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Two good polls for Labour and Shearer

Written By: - Date published: 6:07 pm, December 2nd, 2012 - 121 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour, polls - Tags: ,

Individual polls are nothing to get too excited about, it is the trend over time that matters. That said, the TV1 and 3 News polls tonight were both good news for Labour and Shearer.

TV1 has Labour up 3 to 35, and National down 1 to 44. Labour and the Greens are ahead, and could form a government without minor parties. Shearer is up in preferred PM stakes.

3 News also has Labour up 1.6% and Shearer up 4% as preferred PM. National is down 2, with Key down 2 to his lowest rating since 2007. Overall Labour + Greens vs. National too close to call.

The polls were taken over the period following Labour’s conference, and thus reflect the reported leadership challenge, the huge KiwiBuild announcement, and the demotion of David Cunliffe. Make of that what you will – but maybe (just maybe) the electorate is more interested in housing than media feeding frenzies.

It can take time for events to be reflected in poll changes, but these early indications are all good for David Shearer, and good for the Left!

121 comments on “Two good polls for Labour and Shearer”

  1. red sugar 1

    You said the same thing last year Anthony :)

    • r0b 1.1

      Then it was probably true then too! The gap between Left and Nats is steadily closing…

    • David H 1.2

      And the Latest Roy Morgan Poll has Labour down 1 to 31.5 And the Nats down .5 to 45. The TV 1&3 polls just don’t do it for me.

  2. Sam 2

    But David Shearer is a right wing rogernome and David Cunliffe is the one true saviour of the left, how is this happening!?!

    • Mary 2.1

      That’s right. Imagine what the polls would be telling us if Shearer was rolled and replaced by a proper Labour leader?

      PS – Sorry David S, I’m sure you’re a nice guy – you may even make a good Foreign Affairs minister – or something – some day, not sure – but you need to understand that you’re doing no-one any favours by hanging around. The plight of the poor and vulnerable will never improve under your leadership. The fact of the matter is, David S, you’re simply dragging the Left down. Of course, this may be your intention, but if you really do want to stay in politics maybe you’d be more at home joining NZ First? There might even be an opening for you there coming up soon. In any case, please, David S, take your leave, for all of our sakes.

      • Sam 2.1.1

        Yeah, he’s never done anything for poor and impoverished people. All that time spent being a disciple of Roger Douglas… just disgusting.

        • Mary 2.1.1.1

          This is what I said, Sam:

          “The plight of the poor and vulnerable will never improve under your leadership.”

          And it won’t. Shearer’s taking the “Labour is a party for workers” line which a few decades ago included the disenfranchised but for Labour is no longer the case.

    • It could be that as unimpressed with Shearer as they are, maybe people still prefer him to John Key? :P

  3. QoT 3

    these early indications are all good for David Shearer, and good for the Left!

    If one assumes that the good of Shearer and the good of the left are synonymous.

    • r0b 3.1

      As long as Shearer is leading the largest party of the left then they are, if not synonymous, at least highly correlated…

      • QoT 3.1.1

        Not when David Shearer doesn’t believe in the left/right divide, not if a Shearer-led-Labour-led government might very well lack the guts to actually do anything leftwing.

        Just because it wears a big label saying “duck” doesn’t mean it’s a duck. The quacking and waddling bits are kind of important.

        • gobsmacked 3.1.1.1

          The obvious point (already hinted at in today’s TV clips) is that the focus will switch to a potential Labour-Green gov’t … not just an ill-defined “opposition”.

          So Shearer will need to decide if he’s going to back the likes of Jones and Tamihere, or his coalition allies. He’ll need to decide pretty soon.

          The Greens are going up, and getting stronger. They’re not just there to be tacked on to a rump Labour caucus.

          • Benghazi 3.1.1.1.1

            Where have you been? Shearer is very strongly behind Tamihere. And Tamihere is strongly behind Shearer – well at least till he is selected for Waitakere.

            • Ad 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I am going to my local greens christmas function here if you’d care to join me.

              ;-)

            • gobsmacked 3.1.1.1.1.2

              I know Shearer supports Tamihere, but none of this has been under the spotlight.

              That’s the nub of the problem – Shearer is fine as long as he is Not-Key, or Not-Cunliffe. It’s when he has to be Shearer that he unravels.

              We can predict the media’s questions now …

              “Would you have Tamihere in your Cabinet? Or Nanaia Mahuta and Metira Turei?”

              Shearer: “Er … “

              • Mary

                “Um … I just think … err … worrying about … other people can say what … well that doesn’t mean … we just need to get on with the job of making NZ the better … I mean the best place we can …” Yay!

        • The Fan Club 3.1.1.2

          Yes yes very nice, now go off and play with the hard-left in electoral oblivion would you?

          Labour is currently the furthest left it has been since the Kirk years.

          IrishBill: You clearly don’t recall the Kirk years. Let’s see a higher level of commenting from you FC, you can do better.

          • Aotearoean 3.1.1.2.1

            You mean being a pale insipid shade of blue is far left?

          • The Fan Club 3.1.1.2.2

            oh come on, I’m not saying further left than Kirk, I’m saying further left than the 4th or 5th, which is pretty indisputable…

            • Aotearoean 3.1.1.2.2.1

              4th Labour Government yes, but 5th? You have to be kidding.

              • The Fan Club

                Not really. Look at the actual policy shifts: reform of the Reserve Bank Act, massive expansion of state sector building activity, a step back on free trade, commitment to taxes on capital…

                • Colonial Viper

                  Changes to widen the scope of the RBA merely brings it into line with successful models in Australia and Singapore etc. Those are successful economies and important trading partners.

