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Horizon poll shows 10% shift from Nat to Labour

Written By: - Date published: 8:39 am, August 31st, 2017 - 32 comments
Categories: election 2017, polls - Tags: ,

The Horizon methodology (online sample) is of questionable real-world validity, so take this with a bag of salt:

Ardern drives vote switch: nett 10% leave National for Labour

Labour’s leadership change has potentially shifted 11% of the 2014 National Party vote to Labour, while 2% of Labour’s 2014 voters are switching to National.

An August 11-15 Vote Switching poll by Horizon Research finds, among those who are both registered to vote and 100% likely to vote:

• 11% of 2014 National Party voters – around 127,600 people – indicating a move to Labour for the next election. 2% of Labour’s 2014 voters – around 10,100 people – indicated they would vote National this election, which gives National a nett loss to Labour of around 117,400 voters.

• 59% of 2014 Green Party voters are now saying they will be voting for other parties in the 2017 general election. And nearly 8 in 10 of that group say they will now be voting for the Labour Party, with just over 3 in 10 saying that because of the recent benefit disclosures by Metiria Turei and her subsequent resignation as co-leader they were less likely to vote Green and nearly 7 in 10 indicating the change in Labour leadership has made them more likely to vote Labour.

• Loyalty among New Zealand First 2014 voters has dropped 10% to 72% between May and August Horizon polls. Labour’s leadership change is driving the change. However, New Zealand First potential gains from other parties are larger than the potential losses and this has strengthened the overall New Zealand First position.

Voter numbers projected in this report are based on the Electoral Commission’s Official Count Results for the 2014 New Zealand general election. The poll is of 959 adults nationwide representing the New Zealand 18+ population at the most recent census. At a 95% confidence level the maximum margin of error on the overall result is +/- 3.2%. The analysis shown in this release is based on a sub-sample of 860 respondents who said they were both registered to vote and 100% likely to vote. …

Plenty more in the full piece. Not to be taken too seriously, but certainly indicative of bad news for the Greens and National, good news for Labour.

32 comments on “Horizon poll shows 10% shift from Nat to Labour”

  1. Ad 1

    Inhale, and hold.

    • popexplosion 1.1

      Peter’s can promise big, when he can’t deliver, it’ll take more than a term to build rail to Northport. delays will allow a future govt to shelve plans. now if Shane were promising…

  2. Ed 2

    It seems ages since the last poll with actual percentage points for each party.
    When are those due?

  3. Ad 3

    I am hearing that Labour have already overtaken National on the internal polling.

    If the Greens, United Future, Maori, and TOP all fail to reach the threshold, then with votes redistributed Labour could govern alone on as little as 45%.

  4. tracey 4

    Those alleged Green shifters are kidding themselves if they think without the Greens, Labour and NZF will be anything other than National Lite. At the very best that will mean a shift to just right of Centre

    • weka 4.1

      This one intrigues me. Swordfish commented the other day about the core GP vote being much less than the 11% of recent years. So it makes sense that as Labour sort their shit out finally there would be a move there on the basis that lots of people (apparently) vote on competency. And good vibes.

      I also think that Labour strategy is clearly to position itself well on Green-lite topics in order to shift those votes to Labour. Which is fair enough except that I doubt it will be reflected in policy that well, and as you say NZF/L will be very centrist.

      The interesting bit for me is what those voters who want a pro-environment party are thinking. Because if they’re happy with Labour then the Greens were pretty radical by comparison, even at the last election. The potentially depressing thing is that lots of people might believe Labour when they say they will do something serious about CC. Alternatively, it’s possible that people are assuming the GP will be in the coalition and thus keeping Labour honest. Very hard to know without asking them though.

      • roy cartland 4.1.1

        Also the Greens have been getting some sensible coverage lately, and they always seem to be a bit of a hit at the debates. At least their enviro stuff.

      • red-blooded 4.1.2

        I’m getting a bit sick of the “keep Labour honest” line. If you want a Green presence to help prioritise particular policy areas, fine, but the way this is phrased suggests that somehow only the Greens are “honest”. That doesn’t sit well with me.

        • weka

          Understandable. I guess for me it’s that I see Labour talking up Green-lite policy but I’m not yet convinced that they will follow through in a meaningful way. It’s great they’re moving more greenward, and I think there is reason to be cautious about what this means in reality outside of this election. Hence the idea that in terms of the environmental issues a strong Green presence in a Labour-led govt is the only way to get serious movement on those issues instead of some tinkering.

        • tracey

          We won’t know any party’s honesty until they hold the Treasury benches and can make or break their promises.

          I have been sick of labour and some of its supporters expecting Greens to roll over electorally for them but not the other way round, but me being annoyed doesn’t change it.

          I do know that Shaw last night told Gower to let Seymour finish, twice. They do, as a rule, try to practice politics differently imo, rather than “if you can’t beat them join them” of other parties.

