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I think that most New Zealanders…

Written By: - Date published: 12:35 pm, August 28th, 2014 - 17 comments
Categories: accountability, election 2014, john key, national, polls - Tags: , , ,

Our PM is fond of telling us all what we think. In the wake of Dirty Politics he is working it overtime, telling us all that we believe his spin. Interesting then to get some actual data on what (extrapolating from a sample) most New Zealanders really do think. Many thanks to the Horizon polling people for putting this up on line.

Political Conduct Survey
August 2014

3. Executive Summary

Large numbers of New Zealanders are aware of and talking about the issues raised as a result of the publication of Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics.

By large majorities, they find dirty politics unacceptable and would prefer them not to be practised.

  •   They are unacceptable to 59.9% of adults and acceptable to 25.8% as a part of overall political behaviour.
  •   81.9% of adults prefer that dirty politics were not practised in New Zealand.

… They tend to believe the Prime Minister knew in advance about attacks on political opponents planned by pro-National bloggers and that the bloggers did not act totally independently of the National-led government.

More than half of adult New Zealanders (53.1%) believe mainstream media (newspapers, radio and television) have failed to act impartially in relation to material provided to them by bloggers. While 40.9% are not sure whether the media’s coverage of all aspects of the allegations made in Mr Hager’s book has been adequate, there is a small tendency to believe that it has not been.

Respondents tend to support the use of hacked e-mails and social media information of blogger Cameron Slater in the public interest than oppose it based on the information allegedly being private and obtained illegally.

… Large numbers of New Zealanders are feeling angry, disappointed and disgusted as a result of the Prime Minister’s management of the issues raised in the book in the 12 days from its first publication.

The results indicate the Prime Minister, John Key, has made 135,700 people who voted National in 2011 feel angry, or disappointed or disgusted. This is 12.8% of those who voted National at the last election.

… While voting intention shifts from poll to poll, National’s level of retention this year of those who said they intended to cast their party vote for the National Party at the next election had been particularly strong in polls conducted by Horizon up to the July/August survey (before the Hager book’s release), at around 92%. In this survey, conducted after the release of the “Dirty Politics” book, National retains only 82% of those who said in July/August they would give their party vote to the National Party. Note that around 8% of those who said in the July/August poll they would vote for National are now undecided about which party they will give their party vote to.

… National appears to have at least 3% less support overall from the 18+ population following the book’s publication in comparison with its position prior to the publication. Analysis poll by poll since March 2014 indicates that the decline is probably greater, around 3.8% less support.

There we have it. Most New Zealanders don’t want dirty politics, believe that Key was involved, support the use of the hacked material on public interest grounds, and the issue is turning off National voters. The only encouraging thing for the Nats is that apparently (and inexplicably) most don’t think that Key should resign.

So there you go John, no need to keep telling us that most New Zealanders believe your spin, we don’t. Dame Anne Salmond speaks more for us than you do – your dirty politics is a blight on our political landscape and it needs to be expunged.

On the Methodology:

This reports results of a Horizon Research survey of 1,752 respondents conducted between August 18 and 25, 2014.
Respondents are members of the HorizonPoll online panel, recruited to match the New Zealand population aged 18+.
The survey is weighted by age, gender, region, personal income, educational qualification level, and party vote 2011 to provide a representative sample of the New Zealand adult population. At a confidence level of 95%, the maximum margin of error is +/- 2.3%.


17 comments on “I think that most New Zealanders… ”

  1. Sable 1

    You could type in “John Key” in http://topsy.com/ if you want at least one measure of where peoples thinking is at on the man…

  2. Shaz 2

    And 5.9% are afraid of Cameron Slater a confidante and close associate of the Prime Minister close friend other Ministers and other MPS- and a greater number than that 8.6% made afraid by the Prime Minister as their PRIMARY emotional response. This is surely most concerning for NZ democracy.

    l note more than twice as many feel hopeful about the David Cunliffe than they do about the Prime Minister.

    The poll points out that people’s emotional responses are a more reliable guide to behaviour – a point which the current government takes no prisoners in exploiting with the double track communications agenda.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Yep good comment.

      In this survey, conducted after the release of the “Dirty Politics” book, National retains only 82% of those who said in July/August they would give their party vote to the National Party.

      Damage to National will come in two forms: people who switch to NZ First, Labour or Greens and: National voters who stay at home.

  3. Pete 3

    Section 4.2 is interesting:

    Political blog audiences:
    One of the issues raised in Mr Hager’s book relates to the influence and reach political blogs now have in New Zealand. The survey confirms they had significant audiences in the 12 days following the book’s publication.

