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Nats’ biggest ever drop in 3 News poll

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 am, October 31st, 2011 - 68 comments
Categories: election 2011, polls - Tags:

Last week I wrote about a Horizon poll which suggested that the Nats’ mishandling of the Rena disaster was costing them votes. That’s probably one of the factors behind the drop in their support in the latest 3 News / Reid poll. It’s the Nats’ largest drop (in this poll) since becoming the government.

National 52.3% (down 5.1%)
Labour:  30.2% (up 3.6%)
Greens: 9.4%
NZ First: 2.4%
Act: 1.5%
Maori: 1.4%
Mana: 0.9%
UF: 0.0%

Here’s a summary from Duncan Garner:

Gap closes between Key and Goff in poll

The first television poll of the election is out; the latest 3 News Reid Research Poll shows the gap between the National and Labour Party’s narrowing with just 27 days to go until the election.

It comes on the day National launched its campaign for a second term in office and a disruptive start to National’s campaign launch. Protestors marched out their gripe, saying there are too many kids living in poverty. The protest marks a rocky month for Prime Minister John Key.

He was criticised for the government’s slow reaction to the Rena’s grounding on Tauranga’s Astrolabe Reef, saying “we did everything we could”.

He was then accused of not telling the truth over the government’s two credit downgrades and his explanations were not convincing.

This is its biggest drop since [National] took office three years ago.

The gap is still 22 points but once you add the Greens and the possible return of Winston Peters, things get tighter for National. …

We also asked voters how are Mr Key and Mr Goff performing. Amongst those who say Mr Key is performing well, he slumps just over five points. And more people think he is doing a poor job.

A long way to go yet, but it’s an encouraging start to the election campaign for the Left.  Now if the focus turns to the Nats’ actual record while in office, their empty headed presidential-style campaign, and the clear and important policy differences between National and Labour, the next poll in this series just might show the gap closing further!

68 comments on “Nats’ biggest ever drop in 3 News poll ”

  1. infused 1

    Funny how you lot only comment on polls when they are in your favour, otherwise they are dismissed.

    [Funny how you only ever see what you want to see (cf. 1 2 3 4…) — r0b]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Of course a dismissal isn’t a comment at all, is it? We need better wingnuts.

    • bbfloyd 1.2

      funny how your memory only goes back a few hours infused..i can well remember dozens of posts on the many polls that get produced every year…

      now why would you forget so much, i wonder….? it isn’t just so you would have something to say that makes sense in your world is it? i don’t like to think people would just tell straight out lies just for the sake of argument….surely..you wouldn’t be that shallow and dishonest would you?

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Polls are certainly more fun when they match your own views. My observation as a regular Standard reader however is most of the main polls (Herald, TVNZ, TV3, Roy Morgan) good, bad or otherwise for the left, regularly get a fair airing and some analysis here.

  3. burt 3

    Obviously a rogue poll – lol.

  4. vto 4

    It was interesting to see that tv3 put Key’s doodlebery handshake at the RWC final into the mix of that piece. First time I had seen it. What a dufus – reached out, the hand was taken, but he continued to fumble around and grab at what he could, before giving up and getting a proper handshake in at the end. he he he, funny.

  5. higherstandard 5

    Why don’t you run a graphic of the three main polls on the site somewhere and update them as a new result is released – would let people see the trends over time going into the election.

  6. ianmac 6

    I don’t remember Garner actually saying that Labour was up 3.6%? I think he just said that Labour was up a bit. Oh my memory.

  7. Tangled up in blue 7

    the possible return of Winston Peters

    I don’t see how NZF is going to double it’s support in 27 days.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Winston Peters made the point that they polled 1% before the 2008 election and got 4.7%.

      • Alwyn 7.1.1

        Did Winston really claim that his party got 4.7% in 2008 or is this just a typo.
        NZF got 4.07% not 4.7% If Winston really claimed the higher number there appear to be only 3 possibilities.
        Either he was having a senior moment and simply doesn’t remember.
        Or he believes everything he reads in the Listener which I believe made this mistake a week or two ago.
        Or, and I suspect most likely, he was “tired and emotional” like his hero Rob Muldoon used to be on occasion and was simply slurring his words.
        Anyone happen to see him in action and can say which it was?
        Incidentally why do I always go into moderation? Are my comments really that provocative?

