it is often the presumption, but I’ve never actually seen it stated anywhere in the media. Before the 2008 election, he said that if he was elected, he would stay for the whole term regardless of whether Labour formed the government (and this was why he initially ran as a ‘part-time’ mayor in 2010). It’s wise to assume from that statement, that he’ll stand down from parliament. But as far as I know he hasn’t actually announced that that is what he’s doing. It’s also probable that back in 2007-2008 he was eyeing up a shot at the mayoralty anyway, but since he didn’t win, his ideas may have changed.

    • Ari 1.2

      The Greens tend to overpoll for the same reasons they tend to be well-represented in special votes: Green supporters as a whole are just far more interested and active than the general population among people likely to be polled, and thus more likely to answer surveys or polling questions. It’s also the issue that it’s hard to get an accurate read on a party that’s not polling a significant amount of the electorate, too, and there are issues with youth turnout on election day, and the possibility that people want to want to be Green more than they actually want to be Green.

      • Alwyn 1.2.1

        I don’t think it’s that people “want to be Green” but that they think that they look better if they are seen to be Green. They will reply to a poll by trying to appear to be liberally minded and what they think is socially respectable and responsible. It works even though they have never met, and almost certainly never will meet the person doing the questioning
        In the polling booth however, where no one can see them, they revert to reality and vote their pocket-book. That’s why the actual Green party vote is only about two thirds of their poll figures just before and just after an election.
        The same effect shows up when people are asked about charitable donations. I can’t find an on-line reference but the number of, and value of, charitable donations people claim to make vastly exceeds the real values that are given.
        I think the Green party will, as usual, get about two-thirds of their polling figures. If their poll numbers drop below 7% they will be sweating.

    • Armchair Critic 1.3

      You’re sort of right, Brett, Labour won’t win the election. Everyone knows elections in NZ are lost, not won. If National keep doing what they are doing, and if Labour get their shit together, National will lose the election.
      The unknown variable is Labour getting their shit together.
      And six months is a long time.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    As Rob says, this poll is not about the Budget. It’s probably not even about policy.

    Part of it may be Key’s photo-op wedding, but I suspect there’s also the “Hodgson Effect.” If Labour want non-issues like the DPS to be their line of attack, then they’re askng not to be taken seriously. The Greens have avoided going down that path, and have deservedly picked up support from Labour.

    Fortunately, Labour have (post-Budget) now decided to focus on policy, policy, policy. That was always the smarter thing to do, and pretty much everyone who supports Labour understood this, except – unfortunately – some deluded fools in the Labour caucus. Let’s hope even they now get the message. Attack Key on substance. God knows, there’s enough opportunities there.

    TV One are polling this week, so I expect you’ll see a different result on Sunday – provided Labour can just stick to their knitting for a week. And then keep doing it, for six months.

  3. Jim Nald 3

    A landline for pollsters to phone me: nice to have

  4. Peter 4

    Goff has the luxury of taking some risks. Mind you are believe elections are lost by the incumbent not won by the opposition.

  5. ak 5

    Ashly r0b, I think it’s the lovliest poll I’ve seen since Jim Bolger mused that apartheid might be a good system. This is the judgement day poll for Brash and his puppeteers: the poll that tells us that racist dogwhistling is no longer a political tool for the Right. A Golden day for progression.

    And aye, 28% looks ugly, but remember those three little words: Em em pee. And consider that the ACTorrhoids will shrivel back up home without another blatant electoral rort (which is looking more and more unacceptable – and that if it’s mooted, Labour should do the same for Winnie) and that the Maori Party will never (and never would have) enable a NAT-led government.

    That leaves the gap around 10% – a mere one-in-twenty to swing – all totally dependent on a single, vulnerable individual. Whose reaction to real pressure will be revealing, if not spectacular.

    And now the king issue of selling our golden geese is confirmed. Hammering Asset Sales and hard work on the street for a big turnout could do it: ignore the media, churn out those leaflets, chuck in a massive native-tree planting programme and a continuous coastal Queen’s Chain and we’re home.

    • Gus 5.1

      At this stage of the game I wouldn’t count on that ak. To date apart from the take over and Brash’s letter to Key there hasn’t really been a lot of coverage of ACT. I don’t recall even seeing any press statements following the budget.

      I suspect that they’re still re-organising following their coup however once that is complete and they start campaigning that you will see a lot more dog whistling. Personally I won’t be surprised if Act end up around 5-7% especially if Mana start to get any traction as you will see White/middle class voters look to Act at some sort of counter to the “scary maori” vote.

  6. ZeeBop 6

    Its the farmers have to export and we if that means child poverty so be it.

    The MSM framing today.

    Farmers can’t afford the ETS, well some will, the ones who put the
    effort in to secure NZ as the low carbon farm producer of the 21st.

    Crafer is held up as the ‘whole industry’, its not. Crafer was the biggest
    debtor there was, having brought countless farms leveraging debt.

    Now I don’t care if a few more farms go to the wall, its not like
    we haven’t defaulted home owned. There’s always some pain, and
    it should be the individuals, and farms, that have the most debt
    exposure. Duh.

    Anyway when did it become the newsspeak media job to slam the
    opposition party as putting the whole of the farming industry in
    jeopardy because Labour wanted to invest the money in paying
    citizens a living wage?

    Obviously we should not be running the country from what the
    farmers say, or a few might hurt more in the pocket. If it
    costs to much to make milk then there’s lots of other stuff
    to grow or breed.

    Its astonishing that our media believe that we think we can’t have
    both good farm profits and also high wages. Of course we can.
    The people who will hurt won’t be the farmers, it will be
    the speculative capital gains farmers and their currency trader cohort.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      If farming is that uneconomic, the farmers should leave the land.

      There are plenty of other NZ’ers who will be happy to take their farms over, don’t they know.

      What a bunch of Farmers Union crock.

  7. Well fuck it.

    I am going to proceed on the sound factual basis that this Government is terrible for ordinary kiwis and that if kiwis have enough information they will realised that they are being screwed.

    And I am going to question the accuracy of the polls on the basis that many of the poor people that I know do not have landlines and are not polled and the only poor people who do have landlines are elderly and more conservative.

    And I will be reinforced in my view by the many people that I have spoken to who admit voting National but realise that they made a mistake and will now vote Labour/Green. 

    And I am going to continue to provide information and campaign and talk to people and show them what is actually happening.

    And I am going to hope that not enough people are going to be sucked into the superficial irrelevant contrived presentation of what is happening that is provided by MSM.

    And on election night I will relish watching John Key say “bugger the polls” or I will fear for my country.

  8. Sookie 8

    I know the people of Epsom obviously aren’t very bright, because they dutifully voted for the Dancing Orc, but John Banks? He’s a grumpy old man, been around forever, and got his arse kicked in the Auckland elections. Is there a chance they’ll all go ‘meh’ and vote National? And though I don’t hope for Labour to gain 10 points in six months, I’d love to see the Maori Party wiped off the face of the earth by Mana and a Labour resurgence. Then the Nat’s would be screwed.

  9. Olwyn 9

    What you say is heartening mickeysavage: after watching the TV3 news and seeing the poll result on line my only thought was “Where in the hell am I living?” Zeebop has mentioned the farmers who claim to be unable to afford ETS,. TV3 concentrated on a female farmer with what she called a small holding who said she would probably have to sell up if this came to pass. Next were a bunch of businessman who claimed that they would not be able to afford to pay a minimum wage of $15 per hour. Then the poll, and all I could think was “What the…”

    What’s with people who are doing OK themselves thinking that others ought to be made to make do with subhuman circumstances?

    What’s with so many people in a low-wage, failing economy, where many are losing their jobs, saying “I’m going to vote for the Tories” when the pollster calls?

    I just don’t get it.

  10. Afewknowthetruth 10

    Those who wish to see the back of National seem to have forgotten that the economy will suddenly start to come right about 3 months before the election (whatever the actual data indicates), enabling the government to promise tax cuts if re-elected. It happens with boring regularity every election cycle.

    Politics has nothing to do with managing the economy or protecting the environment. Politics is all about managing the livestock.

  11. tc 11

    Yup it’s sure easy to manage the livestock with able shepherds and drovers like Granny, TVNZild, a toothless RNZ etc and some of the most low brow dog whistling endless stream of ‘pundits’ like coddington/woodham/holmes/laws etc

    It’s clever not specifying the billions in cuts, after your mates in the MSM have generally not bothered chasing you for that pesky detail, come time to vote the swinging middle ground will wonder what all the fuss was about….. the ‘it didn’t target me anyway…..or did it?’

    Labour can win but it’s (yes you phildo) got to go against type, get visceral, stop lecturing and sloganise and put some controlled agression into it, isn’t that what true believers do…..jeez it’s not like there’s a lack of f’n material.

    Like I’m gutted to be funding the clown it cuts both ways to fund an opposition leader not prepared to do what it takes…..come on phildo it’s your only shot at it buddy, do you want it enough ?

  12. logie97 12

    Don’t know much about polls. Do know a little bit about canteen and sporting and social club bar conversations. And I have heard surprising comments from people who 6 months ago were firmly in the Key camp. The budget for one has not been well received. The “trust” and respect for politicians of the right has been truly tainted by this one, mainly around the cynical “after the election” measures. The suggestions are that if the debt is so bad, you would try to take immediate action and not delay your medicine for a year. I suspect that the percentage of “no comments” might grow markedly in the next one.

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    The Left must give its support a reason to turn out.

    80% of New Zealanders earn less than $60,000 p.a. and they are getting kicked in the teeth over and over again by NAC.

    Give them no excuse to stay indoors November 26.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    Just to repeat … all the polling for this one was before the Budget. Starting 3 weeks ago, in fact.

  15. Oleolebiscuitbarrel 15

    I started reading this blog in 2007. Pretty early on there was a poll that was unfavorable to the Left. Everyone agreed that the poll was rogue. Or didn’t take into account certain crucial recent events. Or that people would wake up at any moment.

    No change then.

    • Craig Glen Eden 15.1

      Well what has changed is Keys little MSM chorus squad is starting to go dirty on him.Key can only bullshit for so long and the facts are now starting to mount against the smile and wave pre- rehearsed lines.
      Also what I hear is people on the street are realizing the really rich have got richer and everyone else is struggling. Sooner or latter the worm will turn and six months is time enough the question is can Phil make it happen.

  16. outofbed 16

    Goff!

  17. Terry 17

    New Zealand is at the bottom of the world. Now New Zealand IS the bottom of the world, deservedly so. Voters appear to take pride in the all-time high and massive deficit and the staggering levels of borrowing. Key has only one thing going for him, that he manages affairs of the country just finely enough not to hurt the huge and well-off middle-classes. But he is sailing close to the wind! How many are delighted by the prospect of yet more asset sales? It is regrettably likely to be a long time before they finally wake up to Muldoon Model No. 2. (but worse).
    Our selfish voters ought to hang their heads in shame. Utterly self-preoccupied and frighteningly insensitive to those slogging through hard times.

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