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Getting there

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, April 5th, 2013 - 31 comments
Categories: greens, labour, national, polls - Tags:

So, the trend in the Roy Morgans continues, ever so painfully slowly to move in the Left’s favour.

roy morgan april 2013
Since Labour recovered from its election disaster level to 30+, the Left’s support has risen at a bit under 0.2% per month, the Right vice versa. Lab+Green now outpolls National as often as not. Which is a massive turnaround from two years ago.

nat v lab and green roy morgan polls

But ‘if these trends continue’ is the most dangerous phrase in politics.

Even if these trends do continue (and I know I’m going to get people angry at me for this 18 month – that’s half a fun) Lab+Green is still less than 50% come the campaign and National’s only 6-7& astern.

roy morgan projection

Another bad campaign from Labour, a few Brash moments from Shearer, and that lead evaporates. But there’s no denying that the Left is looking at lot better than a year ago, and Key’s chances of a third term are falling.


31 comments on “Getting there”

  1. Bunji 1

    Actual poll link.

    Labour 34.5% (up 2), Greens 13% (down 0.5), National 44% (up 0.5)

  2. Watching 2

    Using current poll data to predict a 2014 future is questionable. What happens now has some relevance, but now is not great times especially in terms the economy. People are being polled about who they would elect today without any `real’ change taking place.

    Around the world it is easy to be the opposition, and you could assume from poll data that just about every government will be replaced at the next election. What happens next – incoming government sweeps in with new mandates, and yet within a year are trending quickly down the polls – cue France.

    We should recall what Obama was polling in 2010-11, and then came the 2012 election.

    It’s Labour not Labour/Green that needs to get its poll numbers up in preparation for the 2014 election. Labour with under 40% and in power is a whole new ballgame.?

  3. Matthew 3

    I predict that if these trends continue, Cunliffe will roll Shearer next February, just in time to launch a 9mth long election campaign.

    • Jilly Bee 3.1

      I sincerely hope that you’re correct Matthew – I am in the meantime keeping my membership card away from the shredder in the rather fond hope that your prediction is on the button.

    • The Al1en 3.2

      If we’re playing at fantasy politics, then I’d want DC to leave Labour and instead of NZF or the Conservative loonies playing the king maker card, set up shop for himself, inspiring a wave of popular support from the disenfranchised and forgotten to come out and vote, that gets him and his party list well over the threshold, and DS comes and ask his permission to form a government.
      The king of kings 😆

      That’s how I’d write it.

    • David H 3.3

      As long as Cunliffe has a real good clean out too.

      • The Al1en 3.3.1

        A pyre on the steps of parliament to warm the spirits through the coming winter of discontent.
        Build it and they will come.

  4. Te Reo Putake 4

    I wrote this up as a guest post a couple of weeks ago, but, as usual, it disappeared into the dark, silent and non-responsive void that is the Standard’s ‘contribute’ option 😉

    It may still be relevent, however.

    If Labour Needs to Move Left, Why are the Greens Stuck in the Teens?

    A couple of themes that occasionally pop up in The Standard’s comments are the need for the Labour Party to adopt more left wing policies to ‘win’ the next election and, less often, and far less likely, predictions that the NZLP will soon be the junior partner on the left.

    I’m in favour of Labour adopting left wing policies and I will be doing my best to make sure we have credible, well thought out left platforms adopted at the next national conference, in Christchurch, this November. Those policies will be binding on caucus and the party will expect the campaign to be fought on the ideas, issues and solutions the membership want taken to the electorate. I suspect some policies will be dead rats for Shearer and the coterie around him, but tough. That’s democracy.

    But if the Labour Party presents policies that are as left wing as some of those espoused by the Greens, will that make the difference? Will that lift the NZLP vote into the high thirties/low forties, where it should really be under MMP?

    I suspect not.

    Whether Standardistas like it or not, a leftist, or even leftish, platform, by itself, does not guarantee support, let alone victory, in Western Parliamentary elections. If it did, then the Greens would already be outpolling Labour. But they are not; and, I confidently predict, they never will.

    There are two reasons for it. Firstly, the Green’s branding limits them to single figures, or just above. The party name suggests that environmental policies are the limit of their ambition. Not true, of course, but that is how they are perceived and themresults reflect that fact.

    It is to the considerable credit of kiwi greens MP’s and activists that the GP has been more successful than any other Green Party worldwide, but that’s as far as its likely to go.

    Secondly, the NZ Labour Party has history on its side. It has been, and remains, the only credible alternative leader of Government in NZ. It’s been National or Labour for 75 years and for a lot of voters, it’s barely different from choosing Ford or Holden when Bathurst rolls around each year.

    National and Labour are the Big Beasts of NZ politics and MMP has not changed that.

