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Poll Watch: Reid Research Poll 2018-1-31

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, February 1st, 2018 - 158 comments
Categories: greens, labour, national, nz first, polls - Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Newshub recently released the latest poll they commissioned from Reid Research, covering the period between Jan 18th and 28th. (I tend to refer to them by the day they’re released, however) Let’s dive into some analysis of what this means.

If you missed the actual poll findings, here is Newshub’s official tweet:

A pie graph of MPs- Greens: 8, Labour: 55, ACT: 1, National: 57.As some of you have known, I usually do some analysis of what these poll results mean using some custom spreadsheets I prepared during the election campaign, and have been posting them to twitter since before the election, but I thought I’d start sharing them on The Standard, too. The usual disclaimers about polls apply. Firstly, the most naïve way to read a poll is simply to look at what sort of parliament it would deliver if it were bang on. This does tell us the most likely result of a poll, but it’s not really super helpful in determining just how close some of these things are, but some people want that at-a-glance look, and being able to see whose lines cross the halfway point tells you who’s likely to be government in a very visual way.

You can see here that a simple reading of the Reid research poll tells us a few things: National is still the largest Party, but boy is the margin between them and Labour tight now, and with a result like this, they’d look even more foolish talking about a moral right to govern. New Zealand First is likely under threshold, and won’t be back without an electorate seat, which we can’t yet assume they’ll get given their spotty past record with electorate runs, especially as there’s no available polling on electorates this far out, and we don’t know which ones they’d contest.

Besides, it’s early days, this is just an indication of their support more than anything else.

 

A pie graph indicating how likely various types of government are based on this poll. Labour-Green Govt: 95.2%, National-Act Govt: 4.7%, Hung Parliament, 0.2%.Secondly, the more useful thing I do is plug these things into a giant, slow spreadsheet that randomly distorts the party vote within the margin of error hundreds of times, with an overall distribution that follows a normal curve to reflect the fact that more extreme deviations are rarer. I then classify each of these results as to which type of government they give us, and repeat them 2,000 times to get a good average before making a graph. That’s the one floating to the right. (I did manage to get a few outcomes pop out here where the two blocs each had 60 seats because ACT had won a list seat. A hung parliament with no NZF or Māori party to resolve the winner is a pretty terrible outcome, so let’s all breathe a sigh of relief it doesn’t seem likely at the moment)

This gives us a good idea of how likely each outcome is. As a general rule, you should start worrying if anything you don’t like gets over 20%, so a 4.9% chance of the government changing at this stage is not a big deal.

This stage is also where I calculate the chance that either of our medium-size parties will go under the threshold, by doing another 2,000 simulations specifically looking at that. At 6% and 3.8% respectively, both are within the range where that probability is relevant.

NZ First is actually polling just below the level where being over the threshold is still within the margin of error for them- this means the only way they’ve actually got a support of 5% or more is if this poll is a rogue, and that’s only a one in twenty chance given they have an even 1,000 respondents. Every single election simulation of these 2,000 had them popping up as under threshold.

A nested donut graph showing the a leftmost and rightmost swing of this poll. Left- Greens: 9, Labour: 55, NZ First: 6, National: 50, ACT: 1. Right - Labour: 56, National: 63, ACT:1.The Greens have a minimal chance of dipping under threshold, in 2.2% of their extra 2,000 simulations they dipped under, and both the Greens and NZF being under threshold is the most likely way for the Nats to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

The final graph I do for people is a spread of the margin of error, showing the biggest swing leftward and biggest swing rightward possible from the poll results, with all the most optimistic or pessimistic assumptions for each. I’ve fallen out of love with this particular graph a little because we tend to naturally just look at the ideal scenario for our team and go “wow that’s good!” rather than using it to evaluate the spread between the two margins of error and remembering that reality is somewhere in-between. Remember, the further a result is from the first graph, the less likely it is. These two scenarios are almost vanishingly unlikely.

All of this analysis also is a static analysis of one poll. As I’ve said in the disclaimers, you should go back and compare this poll to previous polls to get the really important information, which in summary is this: The Greens are roughly where they were at election time. Labour’s support is up. National’s and ACT’s are down. New Zealand First’s is disastrously down, and if they don’t get some good publicity before the next election, they could be out of Parliament again.

