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The Fairfax Ipsos Poll result

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, February 15th, 2014 - 65 comments
Categories: polls - Tags:

The latest Fairfax Ipsos poll result has attracted attention in Open Mike.  Vern Small has interpreted the results as suggesting that National could win 64 seats.  He has anticipated that NZ First will not be in Parliament which I think is dangerous.

Like all polls the results need to be taken with more than a grain of salt.  Just before the last election Fairfax had National on 54% which is significantly higher than its election result of 47.21%.

And sometimes the trend is more important.

The choice of headlines is interesting.  Last time it was “Poll a Major blow to Labour”.  This time it is “National on wave of optimism”.

The raw data is that National is down 0.8% to 49.4%, Labour is down 1.8% to 31.8%, the Greens are down 0.7% to 10% and NZ First is up 1.3% to 3.6%.  It is not clear from the figures but it was reported the Conservatives were up 1.3% to 2%.  Kim Dotcom’s internet party did not register.

The breakdown, which needs to be treated even more carefully suggests that Labour has lost support in Wellington and the rest of the South Island, amongst men and amongst those aged 65 and up.  Labour has improved support in Auckland and amongst 30 to 44 year olds.  It might be that the baby bonus appeals to those likely to benefit and does not appeal to those who don’t.

In Christchurch National has shed 8% points while Labour has also lost 2.9%.  The Greens and NZ First have both improved support significantly.

On issues Labour’s baby bonus has as much support as opposition, and a question on raising taxes inevitably met strong opposition.

Voters were evenly split on whether there should be a time for a change of Government although there was increased optimism on whether or not the country was on the right track or the wrong track.

65 comments on “The Fairfax Ipsos Poll result”

  1. Clemgeopin 2

    This poll, like a lot of other polls, should be a little suspect at
    this early stage when the parties haven’t even publicised all their
    policies yet! The polls and more importantly their trend become more
    relevant and reliable closer to the election, about the last 100 days or
    so before the election.

    Here is my prediction: Irrespective of these polls, it will be a Mr Cunliffe lead left government at the next election. In fact, there will be two left governments: The NAT/ACt government that will be ‘left out’ and the new Labour lead ‘left wing’ government.

    Copy and keep this post for your future reference to see if I am correct or not.
    In the mean time, let the right wing rascals temporarily enjoy this Fairfax poll for now.

  2. Disraeli Gladstone 3

    Okay. Just for a second, I want you to enter a world where this poll is possibly accurate (which we have no idea if it is or not). In a world where you can gather insight from a single poll (which is dangerous thinking). In a world where this is all a bit of guesswork but we’ll just roll with it.

    Are you there? Good.

    “The raw data is that National is down 0.8% to 49.4%, Labour is down 1.8% to 31.8%, the Greens are down 0.7% to 10% and NZ First is up 1.3% to 3.6%. It is not clear from the figures but it was reported the Conservatives were up 1.3% to 2%.”

    This is kind of alarming.

    I think we could suggest that National lost around 2% from the rise of NZ First and the Conservative. It makes sense. As Key hints that NZ First can become a coalition partner, conservative Nat voters head that way. As the Conservatives may be gifted a seat, conservative Nat voters head that way too. Potentially, all 2.6% may be coming from National, but surely at least a good 1.5% moved away from National to these two parties.

    By they only went down 0.8%. Which suggests the possibilities that National lost votes to the right and picked up Labour’s centrist voters.

    And that is bad. Because if National can replace a limited amount of lost right-wing votes with centrist votes, they’ll win.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Coming back from your dream world, this poll is overestimating National’s support by up to 5%, so they’re looking stuffed.

      Which is why they are bringing out all the dirty tricks now as well as hugging up to UFO conspiracy theorists like Colin Craig.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 3.1.1

        Even if National is on 45%, they can still cobble together a government from there depending on Craig, whether ACT can survive again, and which way the wind is blowing when Peters decide who he wants to join with this time round.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          National 45% at the start of election year. Game on.

          • Disraeli Gladstone 3.1.1.1.1

            Oh, I agree.

            But I wouldn’t suggest they’re “stuffed”.

            It’s game on, all to play for.

