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Nats drop 6% on privatisation announcement

Written By: - Date published: 12:56 pm, February 5th, 2011 - 65 comments
Categories: election 2011, greens, labour, national, nz first - Tags:

OK, that title is pure spin. National has dropped from 55% to 49% in the latest Roy Morgan, and Labour’s up from 29% to 34.5%. But that just shows the last poll was a rogue. Now, normal transmission, and National’s decline, has resumed. When you look at the potential coalitions: National/ACT and Labour/Green/New Zealand First  – the race is tight and closing fast.

The one to really watch is New Zealand First. The days when it looked like the party might die and it was down to 1% in the polls are long gone. The trend is healthy upwards and this poll is the first Roy Morgan to have NZF above 5% (at 5.5%) since August 2008. This poll was largely conducted before the election date announcement, I expect that NZF will get a further boost from John Key’s high-handed decision to try to tell voters not to vote for Winston Peters.

What we should be watching, I reckon is the combined National/ACT vote and the combined Labour/Greens/NZF vote. And then add the numbers for both United Future and the Maori Party to each coalition – being the prostitutes of politics, they’ll go with whomever has the numbers.

Currently, National and ACT have 50% (down from 54% this time last year), with the Maori Party and UF, that becomes 53%. Lab/Greens/NZF have 46.5% (up from 41.5%  a ear ago), add MP and UF and that’s 49.5%. In other words, just a 2% shift is enough to make L/G/NZF larger than NACT and get first dibs on the floating support parties to get over the line.

The Right have become complacent, fooled by the gap between National and Labour (as are many political commentators) into think the race isn’t close.

Just look at John Key’s inept decision to wait until November to go to the polls. He thought he could arrogantly say to the electorate ‘you love me, don’t you? Well if you want me to have to accept asset sales and that means no deal with Peters’. Key’s failed to see that the love is wearing thin (even Granny’s getting tired of his antics, and mincing the shark doesn’t help). He thought that he would cause 3-4% of the anti-National vote to be wasted, again, on NZF and cruise to victory.

The signs are that is already backfiring. Is anyone really so bold as to think NZF won’t get in and National won’t lose 2% or more over the next 10 months like they did in the last 10 months?

The trend in National’s numbers and the confidence in government numbers are both clearly downward.  Oil prices are rising and the campaign, where Labour traditional out-performs National and in which National will be hammered on privatisation, is still to come.

Key has basically gambled it all on the Rugby World Cup giving him a trend-reversing boost that lasts just long enough to get across the line in November. It’s going to turn out to be his biggest mistake.


65 comments on “Nats drop 6% on privatisation announcement”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    I guess we will be seeing a law change to allow more party political television advertising outside the ‘allocated’ amounts we currently have. The beneficiaries National and ACT as they can raise the extra bucks and now know the election date so can book TV time ahead and claw back any expected drop in support.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    The tide’s going out on these Right Wingers. They better have done their calculations well because the call for a late election sets them up against that tide.

    Makes me think that they have a few cunning schemes they want to pull off over the next few months.


  3. Lanthanide 3

    I’ve just gone through all the comments on the Stuff post about the election announcement. I intend to write a guest post up about it, but what Marty is saying here is broadly reflected in the stat’s I’ve collected:

    Pro-Labour + Pro-Greens + Pro-NZFirst + Anti-National = 44 comments
    Pro-National + Anti-Labour = 55 comments

    I also tallied up ‘views on issues’ such as SOE sales and Key ruling out Winston.

    I aim to submit the post later today or early tomorrow.

    • infused 3.1

      Such staggering stats you have there. How about the post on gpforums which currently actually reflects that in the polls.

    • illuminatedtiger 3.2

      Stuff.co.nz is hardly representative of the New Zealand public.

      • marco 3.2.1

        Stuff represents middle NZ, who will sway the election for whoever captures their imagination. Although it also has a slant to the right as the disadvantaged don’t generally engage in forums via the internet.

        I’m picking things are dead even right now.