        [Your comments are in moderation because you got yourself a ban. I shouldn’t have cleared this one but I did. –r0b]

        • Alwyn

          I had forgotten about that. I guess I am like most politicians in that something that happened 3 months ago is ancient history. Thank you for the answer though.
          I can’t throw myself on the mercy of the court and plead for forgiveness can I? Parole or something?

          [Lynn will see this in the comment list I hope. It’s his ban, so only he can reconsider (we don’t overrule each other). I don’t fancy your chances, but you never know! — r0b]

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    infused is confused! Either that or they are trolling.

  9. randal 9

    garenr and espiner were made for each other. they should get a room.

  10. Scotty 10

    No surprise to hear Garner on radio live yesterday running one of Nationals attack lines for them.

    “That labour want you to work for two more years ,just to pay for the GST off bananas”

    or words to that effect.

    • Tombstone 10.1

      But hang on, am I not going to have to work longer to pay for the unaffordable tax cuts that Key has doled out to the rich by the way of borrowing millions each week?

      • aerobubble 10.1.1

        Worse, you’ve been paying more tax, on the first 5,000, had you moved to Oz, the uk…

        oh, wait, its even worse, favorable capital gains exemptions means managers
        have much easier decisions to make, and so can’t attract a higher pay
        for exceptionism, profits are easier to make, the ranks of managing boards
        have less ?acumine?, so that the suppose genius of economics, Brash…

        say stuff like trust him shale oil will save us and even though he was
        pro cgt now he thinks its stupid because labours reasons are stupid,
        which means everyone else but labours reasons are of no interest to

        We’re run by second class managers who have been selected to fail,
        becuase in failure they leave assets easy to sell to foreigners.

  11. KJT 11

    Shows “you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”.

    • aerobubble 11.1

      money talks, money wants cheap assets, so it buys legislators (honestly too
      thick to notice or too full of themseves) and cgt gets exempted from tax.
      managers are easier to find as the pressure on them is eased, so wages
      fall. Then the idiot savant class use lower wages to keep exemption
      of tax on cgt, keep higher taxes on the first 5,000, on fresh food,
      all have massive costs on nz, health, poverty, exodus of bright people
      who read between the lines and realize. That national know the problem
      and thats all national needs to know.

      offs low polling is in part because he is a late comer to the realization
      the a cgt. but national still don’t even get how stupid they sound.
      profits at the cost of productivity is dumb, bu thats exact
      what we get when we take the pressure off our second
      rate manager workforce.

  12. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12

    Only, do I remember correctly that the last 3 News Poll was a little out of whack with the others in having National surprisingly high. If so, this probably shows no significant movement, just a correction of the earlier rogue result.

    • KJT 12.1

      Possibly. But I think the polls are deliberately skewed to the right anyway.

      As evidenced by the ones that reckoned Banks would take Auckland.

  13. One Anonymous Bloke 13

    “…deliberately skewed”? I think there’s a case to be made for skewed, but you’re going to have to work hard to convince me it’s deliberate.

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      What about when it is pointed out over and over again that their methodology is flawed and produces biased results and they apparently do nothing about it?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1

        My understanding is that they are always looking for better methodology to stay in the game. Bias isn’t surprising, we’ve all got one, but again, bias is one thing deliberate is another.
        In any case, we have a problem with bias in the media (false balance, inadequate research, cut-and paste press releases etc.) as it is: I suspect this has a far larger effect on poll results than any methodological flaws.

        • Colonial Viper

          Time the Left Wing had its own MSM.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Well, to be honest the Right needs better media too: at the moment they have nothing but a set of shallow cheer leaders, and we can see the dumbing down of right-wing “philosophy” as a result.

    • KJT 13.2

      You don’t think there was something strange about all those polls in Auckland who said Banks was going to win.

      I can’t believe that 51% of voters have not seen through National by now. My conservative business mates have. At least two are going to vote Labour, after a lifetime of being National supporters.
      Asset sales do not make business sense.