            • Tracey 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Greens and labour need to be sure of their election strategy. No point in firing early while meadia have deaf ears… but anyone notice that selected ceos get regularly asked their outlook and how things are going but never selected employees?

          • Rob 3.1.1.1.2

            You are an idiot. They are on nearly 50% you dipstick. Just because you arbitarily claim that the poll overstates the Nat vote by a number u fabricated, doesn’t make it true or particularly logical.

            On this poll the Nats cruise into govt in their own right, with Craig + 2MPs, Dunne and Seymore as buffers.

            Centre right – 53%, Center left 42%

            Also, Micky – the polling company for Fairfax this time around is different – its IPSOS. They got rid of the other company after the erroneous result at the 2011 Election.

            • Crunchtime 3.1.1.1.2.1

              Watch out Rob, your idiocy is showing. This is corroborated by the facts: the Fairfax poll is always higher for National by about 5 points (or more) than other polls.

              If you don’t want other polls as a measure, how about previous election result? Fairfax poll estimated 54% to National, they got 47.21%

              This is all in the item you are commenting on. Try to read first before making stupid offensive comments.

  3. Stephanie Rodgers 4

    The age breakdown is interesting (if a little predictable). Ignoring any overestimation of National’s vote by Fairfax, getting the young voters and the thirtysomethings to turn out on election day could make a huge difference.

    • swordfish 4.1

      Yep, the under 35s always lean further Left than the rest of the population. The slight surprise is that the Left are weaker/Right stronger among the 65+ age group compared to the broad middle age. Usually the latter are the most Right-leaning of cohorts.

      Although Fairfax has a tendency to exaggerate Right support, I have to say good on them for making the various demographic breakdowns available. Most Poll companies don’t.

  4. Ad 5

    Has any political science academic done a graph tracking final electoral results vs the unemployment rate, or the GDP rate, over a substantial series?

    I’ve seen them done against quite long series of US Presidential results. What I am hoping for is some set of factual correlations that prove or dispel my theory that the main risk to a change of government is a decreasing unemployment rate, or increasing GDP rate (however faulty it is).

    • Disraeli Gladstone 5.1

      I remember reading somewhere that it’s high growth/low employment doesn’t improve a conservative government’s chances because people are more likely to vote liberal/left-wing in times of affluent.

      There’s an interesting thing going on in the UK where George Osborne is trying to both rally good economic news to show that he’s doing a good job while also trying to find bad news out of his control to show that the UK isn’t in a great position yet so people don’t feel safe enough to vote Labour back in.

  5. tricledrown 6

    Red logix
    Print Media is collapsing by itself and is Now unprofitable.
    Gina Reinhart has the majority of the minority shareholding and is turning a once proud independent News organization into another Murdocracy!

    • tc 6.1

      Wupert carved the print business away from his cash cows fox and sky to isolate the red ink. Gina wants the same as wupert, the demise of public broadcasting in Oz.

  6. chris73 7

    That tingle in the back of your neck that feels suspiciously like deja vu…don’t worry about it, it’ll go away at the 2017 election

  7. Rosie 8

    “It might be that the baby bonus appeals to those likely to benefit and does not appeal to those who don’t.”

    I always wonder why we are so into “what affects us, personally” when it comes to policy. Are we so self absorbed and internally focused that we can’t see that what policy is good for society, or the community at large, can benefit the individual also, that is, if you wanted to be really selfish about it, instead of just being happy for the target group of the policy.

    Are we that mean? Well going by the RW freak out reaction to the baby bonus, I would assume we are. On the other hand, are people so ingrained into the individualistic neo lib type thinking pattern that when faced with an actual socially uplifting policy such as the baby bonus, their brains can’t cope, as it’s beyond the usual shallow personality focused political contest, and they just fizz out because they comprehend goodness?

