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Farrar poll sounds ACT’s death knell

Written By: - Date published: 12:09 pm, October 8th, 2011 - 40 comments
Categories: act, don brash, election 2011, john banks, polls - Tags: ,

National Party pollster, sorry, right-leaning independent commentator David Farrar has been polling in Epsom and the results are not good for the Right. Epsomites are pissed off with their seats being used as a backdoor for ACT into Parliament. They don’t like the gall of the Nats taking out Hide, slotting in Banks and expecting nothing to change. They don’t like dopey Brash.

Farrar is notorious for delivering the poll results that his clients want, so the results in this poll and the fact they’ve leaked is interesting.

Apparently, Farrar asked a three scenario question: would you vote for Banks if a) National was polling over 50% (ie able to govern out-right), b) if National was polling at 47.5% (on the cusp of governing alone), c) if National was polling 45% (needing a partner to govern).

The poll shows Banks might win if it is clear National needs ACT but otherwise he definitely won’t. That shows how pissed off Epsomites are. If they vote for Banks, it will be with gritted teeth.

What will be making Joyce and the other Right ‘masterminds’ who decided that rolling Hide was a good idea sweat is that the voters of Epsom might not realise that National needs ACT. Right now, it doesn’t look like National will need help to govern, so the voters will be deciding they don’t need to vote for Banks. If, as everyone expects, National’s support drops below 48-50% in the closing weeks, it might be too late for enough of those voters to change their mind.

More than that, Farrar’s dodgy ‘scenarios’ are a bit dodgy as a polling technique. A better sign of what will happen is just asking people who they support now, not asking them to guess about their reactions if some hypothetical events take place. People simply don’t know how they would actually react. When you strip away the ‘scenarios’, what the poll is saying is ‘we don’t want Banks’.

Without a doubt, this poll does significant damage to ACT’s hopes. Which is why it is so interesting that it leaked so prolifically (I had heard about the poll from 3 different sources before getting the details this morning). Is the hope to scare Espmonites back to Banks? Or have some in National decided that if ACT is going out anyway it’s better to stomp it to death now and reduce the amount of the Right’s party vote that is wasted?

PS. As I’ve been writing this, I’ve seen Banks interviewed on The Nation. Let’s just say he’ll be glad that the show rates so low because any Epsom voters who were watching will not be voting for him now after the glimpse he gave into what a shambles ACT has become.

Banks refused to unequivocally rule out that Brash could be rolled and replaced with himself or Hide. Banks is experienced enough to know that anything less than completely ruling out a coup in a situation like this will be taken as evidence of a coup. There’s the chance of a leadership change barely a month from the election!

It was also revealed that Banks is vetting Brash’s activities – he vetoed a welfare speech and forced Brash to withdraw from a coming debate on the Treaty. Banks will only let Brash talk about the economy. The interview clearly showed that Banks is de facto leader and may actually be leader before the election. That does serious damage to the already crippled brands of Brash and ACT. Who would vote for the fiasco that ACT has become? Especially if they’re a natural National voter?

Add it all together and there’s a range of nice scenarios for the Left looking ever more likely:

  • ACT doesn’t get back in and dies off.
  • National needs ACT to govern and ACT doesn’t get in, meaning National needs some kind of deal with the Maori Party or the Greens, who can (and had better) stop extreme policies like asset sales
  • National without ACT can’t form a majority but a Left-wing majority can be formed – we’re only 4-5% from that outcome in the latest Roy Morgan, if ACT doesn’t win Epsom.
  • Banks gets Epsom but ACT doesn’t get enough votes for Brash. And the party goes through the ignominy of its final term being led by a man who shares none of its values

Ah, happy days.

40 comments on “Farrar poll sounds ACT’s death knell ”

  1. Redbaron77 1

    It appears a number of Epsom voters dislike National and ACT treating them like a mindless bunch of clowns that would vote a proverbial grey parrot if it sounded Tory. Hopefully they will exercise their protest at the cynical NACT sideshow and elect David Parker to represent them!

    • jaymam 1.1

      David Parker will get in on the list anyway. He is not polling very high, so Labour and Green voters should vote for Goldsmith, otherwise their vote is wasted, and Banks and Brash may get in. Do you really want that?
      In fact if Banks doesn’t get elected, there is the real real chance that Labour can form a government.
      Don’t you want that? Then hold your nose and vote Goldsmith.

  2. randal 2

    National is is going to get the biggest fright its ever had this year. When its own base decides its had enoughof the gerrymandering shenanigans and soul less policies then its good bye.

    • Rodel 2.1

      Not Gerrymandering-we already have a Gerry.

      Nat’s electioneering tactics in Epsom should be called Johnnymandering ( Banksimandering doesn’t sound so good).