                  There’s no expansion in state sector building activity, the 100,000 houses aren’t going to be built by a Dept of Public Works (mores the shame) they’re going to be built by Fletchers.

                  What step back on free trade? Goff and co. want in on the TPPA.

                  Re: taxes on capital Labour haven’t proposed any capital taxes, they’ve merely proposed a far weaker tax on capital gains – and only Switzerland and Turkey don’t have a CGT. Every other modern industrialised country does.

                  In summary – nothing left wing anywhere there, except in your fevered imagination.

                  EDIT – the major left wing change required is the nationalisation of large parts of NZ’s banking and financial transaction infrastructure. Now that would be “hard left”.

                  • The Fan Club

                    Yes, see, those things are also ways in which the fifth labour government was pretty weak. It turns out that inherently large centre-left parties are kinda slow moving and not particularly radical. Other ways the current party is further left than the fifth Labour Government include dull things like commitment to marriage equality now, food in schools. We’ve also got one of the strongest internal party democracies in New Zealand, which we kinda didn’t have under Clark.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It just more third way centrist Blairism mate. A true left wing party would be taking control of the banking system, the issuance of currency, and a massive rebuilding of community resources and the commons.

              • Mary

                What about Clark’s decimation of social security? More right-wing than even some of what the Nactoids tried to do but couldn’t get away with during the Bolger/Richardson/Shipley decade of hell. All went relatively unnoticed though, of course, because nobody cares about the unproductive poor, eh? -just ask Shearer and the neighbour of his beno-on-the-roof mate. He knows all about that.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      I can’t detect any clear political economic philosophy of his own from Shearer, Left or Right.

      Anyhows, Labour will have to show their cards next year. I understand that all the major trading banks are predicting a probable severe down turn in both the NZ and Australian economies.

      If in response Labour go down the road of austerity for most but more economic buffers for the middle class and upper middle class, you’ll have your answer.

      • Neoleftie 3.2.1

        Perhaps shearer means that in our modern society the traditionals lines of left right delineations are now defunct. The traditional socialist left are a dying breed replaced by the subdued and ignorant masses swayed by materialism and individualism into believing that a neo lib way of life is normal and right.
        Time I think for not a return or shift to the left or a steady as you go day by day neo lib approach but another way….transitioning from the third way into the next way. A pathway that recognises resources scarcity and acts for the betterment of the massess and not just the elites at all layers of our society.
        The true question should be which grouping in labour has a plan incorporates peak oil and climate change.
        Interestingly after H1 came to old dunners town and spoke to the faithful about climate change there was a swift acceptance of this position. Topical meeting formed, labourites gathered and beheld the truth….maybe too late.
        Anyway just hope that Robertson and co has the great plan ready…
        The irony is that we just might need shearers skills and experience in the coming years.

        Time I think to unite behind the leader and co.
        Time to actively gain a power balance for the local party and to reconnect and organise.
        We need to hold the treasure benches very very soon.

    • BillODrees 3.3

      Shearer/Roberton, King, Mallar et al show all the signs of continuing the same failed policies of the past four years.  They are collectively synonymous with failure to win elections.

      Nothing has changed. The demotion of Cunliffe is a continuation of a behaviour that started when Goff’s leadership failings became glaringly obvious. Now swop Shearer for Goff.
      Backing Tamihere is a desperate attempt to shore up a failed strategy: Shearer/Robertson/King/Mallard do not get Auckland.  They think the problem is the Membership and that Cunliffe, in some weird way, is to blame for that.  

       

  4. gobsmacked 4

    But if we’re going to take heed of the poll, then it must be all of the poll. Not just cherry-picking the bits we may like.

    The same TV3 poll had results for Shearer “doing well” DOWN, “doing badly” UP.

    So a reasonable conclusion from the two polls would be …

    - National and Key continuing to lose support
    - Labour and the Greens benefitting
    - Shearer not impressing

    • r0b 4.1

      The doing well vs badly is smaller than and inconsistent with the 4% rise in preferred PM. Margin of error makes it hard to read signal from noise, so I for one will focus on the trend over time.

      • gobsmacked 4.1.1

        But it isn’t inconsistent at all.

        Come on Rob, you know how it works (indeed, you’ve said so yourself on here before). The leader of the opposition generally under-performs in the preferred PM, especially when relatively new. Name recognition, or lack of.

        Shearer will rise as preferred PM, simply by getting Labour voters to know who he is. After the past couple of weeks, more voters now know his name. Remember Helen was in the “preferred PM” ratings, years after she’d gone. And Winston consistently outranks his party – again, name recognition.

        It’s an entirely different measure from doing well versus badly.

        • r0b 4.1.1.1

          (indeed, you’ve said so yourself on here before)

          I don’t recall making any such comment before – I don’t usually read the fine print – but I have written a lot of junk here over the years, so who knows.

      • felix 4.1.2

        It’s not contradictory and it’s not complicated. I don’t think Shearer is doing particularly well, I also vastly prefer him to Key*.

        (*I know the choice is not just between Key and Shearer but I reckon in a lot of people’s minds it kinda is, due to the name recognition thing that gobsmacked raises, and the apparent tendency of ours to unnecessarily turn decisions into binary choices, and the way the media still reports politics as if FPP applied)

  5. Socialist Paddy 5

    Goff had a similar poll bounce when he dealt to Chris Carter.

    All Shearer has to do is keep on disciplining and demoting MPs.

    If he really wanted to make a name for himself he would start on the ABC crew, Mallard first.

