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And Fairfax makes three

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, December 9th, 2012 - 56 comments
Categories: election 2014, labour, polls - Tags: ,

After good news for Labour in the most recent TV1 and 3 News polls, the latest Fairfax poll is the third in the set confirming that the party has emerged from the recent media circus in OK shape. Tracy Watkins had this summary:

[The] latest Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll shows Labour leader David Shearer will also be buoyed, after the poll revealed a showdown with rival David Cunliffe boosted his standing among voters, who applauded his new-found steel.

Of 1062 voters we questioned, 34.7 per cent said they felt more positive about him than a year ago, and many cited the way he stared down the leadership challenge from Mr Cunliffe as the reason. …

The poll puts National on 46.2 per cent support, up 1.3 points on our last poll in August. Labour is on 34.4 per cent, up 1.8. Its rise is largely at the expense of the Greens, who drop to 10.5 per cent.

Of the others, only NZ First on 3.8 per cent comes close to reaching the 5 per cent threshold to win seats in Parliament, and the others will have to win electorate seats to survive.

The public response to the leadership issue, if true as reported, certainly highlights the difference between the world as seen by the majority of the voting public, and the world as seen by the activist readership of The Standard! (A complex set of issues there, subject of a later post perhaps). On Shearer and Key:

But [Shearer] still has a long way to go – in a contest between him and Prime Minister John Key, Mr Key is rated more statesman-like, focused, energetic and impressive by most voters. On a scale of zero to 10, Mr Shearer failed to get a pass mark for his performance over the last 12 months, rating 4.8 on average. …

Mr Key’s standing has also suffered, with 40 per cent of voters saying their opinion of him had got worse over the past year, compared with just over 2 per cent, who said their opinion had got better.

A second piece on the poll focused more on the issues:

Kiwis worried the country just isn’t working properly

National got into office promising to deliver a brighter future – but voters are asking where the jobs are.

The latest Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll revealed job creation and unemployment is the single most pressing issue facing the country. Nearly a quarter (24.5 per cent) are worried about high unemployment – which currently stands at 7.3 per cent – a 13-year high. More than 82 per cent rated the issue extremely important or important. It was followed by the growth of the economy, with 18.5 per cent singling it out as their top issue. Slightly more than 78 per cent thought it extremely important or important.

But even though National has bumbled its way through 2012, voters are still giving the Government the benefit of the doubt – blaming the sluggish economy on global conditions ahead of government policies. …

But our poll shows a slight shift in whether voters believe the country is on the right track. More than half say we are moving in the wrong direction – 51.1 per cent, up a smidge from 50.2 per cent in our July/August poll.

As far as I know that’s the last big poll of 2012, and with the Left / Right gap halved since the election, a reasonable place for Labour to be sitting at the end of the year. In my opinion National’s hopeless record on the economy will see them off in 2014. With policies like KiwiBuild and Capital Gains Tax, Labour is starting to offer the strong and clear alternative that the electorate will be looking for.

56 comments on “And Fairfax makes three ”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Clare Curran will be happy that you are on message

    • r0b 1.1

      My message is my own HS. I can’t help being more interested in a good result in 2014 than I am in whatever individual personality issues are going on currently.

      Love to hang about and chat but I have to bake a cake…

  2. One Tāne Huna 2

    Are these poll results a response to the little Paddy not-coup? Is there any evidence whatsoever that voters respond so quickly to political events?

    How do we know it isn’t evidence of the slow realisation that the National Party is a foreign-backed fifth column, or that Bill English is a shit finance minister?

    • Viper Anne 2.1

      +1 to One Tane Huna.

      I’m pleased to see Labour is holding its own, but don’t anyone kid themselves it is a response to the Clayton’s Coup because I don’t believe it is. The lag effect means it can take up to 2 months before reactions to events have a significant effect. It’s far more likely the apolitical and/or apathetic voters among us have finally started to see through the Key/Nat mirage, and have realised there’s nothing there…

    • Jackal 2.2

      It appears to be a combination of all those things and more. The media have actually been reporting on Nationals failures in a less biased manner and there’s been a veritable shit-load of controversies. From the gift that just keeps giving Kim Dotcom to the unthinking moronic outbursts of John Key to their woeful performance on climate change issues… There are many reasons for the public to turn off National and start voting Labour.