  4. Brett 4

    I think later in the year you might hear something along the lines of
    “We listened to the people of NZ and the part asset sales will not go ahead”

    The people of NZ will go “that JK what a top man, he listens to the voter, I’m going to vote for him”

    National then wins with over 50% of the vote , giving Key a free reign to take an axe to the public service,ACC,interest free loans, etc.
    Smiling assassin strikes again.

    • Zorr 4.1

      John Key, king of “That was then, this is now”

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Yeah I also figure this is the NAT’s swing further Right to assuage their base, collect votes from ACT and get their fundraising going with a bang. Later on this year they will swing back towards the centre in order to look more moderate and sensitive to the electorate’s views.

    • Samuel 4.3

      Or, he adds a caveat that keeps share ownership in NZ, eg Shares to be purchased by the Cullen Fund or such like.

      • Brett 4.3.1

        Yes or maybe a certain portion of peoples kiwi saver gets invested.
        That way more people get a share of the pie.

    • That may occur but the response must then be “well what strategy do you have”? Mining was the big saviour but fizzled and all they can claim to have done is give tax cuts to the rich and partially constructed a cycleway. Talk about the emperor has no clothes.

    • BLiP 4.5

      Or he steals Labour’s idea and mortgages the assets instead of selling them.

  5. Scott 5

    Your optimism is admirable, but I suspect that come November John Key will be the one laughing. Right now the Opposition looks clueless. Lew at Kiwipolitico has a good post on Key and the failure of Labour to hit him hard.

    • infused 5.1

      Great post.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Key has a great dynamic going here. He’s positioned as the nice guy, the non-politician politician. The ordinary man.

      Labour have a go at him, and it looks like they are having a go at the nice guy. The ordinary bloke.

  6. infused 6

    It’s funny how you finally comment on the polls once National drops a bit. There has been no talk of polls here in along time.

    On your actual post, I think you’re wrong on a number of levels. If 6% is the only dent from the asset sales, you’re still in big troubles. Your biggest problem is you’ve got Goff leading.

    • lprent 6.1

      The summer polls in late December and early Jan really aren’t worth commenting on. They’re always quite volatile. Generally the authors don’t post on them except to opine on why they’re not worth commenting on. The joy of the Morgan poll and why authors tend to write on it more often than any of the others is that it comes out every few weeks so you can look at trend lines. From examination of its results against reality is that its methodology appears more robust.

      Even so it isn’t worth opining on it more than once a month because of the statistical fluctuations. Trends are interesting. Obsessions on reporting every poll is something that is best left to the politically and numerically illiterate (like most of the right blogs in my opinion)

      From what I can see the asset sale stuff still hasn’t impacted because of the timing of the poll which is why the first setence in the post was OK, that title is pure spin. . Especially when the remainder of the post doesn’t even mention it.

      If you want to make yourself look like a complete dork, then all you have to do is to comment on a post without reading it. You’ve just proved that.

      • infused 6.1.1

        In my defense, it’s quite hard to get through a Marty G post.

        • lprent

          The first sentence? On both the post AND the front page? I didn’t realize that you were so retarded in your reading skills 😈

        • Marty G

          I’ll try to keep the words to one syllable and keep out hard maths like addition in the future

          • Lanthanide

            That probably means you have to stick with just ‘counting’ then.

          • fatty

            You could throw in a picture of Liz Hurley’s boobs to widen your audience.

            Then again, is there any point in attracting views of Scott etc who think that “Right now the Opposition looks clueless”….this a day after a 5.5% bump in the polls.

            The best Scott can do is post a link to a blog that is nothing more than a extended NZHerald article…yawn.

            [lprent: We tend to leave the page 3 section of the political blog market to DPF. The idiots in the sewer need time away from having to use their minds. In fact I’d suggest that DPF uses page 3 tactics more frequently because his commentators clearly have significant problems in using the brains in the political posts. They obviously need more leisure posts to gird their loins for the occasional politics.

            Mind you Whales audience is more interesting. They clearly respond more to pictures of bloody great big weapons from the frequency with which he shows them off. Makes you wonder what they’re compensating for doesn’t it? ]

            • Scott

              You obviously didn’t read the blog post I linked to, or you don’t read the Herald much. Though if it’s the latter I can’t blame you much.

