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Hello TV3 – can you count?

Written By: - Date published: 6:27 pm, February 20th, 2011 - 93 comments
Categories: john key, polls, tv - Tags: , ,

The headline!

Key increases lead over Goff as Preferred PM

The lead in:

Our first 3 News Reid Research poll in the election year sees Prime Minister John Key continue his commanding lead over Labour and its leader Phil Goff.

“Continue” his commanding lead? What happened to “increases”? Let’s check the fine print:

In the Preferred Prime Minister rankings:
Mr Key sheds five points, still high at 49.1
Mr Goff stays flat at 6.8 – no movement

“Shed”? Pardon me did you say Key shed 5 points?

So 3 News asked voters how the leaders are performing:
Mr Key slips almost 7 percent to 69.6 percent.

“Slips”? Pardon, was that Key slips 7 percent?

So, just a thought, but wouldn’t a better headline for this piece have been “Key’s approval ratings in free fall?” Just, you know, in the interests of accuracy and so on.

lprent Updated : There is a comment from a TV3 editor James Murray.

An apology from the 3 News online team on behalf of Duncan Garner. This headline was a major balls up on our behalf. No excuse other than not reading the script properly am afraid.

Headline has now been changed to

Key still strong as preferred PM, but gap closing

Nice to see a actual apology. Of course it is far less effective than getting it right in the first place.


93 comments on “Hello TV3 – can you count?”

  1. Sookie 1

    I detest Duncan Garner. Lickspittle Key fanboy with zero credibility. But despite his biased little spin, the poll is still depressing. WTF is wrong with you, New Zealand?

    • Monty 1.1

      I think the time has come for labour to seriously think about what it needs to do to try and get some impact in the polls. So much has happened and Nationals support is as solid as ever. The electorate detest Winston. They are quite relaxed about asset sales as the government will retain majority share. maybe no one is listening to Labour. Labour are not giving the country a reason to listen.

      Better sort out your own issues before you worry about margins of error, a slight rise for Winston on e back of him being in the media everyday.

    • Vicky32 1.2

      Yes, absolutely, Garner is vile. He puts a pro-NACT spin on everything, and don’t forget he was the one responsible for the only reporting of Goff’s speech being his hair dye! (That still does damage, as I heard some middle-class git on Nat Rad making a snarky remark to Kathryn Ryan the other day, about Phil Goff and hair dye… and Ryan simply giggled flirtatiously in response.)

  2. Salsy 2

    Interestingy though, this comment was made

    Since Prime Minister John Key rejected working with Peters as a coalition partner a second time, NZ First’s support has jumped by almost 50 percent in tonight’s 3 News Reid Research poll.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Wait…Key says that a vote for Peters is essentially a vote against a National led Government, and Peter’s popularity jumps as a result? How could that be.

  3. Carol 3

    Greens up 0.9%
    NZ First up 1.4%
    Nats down 0.9%
    Lab down 0.3%
    Maori up 0.6%
    ACT down 0.7%

    What’s the margin or error?
    And Garner talks as if those percentages reflect a neat shift of % from one party to another. There could be a lot of votes shifting around parties. But for me the big story is the lift to the Greens & the demise of ACT.

    • Todd 3.1

      Exactly, where’s the margin of error? No proper poll result doesn’t have a margin of error. Come to think of it, where are these polls taken? There’s no way to garner a proper voting trend if the poll was done incorrectly, like in say a National strong hold. Nobody I know is going to vote for them, and I know a lot of people. I’m assuming a lot here, but my hunches are often right. There’s certainly a lot of reasons they would undertake such deception… Namely all our tax dollars their rich mates would get their grubby hands on if they’re re-elected.

  4. ianmac 4

    On TV3 Peters seems to be going to use Asset Sales as a plank for his re-election. I think that the asset sale of Wellington Airport was the reason for the Peters/Shipley fallout. Peter refused to sign up for that sale. (Was he treasurer or some such at the time?) So it may be the reason for Key to rule out Peters; asset sales?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Peters picked up strongly on Labour’s 2010 conference theme of economic sovereignty.

      He is going to run with that theme very hard because it is one which resonates with the public, and John Key has been kind enough to resurrect asset sales as an issue for the next term of any National government.

      My gut feel is that KiwiBank is also at risk.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        I know damn well that Kiwibank is at risk – it’s NACTs preferred fire sale asset. It gets in the way of the banksters acting as a cartel.

    • Jenny 4.2

      “I think that the asset sale of Wellington Airport was the reason for the Peters/Shipley fallout.”


      That’s correct ianmac. But never forget that Peters, being the opportunist he is, originally signed up for sale of Wellingtion’s airport. That is, until his supporters revolted and he had to embarrassingly back track.