    • gobsmacked 5.1

      I’d laugh if this wasn’t so true …

      Maybe that’s why he wants Tamihere back, just so he can kick him out a week before the election and save the day.

  6. karol 6

    I’m more concerned about having a truly left wing government.  I don’t usually comment on polls, because to me it’s the policies that matter.  Polls can also influence voter behaviour.  I wish they weren’t given so much attention.

    And the recent cheer-leading of Shearer by right wing journalists will be a factor in the mix. 

    • seeker 6.1

      “And the recent cheer-leading of Shearer by right wing journalists will be a factor in the mix.”

      A large factor I would think karol. Well said.

      • Aotearoean 6.1.1

        Yep. The right want Shearer to stay leader. I wonder why?

      • Aotearoean 6.1.2

        Actually how is this for mindless cheerleading? The Herald says “Mr Shearer’s popularity rose four points in the Colmar-Brunton poll to 15 per cent while Mr Key slipped three points to 39 per cent. This trend was echoed by the Reid Research survey.”

        But TV3′s results actually had Shearer’s doing a good job rating going down and doing a bad job rating going up. 

        Can the Herald be trusted? 

  7. irascible 7

    Reckon an analysis of the comments about Key from the respondents will show strong growth of negative reaction to him. Especially over his constant brain fades, his handling of the Parrota – Fess Nova pay fiasco and ChCh school threats and the sale of State Assets. I sense a growing belief that Key is an embarassment to the country developing among the electorate.
    Shearer has probably benefited from the fallout from the misreporting of the Labour Party Conference.

  8. Skinny 8

    It’s simple… the next election is Labour’s to lose. A freaking Goat could lead Labour and  would still win. All thats needed is a ‘smart deal maker’ shore up posts for the Greens & NZ First. The sooner the better for Peters as National have started the smear campaign already. Key is his own down fall… too loose & the trust issue is ‘true.’ The amount of swing voters who are admitting they no longer trust him is encouraging. National are a ‘one trick pony’ the rest of their line up voters don’t care for…

    • Fortran 8.1

      Skinny

      I am concrened that many here are totally underestimating the role of Russel Norman in 2014.
      His party will make unacceptable demands of Labour in the fprmation of a left wing Government.
      Labour cannot make any ploicy demands of the Greens – it will be the other way round.
      If Labour do not go with the Greens – no coalition.

  9. karol 9

    Looking at all the stats given on the 3 News poll…. they are kinda strange & they aren’t telling us the whole story, given that they are %ages.

    Of the party votes, the %age adds up to 98.7%.  Partly the shift up and down a  %age or 3 must be dependent on how well  the smaller parties are doing, and how many say “don’t know”.

    The preferred party leader adds up to 57.2% – a lot of missing answers there.

    Peters scored 5% as preferred PM, but NZ First only rated 2% in the party vote.

    Presumably the better or worse performance of a leader is a straight for and against an individual – but it doesn’t ad up to anywhere near 100%

    Key’s = 51.9% (good) – 29.4% (poor)
    Shearer = 31.6% (good) – 34.4% (poor)

    So the rest are don’t knows?  Or not better and not worse? 

    Just seems to me like a lot of %ages, and not adding up to 100% – so it’s all as clear as …..  spin.
     

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      Preferred PM has always, as long as I remember, only been around 50-70% total. I think the rest must be “no opinion” or random people.

  10. Craig Glen Eden 10

    National are performing very poorly, Colins on Q and A this morning very arrogant and reduced to calling Winston Peters a silly old man but sadly labour had no presence?? Why.

    Shearers performance according to the TV3 poll is viewed as not so good, the next few months will be interesting.

    • Benghazi 10.1

      I think his minders will keep him out of sight as much as possible.

      • ScottGN 10.1.1

        Why would they do that given that we’ve got what looks to be a decent bump in these last polls for the year?
        As for Q & A today, I guess Len Brown was the “Labour Party” rep on the show. Which if you think about it is quite neat. It shows Labour’s depth across national and local politics and allowed the mayor of our biggest city to front the message for Labour in this instance.

        • Ad 10.1.1.1

          Because shearer can now do set pieces, with a running start favourable wind and a pole vault.

          • felix 10.1.1.1.1

            “with a running start favourable wind and a pole vault”

            …and no-one else running.

        • Craig Glen Eden 10.1.1.2

          If Len Brown is Labours rep now we are screwed oh know hang we have John Tamihere now phewww! ScottGN have a look people think Shearer is performing poorly cos he is.

  11. Johan 11

    Hi ROB, Do you really think that Labour has improved in the public’s perception, or is it merely that our present govt has been slipping as of late, ie the under-performing Minister of Education Hekia Parata (novapay) and of course Paula Bennett of Soc. Dev. scheme to make youngsters more employable, have both placed the govt in a bad light? I find it very hard to believe that Mr. Shearer is the next messiah of the Labour Party. By the way ROB, what is the margin of error for this type off poll?

    • r0b 11.1

      Do you really think that Labour has improved in the public’s perception, or is it merely that our present govt has been slipping as of late,

      For wat’s it’s worth, I think a mixture of the two, probably the Nats self inflicted injuries being the main factor so far. I’d like to see that change, and for Labour to be taking the initiative with more policies like KiwiBuild.

      Margin of error – I haven’t checked these two in particular, but it’s usually around 3%.

      • karol 11.1.1

        I would really like to see Labour bring out some more policies, and ones that are innovative and truly left wing, r0b.  

        As a life-time renter, the more KiwiBuild is talked up, the more alienated I feel.  And, while I am feeling increasingly insecure about the future of affordable rental accommodation in Auckland, at least I am not one of the ones already struggling to survive.  It must be especially demoralising for those barely scraping by, to hear that this policy firstly aims to help those already able to get a mortgage together.  