      Normally some of these voters would be picked up by NZ First, but they have their own problems at the moment.

      In conjunction with this is David Shearer’s strong performance at the conference and some policy announcements that many struggling New Zealanders would find positive. Contrasting those positives is the badly handled Cunliffe controversy (does anyone honestly think that was a good thing?) and now apparently a move to censure party members (could somebody please link to some actual evidence of this please?) plus some division within the party on issues such as fracking, potential coalition partners and where Labour should position itself in the future. Hopefully these things have or will soon be sorted.

      So the increase in support could have been better if Labour sorted these issues out earlier. I think they will and then we’ll have a dynamic of National shedding even more support that Labour picks up. Hopefully Labour has learnt their lessons re attacking the Greens, as the Greens will fight back and probably have more to gain from attacking Labour, being that many Labour supporters are sympathetic with Green ideals whereas more National supporters are sympathetic with Labours.

      • seeker 2.2.1

        A pretty good summation of the situation imo jackal,
        “especially the badly handled Cunliffe controversy (does anyone honestly think that was a good thing?) “

      • Fortran 2.2.2

        Jackal

        We may be turned off Nacts but why do you think we should automatically turn to Labour as at present, squabbling like schoool children.
        The Greens are making a good fist of it, and are more appealing currently.

        • the pigman 2.2.2.1

          We may be turned off Nacts but why do you think we should automatically turn to Labour as at present, squabbling like schoool children.
          The Greens are making a good fist of it, and are more appealing currently.

          Fortran, speaking for the swing voter, right? Aren’t you going to make a swipe by running out the Labour-Greens-UF-WinstonFirst-Mana-5-headed-monster-coalition image that you are so fond of conjuring?

    • rosy viper 2.3

      I tend to think the poll rise is a consequence of more msm coverage (Shearer exists) and more positive msm coverage along with more (deserved) criticism of the government in general and Key in particular.

      If that’s the case it’s no wonder politicians want to cosy up to the journalists and the msm thinks it can make or break a politician. Whatever the reason, it does appear the right-leaning political press has decided to give Shearer more positive coverage.

      • seeker 2.3.1

        Totally agree rosy viper

        “If that’s the case it’s no wonder politicians want to cosy up to the journalists and the msm thinks it can make or break a politician.”

        That is why Murdoch had so much power in Britain. However in Britain it was only the print media that was partisan, I never witnessed the TV as biased as I do with the political reporters and other TV personalities in New Zealand. Perhaps it is because we are smaller, but whatever. I am sure the Labour politicians must think that unless they ‘cosy up’ they will not get the diamond/platinum card treatment they got from Garner,Gower, Sabin, Armstrong and Trevett since November16. Until now it was rumoured that only Robinson had the ear of the gallery so I thought. However, since Garner had a drink with two senior Labour politicians ……(can’t remember when it was reported, can anyone else? Don’t think I dreamed it.)

        Nothing much to choose between the Labour leadership nasties and the Black Caps Captaincy/Leadership problems. Both seemingly manufactured by cliques and managed badly.

        Perhaps we in New Zealand are on a race to the bottom as Matt McCarten wrote today-after all we are good at sport, but maybe we are not so hot at sportsmanship – and all such nasties are aided and most ably abetted by our fair, objective and non partisan MSM.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10852800

        * So obvious has the MSM backing for Shearer been for the flimsiest of reasons, which previously they would have reported in the negative, that one really does need to ask why? And who can provide the correct answer. Wish we had a less lazy, partisan and self gratifying media, seemingly incapable of good investigative journalism, but then we couldn’t expect them to investigate themselves anyway, now could we? What a tautology.

        • karol 2.3.1.1

          Exactly, seeker.  Those of us who have been round long enough have learned that such MSM suck-ups just keep moving the Left rightwards.  The resulting victories are limited ones, and we never are able to use it a a foot hold to get back on a left wing track.

          It’s time to stand up and say, No More!  We will go in a true Left direction. 

  3. Socialist Paddy 3

    What I would like to know Anthony is whether the 34.7% of voters who thought Shearer was improving were Labour supporters or National supporters. If the latter the party is in deep trouble.

