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Polls and elections

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, May 19th, 2012 - 21 comments
Categories: election 2014, polls, wages, winston peters - Tags: ,

Another poll to add to current mix. Not a big shift, but in the right direction, and getting the right kinds of headline:

National support slips further – poll

Support for John Key’s National Party has fallen 2.5 per cent in the latest Roy Morgan political poll, suggesting a Labour-Greens-NZ First alliance would have the best chance of governing if an election was held today.

The poll of 894 voters conducted between April 30 and May 13 found support for National was 44.5 per cent, down 2.5 points from the previous poll. … Support for Labour was 1.5 points higher at 30 per cent, the Greens were unchanged at 15 per cent and Winston Peter’s NZ First was up half a point to 5.5 per cent. Together they had 50.5 per cent.

Meanwhile Cabbage Boat Banks completes the destruction of the Act “Party”:

Mr Banks’ Act Party was down half a point to zero per cent while the Maori Party was also down half a point at one per cent.

It’s a mere 2.5 years until the election, so naturally some reporting has been all excited about the prospect of “Winston the Kingmaker”. Spare me do. There is, unfortunately, a lot of water that needs to pass under the bridge before we the people get our say again, and almost anything could happen to Winston.  I’m hoping and expecting that 2014 will yield a Labour / Green coalition with no need for Peters.

This government has burned Key’s credibility, bungled the economy, and it doesn’t have anything else left in the locker. Even so (and from what I’ve seen internally of Labour’s review) Labour isn’t going to sit about and wait for the next election to fall in to their lap. They’ll be out there earning it. They’ll be putting the spotlight on National’s record:

Wage gap grows $1 a month – Labour

The wage gap with Australia is growing by a dollar every month, Labour says. Finance spokesman David Parker is citing the latest Australian statistics, which he says shows the average weekly wage across the Tasman has increased by $22.16 since National came to power in 2008. … “Wages in New Zealand aren’t growing,” he said.

“Closing the wage gap with Australia was a cornerstone of National’s 2008 election promises – the government has stopped talking about it.”

Another  dollar every month – that’s the cost of a National government. And that’s the kind of simple, powerful message that wins elections.

21 comments on “Polls and elections”

  1. Stephen Doyle 1

    Long term trends are looking goog for Labour

  2. dd 2

    I think next election will still be close.

    The reason is the nasty streak running through NZ that loves benefit bashing and pushing the other crabs in the barrel down beneath them.

    Every time National comes out with a policy attacking a minority the majority of NZ cheers.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      The reason is the nasty streak running through NZ that loves benefit bashing and pushing the other crabs in the barrel down beneath them.

      I thought the reason might be the lack of convincing leadership from Labour on an alternative economic and social agenda for the future of this country.

      But you might still be right.

      • dd 2.1.1

        There’s truth in that. But I also have a bit of sympathy for Labour. I feel that unless the media thinks the public care about what Labour thinks they will give them very little press time.

        So I guess the question becomes how does Labour become more visible. I don’t think this is just down to Shearer. Sure, if he was a big controversial character he’d make more impact. But is that what NZ wants as a leader of the country? Maybe.

        Anyway, I think Labour need to think outside the box as the Greens did at the last election. For example, the shark dive at kelly tarltons. It’s gimmicky but it serves a purpose.

        I would suggest organising a big free concert in Auckland. Focused on Labour being the positive party. Hope for the future etc.

        Once there is interest in the party then get the strategy out there.

        Just my point of view.

        • Vicky32

          I don’t think this is just down to Shearer. Sure, if he was a big controversial character he’d make more impact. But is that what NZ wants as a leader of the country?

          Agreed! Why do some people seem to want Shearer to be just like Key? Soundbites on everything, and being an attack dog. Not what I want!

        • Dr Terry

          The Greens have been steadfastly getting on with just that which you ask from Labour, no gimmicks, but thoughtful opinion and policy. No individual leader should emulate Key by adopting his tactic of “big, brave, sole ruler and judge”. Power must be shared, with every politician standing strong in cooperation with the designated “leader”. Tories have built their singular idol, now, bit by bit, they are seeing it crumble – and a falling idol infuriates its worshippers (slowly, but surely in the long run).