        • r0b 11.1.1.1

          I share that hope! But I will continue to support Labour if they remain timid “centre-left”, just as I support the Greens and (with more reservations) Mana, and any party of the left. I am much less interested in individual parties than I am in bringing about a generally left leaning government.

          As to renters and KiwiBuild, I hope you won’t feel alienated. It isn’t aimed at the problem of affordable rental accommodation, I hope and expect another policy on that. The underlying problems that keep people trapped in rentals are the insane price of houses (see capital gains tax) and that wages are far too low (I hope and expect progress on that too!).

          • karol 11.1.1.1.1

            The problem is the continuing assumption that the answer is everyone owning their own home.  I have always chosen to rent for that reason.  And the architects of KiwiBuild are people well into the idea of home ownership & can’t see beyond it – probably people who are not only easily able to afford to buy, but are at the comfortable end of the market & benefiting from it.

            The focus should first be on building more state houses.  It would take the heat out of the destructive idea of compulsory home-ownership. 

            • bad12 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Your views on KiwiBuild are shared here as well, at worst it looks like those within Labour who have gained the most from the Monopoly game that has driven house prices through the roof have now realized that their children have little chance of being able to gain home ownership without Government assistance,

              Hence the flagship Labour policy of Kiwibuild, the Socialism of, for, and, by the middle class,

              The economics of Kiwibuild stack up in so far as building an extra 10,000 houses a year goes in such things as employment opportunities across the economy and added demand for the goods that will make such housing homes,

              But, unless the same effort is put into building State Housing that can be offered to those who toil daily at or just above the minimum wage such a policy as KiwiBuild will simply continue to build the economic gap between those who have and those who have not…

  12. karol 12

    Interesting that now it’s pretty much accepted that it’s Lab-Green vs Nat.  None of the higher moral ground arguments about the single party with the most votes.

    • r0b 12.1

      Yes indeed – I think that meme was a 2008 thing.

    • Sunny 12.2

      I thought Paddy Gower mentioned that National might still get the most votes but miss out on Government with Shearer an “accidental Prime Minister.” Expect to hear that meme across the MSM…

  13. Aotearoean 13

    He may survive the NewYear.

    • Benghazi 13.1

      Yes if the members give up, he will. But if the members lobby their MPs there might be a few who respond in the trigger vote. If Shearer were to win a party-wide vote in the New Year then he’d be strongly set to contest 2014 with a full party machine backing him. Will he have the guts to seek that mandate?

  14. Northshoreguynz 14

    Left/right are soooo 19th century. Interventionist/non interventionist has more meaning these days.

    • karol 14.1

      I disagree. That’s only if you accept some underlying right wing ideas that have ben part of neoliberalism.  There is also left and right wing interventionism.  A left wing one for the 21st century would look like this – I think linked earlier by DTB (?).

      To tackle the 21st century ‘giants’ we need a new social 
      settlement, which will:
      ● give priority to promoting well-being for all and 
      reducing inequalities;
      ● work within environmental limits;
      ● be able to function well without relying on economic 
      growth – because growth is uncertain and anyway 
      there’s a real danger that unchecked growth will wreck 
      the planet; 
      ● shift power from elites towards ordinary citizens and 
      help to transform the relationship between citizens and 
      the state;
      ● foster solidarity and reciprocity, through shared 
      investment, ownership and benefit.
       

      The right wing kind could be Muldoonist, of NZ First.  It would not end the struggles for those on lowest incomes, and would be socially conservative – favouring wealthy white men.  Actually neoliberalism does involve interventionism, when the benefits to the elite start to fall off.  

      • Ad 14.1.1

        Really lovely link there karol

        • Northshoreguynz 14.1.1.1

          My point is that lot of middle New Zealand no not see themselves as ” left” and struggle to vote Labour because of its perceived leftness. But having seen what a non interventionist government looks like, an interventionist one looks like a good alternative.

          • karol 14.1.1.1.1

            That would be because of the constant bad press the MSM have given the left over the last few decades, nsg.  It’s doesn’t mean clear differences between left and right policies and practices do not exist.  Couldn’t write that without all the negatives – but  it means, in reality, there are clear differences between left and right.

            Why continue the misinformation of the MSM?  Better to put a real and positive left wing platform in front of the public. 

  15. Saarbo 15

    The poles stuff up on NZ First. In 2014 Winston will get over 5%, and Winston will decide the Coalition. Chances are he will go with National and give them a 3rd term…I think he has given the incumbent government 3rd terms in the past…Winston will always look after Winston first and he will rather be number 2 rather than number 3.

    But people are finally seeing how hopeless National are, its taken them a while but it is happening.  

  16. Chalupa Batman 16

    This must really be annoying some lefties…probably hoping to see a negative poll

  17. Bill 17

    So Key and National are now so bad in some peoples’ minds that the non-alternative is looking like an alternative. Whoopee-fucken-doo.

  18. Centre Leftist (Tory troll) 18

    I will be happy if no group needs to rely on Winston to form power be it National or Labour/Greens.

  19. millsy 19

    Good to see the Greens holding their own still. Thought the un-PC QE talk would hurt them a little bit.

    Labour is within striking distance…

  20. xtasy 20

    Well, the polls seem to show that things are really getting bad, and that more people are hurting due to job losses, struggling to make ends meet and seeing no progress for themselves under this present government.

    The gloss is coming off Mr Smile and Wave, and the front bench of the government is largely also not up to it. That is my explanation for Labour picking up a bit more in support.