  5. McFlock 5

    Increases it’s lead, eh?
    Well, in that case I’m looking forward to an increased National vote in November:
    National 37%
    Lab 44%
    Greens 7%
    Alliance 6% (for a government that doesn’t hate workers)
    NZ1 5% (for shits & giggles)
    Others 1%

    • Salsy 5.1

      Im going with your poll results McFlock – can’t trust tv3, where the hell is the Roy Morgan??

  6. kultur 6

    In my view Peters has more anti corruption and good stuff going for him than many have painted him as.

    Garner is like them all at present – they are trying to drive sensation and ratings. He slated Pansy after the effect – didnt hear much from him during her tenure.

    They are scared of Peters – and in my view that makes him an ally of the left.

    • Jenny 6.1

      “They (National) are scared of Peters”


      Yes Kultur, National are scared of Peters. Scared that he is stealing votes from National, and risking their majority.

      But by distancing themselves from New Zealand First, National has made sure, that any votes Peters gets, will now come from same section of the electorate as the labour vote.

      Strengthening the possibility that NZF will be Kingmaker again. And we all know how that turned out.

      Remember: Once bitten, twice shy.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        But by distancing themselves from New Zealand First, National has made sure, that any votes Peters gets, will now come from same section of the electorate as the labour vote.

        I wonder if NAT has made some bad assumptions here. At a guess, 1/3 of NAT voters in 2008 are true swing voters. If those voters become a little disenchanted with National, but are not yet ready to go back to Labour, NZ1 could end up being the credible bridge away from National.

      • Rob Carr 6.1.2

        National has barred other parties from being coalition partners before and it didn’t stop them taking votes from National. Blacklisting a party is also a good way to isolate people to have affinity with them as much as it is a way to make them vote for you.

        • Monty

          Normally I would agree with this point except Winston is a proven liar, he is corrupt and it is only about Winston. He is detested but nearly everyone. labour in reality dread the thought of having to deal with him. he destroys parties. The Rank and file Labour MP have a fear and loathing of him and what he will do this once proud party. ask any Labour MP about if they want to cut a deal with Winston, and their answer will be not to agree but to feed up something about the will of the people, and the reality of life in politics.

          • IrishBill

            The Rank and file Labour MP have a fear and loathing of him

            No they don’t.

            • Monty

              Well they should have. Winston is the most corrupt lying egocentric son of a bitch to ever curse the halls of parliament. He is untrustworthy scum and he will destroy labour.

              • Colonial Viper

                Well they should have. Winston is the most corrupt lying egocentric son of a bitch to ever curse the halls of parliament. He is untrustworthy scum and he will destroy labour.

                If this were actually true I’m sure you would be cheering Winston on.

                But you’re not.

                • NX

                  He’s right Viper. He represents the worst kind in New Zealand politics. He has been sacked by a number of Prime Ministers. Helen Clark was forced to relieve him of his portfolios. While he has great oratory skills, he is notoriously lazy.

                  He’s a social conservative (how that fit with Labour is beyond me).

                  He’s been treasurer, deputy PM,and foreign minister. He’s all about the bubbles of office, nothing more.

                  Also, in Labour’s last term, they sold off Wellington’s power lines to some Chinese company. Where was Winston condemnation then..? He’s a crock.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Also, in Labour’s last term, they sold off Wellington’s power lines to some Chinese company. Where was Winston condemnation then..? He’s a crock.

                    Hmmmmm? Labour didn’t sell off any power lines to a foreign owned company IIRC.

                    Key has ruled out Peters, trying to set the rules of the game for the electorate. But at the same time Key has given Peters plenty of grist for the mill.

                    Its fairly clear that Peters is completely against asset sales while Key trying to appear moderate, is completely for them.

                    This will be a battleground for 2011.

                    He’s been treasurer, deputy PM,and foreign minister. He’s all about the bubbles of office, nothing more.

                    Baubles of high office? You should note that Key has already signalled that if he loses the PM’s position he cannot be bothered with representing his electorate any more.

                    • NX


                      Re the powerlines thing:
                      clicky, clicky

                      Re Winston. You mentioned ‘Key’ four times in you reply (obsession much).
                      I didn’t mention Key once. I was focusing on Winston’s history, & how much he sucks (something we should both be able to agree on).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Those powerlines were not Government owned but yes Labour did approve the sale – which I do not think they should have (they are a strategic energy asset after all). You could have been more clear, saying that Labour sold them off means something else entirely from Labour permitted the sale.

                      Re Winston. You mentioned ‘Key’ four times in you reply (obsession much).
                      I didn’t mention Key once. I was focusing on Winston’s history, & how much he sucks (something we should both be able to agree on).

                      Key has deliberately and proactively shaped Peter’s position this year. I thought it fair to mention that.

                      Yeah Peters has done some pretty poor things in the past and he is definitely not known as a finisher. So Key is hoping that Peter’s past performance will define his future performance. For a former investment type, I thought he would have known that’s a no no.

