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The Standard

Polling merry-go-round

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, March 20th, 2013 - 28 comments
Categories: election 2014, polls - Tags: ,

February’s Roy Morgan had the Nats up and Labour down, prompting Zetetic’s post “Latest Roy Morgan… a bit shit“. The Roy Morgan out yesterday had National down 4 to 43.5, Labour up 2 to 32.5, Greens up 1 to 13.5, and overall a projected win for the left.

So that’s a bad Roy Morgan followed by a good one. We’ve been here before, exactly the same pattern in the two before these, a bad one (with a Zet post) followed by a good one (and my post focusing on the long term trend).

From which I guess we can conclude that (1) our mate Zet is a pessimist, while (2) I’m a foolish optimist, and (3) the margin of error makes individual polls a mad merry-go-round that we shouldn’t get too excited about. Here’s another analysis of the trend in Roy Morgan polls…

roy morgan labour greens v nats 3

28 comments on “Polling merry-go-round”

  1. David H 1

    Yep we are on a seesaw 32.5 to 30.5 back to 32.5 and down again ad infinitum it seems. What a pity that they can never hit 35 as that will throw little Davey off the seesaw.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      I wouldn’t be adverse to a drop to 25 and dumping big Davey off…

      • Alanz 1.1.1

        As my good friend who votes Natz (and I don’t hold that against him!) says:
        Shearer is Labour’s liability and National’s asset.

        • Anne 1.1.1.1

          Which of course is why Matthew Hooton, Michelle Boag et al went all out to bolster Shearer’s chances at the time of the leadership contest. It was extraordinary! A couple of die-hard Tories telling the Labs who to vote for (as if it was their Party) and a majority of the Lab caucus fell for it.

  2. Daveo 2

    Roy Morgan’s trademark is its lack of insight into NZ politics. They can do the polling fine, but their analysis is always well off-beam. Their mistake is to assume Winston would automatically choose to play third-fiddle to Labour and the Greens rather than second-fiddle to the Nats.

    Also, any political analysis of polls needs to remember that if David Shearer’s still leader he’ll almost certainly drop a few points for Labour in the campaign. So long as Labour’s more than 10 points out from National we should be very worried.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Yep. This polling seems to project a win for Winston Peters above all else, if we’re not careful.

      We’ll know that we have found a winning streak with Labour if they score 3 polls out of 4 above 35%. But currently, that is still a faraway dream.

      Currently it’s more like 3 polls out of 4 sit between 30% and 34%.

      • Matthew Hooton 2.1.1

        Interesting new poll in Herald today. Labour up to 36.4%, above the 35% you cite as important. Also, Shearer up 6 points to 18.5%, which is a very good number for an opposition leader against a popular prime minister (compare what Bolger got against Lange in mid-late 1980s, or Clark against Bolger when the in mid 1990s.) See http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10872574 Remember also that recent history suggests the polls overstate National’s support by a point or two and this poll is yet another suggesting Shearer will be prime minister of a Labour/Green government by the end of next year. (Note though the poll was taken before the carpark tax and UN bank account issues.)

        • Andre 2.1.1.1

          Hey Matthew did Helen goose you somtime ?I cannot remember you saying anything to refrence labour without Aunty Helen woven into the mire.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.2

          Labour up to 36.4%, above the 35% you cite as important.

          Let’s see if they make it 3 out of 4 polls Matthew. You did see that National’s numbers also firmed to a single party rule 49% right?

          Also note those thresholds were for the Roy Morgan, and not really transferable to other polls who tend to run consistently higher or lower numbers for Labour.

  3. karol 3

    I’m not much of a political poll watcher/analyst. At this stage of the electorate cycle each poll is a bit like reading the tea leaves.

    But this Morgan Poll is interesting:

    NEW ZEALAND REAL UNEMPLOYMENT UP 0.6% TO 9.4% &
    A FURTHER 11.6% OF WORKFORCE UNDER-EMPLOYED – THE HIGHEST RECORDED

    And below the main results, there’s a break down of the differences between Roy Morgan’s polls on workforce, unemployment etc, and that of Stats NZ.

  4. Matthew 4

    The part i thought was interesting was, in complete contrast to the last poll that saw NAT up which was shouted from the rooftops by the MSM, this one was completely ignored.

  5. Skinny 5

    Not reading too much into the current polling. I see the next election as a landslide victory to the Labour/Green combo.

