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Poll shows Kiwis prefer MMP

Written By: - Date published: 12:54 pm, November 12th, 2009 - 25 comments
Categories: MMP, polls - Tags: ,

NZPA reports on a new poll from UMR which shows Kiwis don’t want to dump MMP for a less proportional electoral system.

The survey used the proposed wording of the referendum and found 48 percent in favour of keeping MMP and only 40 percent in favour of changing the system.

Interestingly, when people were told the referendum was going to cost $20 million, 60% said they didn’t think we should have it.

Of the minority who do favour dumping MMP, nearly half either don’t know what they’d replace it with or simply don’t have enough understanding of the issues to make a choice. Of those who do have an opinion support is scattered all over the place, with 29 percent supporting FPP, 20 percent STV and 9 percent SM.

The fact is most Kiwis are happy with MMP, and I think as the referendum nears it’ll become clear that the gripes you usually hear are often based on either a misunderstanding about how it works or a lack of forethought about what the alternatives are.

The only coherent critique of MMP I’ve seen has come from people like former Telecom chairman Peter Shirtcliffe, who resents MMP because it means he and his rich mates have to actually win majority support for their self-serving economic agenda.

For him the golden years were the early 90s, when the Nats could privatise assets and write the unions out of legislation with only 35% of the popular vote. Before proportional representation went and ruined it all.

It’s for people like Shirtcliffe that Key’s running this thing.

25 comments on “Poll shows Kiwis prefer MMP ”

  1. Pat 1

    Definately time to dump MMP.

    Oh wait, I thought you were taliking about Mallard’s Mandatory Perks.

  2. gitmo 2

    “The fact is most Kiwis are happy with MMP”

    I’ll think you might find that your opinion is not a fact.

    • snoozer 2.1

      stinging rebuke there, gitmo.

      The poll shows a clear majority of those with an opinion support keeping MMP.

      • Pat 2.1.1

        People just don’t want to admit they were wrong.

        At least thats what we told everytime National polls 60%.

      • lukas 2.1.2

        “The poll shows a clear majority of those with an opinion support keeping MMP”

        Crap… you find 8% a clear majority…. you must be a depressed person when you look at political polls!

    • roger nome 2.2

      What an anal retentive git. About 10% for FPP vs 48% support for mmp. Spot the difference?

      • gitmo 2.2.1

        Read the link smokingman and then tell me how you can reasonably extrapolate a survey of 750 people to “The fact is most Kiwis are happy with MMP’

        • roger nome

          git – isn’t that a fairly routine sample size for a poll of this nature? You just look like you’re desperately clutching at straws in the hope that one day you’ll see the right take power with 35% of the popular vote again. But apparently only about 10% of NZers think that’s a desirable version of democracy – so you can just keep on dreaming pal.

          • gitmo

            So no answer to the question posited ? Just more meteorism from the smokingman, best you go and have a sit and think.

            • roger nome

              I get your point (and i’d prefer if you stop hitting on me please) – i just think it’s meaningless in the context.

              This poll has a margin of error of a few percentage points, so it’s clear that NZers prefer MMP (48%) over FPP (10%) or any other particular option. That’s the crux of it. You just appear to be nit-picking. The kind of person who gets stuck on individual points and loses the big picture…

              I know a few people like that. They’re generally not very popular with women or men ….

            • gitmo

              “and i’d prefer if you stop hitting on me please”

              No, I was just grabbing a gummi Venus de Milo that got stuck to your pants.

              mmmm gummy venus

  3. Lew 3

    Rather than a bunch of people talling the NZ electorate which electoral system is best for them, why don’t we ask people what they want in an electoral system and use their responses to suggest which option they should vote for in the referendum?


    • gitmo 3.1

      That would be novel Lew …. I’d expect they’d request less MPs and binding referenda high on the wish list.

      • Lew 3.1.1

        Gitmo, if the success of the 99 MP Party and Direct Democracy Party are anything to judge by, I rather doubt that. For another thing, the second part of that isn’t really within the ambit of ‘electoral system’.

        Generally speaking, the electorate at large isn’t typically quite as venal as its most brazen self-promoters, and tends to make decisions based less on strict self-interest than on broad grounds of equity and just-ness.


        • Graeme Edgeler

          Why would you assume that the success of the 99 MP Party and Direct Democracy Party are anything to judge by?

          Do you feel the same way about New Zealand becoming a Republic? After all, the Republic of New Zealand Party got 313 party votes at the last election.

          • Lew

            Fair enough, Graeme, that was a bit cute of me.


            • Ron

              Actually no it isn’t “fair enough” , Lew.

              The 99 MP party and the Direct Democracy (wetf that means) are leaders of a movement to achieve the aims stated in their names. The Republic of NZ Party really has no standing in the repubklican mvt.

              HOWEVER. I agree that, unfortuinately, we would probably find a majority voting for fewer MPs and probably even for binding referenda. Unfortunately (and I know I’ll be accused of undervaluing my fellow voters’ intelligence) most people don’t know wtf they are talking about when it comes to voting systems and democratic processes.

              The majority vote for MMP was a result of voter dissatisfaction with politicians. A majority vote for FFP this time will just reflect the same thing. Ask them HOW the change will improve matters and MOST voters won’t have a logical answer.

            • Lew

              Graeme’s wider point, I think, is that an unknown single-issue political party receiving hardly any votes at an election doesn’t necessarily mean that nobody supports their single issue.

              People don’t — and shouldn’t ned to — understand the finer mechanics of electoral systems. So I don’t propose to ask them just a plain question of ‘what electoral system do you want’ as the referendum asks; I’d rather ask them a series of questions they can actually answer in an informed fashion and deduce from their answers what sort of electoral system would best fit their preference.


      • Pat 3.1.2

        I’d like to see a party’s list MPs determined by the number of electoral votes each candidate got.

        That way someone who gets 7000 votes but doesn’t win their seat, gets in ahead of someone else in the party who only got 700 votes (but would have been placed higher on the list under the old system).

        Seems more democratic.

  4. tc 4

    Awesome says NACT , here’s another Poll we can ignore and do what we want to anyway as we have this awesome mandate of…um…errr a couple of seats with MP and ACT thrown in.

    Nanny state is gone, coming soon …..We know best State, so shut up or we’ll use our impressive powers against you eh Paula.

  5. Nick 5

    It is a rogue poll as most people have cellphones these days and weren’t called.

    In any event, the referendum was a NACT election promise. You guys will be the first to complain if it is broken.

  6. Geek 6

    Lew hit the nail on the head. I think the results would probably be something similar to MMP with some working on what it’s perceived flaws are.

    As to the government ignoring popular opinions, that’s nothing new and it only ever changes in election year when all of a sudden all parties are listening to us.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      “I think the results would probably be something similar to MMP with some working on what it’s perceived flaws are.”

      Agreed, hopefully that’ll be an option.

  7. tc 7

    It’s ironic that the promise to look at it by the nats is one promise they probably would like to go back on more than the others.
    They’ve got MMP working perfectly for them…..MP block votes help carry the contentious stuff through whilst Wodders mob carry the can for the radical right agenda they have and any downside on Supercity can be layed at Hides door.

    They’re on a winner either way here.

  8. Andrew 8

    More detailed findings can be found at UMR’s Facebook page:

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