web analytics

On the accuracy of online polls

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, March 25th, 2013 - 30 comments
Categories: polls, privatisation - Tags:

The proportion on people who have pre-registerd for Mighty River Power, according to the Stuff poll:

mighty river power prereg


mighty river power prereg 2

(440,000 pre-registrations, well short of the half a million the Right was touting)

Methinks the readership of newsites leans significantly to the middle class and elite.

Out of interest – about 70% of pre-registrations became people who actually bought shares in the Contact sale – 180,000 people. A further 1% of the population didn’t pre-register but bought later. Today, less than 2% of Kiwis own Contact shares.


30 comments on “On the accuracy of online polls”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    The second graph, if anyone else is trying to work out what it is showing because it isn’t properly labelled, is raw # of people who have pre-registered, out of the total population. The scale across the bottom is millions of people, eg the population of NZ.

    • UpandComer 1.1

      That little line would still be bigger then that other line for people signing a bought and paid for fake petition.

  2. pmofnz 2

    Second graph ‘well short of half a million’. Do you have a credible link for that slur attributed to the Right?

  3. Watching 3

    Both sides of the argument are using illogical stats to prove their point. No wonder the population of NZ is getting bored.

    I thought Norman’s press release over the weekend was weak: that because only 10% of the population pre-registered then 90% of the population is against assets sales. On that same logic you could argue that as the Green received 10% odd of the 2011 election vote (which at guess would be about 6% of the total population) then over 90% of the population does not support Green policy – which is also a stupid point to derive from the stats.

    Also on the pre-registered numbers (1) did you have to be over a certain age to pre-registered – linked to having an IRD number and (2) quite a few people I know have decided not to pre-registered as they don’t have the money and will be getting the investment via KiwiSave

    Back to the reality of online polls – they are fun things. If you believe in them, then I hope when somebody says to you next “I have an unbelievable deal for you” that you stop & have a coffee before making a decision.

    • Lightly 3.1

      anyone NZer could pre-register, including kids.

    • felix 3.2

      “Also on the pre-registered numbers (1) did you have to be over a certain age to pre-registered – linked to having an IRD number “

      Anyone could register anyone.

      You could register your kids. You could register your dog. You could register the leaders of the Labour and Green parties FFS.

      No IRD numbers required.

      • Ed 3.2.1

        Given that the rules appear to have been changed “on the hoof” as it were to give those who have pre-registered higher allocations, those in the know may well have pre-registered in the names of each of their family, each trust, and combinations of these – any combination which could be allocated shares and then sell them to a sensible holding for the wider family. that is assuming National do the predictable and under-price to assure a “success”. So 440,000 pre-registrations may only represent say 400,000 individuals. We will never know how many ‘rogue’ pre-registrations there are (such as that for David Shearer) just to get the numbers up . . .

        • felix

          “So 440,000 pre-registrations may only represent say 400,000 individuals.”

          Or 220,000 individuals registering for 2 people.

          Or 100,000 individuals, another 100,000 registering for 2, and 35,000 registering for 4.

          etc etc.

  4. Adrian 4

    The 10% is about the upper level of the long term share ownership numbers in NZ. Normally it is only about 7% but rises temporarily after big offers like this. Wealth Transfer 101. Thieving arseholes.

    • Raymond a Francis 4.1

      Thieving arseholes” because they can afford to buy the shares?
      We have a lot of people talking about all NZers owning these asserts but how many are net tax payers
      Most of the protesters don’t appear to fall into the category being to young for starters

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Civilisation started to go down hill when we stupidly expanded the vote beyond property owning Christian men of good (tax paying) standing.

        PS people paying for stolen or dubious goods with cash bear some culpability don’t they?

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.2

        Most of the protesters don’t appear to fall into the category being to young for starters

        The sad thing is that the generation which is 50+ has been actively thieving from NZs young for a couple of decades now.