    I doubt very much whether Shearer’s speech, the announced Kiwi Build plan, his demotion of Cunliffe and marginally improved image (when facing the media) has all that much to do with the ratings.

    By the way Shearer is clearly considered less of a good performer, most of the polled rating him not doing a good job.

    What annoyed me when watching the news was, Shearer resolutely stating to journalists, that HE will lead Labour into the next election in 2014. It seems he does not give any consideration to what the membership may think and prefer. So he will try to keep a grip on the caucus, and to stifle any bit of dissent. If I was Cunliffe, I would perhaps wonder what the hell I would hang around for, given Hipkin’s recent barkings and Shearer’s stubborn determination. Labour may perhaps lose one of its most competent MPs, I fear.

    Shearer may in the end actually “lead” Labour into the next election, but I doubt very much, he will “lead” Labour and the left to a victory. If that happens at all, it will be by “default” and nothing else.

    That would not bode well for how Labour under Shearer would manage in government.

    But at this stage: Every bit more of a loss for National must be welcome.

  21. Jenny 21

    I don’t often put up comments that lay out all the horror of approaching climate change. To keep stating and restating the obvious is often to invite giving into despair. But mainly I don’t do it because it is all too self evident.

    Also, I feel that at some level, most, if not all people know in the back of their minds, that this is a problem, but that is where this problem is kept, at the back of their minds.

    However now that the Labour Party is led by a blatant climate change ignorer, who in his singular person openly, encapsulates this view. I thought it might be worthwhile.
    The party that David Shearer leads is in a position where, (unlike powerless individual citizens like myself), they could do something meaningful about climate change. So the leader of the Labour Party needs to be grabbed and shaken awake from his current decided ignorer course.

    However the horror story I am about to relate about climate change is different, in that it points out that the vast majority, do know, about the approaching horror of climate change. All that is required for people to bring it from the back of their awareness into the front of their active concerns, is leadership.

    The shocking thing is, that this leadership is missing. Those in prominent positions that we look to for leadership, are not giving it.

    They better put down their guitar and start doing their job.

    Oklahoma dust storm

    ….Two years ago, just 57% of Americans believed climate change was happening. By March this year, the number had risen to 66% and by September to 70%. That survey was taken a month before tropical storm Sandy hit New Jersey and New York, but after a series of heatwaves and wildfires, the Oklahoma dust storm, crop failure and the unprecedented drought, it is clear that the penny has dropped about extreme weather events.

    For the first time in this debate in the US, the majority seems convinced that self-interest is best served by belief rather than denial. Not before time. Whatever the deniers and sceptics say, and there are still plenty of them in the US and Britain, the science of climate change is returning some worrying figures, which seem to presage a rise of well over 2°C in global temperatures by the end of the century.
    The evidence is impressively varied. Sea levels are rising more sharply than predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in fact, 60% faster. Polar ice is melting three times faster than in the 1990s, according to research published last week by the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre. High pressure anomalies over Greenland have been affecting the climate of North America and northern Europe since 2007, with many knock-on effects. Last week, it was reported that acidification of the sea, caused by absorption of CO2, is now corroding the shells of tiny marine snails, which are an essential part of the food web. And in North America, the drought, which now threatens next year’s crop of winter wheat, shows no sign of ending. This year has recorded a drop of 3% in farmers’ incomes and crop insurers have already paid out $6.3bn.

    Henry Porter The Observer, Sunday 2 December 2012

  22. karol 22

    And here we have the MSM writing as though the story of Cunliffe being disloyal is a proven and uncontested fact.  Many like Vernon Small, probably reckon if Key’s going down, a right wing party lead by Shearer is the next best option.

    • just saying 22.1

      That’s the way I’m reading it Karol.
      For those with no other source of information, it is what is being believed too.
      Pity we don’t get a vote on writers for the msm.

  23. Matthew Hooton 23

    It’s actually three good polls for David Shearer: http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2012/4842/
    Looks like he will be prime minister in two years, even if all those ex-NLP, ex-Alliance extremists who have rejoined Labour in the last few years don’t like it.

    • Socialist Paddy 23.1

      He might be Prime Minister in a couple of years Matthew but which party will he be leading? The Labour Party or a pale insipid Tamihere Mallard Cosgrove inspired son of Rogernomics party?

      • Matthew Hooton 23.1.1

        Well, according to these polls, he will be leading a Labour/Green/Mana coalition (or “confidence and supply deal”) which will surely be the most left-wing government since Kirk, and possibly more left-wing than that. The fact so many writers and commentators at TS see him as right-wing suggests many who write here are way outside the mainstream of NZ politics (and would also be way outside the mainstream in Australia, Canada or EU).

        • lprent 23.1.1.1

          And in that coalition, Labour would be far to the right of the Labour of the mid-90s to 2008. In that scenario, the obvious left response is to vote for parties that are actually left. That way you can push any resulting coalition closer to something useful.

          Voting strategically is the MMP way.

          And Matthew, I suspect that you are pretty mistaken about the mainstream. What you are a describing are firstly people who vote and those who have not already left. We have more than a million exported kiwis who voted with their feet, and 800k here who didn’t bother to vote.

        • geoff 23.1.1.2

          “many who write here are way outside the mainstream of NZ politics”

          Matthew, are you including yourself in that statement?

          Here’s an excerpt from ‘The Hollow Men’, pg 42-43
          ‘Hooton ended the email by saying: “We are going to be an outstanding success. I just hope you…don’t think I am a populist. I’m not. I’m a right wing academic neocon ultra“‘ (emphasis mine)

          This is from an email Matthew Hooton sent Don Brash when he was acting as his advisor in 2003.