      • Bill 2.1.2

        There will be no ‘alternative economic and social agenda for the future of this country’ coming from Labour.

        As is iterated time after time, National are merely mismanaging the economy. The implication from that oft stated analysis/conclusion is that Labour accepts basic economic ‘truths’ and will merely manage them differently. (More ‘putting the brakes on’ and selling the idea that merely going down the gurgler slower is somehow the same as reaching for the sky.)

        And Labour will (as it has done previously) manage those on welfare entitlements with the same goal in mind as National – denigrate them to marginalise them to the point of effective social exclusion.

        Bottom line is that National are managing the economy just fine and the point that is missed again and again is that you and me are now spare ‘bit pieces’ in the scheme of things. We are to be content working and slaving and struggling on our way downhill in order that the already powerful become more powerful and the already wealthy become more wealthy.

        Where has Labour indicated that it holds views or is developing strategies to counter that basic dynamic?

        They have made some noises about how we must work harder and smarter to deliver better efficiencies. But what does that mean? We have no manufacturing capacity, so does their ‘big idea’ rest on some notion of selling design and innovation to the countries now in possession of the manufacturing capacities that used to be here?

        Two glaring deficiencies become immediately apparent in any such notion. Firstly, unskilled and semi skilled workers are not a part of that equation. And secondly, it’s not as though NZ or NZers possess some innate ability to be innovative that is lacking in people living elsewhere. (And where does the feedback come from for all this ‘pie in the sky’ innovation if not from the manufacturing sector…the manufacturing sector we no longer have.)

        Remember how export orientated businesses operating in niche markets would deliver wealth untold to any country that had the foresight to venture down that path? And how the export model was imposed on many countries through S.A.P.s? And how any short term advantage was obliterated as ‘everyone’ trashed their domestic capabilities to play the export game?

        Well, what’s the difference between that export model (of ‘real stuff’ you can pick up and use) and this notion of exporting ideas or innovation? Tiz all bollox.

        • Draco T Bastard


          As shown by the numbers over the last few decades capitalism uses increased productivity to reward the rich and punish the poor. That’s why wages have stagnated over the last few decades. Labour are complicit in this wealth transfer and their path since Shearer has been to be more like NACT.

      • fatty 2.1.3

        “I thought the reason might be the lack of convincing leadership from Labour on an alternative economic and social agenda for the future of this country.”

        That’s true…at the last election Labour were complaining that nobody was talking policy. Now they have a leader without a policy. Maybe he does have a policy somewhere, but just struggles to explain it due to his inability to form sentences. Is that why he walks around with his guitar…save us from having to listen to him avoid talking politics?
        Not much difference between Key and Shearer for me…’dumb & strummer’ as far as I’m concerned.
        Zizek would say NZ may as well have a berlusconi.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    To my mind the current government is the linear carry-on of the loathed Bolger/Shipley regime of 1996-99. I also think that the next election is shaping in some ways as a repeat of 1996. Remember, National had won in 1990 on the back of a pack of lies. Only FPP and the civil war on the left as it struggled to eject the cancer of the neo-liberals saved Bolger in 1993.

    The general expectation of the electorate in 1996 was that a Labour-Alliance-NZ First block would form the government after that election, only Peter’s treachery kept the Nat’s in power. It also saw the United party – a seriously undemocratic bunch of waka-jumpers with no mandate – wiped out as a serious political force and become merely a vehicle for Peter Dunne to collect a fat government salary. The key thing about 1996 was that – no matter what the pro-National spinners in the media tell us – the public were quite prepared for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th polling parties (Labour, Alliance, NZ First) to form a government to keep 1st (National) out.