We should also view polls in light of recent events- it’s entirely possible Labour has simply been buoyed by positive sentiment to Jacinda’s news that she’s expecting a baby, and that some of this support is soft. It’s also possible that National’s support is equally soft and based on a strong, united front they’ve been showing so far, when actually the caucus is pretty divided on a lot of the What Happens Next questions, such as who gets to lead when Bill’s done, a question which will probably be relevant if they can’t pull a near-majority of the party vote by the next election. The Greens staying still is probably not good news for them, but Reid Research has actually been one of the least friendly polls to them before the last election, with even Colmar Brunton being kinder, so it’s possible they have actually gained a little support.

But the big loser of this poll is New Zealand First- Reid Research was the most friendly pollster to them before the election, even though Peters was constantly rubbishing their coverage. If they’re polling at 3.8% with Reid Research, it’s likely they’ll poll even lower when the next Roy Morgan (who are suspiciously overdue on their December and January poll results, which is a huge shame because they were the only company that polled regularly) or Colmar Brunton poll is released, and then that begins to become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy if they don’t pull up.

I suppose there’s also some bad news in there for ACT, the Māori Party, and whatever’s left of TOP, but quite frankly, unless the former loses Epsom, or the latter two (re)gain an electorate at the next election, they’re completely irrelevant.

158 comments on “Poll Watch: Reid Research Poll 2018-1-31”

  1. James 1

    Fantastic post. Thank you.

  2. Muttonbird 2

    All, or nearly all, of the deteriorated NZF vote and the definitely all of the last dying breaths of Seymour’s ACT have gone to National. This means National have maxed out on their vote and they only way is down for them.

    The Nats would have picked up 3.5% from NZF and ACT in this poll yet didn’t move an inch. This suggests they lost the same amount to Labour. Good times.

    • Chuck 2.1

      “This means National have maxed out on their vote and they only way is down for them.”

      Yes, that is a possibility, but equally so is Labour has also maxed out on their vote.

      People will vote in 2020 depending on how they view this current Government delivering on all its promises.

      NZF needs to win a seat…there best chance is in a National held seat. Supporting Labour and Green policy will impede that occurring.

      • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.1

        You don’t usually max out your vote when the trend is heading upwards for you, Chuck. It’s a bold call to make that sort of prediction before the trend has at least plateaued.

        NZF does need to win an electorate, but regional New Zealand has often shown that it’s not necessarily National they support, so much as people being on their side and being true to their own values, as we saw with Beyer’s election. Labour is doing pretty well in the regions, and it’s largely Auckland that’s now propping up much of National’s success in the last election, so I would suggest you’re misreading things to say that their choice of coalition partner will damage NZ First there. What might be more accurate to say is that NZ First being in government at all will hurt their chances of winning an electorate.

    • james 2.2

      I think it shows National and ACT steady.

      The left is just moving around, but in doing so is killing the other left parties.

      NZF with a little luck will be gone at the next election – I doubt that they will be able to pick up an electorate seat – National certainly are not going to make it easy for them.

      So its pretty much same as you are from the election (on the left / right side of things.

      Best thing for National supporters is that is Labour in their honeymoon – with all their 100 day actions and the upcoming baby. Yet National remain strong (and the most popular party) – I think they will be happy with this.

      Wait 3 years when Labour haven’t delivered (billion trees / 30,00 houses (or whatever it is) etc etc), Jacinda has another baby and hands the reigns over to (god knows).

      • Puckish Rogue 2.2.1

        Agreed, theres plenty of talk about National not having any friends but at the moment its not looking all that flash for Labour either

        Mind you its a very long ways to go until the next election

        • james 2.2.1.1

          Yep – and the whole way Labour will be tainted with the Winny brush.

          • Tricledrownm 2.2.1.1.1

            James and PR still crying in your beersies.
            So where is National going to find a support party the greens are going to be their only chance.
            Hence Bill English moving by supporting poverty measure’s.

      • Muttonbird 2.2.2

        If you think about where NZF’s vote has gone then most people would conclude it has gone to National. This is it for the Nats while Labour has a lot of ground to gain from soft Nats and women who for some unknown reason still vote National.

        NZF will also regain votes from the Nats if they can reverse the closures of timber mills which has sent high value production overseas.

        A year and two from now it’ll be a lot worse for the Nats and they’ll look back on this poll and wish for such results.

        • Enough is Enough 2.2.2.1

          “If you think about where NZF’s vote has gone then most people would conclude it has gone to National.”

          How do you conclude that?