      • Jim Nald 13.2.1

        My brother, a staunch National voter, has been grudgingly conceding that the National Party, under John Key, is no longer what it was but has been becoming a vehicle for corporate thieves.

        • Hami Shearlie

          Bring him over from the dark side Jim, over to the light, the light of reality!

          • Colonial Viper

            I talked to long time National supporters over the weekend, and those that were going to vote National again were doing so either reluctantly…or simply out of habit.

            Interestingly NONE were impressed with the leadership of this Government, giving it passable marks at best. Although several harped on about what a good businessman John Key was. I tried to set them straight 🙂

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Yeah, as if! Key’s never run a business in his life, let alone owned one.

      • Kty 13.2.2

        What I have a problem with is the number of people polled, they say that they use around 1000 random respondants that they base their information on to get these results, all well and good but there are about 3,000,000 eligible voters. ths means the core sample used would be approx 0.03%
        of the eligible vote.
        Or have I got this all wrong.

        • Lanthanide

          You’re correct, Kty, but statistics can be used to show with a high confidence (95%) that an appropriate sample size will represent the true reality at that point in time.

          There are two key things to note, though:
          – When a poll gives a margin of error, say +/- 4%, it means that individual numbers might be off by that much either side, so the Greens on 11% might actually be 15% in reality, and National on 54% might be 50% in reality.

          – Polls are generally done at the 95% confidence interval. That means we can be sure that 95 times out of 100, the poll results, when taking account of the margin of error, will represent reality. The other 5 / 100 times reality will be outside the margin of error as reported; eg Greens might actually be 20% and National might actually be 40%. Probabilistically the error is likely to be close to the actual results, but it is still possible that reality could actually be Greens at 30% and National at 30% but the poll only showed 11% / 54%.

          Another assumption that they make is that their sample is representative of the population they’re wishing to measure. If it isn’t, then unless additional steps are taken to remove bias, the results are highly unlikely to match reality.

          By doing numerous polls over time, as well as different companies doing polls at the same time, we can get an idea of whether the margin of error and the confidence interval are justified. The 3 main polls have been generally agreeable for the last few years, while the Horizon poll has been an extreme outlier. So generally Horizon is viewed as being unreliable.

          The only problem is that when you’re relying on a bunch of polls that all have the same bias in them, it becomes very difficult to detect that such a bias exists. At the moment there is an assertion that the main 3 polls are biased in that they use landlines, which no longer give them a genuine representative sample of the population.

          In short: the fact that they’re only using ~1,000 people is perfectly valid as long as the correct statistical methods are being used. The problem is that there is quite a bit of doubt in the current landline based methodology that these pollsters are using.

          • Colonial Viper

            Good stats refresher thanks 🙂

          • Kty

            Thanks for that.

          • Deuto

            Thanks for this excellent summary. I was trying to explain this to a neighbour yesterday so will print this off for him as it puts it much more clearly than I managed. His view was that the election was a foregone conclusion based on the polls, so why bother voting when his vote would not make any difference.

  14. Jenny 14

    Well I’ll be damned.

    Let’s hope this trend holds up and accelerates.

  15. Uturn 15

    It’s probably a bit late to influence the campaign message machine now, but I think the next biggest thing for Labour to actively challenge is this idea of benefit bludgers.

    There was a comment here a few days ago about “…uneducated women turning out failures and supported by the workers…” that devolved into a host of common nutty slogans, but they sounded like genuinely held beliefs, not just trolling. Much like a person might believe in a particular god, and never really question why or how or who. Once those slogans were challenged, the ideas behind them rapidly fell apart. NZ has a lot of those unsupportable beliefs about work, such as,

    “…work hard and you’ll get a ahead…”

    “No job? Then just volunteer and improve your CV…”

    Or they get specific, but just as ignorant,

    “Mow lawns for your friends and then start working for yourself…”

    “Go back to school and get more qualifications…”

    These entrenched attitudes towards work and how one finds it might have worked once, for someone, at a specific time, but it dismisses the luck of place, time, resources and connections inherent in anyone’s life. People who have tried these routes as isolated attempts and have failed will know. It’s not that you were lazy or didn’t plan or didn’t try hard enough or didn’t want it enough, it just didn’t work.