                    • NX

                      TBH – I couldn’t remember the precise details of the powerlines thing. All I know is that Labour had a part in it (and the sale didn’t bother me – economies of scale and all that – even Labour recognised that, which makes me closer to Labour economically than you!).

                      Ironically the first article in the link is Winston complaining about the sale (which I thought you’d have a go at me about). But he didn’t resign over it, or make a big song and dance like you’d expect.

                      I was always fascinated how well Helen Clark and Winston Peters worked together given their political backgrounds. But ultimately he was bad for Labour. I think he probably cost Labour a few percentage points in the ’08 election.

                      Okay, look at it this way Viper. John Key is the only PM I’ve actually liked in my living memory (well, that’s only a few PMs). But I’d seriously consider not voting for him if he cuddled up to Winston.

          • KJT

            What is the difference between Winston and Key/Douglas. If anything Winston is the more honest.

  7. Seems you beat me to posting about this by 12 minutes. I bow to your superior speed.

  8. kultur 8

    Granted Jenny – but remember everyone (and i mean everyone) was adjusting to MMP …. i am hardpressed to find anyone who admits they voted in favour of it. Fay and Richwhite were rightly targetted by Peters – the winebox enquiry was glossed over and sidelined – BNZ officials were left with dirty hands as was a mr Pyne as well and the mighty IRD – as were many captains of business and beauracracy. All by Peters hand. I hear Matt Mccarten (who i admire) being interviewed and saying that if all he heard was true – Peters should be in jail? Hey guys …. i havent heard the Left saying Fay and Richwhite or Douglas or Lange or anyone else should be in Jail. If David Garrett can do what he did and get off scott free … if certain labour pollies can wank themselves furiously to taxpayer funded porn movies – if certain pollies can get face rubs and beauty treatments and huge amounts of overseas travel – if Bill English can get away with \’double dipping” – if our PM can get away with being a person who hasnt produced anything of real value and made shitloads of money not doing it .. through meaningless paper transactions off the back of the working class and their continuing gullibility … Well – Winston Peters the Kingmaker …. did you vote for MMP – because boys and girls .. that is the start point of the absolutely stunning heights that political expediency has gone to .. and you cant blame Peters and you cant offload it anywhere. A lot of you dumbfucks voted for it and you fucking well got it ….. live with it. We are stuck with it – Phil Goff is stuck with it – and we cant damn well go back. Word to the Left … get over yourselves and get behind the next viable Government and stop fucking whinging and fucking whining … get on with it. Get these neo liberal beasts consigned to the waste basket of history.

    • Jenny 8.1

      Well well, Kulture. I have always been of the opinion that Peters and by extension the party built around his personality is conservative, even reactionary. I am afraid your diatribe hasn’t convinced me otherwise.

      Yes Peters, out flanking the left, did target big business malfeasance. But so did Hitler. I am not saying that Peters is a fascist, but what the two have in common is that both sidetracked their supporters rightful anger against big business onto an innocent scapegoat. In Hitler’s case Jewish people, in Peters’ immigrants.

      And by doing so performing a great service to big business and the right.

      It is a fact that at the height of Peters anti-immigrant campaign, violent attacks on immigrants went up.

      I don’t ever want to see that again in this country.

      captcha – “suited” (as in double breasted)

      • kultur 8.1.1

        Jenny – all i will say – is you have it wrong regarding my diatribe but i understand a possible series of preconceptions on your part and respect that greatly.

        question … what do you want to see in this country. I have no greatly informed viewpoint on current immigration but consider …

        Personal feedback to me from school leavers – they cant get jobs – but if you walk into many places there are same-age recent immigrants and they have jobs.

        Peters wasnt wrong – and i havent seen any stats on attacks on migrants. If there are any i would welcome that they were shared. I think Political correctness has perhaps gone too far in this nation. Comment he made was “we need immigrants that we need – not immigrants that need us …” now make of that what you will … but that is a sensible statement. What jobs are our kids going to do …. or will they all go to Australia or elsewhere …

        Whenever people start mentioning hitler it always gets messy … and yes my stagename is Kultur which is german for culture. It reflects my admiration for Beethoven and also Haydn – and both have a mostly viennese association (and Beethoven was a fleming). German Language and German cultural admiration does not automatically denote anti semitism or nazism … just a footnote ….

        Above all – i am entitled to my viewpoint – as is anyone else. I think thats what i want to preserve. my thanks for your observations …

  9. kriswgtn 9


    Keys pop has fallen 5%

    Wait til kiwis have to deal with relatives who are beneficiaries and they end up on street

    if National get bk in- me and partner are off to oz
    I dont think i could stand by and see a country i call my home go down this road of such anal retentiveness (dunno if this even a word)

  10. TightyRighty 10

    I guess the changes in keys popularity are quite momentous when you consider lost more popularity than Phil has ever gained, and he’s still thumping him.