          National is largely unchanged
          Labour has gone up
          NZF has gone down

          • Muttonbird 2.2.2.1.1

            I have explain this earlier but I’ll press on for you. Right leaning (rural) NZF voters got upset with the new government and went back to National. National should be up 3%-4% because of that but they aren’t. They lost the same amount to Labour in women and soft Nats – expect this to continue.

            Your view of polls is quite simplistic and I think it’s probably deliberate because it fits the idea you want to believe in which is National strong and steady. A little deeper thought reveals what is really going on.

            • Enough is Enough 2.2.2.1.1.1

              Huh?

              Where on earth are you drawing those conclusions from? There is nothing in these polls results which show where each party’s support is being drawn from.

              What is your analysis based on?

              • Muttonbird

                No there isn’t anything showing where each party’s support came from but there should be and it’s a major shortcoming in polling, imo.

                I’m drawing my own conclusions about the NZF demographic being roughly split down the middle between left-leaning and right-leaning voters. The left-leaning ones have stayed with NZF and the right-leaning ones chucked their toys and went back to National.

                A reasonable conclusion and quite likely to be the case.

                • Enough is Enough

                  Ok you have suggested we think a little deeper about this. So lets delve into your conclusions

                  Where is the evidence that NZ First’s support is “roughly split down the middle between left-leaning and right-leaning voters” Is there anything to support that assumption?

                  And where is the evidence that the “left-leaning ones have stayed with NZF and the right-leaning ones chucked their toys and went back to National”

                  • james

                    Muttonbird – making sweeping assumptions based on nothing since ages ago.

                    • Muttonbird

                      So your line is that the drop in NZF support just went to Labour and that’s the extent of your desire or ability to think about it. You should have staying in school longer.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      That’s what the numbers suggest Mutton.

                      However, I would welcome the evidence that you are basing your alternative conclusions on.

                    • james

                      “So your line is that the drop in NZF support just went to Labour and that’s the extent of your desire or ability to think about it. You should have staying in school longer.:

                      yes – thats my ‘line’

                      Staying in school may longer may have given me a self inflated sense of my own opinion, but I doubt it would help.

                    • Muttonbird

                      That you don’t believe you have an inflated sense of your own opinion now means you did everyone a favour dropping out at 15.

                      I can only imagine the strutting self-importance otherwise.

                    • SPC

                      One can only hope that the two of you are only playing dumb.

                      Even the National pollster DPF would agree with muttonbird.

    • Matthew Whitehead 2.3

      Actually I’ve heard a lot of speculation that the NZF vote has gone to Labour, especially as National’s vote is down on the election result.

      • Muttonbird 2.3.1

        That doesn’t make any sense to me. Far more likely to have gone to National. That National is down from election night is because they’ve shipped so much soft support and support from women to Labour.

        Not quite sure why no-one thinks this likely or even possible.

        And re: the polls, why aren’t questions asked about what you voted last time and that when compared with current voter intention included in a measure about voter switching. Seems do-able to me and would provide some very clear data on what people are thinking and why they are thinking it which is what a poll is all about, surely.

        • Enough is Enough 2.3.1.1

          How can it not make sense. That is exactly what the numbers are saying.

          Without any deeper analysis or evidence, your conclusions are pure speculation.

        • Matthew Whitehead 2.3.1.2

          I think National already ate the disaffected right-leaning support from NZF in earlier polls, and that’s now been offset by losses of soft centrist supporters to Labour. This is a huge bump to Labour, and would probably need a big bite of both NZF and National’s support to explain it. Past panels (that’s what it’s called when market research companies do what you’re suggesting, by the way, and it’s a different proposition to a poll because it can be harder to get people to stick through all the relevant questions) have shown that voters almost always travel in multiple directions every time.

          I also wouldn’t be sure that all of the soft support that’s leaked from National is women, although you’re probably right that more of them are women than men.

          • BM 2.3.1.2.1

            Which is why Judith Collins is the right replacement for Bill English

            You won’t lose any of the male votes but you’ll find she’ll drag a chunk of that female vote back, probably enough to get an outright.

            • Muttonbird 2.3.1.2.1.1

              Gawd that is delusional.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.3.1.2.1.2

              BM, if I had the same tactics as you do, I’d be jumping all over Kiwiblog in absolute glee suggesting they make Crusher Collins their leader. She would be a disaster for National, and would likely tank their vote worse than Bill English’s first run at Prime Minister. But unlike you, I also consider what would happen to the country if National actually follow my advice and somehow miraculously won, and I think Collins would be an abysmal Prime Minister, so I’m quite happy for them to pick someone else when they decide English’s time is up. Whoever they pick, it’s not gonna help them, as none of them have the right combination of nous, credibility, and charisma to compete with Ardern. Hope you enjoy the same problems of leadership as Labour had for the last nine years.