    Once these otherwise useful ideas become slogans, the person who already spends all their time organising a few kids and cannot afford to go back to school or start their own business is written off as lazy, bludging and in need of punishment to wake them up. Calling someone lazy or a bludger does not dissolve the true daily reality of the person who needs state assistance to survive. Being on the DPB (for example) doesn’t mean the challenge of raising children is somehow easier – as if the children now never get sick or hungry, rise at 5am every morning to make their own lunches and breakfast and come afterwards polite and fulfilled straight into homework, shower and bed.

    The identity of persons on a benefit isn’t that they are beneficiaries. They’re real people – with all the same troubles and potential as anyone else.

    I have met people in real life who utter beneficiary myths. It’s nonsense of course – least of all, the DPB isn’t just for women. A person on the UEB isn’t an inherently bad worker who sleeps till 3pm each afternoon. A person on the sickness benefit isn’t relaxing comfortably on the couch because they simply don’t want to work, “…shifted there from the UEB by the last government to fudge the stats.” These strange myths people use to categorise others outside their personal circle of friends and contacts isn’t always malicious. It’s just a lack of information. The human brain has a funny way of imagining that things it doesn’t often see, don’t actually exist.

    I wonder if it is not time for the Labour machine to move away from presenting Welfare policy as simply stats, dollars and an ideal. It should not be allowed to be tied to overseas/borrowed debt at all. It is not a question of who pays, but who watches the result of not paying. An ideal is clean and tidy and never gets hungry. You can ignore it and come back a month later and nothing has changed. Once you start to realise that babies effected by malnutrition or young men with third world diseases isn’t a happy thing to watch, or a productive future labour pool, you have to question whether our country needs to reconsider its aspirational values of buying a second car, a holiday beach house or hosting the Olympic games.

    If welfare isn’t linked to borrowing/debt, but is understood to be a moral question, investigations into how we fund – not if we fund it – is a collective step forward. Labour have already gone some ways to inspect reality with their opening address, but the criticisms of detractors also provide useful suggestion: we’ve seen the candidates introduce themselves to the back-drop of bush, school yards, machinery and in cars rolling through towns that have seen better days. We’ve heard what life once was and how government assistance helped then, but the photos are flat, dead-eyed and black and white. It risks the impression that the problems happened long ago, somewhere in the past when it was hard to be a single woman, but now it’s all solved. It’s time to get out of the car, into the school rooms, into the workplaces and introduce the people living a real life. NZ needs to see what some Labour MPs already know exists.

    Clearly this needs to be done with respect and discretion, but there needs to be a real human face to the range of situations that require assistance. State money doesn’t just roll past like a river, taken from a pay packet and disappering off into the ether, never really understood unless it floods or dries up. It effects people every day.

    National will roll out their cuts to the benefit system and people will align on whether it matches their idea of beneficiaries; whether it matches the purely fantastical myths they’ve built up in their heads. If they were shown just what it means to live with State assistance, there could be a shift from those who are simply uninformed. Long term, it may re-educate people about what is really happening in their own streets and communities and where NZ is headed. Labour now has the country’s attention. They control the debate. I think that those who vote National because they have never challenged their unexamined beliefs, might move to Labour once the reality of benefits cuts is clear.

    • TightyRighty 15.1

      LOLWUT? someone with enough time on their hands on a monday morning to write that amount of twaddle must surely be a benny. Shady astroturfing by vested interests. hallmark of the left.

      [lprent: I have fitted 600 word posts into a 15 minute coffee break. They don’t get edited too well, have typos, and usually have quite a lot of pasting from news articles. But they are often some of the most read posts on the site – like my response post on Chris Carter.

      I moderate comments during the relatively short intervals of compiles or ftp. High reading speeds and fast typing.

      Not all of us are deficient in the thinking and typing department as you appear to be or expect others to be.