    • kultur 10.1

      tightyrighty … know what you mean …. it could well appear to be that way at first casual glance.

      insightful – and incisive …. well said ….

  11. kultur 11

    the mugs think this is just a ‘recession’…. kriswgton is right …. its not just a recession.

    this is big – its longterm – it will need radical thinking based on sound premises taken from history … not radical “new” lets “tinker” theory. John Keys Govt are like boy racers of about 19 years of age who buy a cheap Jap import BMW expecting that all they hear about “precision euro / german engineering” is true … then the poor little sods begin to realise that everything is over-engineered, needs extensive maintenance, parts cost shitloads, labour costs are higher because everything takes more time to pull apart and inspect, and basically that the brand messages they were sold were bullshit unless you have shitloads of money.

    A crude analogy i know – but topical nonetheless.

    This is a fullblown depression – and its still sliding downwards. People are suffering. If you feel you are a victim of the “BMW effect” – take my advice – get rid of the absolute overrated piece of shit before you have to take out a mortgage to run it. Thats an analogy to voters for this “key” government of delusionists.

  12. gobsmacked 12

    These are two disappointing polls for Labour. There’s no hiding from that.

    Labour are failing, and for that they should only blame themselves.

    The same TV3 poll (with the same people responding) showed a 2 to 1 majority against asset sales (reported earlier).

    In other words, a very large number of voters are opposed to a flagship National policy, and … are still willing to vote National, simply because they are not the Labour party.

    The public are not endorsing the government. They are not rejecting Labour’s message. They are rejecting the messengers.

    I’ve been banging on for two years about Labour’s inept, ill-focused, reactive, uninspiring performance. It’s not just about Goff – the whole communicatons strategy needs a radical overhaul (if there’s a strategy at all). Labour just don’t seem to have any grasp of 21st century campaigning. They seem to think that a point of order in the House = a triumph. It’s pitiful.

    But life lesson number one – you can’t help people who don’t want to help themselves. Clearly Labour MPs are unwilling to change, and so they won’t, and so their results won’t.

    It’s a tragedy, but not for Labour MPs (who will keep their jobs on current polling). It’s a tragedy for the rest of us.

    If only that mattered to them.

    • kriswgtn 12.1

      Couldnt agree more
      or look @ it this way
      no noise from them could mean they dont give a fuk /or
      are waiting for another 3 years in case Kiwis wakeup

      i hope ur reading this Goff and co cos its known you visit

      get your shit together- start really attackin national. get hard play dirty – dont care
      NZ/Kiwis will never recover this time
      is that what you want?

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        8 point hit for Key’s popularity in the TVNZ poll, down to 48%. That’s not bad at all, its statistically a big enough move to mean something has changed out there, although LAB’s failure to capitalise on it is very disappointing.

        If Key’s popularity sinks to the ~40% level during the year, NAT will have lost a major weapon for the campaign.

        Labour just don’t seem to have any grasp of 21st century campaigning.

        I suspect that the people that LAB really need to turn out in NOV don’t give a damn about 21st century campaigning. But yeah, the whole comms strategy needs improvement, the NATs remain far better at it.

        Also fascinating that it seems the Mp’s stoush with Hone has not reduced their support at all, even increased it in one poll. Is that even possible?

        • kriswgtn

          Alot of posters on trademe messageboards are also saying that they will change their party vote because of key’s outbursts

          key jus needs to really open his vile mouth and let the truth out
          and pushed and kicked by labour to do it

      • gobsmacked 12.1.2

        “play dirty” – No. That’s exactly what they shouldn’t do. Trevor Mallard-type behaviour has not won Labour a single vote. It’s dumb.

        The answer is – Play smart. Don’t try and ape Key. Whoever told Goff to do that should be shot. His Hurley/Harley persona is fake, and the voters know it.

        Focus on solid policy. Focus on substance. Make a speech that says “If you want a comedian, don’t vote for me. If you want a celebrity, don’t vote for me. But if you want a better country, here’s what we can do …”.

        (sadly, it’s two years too late – and I’m bloody angry that some fuckwit in the Goffice thought that Key-copying was the way to go).

        • kriswgtn

          Well thing is how i see it is,Key is playing dirty and gettin away with it ,but agree that a better word is play smart

          i am just pissed off @ wot the media let this fukturd away with and kiwis either are 2 dumbass or simply dont care hat is happening as long as **theyre ok** and screw the less unfortunate

          what is this country becoming?

          I for one wont stik around to find out if they get bk in

          • Colonial Viper

            Its a democracy. If people want the country fragged and John Key to lead the charge so be it.