              There are plenty of people critical of Labour because they want them to win, but can see that Goff is making no impact and is unpopular with most people. But if you want to go on believing Labour will win with a leader whose popularity ratings are in the single figures, be my guest.

              • gobsmacked

                It is, of course, possible to share those criticisms of Goff/Labour AND believe that Labour can win. The two are not mutually exclusive.

                The secrets are hidden here, enter at your peril …


                • Scott

                  Yes, possible, but it’s hard to imagine Labour winning on the back of an unpopular leader, particularly when the media coverage of modern elections is about personalities. Sure, Labour might win this still (if ACT fails, if Winston gets in etc) but my bet is they won’t under Goff.

                • Rosy

                  Very interesting 🙂

              • lprent

                From memory, Helen didn’t hit double figures until well after 1996, and Labour damn near won that one. I suspect that she wasn’t far into double figures until after the 1999 election. She was an effective PM. Then her personal popularity poll figures went up and pretty much stayed there.

                Mike Moore had better popularity figures in 1993 than Helen had in 1996 and Labour crapped out rather badly. Looking at him from the viewpoint of the campaign, I don’t think I’d have wanted him as PM.

                Lange had great personal popularity after the 1984 election and crap ones before it. He was also a crap PM in my opinion. Over time his personal popularity figures went down.

                I’m afraid that from my observation that the polled personal popularity of politicians has very little to do with the actual practice of politics of the left vote. It is more something that so-called ‘pundits’ like to blather on about when they have nothing of importance to say.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Ah, 1993, a clear example of why we got rid of FPP and went to MMP.

                  I wouldn’t have wanted Moore as PM either – I’m sure he would have pushed Douglas’s Unfinished Business.

  7. Tanz 8

    There is a JK obsession going on here. Envy, perhaps?

  8. Gotham 9

    I wish people would stop mentioning a Labour/Greens/NZ First Government.

    I am a Green and I cringe at the thought.

    • I am a Labourite and I also struggle with the idea of going into coalition with NZFirst again.

    • Joel Walsham 9.2

      And yet what is the alternative? A National and Act Government that begins their far right privatisation agenda?!

      We cannot agree with everyone on everything in a coalition, but at least economically we are able to co-operate with Winston and NZF. Lets face it the next term in Government will be focused mainly on the economy anyway.

      I cringe at the thought for three more years of National, more then the thought of Winston.

      • Gotham 9.2.1

        The main problem for me (apart from the instant gag reflex) is that if the Greens agreed to some kind of a coalition deal with NZ First, they would be gone completely by the next election.

        If the Maori Party relied solely on the 5% threshold, they would probably be gone after this election too. Same with Act. And Dunne would never have had a chance. And this is why Winston disappeared in the first place. The Greens have to get over 5% to survive in Parliament.

        Personally, I would only support a pure Labour-Green coalition. We are doing pretty well with our polling at the moment – maybe you guys just have to step it up a bit more? 😉

        • Colonial Viper

          is that if the Greens agreed to some kind of a coalition deal with NZ First, they would be gone completely by the next election.

          That’s assuming Peters pulls the same old shite that he did years ago, once he is in coalition. If instead he pulls some serious statesmanship out over the three year term it could be very good for the Greens.

          • Gotham

            True. But personally, I don’t want to see the future survival of the Greens tied to whether Winston behaves himself or not.

            And I am not saying NZ First and the Greens couldn’t/shouldn’t work together under any circumstances – though I am inherently skeptical, and somewhat allergic, to the idea. But the makeup of the Greens’ caucus after the list ranking and the election would have a huge part to play. The last thing we need is to have internal ruckus that pulls the caucus apart, and managing a relationship with a coalition partner takes up more time and effort than actually just getting on with the job.

    • wtl 9.3

      I just don’t see it happening either. NZ First doesn’t like the Greens and vice versa. The only possibility that I can see working is minority government with one of those parties abstaining from confidence and supply votes.