      • kriswgtn 15.1.1

        and ur here everyday spouting your crap??

        would comment you fit in this category ya clown poor deluded clown

      • KJT 15.1.2

        I’am just taking breaks from sanding my yacht.

        What I know about commentators on here is that only one is definitely a beneficiary and most other left wing ones are SME owners, professionals or skilled trades.

      • Ianupnorth 15.1.3

        I think what he was trying to say is “I wish I was passionate instead of being another brainwashed, spoon fed, lemming of the right”

  16. KJT 16


    “”The evidence for the existence of widespread benefit fraud is paltry to non-existent – despite the fact that a special fraud intelligence unit was set up in the Social Welfare department in 2007 to detect it. Last year, the department checked 29 million records, and found the benefit fraud rate (as a proportion of the total benefits paid) was a miniscule 0.10 per cent. A declining number of prosecutions – from 937 in 2009 to 789 last year – resulted.

    Of the $16 million in benefit fraud detected last year, a proportion was carried out by social welfare staff – ten of whom were sacked last year for ripping off the system – and not by beneficiaries themselves. While any level of benefit fraud is unacceptable, the $16 million a year currently being incurred is hardly an intolerable burden. Currently, New Zealanders spend $16,1 million a day on impulse purchases.

    Moreover, other forms of unacceptable behaviour leave benefit fraud far behind in the dust without attracting the same negative stereotypes. The major foreign owned banks for instance finally agreed in late 2009 – and only after being pursued at great expense through the courts by the IRD – to cough up $2.2 billion of what they owed in unpaid taxes. Meaning : the settlement figure this case alone was about 140 times greater than the total amount lost in benefit fraud last year.””.

    Beneficiaries are ourselves.
    Most of us are only a prolonged illness or a period of bad luck away from needing a benefit.
    Look on it as cheap State supplied, income replacement insurance if you like.
    Their is no way a private company would private universal comprehensive income insurance for the same price.

  17. Very good points, Uturn.

    One of the rhetorical backdrops to the increased inequality in New Zealand is the notion that there is us (the middle class, those ‘getting by’, perhaps the mythical ‘aspirational’ class) and them (‘beneficiaries’ – excluding superannuitants – the ‘underclass’, the ‘bludgers’, the ‘stupid’, the ‘slackers’, etc.).

    Until New Zealanders have the maturity to see each other as people first then, so far as I’m concerned, all the tripe about ‘one nation’, ‘one law for all’ and other nauseating (because cruel and empty) rhetoric can go take a running jump.

    New Zealanders who despise and look down upon large groups of their fellow citizens and residents are the biggest obstacle to any remotely humane future society in New Zealand.

    It takes more than a few RWC parades to make national unity a reality. It takes all of us acting towards each other with some measure of respect and apportionment of dignity. 

    At a policy level, that means treating people as people, not ‘labour units’, a ‘drag on the economy’, criminals in waiting, etc.. 

    • Ianupnorth 17.1

      Thought much the same; re. ‘benny bashing’ – for me it is far worse those with their snouts constantly in the trough wasting money at corporate do’s, than people receiving a benefit when they could possibly return to work.
      It is similar to certain industries screaming for government compensation because of rain/snow/drought/broken gas pipes, etc, but denouncing workers who want a living wage.
      He aha te mea nui o te Ao?
      He tangata, he tangata, he tangata!

      What is the greatest thing of the world? People, People, People.

  18. Richard Down South 18

    the election will be interesting… i think the greens will get alot more votes than theyre polling atm, talking to people who are traditionally National and Labour voters (they want the greens to temper the Nats, or to keep Labour on their toes)

  19. Nick C 19

    Meh this just brings it into line with other polls, the previous TV3 poll was clearly a bit out there.

    You still have to contend with the fact that you effectively need a Green-Labour majority to govern. Winston isn’t going to be back, Goff has ruled out Hone, and Dunne has all but thrown his weight behind National. I guess the Maori Party (although a resurgent Labour in this senario would win Tamaki-Makaurau, so only 2 seats) is a possibility but there are a few bridges to repair there first.