  8. bad12 9

    MS, my view is that we should treat each poll on the basis of it’s accuracy,(or lack of),at the previous election,

    As you point out this particular poll was 6-7% astray at the 2011 election and i have no particular reason to suppose that this particular rendition is any more accurate than their 2011 pre-election effort,

    The link at comment (1) in the Post goes a long way to explaining where the political sympathies of the owners/editors lie, and, it is obvious that the unscrupulous media,(which at the moment seems to include most of the mainstream), are not above using manipulated or false data to attempt to manipulate the minds of those that pay to read, watch or listen to their rubbish,

    Myself i will take as read that any poll can only be as accurate as it’s last poll was befor an election, given that, National’s % of the vote as assessed by this poll should be read and discounted that 6-7% for what i believe to be a true picture…

    • Disraeli Gladstone 9.1

      “Myself i will take as read that any poll can only be as accurate as it’s last poll was befor an election, given that, National’s % of the vote as assessed by this poll should be read and discounted that 6-7% for what i believe to be a true picture…”

      Statistically speaking, that’s not very clever. Polls have margin of errors. It’s very possible that the pre-election poll was at the edge of the MoE. Therefore National could have been 54% +/- 3-4%. It’s possible the poll was out only by 3%.

      Now, if you look at the trend, Fairfax had National at 52% throughout the campaign. That falls within the MoE. Therefore, that last poll was probably an outlier and Fairfax had National at 52%. Which was still 4.5% out and still signifies a statistical bias, but not one quite as extreme as 7%.

      That’s why polling being reported to the wider public is troublesome because the media doesn’t adequately explain how polls actually work. If you ever get the time, read some of Anthony Wells’ writing on polling. He’s very good at explaining the important matters with polls.

      • wtl 9.1.1

        I’m sorry, but the way you are talking about ‘margins of error’ as absolutes is completely incorrect from a statistical point of view. The quoted margin of error is simply the 95% confidence interval, which means that the true proportion in the population (of voters supporting National) will be within the margin of error of the poll 95% of the time. Of course, the actual ‘margin of error’ is a probability distribution, meaning it is more likely to be close to the proportion measured in the poll and less likely to be far from the proportion measured; there is no black or white inside or outside the MoE.

        In saying that, I remember these polls from last year:
        Fairfax Ipsos 19-23 October National 50.2% (1030 people)
        One News 19-23 October National 45% (1014 people)
        Roy Morgan October 14-27, 2013 National 42% (847 people)

        The two-tailed p-value for the difference between the Fairfax and the Roy Morgan is 0.0004, meaning that difference would occur by chance only 4 times out of 10,000, assuming the polls were sampling from the same population. There is clearly systematic bias in at least some of the polls. Exactly what the bias is, we have no way of knowing for sure, but it does seem to me that the Fairfax has a clear tendency to overestimate support for National.

        • Andrew 9.1.1.1

          @wtl

          We have no idea how the RM and Fairfax interviews were distributed over that period – it’s possible RM carried out the majority of their interviews in the first week and then spent the rest of the time achieving hard to reach quotas, so the majority of interviews in each poll are covering two different periods. For that reason I don’t think it’s fair to use p<.5 as evidence of a bias between those two polls. Voter sentiment could definitely have changed between the two periods – to the point where a difference would not be great enough to reach statistical significance.

          Also, if you really want to get technical, neither of those polls use probability sampling, so you can't apply the margin of error, sig tests, or probability theory to the results.

          • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1.1

            And yet they rely on statistical theory, assuming a simple random sample, when they produce their margin of error.

            If they’re going to try and claim a statistical sample, it’s only fair for us to use statistical tools on it.

            Also I find your reasoning on dates to be unconvincing, unless there was some major scandal at the time (I don’t recall any), there’s no reason to suspect that sentiment would turn *that* quickly and not be the result of sampling bias.

            • Andrew 9.1.1.1.1.1

              So because they produce a margin of error based on a probability sample, it’s okay to use an inappropriate test to compare them and call it evidence. Sure, okay… If you don’t care at all about the quality of the evidence. Fine.

              Anyway… I think you’re responding based on incorrect assumptions about my point of view. You mostly just reiterated the point I was trying to make.

              You’re free to have your opinion about the dates. I’m not for a second arguing that polls are consistent and without bias. I’m saying p<.5 is not *evidence*, in this instance, that they are inconsistent and biased. I'm attempting, perhaps poorly, to make a scientific argument, not a moral or philosophical one.

    • Skinny 9.2

      In other words Bad12 there phony.

      Their crap polls are suggestive, a friend of mine has been polled before by FF, she is politically active and smelt a rat. You can bet this one was sweetened to flavour National with patsy questions to appeal to soft voters, like;

       Do you think the economy is improving?

       Which in the boom bust merry go round we are on of course it’s got to pick up.

      Finally if an election was held tomorrow how would you vote? 

      This kind of polling is good for a 6% con job.

      The L/G’s need to consistently pull tricks out of hat to flog National in the public’s eyes. It’s all a ratings game with the media networks, they play along.   

      • bad12 9.2.1

        Yeah of course Skinny, even that pro-National to the point of stupidity, Herald Jonolist John Armstrong stated quite bluntly in a column last year the the Reid Poll asks leading questions which are specifically designed to elicit from the respondents answers that will skew the results of the polls,

        Disraeli whats-his face is simply blustering with numbers to produce some form of mathematical gibberish in defence of this poll and i think WTL answers that mathematical gibberish in His comment with ease, although trying to wade my way through each of those comments to form an understandable opinion on a Saturday is beyond me,(probably beyond me on any other day as well such fractionalization of percentages not being my forte),

        While trying to debunk my point about the best indicator of a polls accuracy being its efficacy at the last poll taken befor the 2011 election Disraeli whats-his-face seems to be conceding through whatever the applied calculation is that the poll could ‘only’ have been skewed in National’s favor by 4.5 to 5% as opposed to the 6-7% i have suggested,

        That i suggest is an example of ‘dragging defeat from the jaws of victory’ as the poll looks like shit whether my simpler calculus is used or the more complicated mathematical gymnastics of Disraeli…

  9. Tracey 10

    Polls are lazy mans journalism and a poor substitue for genuine analysis .

    Really only emerged with growth of pr companies working for political parties. Funny that.

    • Paul 10.1

      That’s why Espiner, Armstrong, Garner and the rest love them
      Save them doing any work.

    • well I never 10.2

      Polls are like JK’s magic mirror on the wall, and keep him a happy chappy, as they are undoubtedly skewed and designed to favour his government.
      Unfortunately, they are also his biggest weapon as they do influence those that are simply swayed by perceived power.
      In the UK,when media fell out of love with Thatcher/Tories,and in love with Blair, everything changed.

  10. Tanz 11

    the MSM are makng John Key sound invincable all the time, seems he can do no wwong. This must be helping to sway the voters…

    • Paul 11.1

      Well many voters have some personal experience of this government and may choose personal experience over propaganda.
      155 000 unemployed
      The 200 000 underemployed
      People on the minimum wage

      The people of Christchurch after the insurance debacle
      Teachers after the novopay debacle
      Forestry workers after safety record.
      People who care for the environment
      People who voted against Asset Sales in the referendum.

      It adds up.

  11. myass 12

    let see what the election brings bright economy for who houses are getting even more unaffordable and wages aren’t rising

  12. Tania 13

    This poll is too high in one go lol if it climbed up a point or two it would be more realistic. But then its a Herald Poll what can one expect.

  13. Yossarian 14

    Polls are Polls, this far out perverse to read any thing into them of substance!

    However The Latest Standard Poll is Out!
    Poll For Best Common Sense Thought Provoking Articles.

    Mickey Savage + 9.5%
    Karol -13%
    BJT +2%
    Stephanie Rodgers + 1.5%
    Bill +1%
    Mike Smith +0.75%
    L Prent +0.5 %
    Helen Kelly +1%
    Others +2%

    Our Pollsters when asked about the results. Put down Mickey Savages solid increase in percentage points due to his continued output of decent, common sense, articles, across a wide range of topics & Savages articles tend to look at broader picture, that invites comments & are more inclusive to the reader. Karols continued slipage is due to the continuation of articles that tend to be more opinion based and any form of comment is met with a barrage of rebuttal & tend on the whole to cover a smaller spectrum of political issues. Our Pollsters went so far as to suggest that Savage could form his own majority if he carried on his good broad based interpretations. Whilst Pollsters suggested that The Karol Party may like to take an extended holiday or perhaps cut back her authorship with an the infusion of new blood, guest authors.
    This Poll is subject too the usual mumbo jumbo +/- swing bias.
    NB: Our Pollsters are 90% sure, that none of our authors have taken “The Paula Bennett Avenue” of “Drinking Their Own Urine” to progress their articles

    • xtasy 14.1

      “Karols continued slipage is due to the continuation of articles that tend to be more opinion based and any form of comment is met with a barrage of rebuttal & tend on the whole to cover a smaller spectrum of political issues.”

      Now, I tend to disagree a bit on this, as Karol is a post writer that I find very conscientious and socially focused, writing a fair bit on social justice, welfare and also some gender justice topics. This is admittedly not a “mainstream” range of topics, and hence she may get fewer comments and feedback, but she is doing a rather good job with what she does.

      It is always easier to write something “hitting” that is about John Key’s latest slip up or something similar, and that will of course appeal more widely.

      I like reading and commenting here, because there are a range of topics discussed, and there are serious social concerns and issues debated and raised. I would even encourage TS as a forum to invite a wider range of post writers, as the Daily Blog mostly does.

      Broaden the spectrum, please, and you will get even more support and positive feed-back. The harder topics like welfare will always rate a bit lower, as only some in society are affected by it, or feel sympathetic to the ones affected. Labour relationship issues, economic questions, daily political issues in the media, brand and personality issues will always “appeal” a bit wider, hence the differences.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 14.2

      Yossarian,

      What are you attempting to achieve here with your made up poll?

      a. That these other polls are simply inaccurate opinions like yours is?

      b. Or are you pushing some sort of personal disliking you have with Karol’s articles?

      I do not share your opinion at all if your answer is b.

      I enjoy Karol’s articles and find she covers a lot of important issues – and therefore thoroughly disagree with your summary –

      or are you simply being facetious? – it would be clearer if you added a /sarc tag if you were.

      It is hard to tell what you are attempting to convey

      +1 xtasy

  14. Sosoo 15

    The poll just says that selfish boomers are selfish. Tell me something I didn’t know.

  15. xtasy 16

    POLLS are to be taken with a grain of salt, and of course, people express views and preferences after having been “informed” or rather “misinformed” by our “mainstream (SHIT) media”.

    That is IMPORTANT, and Greens, Labour and others in opposition better TAKE NOTE!

    You will not sway the opinion polls by trying to please the already largely biased journalists that are working for the MSM, and who are only out to expose your weaknesses, contradictions and flaws.

    You may well have a chance to win the election, if you go TRADITIONAL, like Winston Peters does, and go out, have public meetings, have them preferably in open places, well announced, and raise current, important issues that people are really concerned about. The rest can be mentioned also, but after raising the top agenda issues.

    This is HARD work, and that in my view is the ONLY way that Labour and Greens and others will win the election, but of course also followed up with effective social media use.

    Do NOT rely on MSM interviews, the “news”, the useless “current affairs” programs, they are not going to work for you. The issues must be taken to the street, the halls and public meetings, as many as possible, all over New Zealand. And there have questions and answers, be honest, clear, and decisive, and hand out lots of leaflets, with information, not just slogans.

    That is my honest advice to the opposition parties and members.

  16. Foreign Waka 17

    Polls are of no real use but they are a PR exercise that seem to work quite well. This is most likely due to the way people seem to horde around a “winner” and only some are willing to stand with the “underdog”.
    It will not sway those who gave up and lost interest, reflected in a low voter turnout (74% last election). It is more concerning that people are disillusioned with all of the parliamentarians and so unwittingly facilitate a minority rule (are some still working with FPP?) that will roughshod with the average kiwi.

    • well I never 17.1

      “It is more concerning that people are disillusioned ….”
      Tony Benn said there are 2 reasons people don’t vote, this is the first, a sense of despondency, and the 2nd is fear, wanting to keep their heads down.
      I would say we are heading for another remarkably low turnout, and Labour need to inspire those who might stay at home, for stated reasons, that IT IS WORTH IT!!

      • Chooky 17.1.1

        +1 …agreed….Labour needs to get more proactive and not just wait for a win to fall into their lap

  17. Yossarian 18

    +10 to Well I Never.

    Tony Benn a true conviction politician & a man of principled politics.
    No Weather Vein, Sound Bite Politcian for Mr Benn.
    An example of true socialism/old labour, at work.
    I had the pleasure many years ago to meet him and also listen to his oratory on a few occasions.
    He appeals to the principled best in mankind, a quality that is in short supply in “modern politics”.
    I know he is currently very ill in the UK and my thoughts go out to him & his family.

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