            However, the Left must communicate more clearly and offer starkly contrasting, progressive alternatives. A combined 8-9% gain across Greens and LAB will win the election in Nov. Its a tall ask but not that tall.

            There Are Real Alternatives!

            (What I’m worried about is if LAB gets an anxiety attack and in a panic redoes the whole National Lite approach – disaster)

            and kiwis either are 2 dumbass or simply dont care hat is happening as long as **theyre ok** and screw the less unfortunate

            50% of working Kiwis earn less than $41K p.a. and unemployment is close enough to 7%.

            A lot of people are doing it hard out there. But not everyone realises that National own a large portion of the blame. That’s the drum beat.

            • neoleftie

              All good points and on red alerts too.
              The call for the labour elite to reconnect with its core has been ongoing for a few years now. Time for Lab to establish exactly what party it is and debunk a few myths about it in the process. A large proportion of the public have this distorted view of what labour really is about. Surely in this age of modern communication methods labour should be able to generate some traction within the electorate on the critical issues and even its own identity.

  13. Salsy 13

    The sad bloody truth is that Kiwis just dont want him as a leader. He is almost exactly Helen in personality and Key already knows he can beat that card, hands f*ing down – he does every time a poll gets released… Just hope Julia gave the Labs a few tips on how to roll a leader who we all know just cant win.
    And PS yes, it is a personality contest..

    • neoleftie 13.1

      Well Salsy – there are some noises about a leader change but way to close to an election, The labs need unity, strength and direction.
      Any idea’s on a good replacement for Goff??

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Leave your doubts in the changing rooms boys and girls because the whistle kicking off election year has just been blown and Goff is the man to take Key down. Want it real bad people.

        I do however want to know how the frak the decision to emulate Key on Liz Hurley was made coz that kind of dumb shit needs to be fixed up right now.

    • gobsmacked 13.2

      Julia Gillard featured prominently in “Preferred PM’ polls, before she rolled Rudd.

      Nobody in the NZ Labour caucus has featured, at all. So it’s not just about Goff. The public aren’t saying “We want Cunliffe” – or anybody.

      About 30-35% are expressing no preference for PM. And they are largely Labour voters.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        And rolling Rudd did not necessarily give Labor much of a lift at all on polling day. For NZ Labour its a crazy high risk strategy focussing on the wrong thing, with very unlikely payback.

      • Salsy 13.2.2

        Thats because in another idiotic act, the cabinet reshuffle didnt allow any new dynamic faces at the front. Why is Annette King still there..?

        • The Voice of Reason

          It was a shadow cabinet reshuffle unrelated to the elected positions of leader and deputy, which are decided by caucus. Idiot.

        • neoleftie

          Hmmm didn’t grant robertson get health. he was from the 2008 intake – a very new MP get a heavy shadow portolio and got a fair amount of media time recently too

  14. bobo 14

    So 60% don’t like privatization but when push comes to shove they arnt too bothered about it if this poll is anything to go by, was the beamer scandal reflected in this poll? he mentioned it was but seems pretty quick….

    • gobsmacked 14.1

      The BMW story didn’t feature in the TV3 poll. Duncan Garner is thick (or thinks we are), and can’t understand a polling period, which must have ended before Thursday.

      • bobo 14.1.1

        Yeah I thought he said it was reflected in this poll, did Garner roll up from a sunday arvo at the loaded hog half cut to file this report…

        • Carol

          I understood that the TV3 Poll on asset sales was done about the same time, maybein exactly the same survey, as this poll on the parties and leaders.

    • Eddie 14.2

      these polls were conducted before this week. It was, what, Wednesday or Thursday, that Garner had a piece on the first element of this poll – the asset sales. That means polling would have been conducted, probably, over the two previous weeks.

      • Anne 14.2.1

        That’s exactly what I thought too Eddie. It means that the ructions of the past week or so havn’t had time to register with most people. There seems to be quite a significant slack between political events, and their impact on political polls. Duncan Garner knows this. They all know it, but it suits them to play silly buggers with the public in the hope they fall for it. Unfortunately, many of them do.

  15. banter 15

    The Nats are wide open for attack yet the main opposition is, in my opinion, woeful. Its no wonder people get disillusioned and intend to vote to keep this lot in when they don’t even like their policies. Its madness!

    I get the feeling that Labour dont really want to win it this year (they know Goff is an embarrassment) and they are simply banking on the nation being so disgruntled with the Nats by 2014 that they can slip back in to power.

    What really bugs me about this is that it obviously suits Lab that NZ put up with 3 more years of this mob. Its pitiful and it’s not what I want to see from my preferred party. I can understand the need to regroup but they have had 2 years for christ sake! I really dont know what to do with my vote…

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Ahem, undermining tunnels are being dug, and the National edifice is going to come tumbling down. Get in touch with your local Labour Party organisation and offer to give them a hand on the shovels.