    And having the party vote 0.4% points above the election result in 2008 is hardly cause for celebration. 

    • r0b 3.1

      Sorry, I can’t answer the question. But if National voters think Shearer is improving I don’t think that’s a problem – maybe they’ll vote for him! (And trying to second guess whatever mind games we think Nats or their blogs or Hooton or whatever are playing by “supporting” one or the other is just silly – why give these twits any power at all over what you think? Sorry – must run.)

  4. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 4

    Did anyone listen to Down the List on radionz this a.m. They came up with a brilliant little skit along the lines that Shearer has a rise in support because he has come across as a strong leader over tossing Cunliffe. Then they think Shearer will get a sympathy vote or some other advantage in February if Cunliffe tries to rise again. And that John Tamihere has been accepted so Shearer can chuck him out next year for one of his espected misdemeanours so giving Shearer another rise in his ratings. And that Winston has copied that after noticing the result and that’s why he has dropped Brendan H. Quite funny. Food for thought?

  5. bill-viper-browne 5

    “In my opinion National’s hopeless record on the economy will see them off in 2014”

    Yeah, this may be so – and I think it is, this isn’t a rise in support for Labour it’s a drop for the Natz ’cause they’re fucking useless and because “It’s about time the other side had a go”.

    Which means a sleep-walk to victory for this bunch of same old same olds.

    Unless we can get some change in Feb, of course.

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 5.1

      bill-viper-browne
      Which means a sleep-walk to victory for this bunch of same old same olds.

      Well put. I fear this too.

  6. Bill 6

    So do polls really offer a measure or guide to peoples’ genuine preferences/thoughts? Or are they a measure of the persuasive efficacy of media? I reckon the latter.

    Y’know – the media put a certain spin on Labour and Shearer and ‘lo and behold!’, their polls produce results that essentially measure the effect of that spin. If people were even just reasonably informed or engaged, then misleading, trite and/or shallow personality focussed media spins that suggest to people what views they should adopt would be that much less effective.

  7. ak 7

    – why give these twits any power at all over what you think?

    Many thanks r0b, print and sellotape above every monitor please Gladys.

    Best advice to come out of this hapless saga yet. Of course the chinless picadors of privilege will take every opportunity to needle division (exhibit A, hs above), but taking the slightest notice is the equivalent of bemoaning the existence of excrement: who deliberately steps in dogshit?

    As to the current situation, A complex set of issues there, Indeedy. Fully expected a massive poll dive for Lab based on previous infighting reactions. Dare we assume a genuine public appreciation for efforts to revive core labour values, however messy? The poll-reaction to Labour’s final four weeks last year certainly gives cause for optimism.

    Nice cake r0b.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    With policies like KiwiBuild and Capital Gains Tax, Labour is starting to offer the strong and clear alternative that the electorate will be looking for.

    Nope. It’s what the present leadership clique in Labour thinks that the people are looking for while ignoring the fact that the majority of voters that they’ve lost they’ve lost to the non-vote.

  9. Blue Viper 9

    34.7 per cent said they felt more positive about him than a year ago, and many cited the way he stared down the leadership challenge from Mr Cunliffe as the reason.

    Illustrating that many lemmings like a ‘tough’ leader who ‘shows people who’s boss’. Therefore to win the next election the Labour Party should embark upon a reign of terror against their own MPs, the membership and the Green Party…

  10. bill-viper-browne 10

    I think that this is just the normal cycle of public opinion.

    It is quite likely that there will be a Labour led coalition coming out of the next election – no matter who the leader of the party is or even, I’m afraid, what the policies of either party are. Just like it was almost inevitable that the Natz won in ’08; because it was time for a change in a lot of voter’s minds.

    What pisses me off is that this is therefore the best opportunity to hit the ground running with a progressive programme coming out of the next election.

    Unfortunately, with this bunch of wallies in cabinet, we’re more likely to come out of the next election with a damp squib with no real appetite to turn around the mess that has been, as usual, left by the Natz and their ilk.

    Remember that in general there are around 6 years to turn around and then advance (9 if you’re the next HC, and then you spend the last 3 years fighting an uphill battle).