            • Sabine 2.3.1.2.1.3

              why on earth would you think that she would be appealing to the ‘female’ vote?

              Care to elaborate?

          • Muttonbird 2.3.1.2.2

            Not sure what you mean there. On election night NZF were 7.2%. This poll shows they lost 3.4% to now sit at 3.8%. There isn’t any other support they have lost.

            It’s a shame the number of questions precludes important info being collected. I would have thought voter switching would be high on the list of priorities for any polling company.

            I mentioned National losing soft support and women rather than the soft support being women.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.3.1.2.2.1

              Ah, that makes more sense. I think that’s also potentially reasonable, but I would suggest anyone fleeing National while their support is still above 40% is likely to be at least somewhat a soft supporter.

      • alwyn 2.3.2

        “National’s vote is down on the election result”

        Really?
        Can you explain how you, and Muttonbird for that matter, come to this conclusion?
        National are UP on their election result. Only by 0.1% to be sure and it certainly isn’t statistically significant but it certainly cannot be described as DOWN can it?

        http://www.elections.org.nz/news-media/new-zealand-2017-general-election-official-results

        • SPC 2.3.2.1

          If NZF voters unhappy with the choice of coalition with Labour switched their support to National, for National support to remain at the same level, it must have lost some of its former support to Labour.

          • alwyn 2.3.2.1.1

            You have some reason for making this supposition do you?
            “If NZF voters unhappy with ……..”.
            It sounds like something you made up because you want to believe it.
            Or it could be summed up with that comment so favoured by spotty little schoolboys
            “If my Aunt had balls, she’d be my Uncle”.

            It still doesn’t change the fact that Mathew and the diesel soaked seagull both claim, completely contrary to the facts of the matter, that National’s vote is down on the election result.
            It is UP.
            Why do they find it so hard to admit that they are talking b.s?

            • SPC 2.3.2.1.1.1

              There is only one alternative, half NZ First supporters switched to Labour and only those of them who preferred a coalition with National remain as NZ First supporters …. .

              I’ll take bets on my analysis.

    • CHCOff 2.4

      The NZ1st perspective is the most at variance within the general consensus of the current news affairs cycles, so now that the election is over and consequently it is less visible, that proprotion of it’s voters is less likely to be tuned in, & thus for the news poll realities (to the extent that they are not self-fulfilling, which they are to some extent by the way) there is going to be drops for NZ1st.

      There is a govt term to go. NZ1st can shift the centre of the national vote, which these days is not particularly a national policy vote anymore than it is anyother, so it is in the coalition’s govt long term interest to share pieces of the pie intelligently in a political sense as relates to respective party autonomies.

  3. BM 3

    What percentage of Females are voting Labour? is there any information on voting choice by gender?

    • Matthew Whitehead 3.1

      No, RR doesn’t release detailed results, and no public polls of New Zealanders release that sort of demographic information.

      I’d also caution people talking about the so-called “Baby Bump” that I’ve also seen men who are just as aggressively supportive of this news as many women are- so I wouldn’t expect a large change from existing demographic gaps between men and women in how they vote.

  4. Tricledrown 4

    NZF have no chance of coming back in 2020.
    So no friends National are 5 to 6 seats short.
    The knives are being sharpened.
    National would have to give Shane Jones a seat like Seymour.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.1

      Or throw a few more policies to Act to get them a few more seats

      • Muttonbird 4.1.1

        Don’t you think to “throw a few more policies to ACT”, now at 0.2% and dropping fast, is more than a little dishonest and indeed getting more and more dishonest?

        • Puckish Rogue 4.1.1.1

          Not at all, people still have to decide if they want to vote for Act after all but giving Act a little more oxygen in the media wouldn’t hurt

      • Matthew Whitehead 4.1.2

        There appear to be no available policies that will address ACT’s decline. The real question is whether Epsom will eventually do an Ōhāriu and turn on Seymour now that his party is dead as a dodo, and just a vehicle for an extra seat for extreme right-wingers.