  16. higherstandard 16

    A poll 9 months out from the election………… who the fuck gives a shit ?

    • mcflock 16.1

      Interesting transition from the almost universal crowing by conservatives re: polls.

      Starting to worry, hs? 🙂

  17. National is down in both polls. That – and the Greens being up in both polls – was the main change. Labour was pretty much unchanged in both polls.

    If National, on its own, does not poll at least 47% in the election it cannot rely on Epsom/Act to push it over the line. They may not even be able to turn to a potentially depleted Maori Party (and the MP would be in the position of having to support a government that will do partial privatisation and, probably, much more that will not be popular with its base. It could go confidence and supply but National would need more if it is to be sure it could get its programme through.). The aim, therefore, is clear – Key is betting on gifting National an overall majority on its own by virtue of his personal popularity.

    The tactics will be, first, to spike NZF at the appropriate moment. I imagine they have the bullet already up the barrel, as I’ve said before (though I don’t know what it is). They know Winston will attract several percent no matter what and they would probably welcome that ‘wastage’.

    Second, the tactic will be to starve votes for the left by strongly arguing that a Labour led government will have to have Winston Peters as part of it. Third, the argument for giving National an absolute majority in Parliament will chime with the MMP debate that will be occurring alongside the election, in very interesting ways: The only way to avoid the ‘many-headed monster’ (which will include, inevitably, Winston) under MMP is to give a single party sole mandate.

    In his speech announcing partial sales notice that John Key said, if National needed NZF to form a government, then the election would result in “A Goff Labour-led government”.

    That’s important to notice as it reveals John Key’s strategy for the campaign: (a) he will emphasise that Goff (rather than him) will be PM (that’s playing on his – Key’s – personal popularity); (b) ‘Labour-led’ is code for a government with NZF in it. So, we now know that in Key’s strategic mind the likely unpopularity of asset sales are to be put in the electoral balance with Goff’s lack of popularity (and, therefore, Key’s popularity) AND distaste for Winston in the electorate. That’s National’s strategy, so far as I can see. In this ‘balance’ the notion of ‘partial’ sales is also crucial. That is, it will be emphasised repeatedly that it is NOT asset sales.

    What, then, should Labour argue? First, they need to make it very clear that a Labour-led government would have more options than going into coalition with any particular party. Support on confidence and supply, or even abstention, may well be sufficient.

    Second, they should emphasise that Labour will neither fully nor partially sell state assets and, once the recession is behind us (I know, it may never be behind us – but National won’t argue that) there will be no need to sell them. The asset sales issue is a/the major issue in the election and we now know that there remains strong sentiment against even partial sales. Labour need to link asset sales to the prospect of a ‘National unleashed’ election result (i.e., an absolute majority). In this context, they need to link ‘partial’ with ‘total’ asset sales.

    It also needs to remind people that there are even worse things than asset sales and that an unleashed National will be highly tempted to push them through too (without necessarily mentioning them prior). In fact it would be a good idea for Labour continually to put forward possible – repellant – policies that an unleashed National could pursue which, at least, would require National to be definitive on ruling them out. (If there was any ‘hedging’ by National in response that would not be a good look, as they say, and would play to Labour’s point).

    Third, Labour needs to campaign using a solid number of MPs, not just Goff. It needs to get people thinking that there’s some interesting faces that they haven’t heard about and who seem like sensible, committed people. That would both deflect the idea that this is a ‘Key vs. Goff’ election and make people see that there’s more to Labour than what people were used to under Clark-Cullen. That is, Labour need to present a series of strong, positive but unfamiliar characters associated with their ‘brand’ so that people go beyond the idea that not voting for Key is a step backwards, in terms of political history.

    Finally, strong policies on the economy are needed that actually highlight issues such as peak oil and climate change. This would expose a lack of such thinking in National (because there isn’t any there and there won’t be) and would reinforce the idea that Labour is looking at the global future and how New Zealand will have to cope with it and how what has been tried by National hasn’t got us out of recession. Continuing storm clouds on the global horizon could, in this way, work for an opposition rather than against it. It would also link to the Greens and to the conservatives who worry, patriotically, about how New Zealand will fare given the approaching troubles.

    Key has gone for a big gamble. It IS a gamble. Gambles don’t always come off. Big ones less so. He’s betting the game won’t change over the next 9 months. But, in an election year, it always does. In 2008 Labour were over 20% behind National for most of the year. They weren’t on election night.

    • r0b 17.1

      Mind if I put this up as a guest post?

    • gobsmacked 17.2

      A lot of points to consider there, Puddleglum, but sleep is calling, so let’s just take the third one – the new faces.

      It’s a perfect illustration of how Labour are so insider-focused, so oblivious to what is needed to connect with the public. In fact, Goff has just had a reshuffle. Basically, nobody noticed. Sure, political hacks and bloggers talked about who moved from number 14 to number 11, and where somebody or other sits in the House, but in the wider world … nothing happened. It was one more wasted opportunity. WHY?