    There’s a hell of a lot to turn around this time too.

    We need the best people we can find to do this. The best people are not the hopeless bunch of time servers we are stuck with at the moment.

    Lets push them out and get ready to get on with the job.

    • Tim 10.1

      A simple way of ‘turning things around’ would just be to repeal every piece of legislation passed in the past 4 or so years and disestablish the positions of the current gubbamint’s public service appointments

  11. irascible 11

    The Fairfax poll is bad news for the KeY govt.
    There is, apparently, a strong message to Key that his frequent “brain fades”, inability to follow through on contentious issues and discipline his reclacitrant Ministers, especially Parata, Brownlee and McCully along with the obvious failutres to deliver on campaign promises (apart from looking after his rich mates) are starting to tell with the voters- regardless of voting preference.
    The bounce for Shearer would be based not on the pre-written coup that wasn’t but on the increased press coverage he is now getting as a result of the policy announcements and greater willingness of the MSM to provide interview time and presence.
    I reckon NZ voters have a sense that even a crap job of governance shouldn’t get less than a 4-5 on a 10 point scale as to grade it less would be an indictment on their own judgement.

  12. xtasy 12

    “The public response to the leadership issue, if true as reported, certainly highlights the difference between the world as seen by the majority of the voting public, and the world as seen by the activist readership of The Standard!”

    Yes, Labour appears to be “stabilising” between 32 and 35 per cent now, and that is after the wider public, informed primarily just by the superficial mainstream television, radio and print media, have simply taken note of Shearer “flexing” his muscle at and after the Labour Party conference.

    Such “events” only occur now and then, and it is too early to count the eggs before all chickens have laid them.

    Gaining a bit at the expense of the Greens (if the poll is anywhere near right) and also NZ First will not throw Natzies out of power, and therein lies the main problem.

    Shearer does not really seem to gain much from the NatACT support base of largely poorly informed prospective voters. Also where are the gains from non-voters, we know too little about, as the polls do not seem to count them?

    As much as Shearer may have become a bit of the new “darling” of some MSM media journos, that could change swiftly again, once he comes across bumbling and mumbling again in the new year.

    Labour’s and Shearer’s shift to embrace the so much talked about and ambiguous “centre” is a very risky move. It does not convince me as offering enough of the solutions NZ and NZers need for the future. Kiwi Build on sections that do not exist in sufficient numbers and at affordable prices in places where affordable housing is needed, the already well known tax proposals, and meetings about discussing the manufacturing crisis and education needs alone will not suffice, I am afraid.

    All year Labour should have “powered” on and taken Key and the Nats to the cleaners, but it only happened sporadically and not convincingly enough. The holidays will allow the right to rearrange their armaments, I am afraid. So do not rest on these figures, please.

  13. Olsviper 13

    I am surprised that Mr Hooton is yet to drop by with his two cents worth on this development.

    • One Tāne Viper 13.1

      “I support David Shearer. This is his genius shining through. He is the leader of the Labour Party for me.”

      That about covers it.

    • xtasy 13.2

      He is busy in a meeting with Shearer, discussing a “grand coalition” with National as a highly prospective next step to get back into government, given the fact Jones, him and some others gripe about the Greens and feel closer to “the centre”, somewhere not too far from Collins and Bennett.

      Nats will likely not make it next election, and Labour under Shearer may have second thoughts about the Greens now, as Norman is getting too confident with his lot.

      • veutoviper 13.2.1

        Lol – re Hooton meeting with Shearer!

        My immediate reaction to Olsviper’s post was perhaps Hooton was having an end of year BBQ – to which Shearer was invited along with others that attended his BBQ last year, eg Cactus Kate etc.

        It will be interesting to see how Hooton plays this one – perhaps on Nine to Noon tomorrow?

        • Matthew Hooton 13.2.1.1

          My views on all this have been clearly outlined on another site: http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/wr-opening-salvo-dump-rental-properties-now-lf-133603

          • geoff 13.2.1.1.1

            For those of you who can’t be bothered reading Matthew’s article, here’s the summary:
            “Hey fellow bludgers of society ( investors), the general public has finally clued onto what a bunch of thieving crooked arseholes we, and the National party, are. It’s time to sell up now and retire to the gold coast where reptiles like us can feel truly at home!”