        Key, English, Joyce. How much did they have to pay for their educations? Were they always able to find good paying jobs over the summer holidays which let them save up enough money for the following full year at uni? And when they bought their first house…how much did it cost, perhaps a whole 4x or 5x the median wage?

        • Tim

          Please don’t include the ENTIRE generation – though I agree that all those Onslow College contemporaries of mine – most anyway, professing socialist, or left wing leanings – now Pulp magazine editors, media commentators, spin doctors, bankers, Munstas of the Krearn (etc.) probably fit your stereotype (with some justification).
          I used to always be suspicious of them when ‘flatting’ (to coin a quaint old term), when most used to take their washing home to mumsy at weekends.
          Tragic specimens now the most of them! Generally: paunchy, grey haired and unhappy white old men chanting the very same racist taunts at the breakdown in society my great grandparents once did. (Funny too how majority of their kids have turned out absolute fuckups).
          Pagini beware!

          • Colonial Viper

            Please don’t include the ENTIRE generation

            Understood. I have several excellent mentors that I respect within that generation; sadly too many others however seem rather more privileged, self serving and narrowly conscious in their attitudes.

      • Adrian 4.1.3

        I’m 63 and almost all of my contemporaries are upset at this wealth transfer i.e, theft. What a lot of people don’t realise is that the foregone returns to the Treasury coffers have to be replaced from elsewhere. If only 7% of NZers can afford to buy shares and hence profit from same, the shortfall in tax is made up from all taxpayers therefore subsidising what will almost certainly eventually be large fund mamagers. Stupid, stupid policy.

  5. vto 5

    I just love how floating the power companies means less kiwis end up owning them.


    Well done Nats, you fucking bozos.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      I just love how floating the power companies means less kiwis end up owning them.

      And that those few who do end up owning the power companies end up with unearned wealth from everyone else.

  6. pollywog 6

    If all those 400k kiwi mums and dads blow their wad on Mighty River, who is going to buy up the next round of shares ?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Godman Sachs. Using money printed by the US Fed.

      • SpaceMonkey 6.1.1

        +1… Even if it’s not an in-yer-face Goldman Sach-style pump and dump IPO (e.g. Facebook), I’m picking the shares will still initially fall post-IPO, perhaps based on some new information that we’ll be told was unforeseen, e.g some debt that was moved off the balance sheets temporarily to make the books look better.

        It will be enough to panic Ma and Pa investor into selling and Goldman and the rest will be waiting in the wings to vacuum them up – having probably also made a nice little windfall shorting the share price along the way.

        Within 5-10 years the power companies will have shareholdings that look like Fletcher, nothing remotely NZ-owned about them.

  7. AsleepWhileWalking 7

    Is anyone else thinking this is starting look like a pump’n’dump?


    Easy to get names from electorial roll.

  8. Ant 8

    Don’t see why registering is automatically equated to supporting asset sales – most people seem to see it as registering for easy money/returns.

    • Ed 8.1

      Or for encouraging the government to set the price as high as possible – we know there will be an element of give-away, but if they think it will be over-subscribed they may actually feel they have to avoid too big a rush as that would imply the price was too low . . .

    • Tim 8.2

      A point I’d been trying to make way back when. Some even have more noble intention other than
      “registering for easy money/returns.”

  9. Rich 9

    They pretty much give themselves away with their “alternative online census”:

    See Q.23 34% earning over $100,000 (for the general population, it’s below 5%).

  10. Richard 10

    Online poll results are easily manipulated and, in my opinion, should never be taken seriously.

    To start manipulating the results, all you need is to is vote on the poll using each of the browsers you have. With Firefox, IE, Chrome, Safari and Opera installed, you can vote 5 times on an issue within a minute of first seeing the poll which grabs your attention. I’m sure there are plenty of people who feverishly do this.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    2 days ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    2 days ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    3 days ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    3 days ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    3 days ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    4 days ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    4 days ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    4 days ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    5 days ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    5 days ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    5 days ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    6 days ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    6 days 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    1 week ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    1 week ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    2 weeks ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago