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Herald Digipoll

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, April 30th, 2008 - 32 comments
Categories: polls - Tags: , , ,

Today’s Herald Digipoll has National up 2 points and Labour down 2, a result the Herald describes as the “Nats pulling away”.

As ever you can’t read too much into a single poll, but the pattern continues to show National coming off the highs in the mid 50s it reached earlier this year and Labour regaining from its low 30s nadir. Now, polls are showing National in a range between mid 40s and low 50s, and Labour mid to high 30s.
Remember that this is actually much closer than it appears. If National sinks below that magic 47% mark it will have a very hard time finding coalition partners to govern with, while Labour has plenty of options if it is near 40%.
Commentators stuck in FPP thinking are writing ‘the phone is off the hook’ and other well-worn cliches, but this is MMP. What matters is the balance between left and right, and who the minor parties will work with, not which of the major parties has the most support. In reality, it is and always has been a close race.
It’s also worth pointing out that this poll is based on a sample size of only 769 respondents over three weeks. In comparison, the recent TV3 poll was taken between 1016 April and had a sample size of 1000.
Still, it’s not the kind of gap you want at this stage of the election cycle and the pressure will be on Labour to deliver in next month’s Budget.

32 comments on “Herald Digipoll”

  1. outofbed 1

    The results are from decided voters only. Undecided voters totalled 6.3 per cent of those polled. Significant ?

  2. Dan 2

    The right will be pushing for a referendum on MMP and aim for a return to the unfairness of FPP!
    My rereading of the Hollow Men continues. It should be compulsory reading for all New Zealanders. With the advantages of reflection and time since publication, it is amazing that nothing has been rebutted.

    And the same people are behind Key, who has so far failed to own up to his part in the deceptions.

    The hypocrisy of bleating on about the EFA…. don’t get me going!!

    Pulling away???? I don’t think so.

  3. Steve Pierson 3

    outofbed. What’s more significant in terms of poll accuracy is that the number of people who refuse to be polled is massive. Curia’s poll for Family First had a decline rate of 70% and I understand 30% is normal – if decliners are not a random section fo the voting population, but rather tend are more likely to have a poltiical affliation than those who participate, then the poll’s accuracy will be affected.

    Also, polling is done exclusively to landlines. I personally know of four households without a landline and the number is increasing nationally. the American theory is that these household are likely to be young, sophisicated, and liberal – Green voters – but (as they’re not polled) there’s little solid evidence.

  4. r0b 4

    Undecided voters totalled 6.3 per cent of those polled. Significant ?

    Probably not, given that it is small in comparison to the up to 70% of those contacted who decline to participate in polling.

  5. Tane 5

    Steve, even 30% is low – last I heard refusal rates have been rising and 60% plus is considered normal these days. David Farrar may have a better idea on this given it’s his specialty.

  6. Benodic 6

    I love how Peter Dunne is now being outpolled by both Christian Heritage and the Kiwi Party. That’s gotta hurt.

  7. Santi 7

    Keep up the unflinching optimism guys, but despite your never-die spirit the socialist Labour Party is headed for defeat in November.

    By the way, any comments regarding the sale of Wellington’s electricity network to Chinese investors. Some of you were very vociferous in your opposition to the Canadian bid for Auckland Airport, so where do you stand on this one?

    What are the fundamental differences between these two? Clark and Cullen made a pathetic attempt at explaining thist, so maybe you can improve on it.

  8. j 9

    “The right will be pushing for a referendum on MMP and aim for a return to the unfairness of FPP!”

    What’s the matter, afraid of a little direct democracy?

    Diddums!!!

    (sorry been dying to use that)

  9. Scribe 10

    Tane,

    What matters is the balance between left and right, and who the minor parties will work with, not which of the major parties has the most support. In reality, it is and always has been a close race.

    Doesn’t happen often, Tane, but I agree. People ask me (not sure why) who’s going to win the election. My response lately has been National will beat Labour, but not sure who will form the next government.

    Act and UF bring at least 2 more seats (assuming Peter and Rodney retain their electorate seats) to the “right”, but much will hinge on how large the overhang will be from the Maori Party.

    I can’t see Labour beating National numerically, but Helen and her friends could yet win politically.

    My passport’s valid just in case ;-)

  10. A coalition of Labour , Greens and the Maori Party ? If that happens I’m forecasting a big increase in one way flights to Australia in December.

  11. outofbed 12

    I agree there is no way that Labour is going to have more votes then National however lets not forget that Labour is polling less then 4% then its 2005 election night figures
    4% after nine years and a the bad press the incumbent Government is copping.
    National has basically hoovered up third party support.

    The Lab green vote has been consistently 45%- 46% at the last 3 elections
    Currently they are polling around 42.5% combined
    I would not be too surprised to see that 3-4% regained during an Election campaign
    It is going to be very close

  12. Felix 13

    “National has basically hoovered up third party support”

    They did this in 2005 also. It seems they’re determined to govern alone or not at all.

    Why?
    Perhaps because the plans they have for NZ will be impossible to get through the house if any other parties have a say?

  13. mike 14

    At first the bad polls for Labour were “rogue” polls, as they continue to be bad they are now “inaccurate”. Talk about spin.

    And of course National will bring back FFP when they are Govt. They would be fools not to.

  14. Billy 15

    You are quite right, mike. It is just impossible that the government is unpopular.

  15. Matthew Pilott 16

    And of course National will bring back FFP when they are Govt. They would be fools not to.

    Why would they be fools no to? Is it because it seems a majority of the NZ public favout the left side of the spectrum (historically), so they’d have a better chance of getting in by changing the system to clearly favour a minority – that’s a good one mike.

  16. Billy 17

    Changing the system to suit your politiavl ends? Surely no NZ government would do such a thing. Oh wait…

  17. outofbed 18

    You are quite right, mike. It is just impossible that the government is unpopular.

    But nevertheless the support for the Lab party is only 4% down on election night 2005
    I’m sorry thats not spin its a fact
    The situation remains close

  18. Phil 19

    Undecided voters have always tended to side with the ‘opposition’ parties. This has always been true, across time and across nations, though it’s more obvious to spot in true FPP elections

  19. Tane, you’re quite right – you can’t read too much into one poll. But whay about FIVE polls, all released within the last ten days, and all indicating roughly the same outcome

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/04/five-polls-cant-be-wrong.html

  20. DS 21

    “And of course National will bring back FFP when they are Govt. They would be fools not to.”

    Oh, definitely. National is evil, not stupid. They are very well aware that National winning an MMP election is far more difficult than National winning an FPP election.

  21. j 22

    “Why would they be fools no to? Is it because it seems a majority of the NZ public favout the left side of the spectrum (historically), so they’d have a better chance of getting in by changing the system to clearly favour a minority – that’s a good one mike.”

    This is inane. Stop representing it a fait acompli if the nats win as they simply can’t get rid of MMP like that. The relevent provision in the Electoral Act, s168, is an entrenched provision by vitrue if s268 which means they it requires a 75% vote of the house to pass, something that national will not get. So even though its only singulary entrenched and could therefore be easily repealed in theory, they won’t because national signed up in ’93 to support these restrictions by voting for the act.

    Your insistence on claiming that there are dark forces at work here shreds your credibility for reasoned anaylsis.

    And as for a referendom, if it is the will of the people then it is the will of the people unless you have a problem with democracy.

    Ok that enough revision for my public law test.

  22. outofbed 23

    iv 2 looked at it, saw this
    as an increasing body of scientific evidence debunks global warming
    This is so tiring blah blah blah link link link

    Polls, there are now 5 polls that show National way ahead of Labour

    So we have established without doubt that National is polling above Labour And I am absouletly 100% sure that National are going to poll
    higher then Labour up to and including the election so in 5 months you can say there has now been 30 polls showing that outcome

    However will that 13% average lead be maintained ?
    all that needs to happen is that lead to shrink to 7% and National are toast
    And if it doesn’t shrink and the Nats get in ?
    Well they have more or less exactly the same policies so unless Key is lying, it will be pretty much more of the same

  23. higherstandard 24

    OOB

    No surely not I thought it was now confirmed that National had a secret agenda regarding baby eating post winning the election.

  24. outofbed 25

    I don’t think its confirmed yet

  25. randal 26

    the local rag has 4 people in a vox popp agreeing that gst should be taken off food or something else (Code for vote national) but the point is the meedia are not to be trusted at the moment as they are exhibiting a right wing bias. Likewise their polls are highly suspect too and the real poll will be in November!

  26. higherstandard – don’t forget that when elected, John Key is going to trade the Beehive for a “Maui mansion”!!!!!

  27. Hoolian 28

    My rereading of the Hollow Men continues. It should be compulsory reading for all New Zealanders. With the advantages of reflection and time since publication, it is amazing that nothing has been rebutted.

    Well done, Dan. Your credibility has just fallen about 30 feet. Compulsory reading? Why? Because it shows how big players play political parties or because it shows up National as being brought out by business or because it reveals the National Party to be the big ugly, evil, child-eating monstrosity that you always suspected it was? If you think Hollow Men is so great, can I assume you’ll be reading Absolute Power by Wishart? Surely in your wisdom, you will read books on all sides of the spectrum or are you just another bias, narrow-minded hack who only reads opinions which believe what he wants to believe?

    And it hasn’t been rebutted because the main people Hollow Men refers to don’t actually care about it. Very similar to how Clark won’t be rebutting Absolute Power.

    The Lab green vote has been consistently 45%- 46% at the last 3 elections

    Sorry, but, out of bed, you are very off. The Greens haven’t been around all that long, and Labour has never polled higher than 41 per cent, not even in their hay day when we were all sick of the National-NZ First Government in the 1990s.
    Perhaps because the plans they have for NZ will be impossible to get through the house if any other parties have a say?
    All hail Felix the most insightful political commentator in New Zealand (minus, of course, his obnoxious attitude to regurgitate sanctimonious drivel). Nothing to say = bring out the Right-wing conspiracy.

    Why would they be fools no to? Is it because it seems a majority of the NZ public favout the left side of the spectrum (historically)

    Where do you lot get your ideas from? It’s so blatantly misguided. In the first MMP election in 1993, the centre-right won in a landslide with 53.32% of the votes, compared to 38.29% from the centre-left. There were similar patterns in later elections. And just because The Standard has decided NZ First is left-wing, doesn’t make that true. No matter which way the polls come in, you Lefties will always find a way to discredit it and your reasoning is going awol it’s a tad lame.

    But nevertheless the support for the Lab party is only 4% down on election night 2005

    Take your eyes off Labour for just one second and look at the whopping they’re getting from the other political party on 52.1%. Who cares where Labour was at on election night 2005, what was important was that they got the most votes. They sure aren’t on track for doing that this year. Not even in the lead up to the 1999 election has support for the Opposition been so high. Take off your blinkers and look about you.

  28. outofbed 29

    The Lab green vote has been consistently 45%- 46% at the last 3 elections
    Sorry, but, out of bed, you are very off. The Greens haven’t been around all that long

    1999 green 5.16
    2002 green 7.0
    2005 green 5.3

    I added it up and it definitely came to 3
    but I will double check
    No its 3

    Understand It is not important which party gets the most votes
    or you are going to be really really unhappy later this year

  29. Matthew Pilott 30

    j – I was simply pointing out what I thought was wrong with Mike’s proposition from an electoral-spectrum standpoint – I think you’re off on a wild tangent there. Ease up on the ‘credibility’ attacks until you can better comprehend what you’re attacking! I have no issue with a referendum on the issue.

    Hoolian. 2005 – call it pretty close to a draw, if we’re going with the centre as ‘neutral’ in this context (as opposed to who the centre actually went with – a bit bizarre but you insist).

    2002 – 47% left to 30% right, excluding the centre.

    1999 – 50% left to 37% right, excluding the centre.

    1996 – 38% left to 39% right, excluding the centre.

    So how you can surmise “There were similar patterns in later elections.” beats the hell out of me.

  30. DS 31

    “Where do you lot get your ideas from? It’s so blatantly misguided. In the first MMP election in 1993, the centre-right won in a landslide with 53.32% of the votes, compared to 38.29% from the centre-left.”

    What are you smoking?

    1993 (FIRST PAST THE POST) was Nats 35%, Labour 34%, Alliance 18%, NZ First 8%. National ended up with a one-seat majority, despite getting crushed by the combined votes of the left parties. So much for FPP.

    1996, which you may be referring to instead, was Nats 34%, Labour 28%, NZ First 13%, Alliance 11%, ACT 5ish%. A bit of a wash really, though you may also recall that NZ First ran on a platform of “getting rid of National”.

    On election night 1999, Labour/Alliance had a majority of seats, but lost it when the Greens got in after special votes (this being a minority government ever since). Labour + Alliance + Greens was light-years ahead of National + ACT.

    BTW, in the last 36 years, the only occasions National has really beaten Labour are 1975 and 1990. National’s other wins have either been with fewer votes than Labour (1978 and 1981), the result of extreme vote-splitting (1993), or betrayal (1996). And even in 1990, an MMP election would have resulted in a hung parliament (not sure about 1975, though the high vote for the Values Party might have made life interesting).

  31. dave 32

    1993 (FIRST PAST THE POST) was Nats 35%, Labour 34%, Alliance 18%, NZ First 8%. National ended up with a one-seat majority, despite getting crushed by the combined votes of the left parties. So much for FPP.
    Exactly. The minor parties got a third of the vote, with 65% of voters supporting parties other than National. The Alliance got 18.3% of the vote and just two seats. They would have got 23 seats under an MMP election and NZ First, who got 2 seats, would have had 10 seats. In 1990 National got 69% of the seats with just 48% of the vote.

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