    So, what’s the other factor in getting a left Government in place? Well, it’s leadership, obviously enough. And David Shearer’s minor oversight in forgetting he had $50k or more socked away in a yank bank tells me that he doesn’t have what it takes for the kind of victory the NZ people deserve. I’m not saying that he won’t be PM after the next election, but the majority will be painfully thin, when we should be heading for a repeat of 1999. But, then, in ‘99, we had a clear alternative Government to vote for: Labour/Alliance. Few signs yet that NZLP and the Greens will be able to present a similarly credible bloc to vote for this time round.

    My prediction? NZLP 35%, Greens 12%. I’m not even sure that the Greens will be part of the next Government. It could well be a minority LP/NZF with GP support on confidence and supply, because the continuous slippage in National’s vote since the last election will help shore up Winston and I believe Shearer will opt for the least challenging coalition partner, being the pragmatist that he appears to be.

    One final point on Winston; he doesn’t seem to be as belligerent toward the Greens as he was six years ago. Perhaps he’s ready to swallow a dead rat of his own?

    • r0b 4.1

      I wrote this up as a guest post a couple of weeks ago, but, as usual, it disappeared into the dark, silent and non-responsive void that is the Standard’s ‘contribute’ option

      Houston – we have a problem!

      I dunno where that input goes – I’m guessing its probably to lprent, and your guest post probably arrived during his recent coding crunch and was lost in the rush.

      We need a more distributed process?

      • lprent 4.1.1

        Yes. Problem is that I haven’t managed to restart myself on the guest posts because they usually take a reasonably long block of time to put together. Do you want to be added to the gmail?

        I haven’t restarted the mail process at the database server because I haven’t figured out a effective approach to making the server source for the emails to be hidden in the volumes that we want. It is the task for this weekend provided I don’t get too social (or tied down to fixing a current bug in San Diego)

        • Colonial Weka

          ” because they usually take a reasonably long block of time to put together.”

          Is that editing? Formatting? I assume the actual posting on site doesn’t take long.

      • Te Reo Putake 4.1.2

        I’m not sure how things work in the Standard collective, r0b, but there may be an author or moderator who is willing to take responsibility for answering emails and the like to lift the burden from LP’s shoulders. I’ve no problem with a post being rejected, of course, but the lack of any response at all isn’t very encouraging for Standardistas who would like to have a crack at writing posts.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      I wrote this up as a guest post a couple of weeks ago, but, as usual, it disappeared into the dark, silent and non-responsive void that is the Standard’s ‘contribute’ option

      Last time I looked the contribute page was broken. I could be wrong but I don’t think it’s been fixed yet. I usually just send an email to thestandardnz(at)gmail.com

      Secondly, the NZ Labour Party has history on its side.

      Actually, the history of Labour shows that a party can come out of left field.

      It has been, and remains, the only credible alternative leader of Government in NZ.

      It’s losing that credibility.

      It’s been National or Labour for 75 years and for a lot of voters, it’s barely different from choosing Ford or Holden when Bathurst rolls around each year.

      Which is, IMO, why nearly 30% of voters didn’t vote.

      BTW, your don’t work.

      • Te Reo Putake 4.2.1

        Cheers, DtB. Sorry bout the links, but I think you may be able to live without seeing yet another photo of Winston grinning like a loon! One other was a link to a list of Green electoral successes around the world, just backing up my point about our GP already being the most succesful ever at a national level and the third was the results of the ’99 election.

        Re: the LP’s credibilty, the RM poll suggests it is slowly regaining the ground it lost under Goff. Even the preferred PM polls elsewhere are suggesting Shearer is gaining traction with voters, which even I find puzzling.

    • felix 4.3

      “If Labour Needs to Move Left, Why are the Greens Stuck in the Teens?”

      Because the Greens are not and never have been ‘Labour but a bit more to the left’?

      Sorry mate but that’s such a lazy comparison, it’s like you’ve actually built a strawman out of apples and oranges. Hardly worth replying to except to ask this:

      If Labour need to focus on the ‘centre’ then why are United Future stuck in the sub-1% range?

      Stupid question, I know, but just as valid.

      • Te Reo Putake 4.3.1

        Nah, I’m not saying the GP are a ‘left labour’, but riffing on the assumption of many that they are to the left of Labour. UF’s problems are neither hair nor there 😉

      • Bunji 4.3.2

        indeed TRP says: “Whether Standardistas like it or not, a leftist, or even leftish, platform, by itself, does not guarantee support, let alone victory, in Western Parliamentary elections.”

        not that moving to the centre will win votes.
        And indeed that TRP wants them to move left…

        I think that the important thing is about having competence and vision and more importantly the appearance of each.
        While Helen wasn’t much of a visionary she was competence personified, which the voters liked. These clowns aren’t exactly visionary either, but for some reason they can cast a mirage of competency that keeps a big chunk of the population happy.