     Peters will have to declare his running mates sometime mid next year, which would have to be L/G or his support will collapse. Labour need to sort him out or force his hand. Can’t have him playing the tune again.

    National have been doing a great job of getting the slackers (800,000) no show voters from the last election to get out & vote. It will be the telling blow make my words.

    • Skinny 5.1

      *mark

    • alwyn 5.2

      Why on earth do you say that “Peters will have to declare his running mates …”?
      He never has done so before and I can see no reason at all why he is going to now.
      To say that you will only support one party simply makes you a hostage to that party’s policies, and fortunes. It was a mistake made by the Green party, in my view, during the Fitzsimmons/Donald era. At that time, with the focus of the party being on environmental rather than economic issues it was unnecessary as they could easily have argued that they could work with either Labour or National. It would have given them some leverage on the Labour Government.
      Peters was never so silly as to lock himself into the thrall of another party and isn’t silly enough to do so now. What on earth is wrong with him proclaiming his own party’s policies and saying he will work with whatever other parties will help him achieve them?
      If you say, before an election that you will only co-operate with, say, Labour you will simply lose half the support you might have. Anyone who wants a National led Government now will have no reason at all to vote for you.

      • framu 5.2.1

        not that what you are saying is wrong there alwyn – but IMO it wouldve looked weirder if the greens had said “um.. national? yeah why not”

        its no secret who the greens allies are and its no secret that the chances of nats and greens getting on as a govt are nill

        also – wasnt there a bit of a public mood for pre-decleration at the time?

        of course none of what ive said applies to winnie now, then or later on

        • alwyn 5.2.1.1

          You will note that I said that the Green Party of the Fitzsimmons/Donald era could have gone with National. Donald of course died in 2005.
          They were primarily concerned with the environment and I don’t think that there was really that much difference between Labour and National on that issue in the 2000 – 2005 period.
          It couldn’t happen now as the current Green Party leadership are concentrating on economic rather than environmental issues these days and are taking a left leaning line.
          My personal view of Winston, assuming that he gets back in and is the Kingmaker, is that he would prefer to be second string in a two team boat than a third string tag-along. His price would of course be a knighthood. Do you think Labour would guarantee him that?
          Mind you anyone trying to get along with Winston is sure to get trouble. It’s happened three times already.

          • ak 5.2.1.1.1

            Doubt it alwyn. The tory/media machine nearly killed him in 08 over nothing at all because his rhetoric had made it very clear he would never support them. If you’ve eaten already, check out eg what Hooters said at the time.

            Near-death experiences are hard to forget and forgive, and at his age it’s like yesterday. Which of course won’t stop the machine from desperately wooing Winnie by repeating ad nauseam the very motives you impute.

            Way to win friends, Johnny no-mates & co: call him selfish and venal.

  6. Matthew 6

    Again, interestingly this morning on stuff.co.nz they make a big deal about a herald-digipoll showing high support for Key, while adding the (contradictory) results of the Roy Morgan poll in a little paragraph at the bottom of the article. This kind of polling & resulting headlines makes a complete mockery of the polling system overall. I would personally be very supportive of a complete ban on political polls conducted by media organisations, especially in the leadup to an election.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      ban their publication in the 30 days leading up to an election. Have the results available on a website however (but results not publishable or discussable in the media; just the name of the website can be mentioned).

      AT ALL OTHER TIMES if you want to run and publish any political poll in the nation wide media it must meet approved standards. Specifically: the number of don’t knows, the number of refuse to participate, the number of refuse to answer the individual question must all be published, along with the detailed poll methodology (landline, internet, etc).

      • Matthew 6.1.1

        I absolutely agree with this. We have seen the damage that media-driven polling can do to the voting public, and Australia has a similar ban in place already.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Democracy ain’t perfect, but it can be much better than it is currently.

          • pollywog 6.1.1.1.1

            Secure on line voting and polling by txt…FTW!!!

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              No online voting. Ever.

              • pollywog

                Why not?

                If it’s secure enough for banking why not voting/polling?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Who the frak said it’s secure enough for banking? I suppose you think a 4 digit pin is safe enough for ATMs?

                  • pollywog

                    It’s secure enough to start with. Always from for improvement but if you want to improve voting stats for the slacker generation then you’re gonna have to interact on their terms…and that means online and by txt.

                    Alternatively just keep letting the babyboomers maintain the balance of power cos gen x doesn’t really give a fuck.

    • vto 6.2

      Who owns the Herald?

      Follow the money ………

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