      • Tricledrownm 4.1.3

        So what sort of policies PR.
        ACT are an extremist fringe party on welfare from National.
        Euthanasia is the perfect policy for ACT.
        At •2% terminally ill ACT it would be humane for ACT to put their policy into ACTion for failure to gain any political traction.
        Shane Jones could have them work for the Dole and save taxpayers 100’s of thousands of Dollars by these political welfare bludgers.

    • james 4.2

      I wouldn’t be super confident of the greens getting back in either.

      6% does not leave them a lot of wiggle room. And while it may be forgotten by 2020 – they have done themselves a huge amount of damage.

      • Puckish Rogue 4.2.1

        I think their actions over the MPs being kicked out, MTs break down (has she repaid any money?), Golrizs bio on the Greens, concessions for votes and back down over the waka jumping bill is making more than a few people realise the Greens are just the same as any other party

        • Muttonbird 4.2.1.1

          None of that stuff even remotely registers with the public any more, and some never did. 6% and in government is a fantastic position to be in. They’ll need to continue to watch maintaining consensus and a united front in coalition though.

          • Puckish Rogue 4.2.1.1.1

            Being in government is a fantastic position but,smaller parties in government tend to lose support and already we’ve seen a Greens bill fail

            • Muttonbird 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Cannabis reform? That’s quite extreme legislation for Kiwis so I’m not surprised at that.

              Amazing the government has got such massive support for medicinal cannabis reform though isn’t it? After a decade of hand-wringing from National on this Labour really gets things done.

          • BM 4.2.1.1.2

            Greens are no longer seen by the voting public as being an environmental party, they’ve completely trashed their brand, they’re now seen as being an SJW party to the left of Labour.

            With that chinless wonder James Shaw in charge, they’re going to struggle to stay above 5% in 2020.

            I think the only way forward for the Greens is to elect Marama Davidson as co-leader and let her loose on Labour to criticise and hold Labours feet to the fire

            This will drag those disappointed lefties back to the Greens and keep the Greens above 5%.

            Might not make for a happy coalition though.

            • Hornet 4.2.1.1.2.1

              I’m not sure about that. I agree their brand has been seriously damaged, but there is a constituency for the Greens, and despite everything they are still polling at 6%.

              • Puckish Rogue

                I guess it depends on how well Jacinda goes, she and Labour go well and that’ll drag a few more voters away from the Greens

                Jacinda and Labour don’t do so well and those voters will drift back to the Greens

                • Their brand has certainly been damaged among right-wingers, but that’s like saying Phillip Morris’ brand has been damaged among anti-smoking activists. It’s no great loss having your brand damaged among people who were not only never going to buy your product but are also actively trying to discourage people from buying your product.

                  • Hornet

                    Their brand has been damaged among centrists as well. Since the Turei revelations the Greens have lost a significant chunk of support – I don’t believe for a moment none of that lost support were ‘centrists’.

                    • I presume the Greens have someone working on figuring out the causes of that loss of support, but anyone who hasn’t done extensive polling or focus group work on it is guessing. The fall in support followed Turei resigning, and it coincided with a sudden surge in support for Labour following Jacinda Ardern replacing Andrew Little. Which of those was responsible? And if was Turei’s resignation, did the loss comprise people rejecting the Greens because they stood by Turei, or because Turei had gone? Believe what you like, but belief is all it is.

                    • Hornet

                      “Believe what you like, but belief is all it is.”

                      You make a good point.

                      Ardern became Labour leader on 1 August 2017.
                      Turei fessed up on 16 July 2017 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metiria_Turei).

                      The polling data is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_New_Zealand_general_election,_2017, and unfortunately, because of the polling cycle, is inconclusive as to when precisely the drop in the Greens support began.

                      But interestingly, her own Wikipedia page says this:
                      “When the next Colmar Brunton poll came out covering the period 22 to 27 July, the Green vote had surged to 15%, with some of the support coming from Labour which had fallen to 24%. The low ratings caused Little to resign the Labour Party leadership on 1 August.”

                      Because the CM is only one poll, none of this conclusive, but it is suggestive of some initial support for Turei, followed by a collapse after Ardern became Labour leader.

                • Hornet

                  It also depends on how you define ‘go well’. There is a lot of ‘puffery’ around Jacinda at the moment, as she kicks decisions down the round with committees and ‘conversations’, and that plays well with the media. At some point the chickens com home to roost, but John Key kicked the housing can down the road for years and got away with it.