    Some 7.6% of respondents, equivalent toabout 243,100 adults, said they had visited the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog, run by Cameron Slater, during the past week.

    Kiwiblog, run by David Farrar, who is also the subject ofallegations in Mr Hager’s book of engaging in attack politics in concert with Mr Slater and others, attracted 4.7% of adults, equivalent to about 150,300 users.

    Of the other main political blogs:

    * The Standard had 5.2% of respondents visiting in the past week (equivalent to about 166,300 adults), and

    * The Daily Blog 4.9% (156,700 adults), while

    * Other blogs of any type attracted 11.4% (364,700)

    Lynn, does that gel with your figures for The Standard?

    • weka 3.1

      There is the danger here that all political blogs will get lumped in with WO/KB. The differences need to be made very clear and unfortunately I don’t think we can rely on the MSM to do this. Horizon also seem to be making the mistake that Slatergate represents blogs across the spectrum.

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        collins is apparently doing that on RNZ suggesting The Standard indulges in cyber bullying. Not sure if she means that makes her appalling behaviour ok for a Minister of Justice introducing an anti cyber bullying bill, or not.

  4. Tangled_up 4

    National appears to have at least 3% less support overall from the 18+ population following the book’s publication in comparison with its position prior to the publication.

    It would be interesting to see an analysis of the other parties. It seems like Labour has taken even more of a hit than National, the Greens might be up slightly and only NZF, Mana & the Conservatives doing well from the aftermath. So far.

    • In the Horizon poll itself (in the document linked to), Labour are up (sometimes slightly) over all age groups other than the 75+ group.

      • Tracey 4.1.1

        Not according to herald…

        Its like the herald has added helpful polls to its campaign comeback for national 😉

    • Thinker 4.2

      I think it’s a bit of collateral damage.

      While many people are disgusted (et other negative survey options) with the subject matter of the book, around the water cooler, I think some on the left feel bad about the way Hager’s source got his intel, and I think Labour got a bit of blow-back from a supposed connection with Hager.

      The Greens have done well out of the Labour blow-back, while NZ1st did well out of the National Party component.

      My take, anyway.

      But, it’s interesting that a Herald article today shows Key with greater popularity than before. That’s at odds with this survey, and I know which one sounds more logical…

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    About every second person you pass in the street will vote for him though r0b.

    Depressing huh?

    • r0b 5.1

      Not in Dunedin North they won’t!

      But yeah – depressing over all…

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1

        It would be if it were true. National’s support as a percentage of eligible voters is nowhere near 50%. It’s depressing that about one in three are turkeys chanting for Xmas, f’sure.

  6. Fran 6

    I don’t quite know who is being polled because in my social and family circles I know only 1 person who will vote National for sure. Admitedly not scientific but very different from last election where considerably more thought National was the way to go. Dirty Politics is not the reason though – it’s the growing inequality and the realisation that our kids and grandkids are suffering because of it.

  7. Tony's ego 7

    Just heard the Herald DigiPoll results on PM. Key is preferred PM at 67%.

    Two in three New Zealanders prefer John Key as PM.

    In forty years of political awareness I don’t think I have ever been so utterly out of touch with the majority view. How people can’t see through this guy… Why people are so forgiving, or just ignorant of the mile these people will take when they’ve been allowed to get away with the inch… beggars my belief.

    And unfortunately they’ll take me down with them, such is democracy.

    • crocodill 7.1

      “…unfortunately they’ll take me down with them.”

      Whao there Tex, you can feel down, but no one takes you down. Democracy is not tyranny of the majority, it relies on you, me – and especially people like Penny bright – to remain who we are, to remain the annoying voice in the background. Otherwise it’s all unified homogenised sleep-walking from here to Fascist Authoritarianism. No one who votes Blue will be over-riding my opinions or how I see the world post election, and especially no one in Labour, not even the Greens. All of them are going to have to put up with me or kill me to stop me.

      Whoever wins the next election should not change who we are, surely. I mean if you normally get involved with charities, will you think, “I better send that cheque/sign up for duties… oh wait, 67% of my fellows wouldn’t so I’m not going to. To hell with my conscience, I’ll blot it out with booze…”. OR maybe your neighbour comes to you for help, and you normally would, but 67% of your street won’t anymore so you chose not to.

      I don’t reckon you’ll do that and neither will anyone else. If things don’t go the way we’d like, we are still free to act the way our conscience directs – it’s just the terrain gets steeper, the personal cost higher; leaving our comfortable past behind to form our own new present. If you’re like me, that just makes life all the more amusing, if also somewhat unappealing.

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