            • Neoleftie friend in arms of CV 13.2.1.1.1.1

              I have a friend a property investor who buy crap houses does them up nicely and on sell to first home buyer sub 200k and only makes a bare living outa it. He has a social conscious in some respects well for an accountant cum handy man ex Chch refugee.

          • xtasy 13.2.1.1.2

            Ha, ha, ha, Matthew, you love that crystal ball gazing, don’t you?

            I doubt that under Shearer even half such “policies” would be implemented. He is becoming a bit like Key, a “talker”, but not much of a resolute “doer”, apart from running into panic mode when guys like you and Pat Gower fed suspicions about a “Cunliffe coup”, which was never seriously going to happen at the Labour Conference.

            It seems you and your Natsy buddies are getting “cold” feet now and indeed may be planning your exit to Queensland, Monaco or Bermuda.

            Paying a bit more tax for inevitable infrastructure and housing developments, more science and research, better education, and some extended parental leave, that is for you and other guys as the higher earners really not what you like, aye?!

            Or is your article the summary an enhanced fancy piece for what you got out of your BBQ with Shearer?

          • Descendant Of Sssmith 13.2.1.1.3

            You should be selling them anyway the baby boomers are starting to die off and this will accelerate. Their kids are in Oz and would rather have the cash than the property/ies.

            Tauranga having happily promoted itself as a place to retire will become like Wanganui twenty years ago with forty percent of the houses on the market.

            Auckland might survive due to immigrants settling there.

            Never mind the pollies and media gurus will buy em up they just won’t have anyone to rent em too.

          • Skinny 13.2.1.1.4

            Looks like your shoring up the middle vote who are showing signs of wavering with discontent. ETS a crack at Norman ( the lunatic Greens ) frightening the baby-boomer swing voters with a raise to 67 years till retirement age (won’t happen that’s  a right shift). 

            MH the likelihood of a third term is a tough ask for any Government as you know. Internationally right wing regimes are losing popularity with their favorable treatment to the wealthy & austerity measures to rest.

             The smart thing the opposition parties can do to keep National out in 2014 is to canvas/campaign support to move to a future 4 year term. Heck they might even ride the wave of the assets sale referendum & go to the public in the same way next year in time for 2014? (a red herring in reality). An easy sell tho, sounds practical,  down to business & fresh forward thinking. Of course National won’t be the benefactor, quite the opposite effect one would imagine 🙂

        • CK Viper 13.2.1.2

          For fuck’s sake how much do I have to pay to stop being associated with this bloody BBQ! It’s been a year.

          • lprent 13.2.1.2.1

            I guess you see now why they called it the evils of strong drink. I’m sure that some carbonated grape juice qualifies….

            Knowing how NZ political mythology works, I suspect you can look forward to a decade or two of it.

  14. xtasy 14

    I hear Shearer has taken up “mud wrestling” now and is preparing to take out individual, dissenting “activists” not supporting him in the ring, during prime time televised events at ‘Vector Arena’ in Central Auckland soon. Barely clad cheer-leaders will dance during the breaks.

    His ratings will surely shoot up well beyond 100 per cent, getting so close to “the people”, whose vote he so desperately wants and needs.

    All tv and other media have already booked the first slinging match, to be televised “live” over the Xmas holiday season. Wow, now we are really moving somewhere, I suppose.

    *(tongue in cheek by the way, I regret, or am relieved, whatever)

    • One Tāne Viper 14.1

      The problem with Shearer Celebrity Smack-Down is finding sufficiently limp and ineffectual opponents. Otherwise it’d be a goer.

      • Rhinoviper 14.1.1

        How about his own front bench? Either out of sycophancy – I’m reminded of a scene in Game of Thrones where Ned tells Robert that if he wants to joust, there’s no-one who would dare beat him (…at least not at the tourney) – or because they genuinely are as limp and ineffectual as he.

  15. Neoleftie friend in arms of CV 15

    Well all I can say is steady increase in the polls is positive and required.
    We also need MSM focused on stated policy to get traction within the electorate but we, as members and indeed representatives of the wider community, need this promised operational and structural change as this, I believe, and as highlighted in aussie and Britain LP is necessary to generate the reconneciveness within the electrorate and not just the party.