    Unless… http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/blogs/david-farrar-by-the-numbers/5864793/An-ACT-Labour-coalition

  20. Craig 20

    I concur with the Labour/Green coalition conclusions. The Rena disaster has highlighted National’s hamfisted strategic risk management approach and indiscriminate slashing of public service expertise and capacity in that context. Now, we need something else to go wrong and highlight that, hopefully without loss of life. However, given the Nats and their approach to capacity, risk and strategic management, that may well be likely.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      Well without wishing another round of John Key bad luck on this country, Labour must be prepared to respond immediately to another ‘violent tremor’ (whether literal or figurative).

  21. gingercrush 21

    Well if I was Labour I’d be happy. Doesn’t really matter that National is still above 50% and they’re 30%. It shows Labour going up and more significantly shows Labour dropping 5%. Even though 52% is far more realistic. That drop is news especially as there is less than 4 weeks to go. Also despite the delusions here about New Zealand’s bias media. Its Labour that has been getting the good news. National’s has been average or in terms of the opening address, absolutely dreadful.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 21.1

      Is it me or does it seem that National are not prepared for a campaign at all? They haven’t changed their strategy or even their billboards from last time and they don’t seem to be announcing any significant policy.

      If their line about a $16B Labour black hole gets refuted when Cunliffe produces his costings (and you assume he will)- I’m not sure what they will be campaigning on. Little old ladies scared of crime? Bene-bashing? Business costs? They can produce the standard lines of the right but I’m sure labour will be ready for them.

      They don;’t get any marks for originality.

      • gingercrush 21.1.1

        National could always be more bold but that just doesn’t seem to be part of their strategy. Last time it worked and there were even accusations national was promising too much despite the financial crisis. I think the worldwide financial crisis is just as dangerous this time yet neither party has been called out for what they’re promising.

        National’s billboards are pretty good and better than Labour’s in my opinion. Labour’s billboards are crimson red so they appear much warmer than previous Labour billboards. But I have a problem with their candidate billboards that don’t say on them Vote Labour. I don’t quite understand why Labour didn’t keep their, “Give two ticks to Labour”. Not all Nationals billboards do that but they do it far more often than Labours. Though the best billboard I’ve seen so far was Rahui Katene’s even if it doesn’t make much sense for them to go for the party vote.

        All these costings either party spout about are always open to interpretation so I’m not sure if that argument holds sway. Whatever Labour releases about their costs could some way be refuted. National’s strategy is John Key and to do say and do as little as possible (though the past few days they’ve been opening their mouths a bit too much). That worked well in 2008 and Labour didn’t help matters when they constantly went after Key. I’m not sure it’ll work as well this time. As Labour’s focus is still on John Key but unlike 2008 they’re actually releasing policy.

        But a National party is essentially a conservative government where they will gradually move right-wards while keeping most of what the left implemented when in power. It tends to work too. And will work this year.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox

          National have a large poll lead, so its unlikely they will get as low as 45% Party vote if they play it safe. The problem fro them will be that they won’t be seen to stand for anything when they get back into parliament with possibly the Maori Party as their partner.

          By not having any trademark policies they are setting themeslves up to be a lameduck government during next term IMO. Labour will be the party of reform and will have all their positions staked out and identified. When the Treasury lie of 4% GDP growth and 170K jobs does not materialise they will be forced to cut spending, sell assets, cut WFF and super further which will erode GDP growth even further.

          When the credit rating agencies get round to cutting NZ’s rating, Labour will be able to sit back and say to the electorate- we told you so.

          Playing it safe is not always the smart option.

    • Carol 21.2

      Also despite the delusions here about New Zealand’s bias media. Its Labour that has been getting the good news.

      Once election campaigns begin, the media need to make a concerted effort to show they are giving all sides a balanced amount of exposure. They know they will be heavily scrutinised on this.

      Up til this point a lot of Labour’s announcements/criticisms of the government have been sidelined or ignored. Clever of Labour to wait til the campaign proper to really front-foot their campaign and new policy announcements, thus ensuring they get maximum exposure!

      • gingercrush 21.2.1

        Actually I think Labour always does well when it comes to the media as its not like any of National’s budgets got overwhelmingly support and Labour’s criticisms of National policies have been getting covered in all three years of this National government.