    I am pretty sure 2014 will see a repeat of that aspect of 1996 – National will poll higher than Labour but Labour and the Greens between them will have an edge. I am hoping they’ll be able to form a government without Winston, but even if NZ first is the “Kingmaker” I doubt Winston Peters will repeat his mistake of 1996 – going with National then destroyed his party.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      I’m expecting more like 40% for National with sufficient allies to get them to 45%. Clearly not enough for a government.

    • jack 3.2

      Winston is older and I think he wants to change his image. I agree. He won’t make the same
      mistake twice. Key has been trying everything in the book to get rid of Winston, even giving
      him an overseas jobs, there’s more antimosity between him and Key than in the 90’s. Winston will probably take the same tact as in 2011. I voted for him because I knew he would be a great opposition to Key. So far, I am glad I did.

  4. red blooded 4

    I think education is likely to be a big election issue. These maggots don’t seem to be capable of appreciating any state service and their attacks on state schools and on teachers are getting to be extreme. Charter schools were bad enough (Hey – I know; let’s improve education by setting up schools that opt out of the NZ curriculum, ‘brand’ their students and push them in one direction rather than allowing them the chance to set their own directions and don’t require their teachers to be trained or qualified!). Now we have class sizes going up – and that’s going to affect all people with kids in state or integrated schools. It has obvious effects – less personal interaction with kids, less time to focus on individual needs, longer time needed for marking (so possibly less work taken in), more crowed classrooms, more opportunities for bullying and misbehaviour in a class in which the teacher’s attention may well be elsewhere, the probability that classes will be less able to provide individualised learning pathways anew will go back to the ‘chalk and talk’ approach with students being treated as a group of people with the same learning styles and the pace of learning the same for all… You get the picture.

    On top of that, National Standards are being used for the purpose the primary teachers always knew they were actually being imposed for, and so-called ‘performance pay’ being imposed on all teachers. This, of course, ignores the fact that teachers already have to meet yearly performance standards in order to progress up the pay scale and then to maintain registration. At present, these standards are professionally developed and expressed in the standards of the Teachers’ Council and in the collective agreements that most teachers are employed under. This approach basically has teachers required to meet professional standards. The big difference now, though, is that teachers will be in competition for a limited pot of ‘bonus’ money. Of course, teaching is a collegial profession – people learn from each other, share resources, give practical support when colleagues are struggling with relationships or managing the behaviour of particular students, especially when they are affecting the learning of others… A well functioning school is one in which their is a high level of collegial support.

    To add insult to injury, teachers’ unions (which are also our professional associations) were told of these plans through the media. (Although of course this is an issue that has been argued out before and that never quite goes away, particularly when there is a National government.)

    There is no association between bonus pay and improved educational outcomes. In fact, most research shows a negative association. And as for claims that larger classes don’t matter…

    Anyway, this is a set of issues that affect a huge number of people and it’s something that Labour should be shouting about now and keeping on shouting about.

    I’ll also be watching very carefully to see how much of this extremist crap Labour will repeal when they next get a chance.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      These maggots don’t seem to be capable of appreciating any state service…

      State provided services don’t make profits for them or their rich mates. State paid for services provided by said rich mates are government guaranteed profit makers though.

    • ianmac 4.2

      Agreed red blooded. Well said all.

  5. Jimmie 5

    “”Labour isn’t going to sit about and wait for the next election to fall in to their lap. They’ll be out there earning it. They’ll be putting the spotlight on National’s record””

    If Labour want to win the next election they need to do more than just point out National’s shortcomings.

    2011 was all about this and Labour lost.

    For Labour/Greens to win they have to offer a credible alternative to the National policy menu.

    Pointing out faults isn’t enough they have to offer a suitable leader and policy program to take NZ forward. If they don’t, it doesn’t matter what dodgy stuff the Nats have done it won’t be enough to win.

    Also the easy way of offering an alternative policy by offering to spend extra mega billions won’t wash especially if the world heads into a second recession – there has to be a program built around current revenues only.

    As Mr Robins above rightly points out above there is a long time to the next election and no one with much of a crystal ball can guestimate what economic conditions will prevail at the time.