          It is astounding that this man(hooton) has wormed his way back into the system such that he can somehow present himself as a centre-right moderate on forums such as National Radio.

          • Matthew Hooton 23.1.1.2.1

            Absolutely I include myself. My personal political views are well to the right of the NZ mainstream, to the extent that they aren’t really relevant (only policy ideas that may actually happen matter all that much). I at least can see it – many of the people writing here seem to think that if only Labour would express their personal far-left views, Labour would be ahead in the polls. That’s wrong.
            PS, the email you refer to do was meant to be a bit ironic and self-deprecating, but ol’ Hagar doesn’t do either, so he portrayed it as a solemn statement of political belief, as is her prerogative as a far-left propagandist.

            • geoff 23.1.1.2.1.1

              So why do you comment on the standard?

            • Pascal's bookie 23.1.1.2.1.2

              I don’t think Hager really thinks you’re academic there Hoots.

            • felix 23.1.1.2.1.3

              “the email you refer to do was meant to be a bit ironic and self-deprecating, but ol’ Hagar doesn’t do either, so he portrayed it as a solemn statement of political belief”

              What’s the difference? You said you’re ultra right wing, he reported that you’re ultra right wing, and as you admit to this very day, you are ultra right wing.

              What exactly got lost in the translation, Matt?

              • Pascal's bookie

                back when he wrote the email, ‘neocons’ were the trendy edgy rightwing thing to be. But when they, as predicted by anyone who wasn’t an idiot, fucked up everything they touched, there was a global reset to ‘classical liberal’.

          • xtasy 23.1.1.2.2

            geoff:

            The fact Matthew Hooton gets away with it is: The NZ MSM media have become more superficial, more commercially focused, they largely loved Key and the Nats when they led their election campaign in 2008, and they still clung to falling for and presenting smart-alec “Mr Smile and Wave” in the last election campaign.

            With most media in NZ being in the hands of a few corporate players, with a new breed of “laissez faire” mentality bred young, career minded journos, many only knowing what happened in the 1980s and 1990s from history books and media archives, all geared to “succeed” and present “news” in “infotainment” style, with little substance, guys like Hooton swim in warm, comfortable waters.

            Just look at the front pages of the leading “papers” and their websites.

            It is all endless distraction with crime, traffic accidents, freak weather, scandals, sports news and so forth, delivering “zilch” of real substance. Much of social media is also not delivering much information of value.

            Hooton is a corporate man, a consultant and adviser, and also commenter, nurturing exactly the kind of politics as you hint with your reference to his past.

            In some ways he represents to traditional, old style “vacuum cleaner door to door salesman”, once a model is out of fashion, he grabs the next one to hold up high. The new “model” is “Nat Light” with Shearer.

            • geoff 23.1.1.2.2.1

              I agree with pretty much all of what you’re saying.
              I am specifically interested in knowing who makes the decision to have him and so many other right-leaning commentators on RadioNZ afternoons. The balance has been skewed to the right for a long time now.

    • lprent 23.2

      If you define good polls as pottering along at the same levels Labour was at the start of last year, then I suppose you are right. I just regard it as random variations

      The only significiant change in the polls between then and now is that National is down, the Greens and NZFirst are up, and Act has largely disappeared into the United Future black hole.

      Basically the effect of the current Labour caucus this year has been to show that they can alienate many of their own members while gaining no traction.

      • Matthew Hooton 23.2.1

        lprent – the polls suggest Labour/Green are at 48%! That is better than in:

        1999: http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_1999/e9/html/e9_partI.html

        2005: http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2005/
        and

        2008: http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2008/

        It is the same as Labour/Green got in 2002 when there was no effective opposition: http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_1999/e9/html/e9_partI.html

        Even taking the Greens out, Labour’s support alone is now higher that it was in the 2008 election under Clark.

        Polls don’t really get much better than this for an opposition, especially when the incumbent prime minister is so popular.

        If the leadership had changed to Cunliffe a fortnight ago, I suspect many here at TS would be hailing these numbers as proof the leadership change had worked.

        • lprent 23.2.1.1

          Ha. Love that selective cherrypicking. Given the variation of +/- 2%, Labour is pretty well exactly where they were in the 2008 election. And look at the polls for the start of 2008. They dipped markedly during that year. So over the last 4 years Labour has pretty well remained static at a historic low point apart from dipping for the 2011 election.

          The change in the Green/Labour balance has all been to the Greens. This has been whilst the whole electorate has shifted left. What does that tell you about how the public views Labour? Sounds more like my scenario than your rather optimistic one.

          Shearer is just a symptom of the problem inside the Labour caucus. They are out of step with the electorate, and rapidly running out of time.

          Updated, and just to drive the point home.

          2005 election Labour = 41.1% Greens = 5.3%

          2008 election, Labour = 33.99% Greens = 6.72%
          http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2008/4345/

          2011 election Labour = 27.48% Greens = 11.06%
          http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2012/4842/

          Nov 12-25 poll Labour = 31.5% Greens = 13.5%

          As I said, cherrypicking the numbers.

          Not exactly a resounding degree of support for Labour. With the policy direction that Labour are going right now, and the often half-arsed handling they use, I suspect that the Greens and maybe even Mana will continue to rise.

          Labour’s move to the right of where it was under Helen just seems to be feeding the Greens support. And I can testify that it is really hard for long-time Labour supporters to even think of voting Greens. But by the look of it, that is where a lot of us are going to go.