    I actually don’t care who is my local mp or labour leader I care about results, action and the directional change that our society needs as we here agree this system is failing and will crash soon.
    Govt and private debt will cause the crash so very soon combined with the looming oil shock and then long term effect of climate change….

  16. bad12 16

    Once the Slippery lead National Government has got it’s asset sales program back on track the next election looks likely to be fought among the votes of the middle class over whether or not getting their,(the middle class),hands on the remnants of any assets not sold during Slippery’s present term or getting the children of the middle class comfortably ensconced on the property ladder via Bwana Dave Shearers ‘KiwiBuild’,

    New Zealand Governments have been largely elected since 1984 by a bloated middle class who vote not from ideals or the shades of color of the various political isms but strictly on the basis of what they will directly get in return….

    • Neoleftie friend in arms of CV 16.1

      Agree totally….any perceived extreme shift by labour right or left and they are dead but then again if they stay still they are dead too as the wide centre vote and non voter influencing vote factors shift all the time.

      That and the non vote is the modern battlefield this time around.
      Non vote = local party activity to engage and mobilise

      Me I want hope, hope that my baby can grow up a non slave to this mess of an economic system. Float the boats is all great unless one boat is a huge ship and it’s swamping the tiny little boats.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 16.2

      then again you could look at the example of 2007 where the fact that a lot of working class voters turned up to re-elect Clark was the deciding factor. Whether Shearer has any chance of energising these voters to turn up is the big question.

  17. alwyn 17

    You say that you think it is the last “big” poll for the year.
    There will probably be a Roy Morgan poll to come. They normally do a poll that is taken over the first two weeks of December and is published about a week before Christmas. The didn’t do one last year because the election was at the start of the interval and it would have beeen a bit silly to have results for a sample when the whole population had just been heard from. They did do polls in 2009 and 2010 though.
    Personally I prefer to follow the Morgan polls. I don’t care much about the specific numbers but as they are the only ones who sample all year they are the only ones who give you some trend info.

    • r0b 17.1

      Thanks for that. For a supposedly political blogger, I”m not very plugged in to the cycle of these things.

  18. Northshoreguynz 18

    Dim-Posts polls seem to be good for the left.
    http://dimpost.wordpress.com/?s=Polls

  19. AC 19

    Performance Pay for Politicians starting with a salary equivalent to the minimum wage (this would soon get the unemployment rate down). Apparently there are no other influences that have a considerable negative impact on a child’s learning except the quality of the teacher. I’m sure there is no other factor to take into consideration except for the quality of our politicians when it comes to our poor unemployment rate. Hopefully the gap will keep closing between the left and right into the New Year.

  20. Zaphod Beeblebrox 20

    Right wing parties are running out of economic justifications for austerity. Obama got elected asking for increased taxes, economic support for manufacturing (this is probably why he won Ohio) and a general condemnation of slashing government programs. Sarkozy did not even get re-elected with this program and Cameron is in big trouble in the UK. Despeite the incompetence of the ALP- Abbott has actually had a really poor year. Key faces an impossible task defending his ideology at the moment.

  21. Skinny 21

    What this latest poll shows is that opinion is changing as National has  performed very poorly creating jobs & youth unemployment is out of control. They campaigned strongly on stopping the exodus of Kiwi’s crossing the Tasman & the silence on bridging the pay rates between the two Countries is deafening. 

    In turn this becomes a trust issue, as Kiwi’s are tolerant to a point. Lack of trust is compounding with Dot Com, GCSB, John Banks etc. More faltering trust wise and all of a sudden, first swing voters & then the two bob Tories classify Key, English, Joyce & co as piss & wind 
    politicians and out they Go!

    So L/G coalition need to keep their foot on the Nats throats by hammering them on high unemployment. Together work on producing bomb proof policy on job creation. It ‘must’ be done together too demonstrate to the New Zealand public   
    that this is the Government the Country needs! 
            

  22. KJT 22

    With the total lack of competence from National, Labour should be polling 50%.

    One wonders if Labour really want to get in and reverse Nationals stuffups.

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