      • Rodel 2.1.1

        But what really gets me is that ACT is now died and defunct and National now have two candidates in Epsom both of which are pretty sure of becoming parliamentarians. Doesn’t seem right to me.

      • Ari 2.1.2

        This isn’t gerrymandering, you need electorate borders to be under party control in one way or another to do that. (By the by, the name comes from a candidate named Gerry that shaped their district like a salamander in order to win the vote)

        What exactly are you objecting to? Trying to get Act in by not running their own candidates? At best you could say they’re colluding to make sure one of them wins.

        • felix 2.1.2.1

          Not a gerrymander, just exploiting a quirk of MMP to give one electorate more representation than any other.

          Banks on the Nation today made it very clear that all he wants to achieve by encouraging Epsom to vote strategically is to ensure a John Key led govt.

          This confirms what many have been saying: that the ACT Party is nothing but a sham, a trojan horse to squeeze extra National MPs into parliament.

          This exploitation also goes a small way toward achieving a long-held goal of the political right, namely to move us back to a more feudal-based system where the more money you have, the more votes you get.

          Time to fix this loophole in MMP once and for all.

          • Ari 2.1.2.1.1

            ACT should be in Parliament if 1/120 people want them. That’s the only relevant threshold in my opinion, and I’d love to be rid of ACT.

            • felix 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Of course they should. I’m saying they (or anyone) shouldn’t be able to claim 5 seats in the house just because they win one.

              However I’m also saying that Banks has finally come out and admitted on camera what everyone knew: That ACT is just the Epsom branch of the National Party.

              So what we’re really looking at is the National Party operating a sock-puppet to claim 4 extra seats. And they’re not even trying to hide it anymore.

              • Lanthanide

                “So what we’re really looking at is the National Party operating a sock-puppet to claim 4 extra seats. And they’re not even trying to hide it anymore.”

                But that doesn’t make logical sense. If they get 4 seats, it will be because their party vote warrants that many seats. If that same proportion of party vote was given to National, they too would get 4 extra seats.

                It’s only an overhang if ACT win more electorate seats than their party vote would normally grant them.

                • felix

                  The party vote would normally grant them zero seats. Hence the MPs are freebies for National thanks to the sockpuppetting.

  3. Jasper 3

    A leaked internal National party poll. Oops! The nat’s are in trouble!
    National 44%
    Labour 23%
    Greens 22%
    Mana, NZ First, Maori Party 11%
    Act are history and did not feature in their polling results! Meaning they’re going to stand Goldsmith as their Epsom candidate.

  4. randal 4

    Lanth,he just a provacateur trying to confuse people. tory jerks are like that.

  5. ak 5

    It’s the wreck of the NATrena.

    High and dry and all alone at sea, supported only by the murky mainstream shoal, the last rats deserting, the only sign of life Captain Beaky’s bulbous protuberance and oleaginous sheen repulsing the reef fish and threatening all life….a fitting end for a decrepit commercial hulk piloted by an inexperienced owner-appointed cadet.

  6. ianmac 6

    Suppose the clever chap Farrar expects us to spread the word that National might not win enough to go it alone so we cheer Epson voters get frightened into selling their soul for 30 pieces of Banksie.
    Perhaps we should be promoting that the “Epson voters are mugs and prove it by being used.”

  7. peteremcc 7

    “The poll shows Banks might win if it is clear National needs ACT but otherwise he definitely won’t.”

    No, even the stuff article makes it clear:

    If National is on 45% Banks wins easy.
    If National is on 47.5% Banks wins.
    If National is on 50%, Banks is behind.

    Given Epsom voters can’t know what National will get on the party vote until after they cast their electorate vote, they’re not stupid and will vote Banks. This just confirms Banks will win.

  8. As I’ve stated previously, I’ve no desire to see ACT destroyed. It remains a convenient ‘vehicle’ for right-wingers and neo-liberals and we can keep an eye on them.

    Once ACT disappears from the political scene, those neo-liberals may re-colonise other Parties -most likely National.

    But we won’t know their influence. It will be a FPP-scenario, as various factions vie for power and we don’t know who is ascendent until after Election Day.

    Personally, I can live with a Peter Dunne-type of result, when John Banks is elected to Parliament, but no one else from that benighted Party. I think the term I’m looking for is not so much ‘euthenased’, as ‘neutered’.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    I think it’s telling that RWNJs aren’t very effective unless they’re in a big group – agitating against collectivism.

  10. seeker 10

    ROFL – so true KJT….and Draco above

  11. Jenny 11


    The good news, is that all those voting for ACT outside of Epsom will be wasting their votes. Making the forming of a Labour led government more likely.

    Thank heavens.

  12. hoom 12

    They didn’t poll me.
    Anyways I’m electorate voting for whichever candidate has best chance of messing with right wing plans.
    Even if it means voting banks. Nah fuckit I despise him too much for that, he’ll never get my vote for anything.