      • tracey 4.1.3

        At this stage the stealing of Greens 3 tag lines strike me as manipulative and cynical. I will give them a chance if they become government to prove me wrong. The test will be Labour voters who have railed against the neo liberal Nats for 9 years when faced with neo liberalism from their own.

  5. weka 5

    Poll was taken 3 weeks ago.

  6. DSpare 6

    Margins of error are huge for smaller parties; +/-11.5% NZF & 8.7% GP, even LP has 7.1% & Nats 5.3%. MP & CP MoE are both over 20%! But at least they are preceded by; “The sub-sample for the… Party result is small and these figures are provided as an indication.”.

    The only result I have any confidence in is that of GP voters moving to Labour with the installation of Ardern as leader. Between; 60-78% in May, to; 24-42% in August, repeat GP voters is not just statistical noise. Compare to the 14% overlap in NZF’s; 70-94% in May; 60-84% August.

    • weka 6.1

      Can you please explain that last paragraph in a bit more detail (can’t quite parse it)?

      • DSpare 6.1.1

        The Green party vote shift does seem statistically significant, the others are not so convincing. The thing with margin of errors is that when comparing them you basically need a double margin difference to be confident of a real effect (barring flaws in the sampling methods). So the May numbers have there own margin of error (lazily, I assumed the same as this study because I didn’t bother checking) as does the August result.

        The 14% overlap is potentially confusing as that is perhaps better expressed as representing 41% of the NZF range (70-84% over 60-94%) between the two studies. But it is a bit of an awkward coincidence how the two percentages are palindromic. The point was; given this overlap, it is not certain that there has been a real shift in NZF support, unlike the GP; where there is no overlap in margins of error between May and August, so a real effect is indicated. Looking at the numbers again, the Nat’s effect also seems significant, but not the others (MP is close between March to May, but with the 26% MoE even that doesn’t convince).

        Also, your comment (@ 7) omits this table that immediately followed it (not surprisingly if the formatting went as haywire as it did for me when I tried to paste it over):

        Party Vote 2014 Sub-sample margin of error

        ACT New Zealand 30.2%

        Conservative Party 21.3%

        Green Party 8.7%

        Internet-MANA 26.7%

        Labour Party 7.1%

        Maori Party 25.8%

        National Party 5.3%

        New Zealand First Party 11.5%

        The IMP and ACT numbers would have been interesting to see too; but given the high levels of uncertainty, I can see why they left them out. Already, they have cautioned about the CP & MP results only being indicative and state; “These sub-sample margins of error shown should be borne in mind when interpreting the results”.

  7. weka 7

    Sample and method:

    This online survey is of 959 members of Horizon Research’s national panel (which represents of the New Zealand population 18 years of age and over) and who had not participated in political questions in the previous seven months. Respondents in a stratified sample were invited to participate by email, with a reminder email sent to those who had not participated. The stratified sample was weighted to match national demographics for age, gender and education level.

    All the respondents were existing members of Horizon’s panels and did not include any new panel members joining during the course of the survey. Horizon’s panels have been recruited and maintained to represent the New Zealand population at the 2013 Census.

    The questions on voting formed the first question set of an omnibus survey. Responses were received between 11 and 15 August 2017, with 67% of responses received on the first day of the survey period.

    Results shown in this summary are for 860 respondents who indicated that they were registered to vote and were 100% likely to vote. 830 of them gave a particular party they were likely to vote for and could be regarded as “decided” voters.

    The survey has an overall margin of error of ±3.2% at a 95% confidence level. Sub-sample margins of error for 2014 voters for each party commented on in the summary are shown below. These sub-sample margins of error shown should be borne in mind when interpreting the results.

    The survey complies with the Research Association New Zealand code for political polls.


  8. Cinny 8

    Hot dang!
    Wonder what the poll on tvnz will reveal at 6pm? Could be a trend 🙂

    The interesting thing about the timing of polling releases today is, how it could affect the confidence of those in the leaders debate an hour later.

    Am hughely interested in numbers and patterns, cycles etc. The numbers surrounding this election are so bang on for a change of government, not just poll numbers but the dates of different events and occurances. LET’S DO THIS !!!

  9. Jenny Kirk 9

    A disturbing trend in this Horizon poll – part 2. NZ First supporters are not all Labour or Green supporters too – obviously a considerable number are Nats – and they want NZ First to go into coalition with the Nats.
    And yes – I’ve noted the comments about Horizon might be a dubious poll – BUT …. forewarned is forearmed for those talking with would-be NZ First supporters !


  10. The Horizon methodology (online sample) is of questionable real-world validity

    Do you actually know their methodology?

    It’s actually quite good. They have a group of people numbering in the thousands from all walks of life. When they do a poll a some are randomly selected from those thousands in such a way as to match the demographics of the nation.

    In theory they should get better results than the others.

  11. red-blooded 11

    Well, it’s very different from the Colmar Brunton, but even that is looking pretty damn good for Labour (up 6 to 43 – ahead of the Nats), and it was good to see the Greens safe at 5%.

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