      • Rharn 9.3.1

        Both NZF and the Green’s will work with each other if they both get what they want. NZF will go with reduced immigration. Green’s will go with environmental issues. They both opposed to asset sales. Both the Maori Party and Dunne will have their own agendas not out of reach for either Labour, Green’s or NZF. If these policy agreements could be reached before the election then we would have a change of Government without doubt

  9. Brett 4 at 5 February 2011 at 1:30 pm says
    I think later in the year you might hear something along the lines of
    “We listened to the people of NZ and the part asset sales will not go ahead”
    The people of NZ will go “that JK what a top man, he listens to the voter, I’m going to vote for him

    Agreed, asset sales will be minor if at all, this will happen because asset sales are a meaningless source of revenue, it is a political litmus only:

    NZ Govt second [ or third ] term will introduce:
    Capital gains tax in association with Greens
    Environmental law in association with green
    Capitulation on Coastal Marine act in association with Act
    Private health insurance tax credits
    Massive changes to social welfare benefits in line with Global trends and collapsing NZ economy


  10. Afewknowthetruth 11

    MARTY G . Can you please post something more interesting and relevant to the times were a living in.

    All this National, Labour, National, Labour stuff is quite tedious and utterly irrelvant.

    National and Labour both have unbroken records of failure dating back to 1975.

    [lprent: Check this section of our about. Essentially trying to tell us what we should do on our site is a fast way to attract my attention. If you want something different, then you could always try the contribute button. But unproductive whinging just annoys me. ]

  11. gobsmacked 12

    Of course most Labour/Green supporters don’t want Winston. That’s especially true of the members/activists (i.e. many commenting here).

    But this just highlights the absurdity of Key’s position – and the stupidity of NZ’s political journalists, who haven’t figured it out yet.

    If Key says he won’t even talk to NZ First, then Labour and the Greens can form a minority government, give Winston a few policy wins (i.e. the things Labour/Greens are happy with anyway, on economic sovereignty) and dare him to vote the minority government down. They don’t have to make big concessions.

    Is Winston going to reject that? If so, will he talk to Key? No, he can’t, because Key’s over in the corner, sulking.

    So let’s think ahead. One of the following will happen, if Key sticks to his line.

    a) Key will talk to the Greens instead. So, worst case scenario, we get a National-Green government. More likely, the Greens will reject National’s overtures.

    b) Winston will agree to whatever Labour/Greens let him have. Just so he can say “fuck you, Key.”

    c) Key caves. “Winston, all is forgiven! Talk to me!”

    But I reckon it’ll be …


    There is no way National MPs will stand idly by and watch a minority left-leaning government being formed. So Key will be told by the caucus (i.e. by the Ministers who want to keep their jobs) that he has to deal with NZ First, and if not, he’s out the door. And that is going to be sooo much fun to watch.

    So to repeat: like most left-leaning folk, I don’t want Winston callng the shots. But thanks to Key, he doesn’t. Good on ya John!

    • I think it is an acknowledgment by Key that Winston would rather eat spiders than go into coalition with National after what happened to him in 2008.

      It is a bit like the Helen Clark Tariana Turia relationship, it was not going to happen.

      Key dismissing Peters as a possible partner acknowledges the reality and allows the right to spin this as some sort of evidence of “principles”.

      • KJT 12.1.1

        No point Key staying if he has to concede policy to Peters.
        Key has been put in as a puppet to continue the theft started in the 80’s.
        If he cannot do it then he has no reason to be in Government.

      • Martin 12.1.2

        Can I just point out that New Zealand First has never been in a coalition with the Labour Party. We had a Supply and Confidence Agreement and accepted a Ministerial position outside of cabinet. We can do the same again and sit on the cross benches voting on issue by issue.

    • Lanthanide 12.2

      Key’s promise not to go with Winston doesn’t actually mean squat, really.

      Key has already said he will leave parliament if he doesn’t win the election as PM, because he has no interest in being in opposition.

      So, faced with an electoral outcome where Winston is the kingmaker and National could choose to retain government if they wanted to try and work with him, do you really think the heavy players in the National party will shrug their shoulders and say “oh well, time to go back to opposition” without a fight? Key leaves either way in this scenario, so they’d kick him out and see what sort of deal they could arrange with Winston.