        So competence and then vision. A big chunk of the country won’t actually be bothered whether that vision is left, right or centre (although some will be more susceptible to one than t’other), but if you sell it well, they’ll come along for the ride. (and this lot are a bunch of salesman, so while they haven’t much vision they sell it well… although they’ve never managed to sell their one big policy, asset sales…)

        TRP: Labour 35, Green 12? That’s not overly optimistic with Key (National’s most precious asset) imploding and the RM polls already at that 18 months out… I’d hope for better than that (and definitely a Lab-Grn govt…)

        • Te Reo Putake

          “Labour 35, Green 12?”

          I’d certainly be happy if both figures were higher, but my gut feeling is that we (LP/GP) are going to barely scrape in, probably as a minority government. So that combined 47% is the bare minimum needed to be in a position to form a simple coalition. I’m assuming there that NZF get up, limiting National’s overall numbers to about 50 seats and that Mana either endorse the coalition or abstain in the confidence vote. I’m also pretty sure that the MP, ACT and UF will be back, but with only 3 seats between them. So, on my numbers, it would be LP/GP with 55 – 58 seats, Nat bloc 53. Mana and NZF the rest.

    • Colonial Weka 4.4

      “It is to the considerable credit of kiwi greens MP’s and activists that the GP has been more successful than any other Green Party worldwide, but that’s as far as its likely to go.”

      You assert this now and in the past, but you don’t back it up with anything. Other than your wish that this is true, what else makes you believe the Greens will never go higher than they are currently?

      • Te Reo Putake 4.4.1

        Did you read the comment, CW? I backed up my opinion with the fact the NZGP has already acheived the best ever result of any Green Party and the polls since the last election suggest that they cannot do better. Stuck in the low teens seems to be the hightide mark. I also mentioned their branding as limiting their voting potential, so I think you are wrong to say I didn’t back it up.

        I want a strong GP as part of a coalition with my preferred party, Labour. But, history suggests they’ve already peaked. You seem to think they can do better, lets hear how.

        • Colonial Weka

          Yes I did read the comment, but I still don’t understand how that supports the idea that the GP has reached its zenith for all time.

          You think that the name + branding = a political limitation. But polling and the shift in the media’s attention suggest otherwise. I’m guessing their membershipt stats might also suggest otherwise. The GP has made some pretty significant changes in recent years, and that is showing up in various ways. One way to understand this is that the party has matured politically. That plus the smarts they now have with media, PR and social networking tools suggests that there is room for growth. There is also the potential of the current non-voters, and we’ve yet to see which party makes inroads there.

          I think your assessment is premature (and honestly, it does come across as wishful thinking from someone in the Labour Party) – when the current form of the GP has been through a few electoral cycles and failed to gain any ground, then it might be time to look at if the GP is permanently stuck.

          • Colonial Weka

            Re the branding, or more accurately, the perception of the branding… it’s pretty obvious that NZ is shifting steadily with regards to the environment. We are far more aware as a general population about the important of the environment. I can’t see that changing (esp as we will now have successive generations of kids growing up into voters who have been taught environmental issues and values at school). What is not certain is how NZ voters will respond to the complex challenges of teh GFC, PO and CC. It’s likely that some voters who might have otherwise voted Green will vote Labour instead (or NACT), out of fear of the economic issues. But it’s possible that the GP will get their shit together enough to demonstrate that there is no inherent contradiction between the environment and socioeconomic security (and that they are in fact completely intertwined).

            I think you views are a bit FPP. On the horizon are also complex issues, not well understood outside of Maoridom, about what will happen to the MP, Mana and the Maori Labour vote. Under MMP, those have the potential to be critical. We also don’t know what will happen when Winston Peters is finally off the scene. I suppose what I am saying here is that over time, both the political scence and the socioeconomic/environment spheres are going to go through quite big changes. It is very hard to be certain about anything when such change is going on. That’s why your assertions of certainty don’t make sense to me. You may be right about the GP (although I personally don’t think you are), but there is no way to be so certain about it. I can see why it suits someone in the Labour Party to be so certain though 😉

    • The Al1en 4.5

      “If Labour Needs to Move Left, Why are the Greens Stuck in the Teens?”

      My uninformed guess is a big chunk of the left vote are shell shocked into not voting for anyone.

    • just saying 4.6

      Labour ceding the centre-left social democratic ground to the Greens effectively marginalises the position and makes it seem extreme to voters. It is because of its historical position as the “natural” alternative to National that it has a responsibility to hold what is supposed to be its own ground.

      I don’t know about others but I haven’t felt wholehearted in voting Green since Sue Bradford left. While I believe the Turei is doing an excellent job, I fear she and her particular field of issues (broadly, social justice, security, health and well-being) would be the Greens’ primary compromises in coalition, particularly given its environmental focus and the vested interests of its membership demographic.