      Think of all the ways that could have been done differently. Here’s one – How about a brand new portfolio, e.g. Consumer Advocacy, on prices and rip-offs and all the things people complain about every day. Those stories are happening all the time (banks, milk, power, you name it) and people are pissed off, and Labour should be speaking for them. So you have a Consumer Czar, you launch it with a fanfare, you do a photo-op, you get a young energetic MP fronting it, you … make some bloody noise.

      There’s plenty more ideas that an imaginative, hungry, innovative, determined group of politicians could do. We could brainstorm all night. Problem is, we don’t have an imaginative, hungry, etc. etc.

      Instead, Labour just say “We are a private club, a caucus that looks after its own, and MP XYZ who will retire in 2014 can continue to be our tired old spokesman … ignored by everyone.”

      The people aren’t listening because there’s nobody and nothing new to listen to.


      (and yes, I am shouting. Because you guys aren’t listening)

    • Colonial Viper 17.3

      Very nice work.

      More emphasis needs to be placed on values as the precursor to the detail. What Labour stands for has to be properly messaged and communicated loud and clear before the detail will make sense.

      The Left and Centre Left will turn out strongly if they can see LAB delivering on the big picture. Maximising turnout amongst the working class and the underclass is so important this year. Drive home issues of falling incomes, income inequality, the vulnerable being hurt, workers being attacked.

      Make it clear that with National it is rule for the rich, the wealthy getting wealthier, and everyone else from the working class to the middle class is doing it hard.

      Key’s brand is now fallible. This is a huge development. Aspirational values and that nice man replaced by serious trust issues and hypocrisy. That’s a weakness to be attacked over and over again. GST increases, Aroha, BMW lies, the hypocrisy of ‘closing the gap’ with Australia, his support for Hide re: Garrett and Wong-gate. The fact he is already keeping one eye on the exit even as he runs this year.

      Dare Key to rule out any privatisation of KiwiBank going forwards. Dare Key to rule out the handing over of the ACC warchest to private insurers. Dare Key to match a promise to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr. Dare Key to take sweeping steps to eliminate child poverty. Dare Key to make funding of AKL rail a priority. Dare Key to implement Government procurement policies which support NZ industry. Dare Key to implement transparency in all aspects of Government decision making: put Select Committee hearings on the web, make Parliamentary Services subject to OIA, all Cabinet papers to be made public after x time unless exceptional circumstances exist, etc.

      And so the list goes on. If we believe that Key and NAT are actually cowards at heart, call them on it and dare them to prove Labour wrong. And at the same time show that LAB has the guts, has the heart and has the brains.

      Key had gone for a big gamble. Labour must be willing to do the same. Playing it safe is not going to deliver a 1st term defeat to National.

  18. intersting 18

    What cappy results for Labour. They should have got better results than this.

    Trying to blame it on margin of errors, and grasping at things to give hope dont make the results any different.

    Key got an inflated rating after the earthquake and pike river mine exposure to TV time.

    I wouldnt be getting too excited about his drop in the polls. It is more of a correction after the artificial highs. Artificial highs that even people from this site claimed they were at the time. You cant suddenly act like they werent artificial highs now that it doesnt suit.

    Labour are failing to capture the imagination of the public.

  19. An apology from the 3 News online team on behalf of Duncan Garner. This headline was a major balls up on our behalf. No excuse other than not reading the script properly am afraid.

    Headline has now been changed to

    Key still strong as preferred PM, but gap closing


  20. dunno how this polling lark works but…

    …if it’s a TV3 phone poll, i gotta ask who they’re calling and how many hard up people have had their phones cut off so will never get called ?

    or if you do ring the hood and only ask for homeowners making over 45k then chances are you’re only gonna get Key apologists.

    maybe it’s just a Helensville poll and i don’t mean a town named after Clark 🙂

  21. randal 21

    garner is just another parvenu who has got the ‘job’ but doesnt really have the ability to do it justice.

  22. mikesh 22

    The trouble is Labour doesn’t seem to care about workers any longer. Our workers have to compete with Chinese workers who get paid peanuts, and yet the Clark government signed a free trade agreement with China. Although China had been selling us cheap goods long before CFTA, our lot certainly got the message. Labour cares more about the Fonterra, and the fat cats who run the the red sheds, than about NZ workers. They’ll need a change of attitude if they want workers to return to Labour.

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      That’s one view.

      Or you could simply decide for the party which delivered workers 4 weeks paid holidays (actually needs to be more), paid parental leave (which will be extended in the next Labour Govt), has committed to raising the minimum wage to $15/hr and is going to scrap National’s unfair and unjust 90 day Right to Fire legislation.