    The following factors may all have a bearing on NZ in 2014:

    Christchurch rebuild
    Asset selldown success or failure
    Commodity prices – currently heading down fast but may swing again
    Exchange rate – currently heading down – good for exporters but consumers good will become more expensive
    China’s economy – world wide recession may hit their exports and property bubble
    Aussie economy – a lot of talk currently that their economy is over regulated an inefficient and with mining prices coming back may effect job prospects for migrants there.
    Returning migrants – if many expats do come home how will this afffect NZ? More consumption vs need for more jobs/benefits?
    Europe – what mess will it be in by 2014?
    Middle East – is there going to be a war with Iran between now and then?
    US economy/election – the US doesn’t look like their deficit/debt problems will be sorted anytime soon.

    Voters aren’t silly and will know that a lot of the above cannot be influenced by the government.

    When Labour’s spokespeople comment on current issues instead of just denouncing government policy they need to offer an alternative i.e. we don’t believe blah blah blah is the right thing to do, this is what we think should be done instead – otherwise it just gives credence to the notion of Labour being the ‘nasty party.’

    • BillODrees 5.1

      Jimmie, well written.

      “When Labour’s spokespeople comment on current issues instead of just denouncing government policy they need to offer an alternative i.e. we don’t believe blah blah blah is the right thing to do, this is what we think should be done instead – otherwise it just gives credence to the notion of Labour being the ‘nasty party’.”

      All Labour MPs should be acting as lightening rods for the public’s unease. The public want to hear that we have relevant policies. MPs should have 5 or so public meetings a year in their electorate. We all know we have good policies. We just need to communicate them: passionately, publicly and regularly. And without too much “on-message” control crap from the Leader’s office.

      • Olwyn 5.1.1

        What policies?
        These are the policies I have gleaned, correct me if I am wrong, or have missed one.

        (1) Retain CGT, not sure at what level.
        (2) Retain assets that are not yet sold.
        (3) Be thrifty.
        (4) Offer free contraception to all, rather than just beneficiaries – not sure if this is a policy or a suggestion.

        As well as the less than fully articulated suggestion that teachers and beneficiaries may not be entirely spared the firing line.

        I am actually a member of the LP, not “one of those people who never vote Labour and have it in for the LP,” hanging on by a thread, waiting with baited breath for policy or positioning that means something under the present circumstances. I took heart from Cunliffe’s speech to his electorate, only to lose it again when it was disowned by the top team. Only to lose it further when Shearer continued to prevaricate and change the focus of questions when interviewed about it.


        It ought not to be that hard, under the present circumstances, to form and articulate a centre-left position that offers hope and yet does not render the party unelectable. However, according to reports, Cunliffe’s modest attempt at doing so was dismissed as “naive and stupid.” With no follow-up as to what sort of positioning would not be seen as naive and stupid.

  6. BillODrees 6

    “When Labour’s spokespeople comment on current issues instead of just denouncing government policy they need to offer an alternative i.e. we don’t believe blah blah blah is the right thing to do, this is what we think should be done instead – otherwise it just gives credence to the notion of Labour being the ‘nasty party’.”

    All Labour MPs should be acting as lightening rods for the public’s unease.  The public want to hear that we have relevant policies. MPs should have 5 or so public meetings a year in their electorate.  We all know we have good policies. We just need to communicate them: passionately, publicly and regularly. And without too much “on-message” control crap from the Leader’s office. 

  7. Talk seriously to the Greens, for without them we cannot govern after 2014. We will not need Winston.
    The Greens are sitting back smiling currently as they get their pointers across in the media and we do not.
    We only squabble.
    Let’s have some positive ideas not neagtives all the time.

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    Heres a positive for you. Lets have a clean out of some of the current Labour MPs who dont listen to members when voting for leader. The membership needs to have more say and the Labour MPs need to be given a good dose of they are there because of the members not the other way round. The caucus continues to shoot it self in the foot with petty jealousy. Its like watching a bloody rerun of the Titanic and yup many of our Mps would be sitting listening to the music, mean while the Nats sell the what ever they can.

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