          • Matthew Hooton 23.2.1.1.1

            I don’t think that looking at actual election results can be called “cherrypicking”. Also, the polls tend to overestimate National by at least a point or two (as I know from some awful election nights in 1993, 1996 and 2011) so Labour/Green is now clearly ahead (remember National and its allies won in 2011 over Labour/Green/NZ1 by fewer than 10,000 votes).

            • Pascal's bookie 23.2.1.1.1.1

              Agree re National’s weak as 2011 mandate. Their big-noting to the contrary was always going to bite them.

            • lprent 23.2.1.1.1.2

              If you remember how you started, you made an assertion about Shearer.

              Well, according to these polls, he will be leading a Labour/Green/Mana coalition (or “confidence and supply deal”) which will surely be the most left-wing government since Kirk, and possibly more left-wing than that. The fact so many writers and commentators at TS see him as right-wing suggests many who write here are way outside the mainstream of NZ politics (and would also be way outside the mainstream in Australia, Canada or EU).

              What I was pointing out was that this last 9 months has made bugger all difference in Labour’s polls compared to the last 4 years. It might be a more ‘left’ coalition that results. That has absolutely nothing to do with either Shearer or the Labour caucus.

              Since 2008, the Labour caucus has distinctly moved right in their policies and orientation. As is showing in the polls, the electorate has moved away from that with the slow movement to alternatives leftwards of Labour. FFS at present even NZ First is distinctly left of Labour on most of their economic positions.

              The nett effect has Labour mired in the same low 30 percentages that they received in 2008 getting a drip feed of volatile voters (ie “presidential”) from the centre whilst bleeding voters and activists leftwards. I guess that is why Shearer is so reluctant to look at the left-right divide.

              Whilst the Horizon poll is self-selecting and pretty inaccurate, what has been interesting is looking at where people are actually moving from and to. The TS is quite clearly not “mainstream” (most are activists and/or tech literate who are seldom mainstream), but it is bleeding edge. The feel of what people are talking about here usually anticipates the Horizion movement by weeks, and the polls by months.

              It is like the tech industry in that way

              BTW: You were cherry picking by writing up the Shearer “results” when you described the Green/Labour combined polling rather than the Labour polling itself. Always looks better when you can claim someone else’s hard work as that of your own ‘hero’ eh?

              • McFlock

                Not so sure about your interpretation, Lprent. 
                       
                Over five years Labour went from 40% to settling in the high/mid 20s. It wasn’t a sudden sustained drop, though there were significant peaks and troughs. It’s just that the peaks never seemed to be as large as the troughs.
                    
                In one year they’re back to the low/mid 30s. Again, gradual with peaks and troughs. 
                       
                Whether they can get a few roymorgan 35+ results by the Q2 next year is an issue. 

                • Olwyn

                  In June 2011, Labour under Goff was polling at 36%. http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2011/4675/ In the election later that year they polled 27%. The 36% was seen as a high point at the time, and I remember people getting excited about it on this site. Getting back to the mid thirties from the low of 27% is getting back into the margin-of-error range around 30%, where Labour was for most of the 2008-2011 period. The difference is that back then, National was still popular, and the Greens were polling at 6.5%. As people get disenchanted with National, the Greens, and not Labour, seem to be the main beneficiaries.

                  • McFlock

                    Yep, true enough.
                              
                    But whether the problem with Labour performing sluggishly against the Greens is a result of clear-minded consideration of Labour’s not-left-enough policy, or simply the result of a year of pissing in, out, and all around the tent by all concerned is certainly an open question.
                         
                    And Shearer putting a bit of stick about while Key eats maggots doesn’t seem to have done any harm.

        • felix 23.2.1.2

          “Even taking the Greens out, Labour’s support alone is now higher that it was in the 2008 election under Clark.”

          Labour lost that election you dunce paid hack.

          • Colonial Viper 23.2.1.2.1

            Gawd you can be cruel, and its me talking :P

            • geoff 23.2.1.2.1.1

              Cruel? Have you read the hollow men and seen what Matthew Hooton got up to? felix is being very generous.

            • felix 23.2.1.2.1.2

              :D

              • fatty

                Geoff is right, its a fair call.
                Hooton’s cheerleading for Shearer is good for a laugh, but we must remember that some people could read those posts and think Hooton was being serious.

          • Matthew Hooton 23.2.1.2.2

            It may have lost but it only lost very narrowly (I was on TV3 that night and no one was prepared to call it until very late in the evening) and that was because the Greens did quite badly (only got 7% of the vote) and because Winston Peters was out. So, for Labour to be above its 2008 result, and the Greens well above suggests Labour/Green would win were an election held today.

            • gobsmacked 23.2.1.2.2.1

              Yes, Labour/Greens would win, and I’d be happy. Sadly, the election is never held without a campaign before it. We can’t sneak in under the radar.

              And Matthew, you know perfectly well what Joyce & co will do.

              New Headline: “Taser all sickness beneficiaries: roll out trial in South Auckland”.

              Greens – appalled, opposed. NZ First – impressed, in favour.

              Shearer – flibby flobb filubby …

              Next Headline: Opposition divided, Shearer confused, Opposition down 5%.

    • Saarbo 23.3

      You know as well as the rest of us that Shearer will choke in the hard graft of the 2014 campaign. With Shearer the probability of another”show me the money” moment is high.

      He is doing well because people are finally recognising how atrocious National are. 

      Still if he does well, an average Labour leader will still be better for NZ than this National government, lets be honest, they are hopeless.

    • felix 23.4

      Hilarious to hear Matthyawn on the radio describing this site as “bizarre”.

      He somehow forgot to mention that he’s a long-time and increasingly regular participant in it.

      Funny that.