      Oh, who might that party be? LABOUR of course.

    • neoleftie 22.2

      to further the point eventual all countries find the same level when under the same economic system and under similar conditions ( in a very broad sense ). China and the asian tiger’s of today will eventual reach the same point as the more developed countries. Since we are all apart of the globalised envirnoment they have no choice. Take cuba, isolated but give it another ten years and they will emulate vietnam – connected and directed. think long term…the gloabal system is about bringing order from chaos and the broadening the markets to create opportunity and demand for goods and services

  23. mikesh 23

    Labour are no doubt happy to throw the workers a few titbits. I suppose they would like to see themselves re-elected. the big issue for workers, however, is globalisation. The CFTA agreement seems to indicate they approve of globalisation. I suspect ol’ Winston is more pro worker in this respect than Labour are.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Don’t be an ass. 4th week of leave, paid parental leave, minimum wage to $15/hr, 90 day right to fire gone, steps to strengthen collective employee bargaining are not just ‘tidbits’.

      National is in the midst of a co-ordinated programme stripping workers rights and suppressing wages of the bottom 80% of the work force and here you wank on about CFTA bullshit.

      For your information NZ workers generate US$3.7B worth of export goods for China per annum.

  24. mikesh 24

    These “non tidbits” as you call them won’t count for much if workers don’t turn out and vote on 26 November. And CFTA is telling them what they need to know about Labour’s attitudes.

    • The Voice of Reason 24.1

      Mikesh, use the reply button below the comment you want to address (ie. follow the numerical sequence). It makes it easier to follow the thread.

      As for Labour’s ‘attitudes’, I’m with CV. In Government, Labour delivers for workers.

      • neoleftie 24.1.1

        i cant place where i read the statistics but businesses do quite well under Labour as well.

        • Colonial Viper

          The small business owners and owner operators I talk to are starting to realise that their customers had more money and spent more at their tills when Labour was in charge. Funny how job security, low unemployment and increasing real wages makes stores and service providers happy.

    • Colonial Viper 24.2

      And CFTA is telling them what they need to know about Labour’s attitudes.

      What a ridiculous meme you are trying to start up.

      I might actually concede you a point if you were talking about the TPPA, but since you’re not you’re just trolling.

      Let me repeat in case it hasn’t sunk in yet: NZ workers produce US$3.7B worth of export goods for China per annum. My guess is that exports to China keep 25,000-30,000 full time workers employed in NZ.

      And you my friend, are an ass.

  25. Bob Stanforth 25

    No, they cant, but it looks like Roy Morgan can. So, tell me again about that whole trend thing?


    • lprent 25.1

      It is what you see after the margin of error over several polls. Perhaps you should examine what the margin of error means in a poll of this size… But I guess you can only read the summary. Statistics are probably a bit beyond your capabilities?

      Queue some nutjob whining because someone calls them on their stupid obviously snide comments written without engaging the assistance of the prune they call a brain.

      • Bob Stanforth 25.1.1

        No, not even Lyn, and I hope you are recovering well? Meant seriously, BTW.

        Im preempting the rationale behind a left fall being seen as positive. Because I just know it will be. C’mon, prove me wrong. The one poll that’s worth a damn (and even that, not much) that has been used here to demonstrate the shift left.

        I’ll go grab the popcorn. See if you can get past the insults and come up with a reasoned and reasonable response. Im all ears… 🙂

        • Colonial Viper

          Trends Bob, we need to see trends to have any hope of penetrating the statistical noise inherent in these polls. If the Left keep dropping 1-2% each time over the next 3-4 Roy Morgan polls then a trend will emerge worth worrying about.

          However, Key’s large popularity drops in the TVNZ and TV3 polls are definitely statistically significant. Something has really moved there. Will be interesting to see where that goes.

          Key at <40% popularity by election day? We'll see 🙂

        • lprent


          I guess you don’t have anything to contribute… But in a short summary on significance.

          The approximate +/- margin of error for any one parties results on the Morgan poll is about 3% on a purely random basis which these polls are notq. Anything below that is noise on any one poll. You obviously find static significant.

          But if you regression smooth the chart provided out over the last 6 months or so within the margins of error the trends look interesting. Look up kiwi poll guy – but I wish he’d junk the other polls and just look at the Morgan polls.

          Btw: I am a bit grumpy at present. While they saved my life, the CPR by Lyn and the ambos is a trial with bruised ribs at present….

          • Bob Stanforth

            No, merely dipping in whilst I work and listen to podcasts, enjoying a nice glass of red. Sod all to contribute, other than interested observer status, I give a fat rats arse either way. And as such I will not hijack the thread, but will look forward to the post about the Roy Morgan at some point in the next day or so 🙂

            Hope the recovery goes well, trust me, the bruises heal, you are I suspect already grateful for them 🙂

            Kia kaha

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