  13. Thomas 13

    Put your money where your mouth is. Go to iPredict.co.nz and bet on Banks losing.

    • lprent 13.1

      That does nothing. It is merely redolent of a political passivity that allows others to clip the ticket on your gambling, and reeks of laziness.

      Personally, I will just assist in the electorate campaign to ensure he loses. Seems like a more productive use of my time and effort than playing around in a gambling site masquerading as a market.

      • Thomas 13.1.1

        It makes you money if you’re right. You can take money off ACT supporters and it gives you extra encouragement to campaign.

        This post is just hot air as far as I’m concerned if you aren’t confident enough to put money on it.

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          Thomas represents the true neo-liberal mentality. If there is a fuck up in progress, the only correct thing to become a market speculator and try and make a buck.

  14. Hmmmm…………………. I predict a big push for Colin Craig’s ‘Conservative Party’ – because the National takeover of ACT (the National “B” Team) doesn’t look like it’s working.

    In my considered opinion, the role of Colin Craig and the Conservative Oarty will be twofold – to provide an alternative to the collapsed ACT vote, and to take help votes from NZ First.

    Perhaps this is why the Epsom poll results have been leaked – to help steer ‘centre-right’ voters to the Conservative Party?

    BEWARE!

    As a former Auckland Mayoral candidate – I’d like the voting public to be reminded that Colin Craig supported WATER PRIVATISATION via 5 year private contracts for water and wastewater services.

    How do I know?

    Because I asked him directly.

    Quite a cunning plan by Colin Craig – to poll people to find out what they want – then regurgitate the most popular views back as ‘policy’?

    Opposition to asset sales is apparently Conservative Party policy – but this does not ring true with me given Colin Craig’s previously publicly stated support for WATER PRIVATISATION via 5 year private contracts for water and wastewater services.

    In my considered opinioi – the voting public should always consider TWO things when it comes to deciding for whom to vote – whether it is the Party or electorate vote:

    1) POLICY
    2) PROVEN TRACK RECORD

    What is millionaire property-developer Colin Craig’s PROVEN TRACK RECORD?

    A fresh-looking younger face is all very well and good – but – who is really behind the Conservative Party and whose interests will they be serving?

    Especially in Auckland – haven’t we had enough already of ‘democracy for developers’?

    Penny Bright
    Independent ‘Public Watchdog’
    Candidate for Epsom
    Campaigning against ‘White Collar’ CRIME, CORPORATE WELFARE, CORRUPTION – and its root cause – PRIVATISATION. (How is it decided WHO gets the contracts?)

    • Kevin Campbell 14.1

      Penny, go Colin Craig in Rodney and go the Conservative Party in NZ.

      Petermcc, Epsom voters are not stupid and do not appreciate being part of saving a train wreck.

  15. Blue 15

    Today’s Herald editorial urges Epsom voters to vote for Act.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10757610

    Could they sink any lower?

  16. Yep – my prediction has indeed proven to be correct.

    I just checked out Kiwiblog – and what did I see?

    ‘Conservatives now registered’…………….

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/10/conservatives_now_registered.html#comment-886904

    So!

    Who has more information about the forces and influences behind the Conservative Party?

    I further predict a big MSM campaign popularising Colin Craig and the Conservative Party.
    Apparently – the Conservative Party have bill boards etc all ready to go ……..

    Penny Bright
    Independent ‘Public Watchdog’
    Candidate for Epsom
    Campaigning against ‘White Collar’ CRIME, CORPORATE WELFARE, CORRUPTION – and its root cause – PRIVATISATION. (How is it decided WHO gets the contracts?)

    • Kevin Campbell 16.1

      Or taking a big punt it could be that Kiwiblog is just updating voters on electoral matters?

  17. Wonder what will happen to John Banks electoral chances if he and Don Brash are investigated for ‘misstatements’ on the Huljich Wealth Management (NZ) Ltd Registered Prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009, as per s.58 (3) of the Securities Act 1978?

    As was fellow former Huljich Wealth Management (NZ) Ltd Director Peter Huljich?

    Why didn’t this happen under the previous Securities Commission?

    OPTIONS:

    1) The Finance Markets Authority (FMA) could be asked to investigate?

    2) The Minister of Commerce (Simon Power) could be asked to investigate?

    3) A private prosecution could be lodged?

    Surely we don’t want New Zealand – ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ (along with Denmark and Singapore – according to the 2010 Transparency International ‘Corruption Perception Index’) to be seen to be ‘soft’ on ‘white collar’ crime?

    (Pity about the 64 finance industry collapses since 2006 ………………… 🙁

    Penny Bright
    Independent Public Watchdog
    Candidate for Epsom

    Campaigning against ‘white collar’ CRIME, CORPORATE WELFARE, and CORRUPTION (including its root cause – PRIVATISATION)

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