      Parliament would be a whole different ball-game if working class people were actually represented by our own in proportion to our numbers. I’m heartily sick of being ruled (patronised) by the smug middle class with their delusions of superiority and ambitions of future grandeur.

      • Puddleglum 4.6.1

        Agree with your points, just saying.

        The reason I want Labour to go to the left in both policy AND in rhetoric is that it re-legitimises left ideas in the public arena. It ‘re-centres’ the political discourse.

        Once the Labour Party let both left policy and left rhetoric slip from its raison d’être, it lost a generation of people who now see anything leftist as antiquarian and unsuited to the 21st century (for some peculiar reason, such as ‘new technologies’, ‘post-industrialism’, or whatever – as if any of that changed the fundamental conflict over sites of power in stratified societies).

        That’s one reason why you get people saying nonsense things like ‘neither left nor right’ – a bit like ‘neither true nor false’. It might sound intellectually transcendent and clever – or, worse, ‘pragmatic’ – but it’s just confused and demonstrates a lack of clarity and commitment.

        Left and right have been with us ever since Cain and Abel had a ‘disagreement’ (to decode the myth – agriculture ‘slays’ the shepherd/nomad/hunter-gatherer; thus, toil, social stratification, private property, etc. make their entrance into history, with somewhat unfortunate consequences for the human spirit.)

    • Ad 4.7

      I like your optimism there TRP, but struggle with it myself.

      The Mighty River and other share floats will, even if Key quickly accelerates the corrosion of his own credibility, make voters feel like National remains where their financial self interest lies. Labour policy platforms will need to be spectacular to beat self interest.

      Good to see you reflecting on the importance of leadership within Labour and that they have the wrong leader to make it. Coulda-woulda-shoulda, but it’s done.

      Sincerely hope you’re right about policy formation forcing discipline upon Shearer and caucus, but after the complete let-down about direct membership input into the leadership decision (even if within the new rules), I expect to see more of the bullshit bullying tactics from Shearer’s enforcers that keeps democratic input or policy ambitions very low.

      The decline of the Maori Party is the best hope for Labour, in that it cuts coalition options from National. Mind you if the threshold is lowered to 4% the Conservatives will be there.

      We are too far from safe or strong to be optimistic. The incompetence fo the Government should see it in freefall, but still there are no Cabinet casualties to show effective Opposition. Which do you think now has a greater chance of lasting as leader until November 2014: Key or Shearer? That’s the race to the bottom to watch in terms of impact on party stakes.

    • outofbed 4.8

      The Greens
      The public get there impression of the Greens from the reporting by the media.
      I have been to a few Green conferences . 99.999% of people are well presented. I get to watch the news later only to watch clips from the conference of the two only hippy looking people attending.
      That is why the Greens are so strong on Social media they can not rely on the Msm
      It is taking a hell of a lot of work for the Hippy dope smoking misperception to change.
      And change it is, slowly yes but nevertheless its changing.
      In the last election in the most educated electorate in the country (Wellington Central) over 1 in 4 gave the Greens their party vote. Labour as we all know came third
      Expect to see the strong lessons from the very successful 2011 campaign being rolled out Nationwide in 2014.
      I would be surprised if the Greens did not get 15% nationwide in 2014 and over 30% in Wellington Cent

      The target for Labour then is a modest 35%. Will they get it ? maybe depends on the leadership I guess.

      But Labour have a problem best demonstrated by recent events, all these free hits on Keys credibility for his “economy with the truth” and Shearer can’t front because of his recent bank account fiasco

      He has to go for that 35% to happen

  5. The Roy Morgan poll provides a constant source of debating points.

    I still have my doubts about the methodology, too many young and poor people rely exclusively on cellphones over landlines for their imput to be counted properly. And it appears that most polls favour the right as the holders of landlines tend to be older and more conservative.

    But the results are relatively close albeit with a right wing bias.

    It could be that the indifference that Draco mentions dampens the bias that the polling techniques otherwise have, fewer young and poor people voting means that the bias is less pronounced.

    But this highlights why the proper strategy for Labour is a turn out strategy and not a change a few minds in the middle strategy.

    And to do this the party has to develop its activist base.

    • r0b 5.1

      I still have my doubts about the methodology, too many young and poor people rely exclusively on cellphones

      I was chatting to someone last night about politics. He was just Roy Morgan polled – on his mobile. So there is reason to believe that it is happening, dunno what percentage of their sample they contact that way though. Could be buried in their methodology section of their website somewhere.

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        interesting on the cell polling.

        Anyway, I’d much rather slightly skewed data gathered consistently over a long period, than methodologies that bounce around. Less work to compensate for it at the analysis stage 🙂

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          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
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  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
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  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
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  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
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  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
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  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
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    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
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  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
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