        Only you lot seem to think any positives given to National and criticisms of Labour are automatically featured as bias. Many on the right also subscribe to that notion. I find it numbingly stupid.

        • Carol

          GQ, I watch parliament, and have seen many significant criticisms by opposition parties ignored or marginalised by the MSM. Ditto for many press releases by opposition parties. Marginalisation can include the way it’s presented in the MSM – opposition/criticism buried inside papers or on TV slots that are watched by a minoirty. headlines for key’s photo ops, positive coverage of the government at the top of articles (m any people don’t read beyon the headlines or first paragraph – opposition stuff at the bottom of articles and/or given a negative slant…. I have been watching.

          The MSM tend to focus on sensationalist stuff, fun stuff etc, and marginalise the nitty gritty of politics.

          ad hominems don’t amount to a critical argument.

          • gingercrush

            I’ve been watching too. And no party can expect all their press releases to be included as news. And I’m not sure why you would expect many of them to even be news. Labour’s opinions are given prominence. Last year with the gst/tax switch. Labour point that the GST would push up inflation meaning some people were worse off gained a lot of prominence.

            I think you’re just being blind to your own prejudices. And I love how you lot go on and on about the bias with John Key yet completely ignore that between 1999 and 2003/2004 the same criticisms you make could have been applied to Helen Clark and Labour.

            Also MSM focusing on sensationalism etc. isn’t bias towards one spectrum of politics that is just crappy media. And there I’ll share sympathy with you. But Helen Clark and the Labour government of 1999-2008 and their increasinging move towards professional PR overwhelmingly helped that to happen. That John Key and National are doing the same is only a problem now because your party or point of view is in reserve.

            • Carol

              Yes, Clark got a lot of favourable coverage in her first term or so. However, she didn’t get favourable coverage initially as leader, and had to work hard, engaging with the media constinuous ly and pro-actively, to get that coverage. Key on the other hand was talked up by the MSM as soon as he became leader, he has been given a relatively free ride since, and it has only dropped off a little recently.

              At the end of Clark’s government, the NZ Herald in particular, to a strong turn against Labour and for National, and it has stayed that way since: eg having Nat PR person, David Farrah as a commentator.

              So, I am blind to my prejudices and you aren’t, gc? Most people are to some extent. If you look at the NZ MSM commentators and political writers overall, there are more that lean to the right. Consequently, they probably see themselves as neutral/balanced, because that’s the nature of their publication/newsroom – their centre of balance is skewed to the right.

              There is some academic research that supports the right slant in the news coverage of the 2008 election on TV1 & TV3. (by Professor Margie Comrie, Massey University, NZ, ‘Kiwi politics: The 2008 election on mainstream and Maori television’).

              See my comment on this here:

              Open mike 12/07/2011

              I said:

              the data shows a bias by TV One & TV3 towards Key & National over Clark & Labour Dduring the 2008 election period. This is seen in the fact that there was a higher percentage of face time given to Nats/Key over Labour & Clark.

              And this was at a time when MSM news producers and editors are trying really hard to provide balanced coverage of the election campaigns.

              That they try harder during elections was evident in Kathryn Ryan’s comment at the beginning of the “from the left and from the right” section on None-to-Noon this morning. She asked whose turn it was to start talking, because they were in the election period and she had to be careful to give equal time to both commentators (Hooton & Williams).

              People whose views are usually favoured in forums and public spaces, tend to see anything that challenges their views as being given equal space, even when carefully recorded, and statistically analysed monitoring shows something different. I am reminded of some feminist research by Dale Spender back in the 80s. In the classrooms she monitored, the norm was that girls’ talk and teachers’ attention to girls happened around one third of the time. When this went above one third, teachers and others perceived it as girls getting more attention and talkng more than the boys.

              PS: I am a leftie, but don’t see Labour as MY party. I have voted Green Party in recent elections, and intend to do so this election.

        • Tarn

          What I find numbingly stupid is when I read National supporters comments. I feel like we are living in the movie “Idiocracy .

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