  24. John Key has been eating bugs, a few more years of his austerity and people will be forced to eat bugs to stay alive.

    • Craig Glen Eden 24.1

      Yeah Im sure he has eaten way worse and washed it down with more than water.Wonder if he was wearing that nice pink shirt?

    • the pigman 24.2

      Don’t worry kc, he’s had plenty of practice swallowing “dead rats” over the past 4 years. Lucky for him he still has another two years to dole them out to an increasingly hungry and desperate populace.

  25. bad12 25

    Labour could go no other way but up in the polls after the party agreed to ‘democratize’ the selection of the party leader,

    Labour left me a long long time ago but the move to allow the membership a 40% say in who will be the party leader even had the likes of me nodding in approval,

    I can but await the day when Labour goes further and gives all sectors of the party a say in who will make up the Cabinet as well,(we might just start to see then a Labour Party who’s Ministers reflect the wishes of the rank and file while in Government),

    I sincerely hope that the question of leadership is triggered in the Labour caucus in February which will not only test the system of voting but also give the electorate the surety of whoever should win such a contest has the majority of support across the whole party

  26. Johan 26

    Matthew Hooton, with his comments above appears to be pushing for support for David Shearer as Labour Leader, despite Mr. Hooton being an evangelical card carrying National supporter. Why not, after all in a public debate John Key would make mince meat out of David Shearer.
    It appears that The Labour Party caucus is under the illusion that they simply must get more Labour voters out to the ballot box on election day to become the new govt. For myself, and the many swing voters that I have spoken to, the reason for not voting for Labour in the last election, may partly lie with the unpallitible Labour Party policies.
    egg Handing out the doll to people who should be working. This rubs many working class people, who would normally vote Labour, the wrong way. I am all in favour of a hand-up but not supporter of generational doll bludgers. Also, Labour needs to go back and stress its core Labour Policies, affordable lodgings, food, income etc. Too many elected Labour members are only concerned about promoting their own particular lifestyle and not the core values of the Labour Party.
    I, for one would not be jumping up and down with delight, when the poll was a very small one, 1000 people and a margin of error of 3.1%.
    Oh yes, when someone polls me, which hasn’t happened often, I give the exact opposite to how I feel.

    • millsy 26.1

      So do you want the poor on the streets?

      What policies would you see Labour implement or drop?

    • bad12 26.2

      This happens to be the most stupid comment i have read on any blog-site in the last year,

      For your info,(i can barely keep myself as addressing you as dick-head), the supply of labour is now a market where those with the most marketable skills get employed first and those with the least get employed last, (if at all),

      I doubt you will understand this simple explanation of marketized labour simply because you either choose not to or your far too dull witted to be able to grasp ‘market concepts’,

      Its really simple, take the tomatoes on offer at the supermarket, the best looking, firmest tomatoes are easily sold to the canny shopper, left unsold in the tomato bin are the tomatoes that are soft or blemished in some way shape or form,

      Such is the same with a ‘labour market’ those with their product for sale, in this case their labour are sorted by those wishing to purchase labour, the employers, employed first are those who possess the skills needed in the particular part of the economy thye are attempting to sell their labour into,

      Employed last,(if at all), are those with the least skills and who for whatever reason those purchasing the labour see or feel are not right for the particular employment much the same as the soft or blemished tomatoes will be left unsold in the supermarket tomato bin,

      If, of course you are suggesting there is employment in the economy for all those who seek it i have just wasted a portion of my valuable time attempting to educate you and the epithet i amoverly tempted to apply to you as a descriptive is well suited….

  27. Tracey 27

    I listen to DS on the radio this morning, and whatever “faction” anyone may be in, or whatever opinion they hold, they all must surely agree he doesn’t speak well. He started to call his caucus government, and stumbled a few times. The problem with this is WHAT crucial word will he substitute that the media and government will pounce on, especially during a campaign. A poor speaker, such as the PM was, is only tolerable when you are up against a 9 year govt. Mostly people expect some articulate speaking from their leader.

  28. Tracey 28

    Matthew you almost seem to be suggesting that to be in government you have to pretend to be whatever the middle of NZ wants, and you may be right but it means lying about your true intentions (and doing that afterwards, aka some policy implementation by this govt).

    You bemoan activists etc rejoining the Labour party, yet isn’t this the crux of democracy? Namely that people with certain views gravitate together to find a way to make them so. You seem to be suggesting that the way is more properly to work out what most people want, then say you will do what they want, get elected and then do some different stuff which will take longer to unwind AND spin and pr and market it to look less like what it is. I’m not sure how that befits a democracy. Mr Dunne is kind of the pin-up boy for “believe whatever you need to believe to get a big pay packet from government” or better still “don’t really believe anything in case it won’t get you re-elected. He may in fact be the biggest bludger sucking at the welfare teat we’ve ever had.

    Activists don’t hide so we see their intentions for what they really are. There’s an honesty about that which can serve society well.

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    The Changing Face Of Protest: In marked contrast to the theologically- and ideologically-driven protest movements of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, contemporary protest, like this demonstration against the latest Israeli assault on Gaza, tends to be led by those whose stake in...
    Bowalley Road | 29-07
  • Why Voters Aren’t Angrier About Economic Inequality
    This is the USA but there are strong parallels here in New zealand ...
    Closing the Gap | 28-07
  • Goodbye Nick Smith
    On the back of recently trying to silence DOC over their concerns about the impact of the Ruataniwha irrigation project on water quality in central Hawke's Bay, Nick Smith is once again bullying a statuary body with threats that clearly...
    The Jackal | 28-07
  • Minister for Conservation of What?