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Why the Herald’s polls are stupid

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, June 9th, 2009 - 34 comments
Categories: polls - Tags:


34 comments on “Why the Herald’s polls are stupid”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    The question is who SHOULD win not who WILL win. There is a difference.

    • poptart 1.1

      Yeah and this shows how skewed the Herald’s polls are. Which makes them stupid.

      • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1

        Yep, it’s a stupid question all right. WTF does it even mean?

        If Lee should win, but doesn’t, does that mean she is an even worse candidate? Or that the election was rigged?

        “Should win.” Think harder granny.

    • merlin 1.2

      yeah but ‘who should win?’ is closer to asking ‘who would you vote for?’ than asking ‘who will win?’ which is a pointless questions because we all know the answer.

  2. IrishBill 2

    Did you get RSI from all of that voting, TS?

  3. sally 3

    It’s a poll of people who are mildly interested in politics and sit at their computers all day. It isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

    EDIT: Funny, the word indentity thingy at the bottom of my comment was ‘working fools’.

  4. Lew 4

    The way the question is framed means it’s more a measure of party allegiance than candidate performance. It encourages people to dream, not assess the facts and circumstances of the situation and respond to that.

    But it tells us more about the Herald readership than it does about anything else.


    Captcha: ‘oracular programs’. Heh.

  5. GFraser 5

    Yet another reason not to buy or read that rag.

  6. Relic 6

    I honestly thought that Nat/ACT people have software that votes multiple times and can leave a trail of different IP I/Ds. It is “someones’ job at HQ, kiwiblog or similar to flip the switch most days. It cannot be every day as there are abberrations such as Helen Clarks (close) win in the greatest living NZer one.

    Though I guess individuals may multiple vote too using household or work machines.
    Can the right really be this organised, or are they the remaining rump of Herald readership? Leftish people may just not bother.

    What is the other explanation for most of these online poll results being more rightward skewed than might be expected compared to other more reputable polls on the same or similar subjects. These polls are described as being not scientfic, so another scenario is that staff get a turn at inventing each days result. Shift a sliderdone!

    The phone in polls after the leaders debates in the general election were rigged by autoresponders reputable media people claimed too.

    • poptart 6.1

      The answer is that the kind of people who have time to sit at their computer during the day doing online polls, and who choose to read the Herald, tend to be wealthier than average. That means the polls and the Your Views are heavily skewed towards National. Because National is the party of the rich.

      It also explains why the Herald takes such a rightwing pro-National line, when you look at their readership.

    • Ag 6.2

      You need only look at Ron Paul’s campaign in the US last year. He would win every online poll and had more friends than anyone else on social networking sites, more followers than God on Twitter and so on.

      The right tends to attract obsessive lunatics these days. One need only look at Free Republic or World Nut Daily, or one of the New Zealand clones of those, to understand that.

      Captcha: arcadian day (if only it was)

      • Tigger 6.2.1

        I know of someone who does this for NACT – won’t post a name but he has software that allows him to vote multiple times (I don’t know the upper limit of what ‘multiple’ means).

        Another recent poll had something like 80% of respondents saying that Key had handled the Worth thing well…says it all really.

        • Noko

          “allows him to vote multiple times ”

          Makes it sound like he has a botnet under his control. That or he wrote a script which power cycles his router and hits the Herald server for each time it does that, but that sounds unreasonable.

          Nonetheless, it sounds like a conspiracy theory.

          • Rich

            If you’re on a well known proxy they probably allow multiple votes through and only have cookies to try and deduplicate?

          • Rich

            Yup, I can vote multiple times on my work machine if I delete cookies each time.

    • jagilby 6.3

      Funny how the left always view these types of things as aberrations… there must be some kind of disturbance in the force etc…. the right has conspired to deceive. The stand out example of this of course occured on 8 November 2008.

      At the end of the day there is no notion so ridiculous as that of the VRWC… the right doesn’t have the time or the inclination to waste time doing these things.
      On the other side of the spectrum the left have to co-ordinate all available resources in order to combat the mighty “enemy” that is common sense.

    • mike 6.4

      “Though I guess individuals may multiple vote too using household or work machines”

      You hit the nail on the head there relic. Right voters are much more likely to be gainfully employed.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    The Herald can’t even ask a simple question. ‘Should’ has several distinct meanings.

    “The All Blacks should beat France on Saturday” = a prediction.

    We have no idea what the poll is asking.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    The biggest problem I can see with this obvious election result is that Labour could end up having its own private army. Scary.

    • Maynard J 8.1

      And that criminals will still know how to use off-ramps – they only do not know how to in la-la-Lee-land.

  9. SPC 9

    It is simply a poll to allow the current National government popularity to be expressed. This to put the coming electorate result in perspective.

    It also enables (via bias towards those with access to computers throughout the day) an overstatement of the governments popularity in Auckland (which is possibly in decline over local issues).

    • Graeme 9.1

      Agreed. Is it any surprise that the population overall (either in New Zealand, or just greater Auckland) would differ from the population in a particular electorate?

      Thus, in conclusion, the Herald’s polls are stupid, but this isn’t why :-)

      • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1

        The sample for these polls is a self selection heavily weighted towards;

        smartarses picking the stupidest answer to mock the stupid question,

        reactionary tools trying to prove that the silent majority agrees with them,


        people so fucking stupid that they think the polls mean something.

        That’s why;

        the answers trend rightwards.

        • mike

          “smartarses picking the stupidest answer”

          Didn’t hel’s win one last year?

        • Phil (not Goff)

          Actually PB, if you check back over the whole day, some clear trends emerge:

          The right-wing voters arrive at work early in the morning, check out the latest news, and vote in the polls. Later in the morning as the unemployed roll out of bed, Labour’s share moves upward. Then, about 3.30 pm, when all the stoners have recovered from last nights bender and had a feed, the Greens get their ‘growth spurt’.

          This generalisation game is far too easy – pick a harder one next time, will you?

  10. Tom Semmens 10

    At least we know where Cameron Slater gets his inside info from now.

  11. vto 11

    Maybe they just asked the whole country instead of mount albert

    • Rich 11.1

      Because by-elections are a general poll of the whole country, right. Voting papers arrive in the mail shortly, call your local council if you don’t get yours…

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