      I also expect that Winston will come out in the future and say that he is willing to deal with National, even if Key won’t deal with him, because that helps to undermine Key. Winston could even air my scenario above to the media; not sure how the general public would react and whether that’d be a good move for him, though.

  12. Shazzadude 13

    “There is no way National MPs will stand idly by and watch a minority left-leaning government being formed. So Key will be told by the caucus (i.e. by the Ministers who want to keep their jobs) that he has to deal with NZ First, and if not, he’s out the door. And that is going to be sooo much fun to watch.”


    John Key may very well personally not want to work with Winston Peters in order to remain PM (which I doubt myself). Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t mean Bill English, Murray McCully etc. aren’t willing to give up the government.

    We could very well see Key having a cry on national TV over being backstabbed like Kevin Rudd.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      And if Key goes, its open season on selling off KiwiBank.

      (I believe thats been planned from the start, gosh these Right Wingers are long term planners)

    • M 13.2

      ‘We could very well see Key having a cry on national TV over being backstabbed like Kevin Rudd.’

      I’d get tickets for that event considering how he’s backstabbed all NZers and it would be funny seeing Bling and the even more revolting McCully growing legs on their stomachs in order to meet with Winnie.

  13. get up to date MickySavage and others,
    there will be many people who will vote for Winston Peters,
    5% dudes is victory to me and oblivion to you
    I am a paid up member, the old people will come in later,
    suck that,
    define now in realistic [ not social and old dreamy terms ]
    how you want your country,

  14. r0b 15

    “Mincing the shark”. Laughed out loud (I’m far too old to LOL). Damn – I wish I’d thought of that!

  15. Adrian 16

    You’re right about Winston , for months now he’s been getting hundreds to meetings completely under the radar. Watch for somebody in the MSM to wake up all surprised. Labour might be unfairly getting bugger all positive press but Winnies getting none and that’s probably how he likes it for now. I’ve been using the line “They (Key and co) dont bloody care about us” and it’s going down very well, there is a momentum of sad realisation happening to people who are doing it hard. I know three 50+ self employed builders who have never been out of work and they are at home mowing lawns and moping about getting pissed off.

  16. gazza 17

    Everyone seen intent on the leaders of the parties and not the other MPs who make up the bulk of the said parties,it is not Key/Goff/Hide etc who have the final say as they are only the head and it is the tail that should wag not the head that nods.
    If a Govt is going to lead it is the how the MPs with portfolio’s implement them to the satisfaction of the people, not how pretty or how smart the leader is as a party consists of a group not just a leader.

  17. Tel 18

    I’ve been out to a couple of social functions this weekend and made a point of asking people, politely as possible, what they thought of National’s policy regarding asset sales, followed by what they thought of Key and whether they would vote in support of the policy.

    Assets sale votes were a whitewash in favour of no sales. Despite this votes for National usually were a “maybe” with the qualifier “only if they drop asset sales” and there were a lot of “don’t know” votes. Even allowing for the fact that some people would vote National but were too embarrassed to say so, the vote spread was generally evenly spread between Don’t Know, Labour, NZ First and the Greens. (It may have favoured one party or another, but I was not about to let science get in the way of a good evening out!)

    Now taking into account our circle of friends are in the most part highly intelligent non-RWNJ’s it was heartening to hear amongst the National voters some deep concerns about Keys circus antics of late. This didn’t surprise me but the comments that people thought he was taking his popularity for granted, and he was coming across more and more as conceited and arrogant (akin to that of Muldoon said one person!) was an eye opener.

    It’s early days, but I think Key might have stumbled into something… I’m going to call it:
    Tall Mushroom Syndrome – Where people that rise to prominence by keeping us in the dark and feeding us bullshit are socially brought to justice.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      I’m going to call it:
      Tall Mushroom Syndrome

      You heard it here first, peeps!

      A mushroom to be finely sliced, diced, dissected and sauteed over continuous heat between now and Nov 26, when the dish will be well done.

  18. Unlike Aunty Helen I cant come to any harm Ive got Hones Mum hanging onto my arm.

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    1 week ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
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    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
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    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
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  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
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    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
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  • MSD and their investment approach
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
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    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
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