            • Muttonbird 4.2.1.1.2.2

              I think they’re in the best position they’ve ever been in and having got the Turei thing behind them learning a valuable lesson along the way they’ll move back to a Green Party more palatable to the so called blue/green voters.

              6% which is above their historical average (only below their 8%-11% of the last few years under Turei which is ironic), and in government. Expect them to go from strength to strength – things could hardly be better for them.

              • BM

                The only way for the Greens to improve is for Labour to disappoint it’s more left members by completely backtracking on their electoral promises and becoming National-lite, which if you’re going, to be honest, is highly likely.

                You will need Marama Davidson front and centre though, not the spineless suit wearing James Shaw.

                If you’re going to be the Alliance at least look the part.

                • Muttonbird

                  Shaw is an excellent performer and despite your assertion is very popular with the blue/greens and with women.

                  If you think the Greens are unhappy at this point you don’t have a clue.

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  Actually we’re pretty pleased with Shaw in general. I expect him to continue the tradition of co-leaders being soundly re-elected at the AGM- the Greens have never had a co-leader lose confidence before they’ve chosen to resign, because the Party has a tradition of drafting people who actually don’t want to be career politicians.

            • patricia bremner 4.2.1.1.2.3

              BM that is a ridiculous comment.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                BM is a racist.

                He is guilty of hate speech.

                I have no idea why he is still allowed to beshit TS after his comment the other night.

                The worst was deleted by the moderator, but the comment entire is burned into my memory.

                Ignore the miserable, pathetic troll.

                • Muttonbird

                  What did he say? You can paraphrase. 🙂

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I have no idea why he is still allowed to beshit TS after his comment the other night.

                  It’s because he never ever “runs interference” (whatever that means) ever at all. Honest.

                • Ed

                  I do not understand how these repulsive trolls get to come back to this site.
                  They add nothing

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    They occasionally add information about today’s talking points.

                    Plus, as the saying goes, your worst enemy is your best critic.

              • weka

                +1

                That’s basically a RWer who doesn’t want the left in power giving advice to the left on how to fuck themselves.

            • Matthew Whitehead 4.2.1.1.2.4

              LOL, sure, you keep telling yourself those things BM, they’re not true.

              Yes, the Greens will most likely elect Marama as the new co-leader. Unless she doesn’t put herself forward, I’ll certainly be urging my electorate to vote for her.

              A Labour-Green coalition with Davidson and Shaw as co-leaders will be even easier than the current government was to form, so pull the other one there.

        • Hornet 4.2.1.2

          There is a core level of support for the Greens though, and at current polling it appears to be considerably firmer than the core support for NZF. A lot of the Greens ‘softer’ support shifted when MT went public. The question will be whether that core support is in relation to the 5% threshold.

      • Matthew Whitehead 4.2.2

        As I said in the main post, James, there is only a 2.2% probability that 6% polling represents falling under 5%. There is also plenty of time to regrow the Green vote, and keep in mind that Parliament hadn’t re-opened in the period of this poll, so people upset with Labour’s lack of progress on medical cannabis legislation won’t be included in this result, which might lead to a bump for the Greens next poll.

    • Matthew Whitehead 4.3

      I’d be very cautious of prematurely predicting New Zealand First’s demise. Firstly, they aren’t even out of Parliament yet. Secondly, even if they were, they have come back before- I’d only start getting confident they are gone permanently when they’ve been out for two successive terms, or if they drop out for a term and Peters decides to depart the Party.

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    I think the run up to 2020 will be very strange.

    There is a real possibility of it being a three horse race, with only Labour/Green been in a position to form a government.

    NZ First loses a lot of its appeal when they are in government. Winston is a brilliant opposition politician. He blames society’s problems on minority groups. However his populist rhetoric is ineffective when he is in government. Without being able to prey on people’s fears, he is left with nothing.

    For that reason I can’t see NZ First surviving.

    Interesting times indeed.

    • Planet Earth 5.1

      Good comment!

    • BM 5.2

      Yep back to FPP.

      Greens won’t go National, so it’s National if you’re centre-right and either Labour or Greens depending how far left you are.

      They’re the only options in 2020.

      • patricia bremner 5.2.1

        Ha Ha. You wish.

      • Matthew Whitehead 5.2.2

        Losing NZ First won’t send us back to FPP. Even if we lost both NZ First and the Greens, there’s a big difference between a two-party MMP election and a two-party FPP election, and we’ve voted against regressing to FPP twice now, and convincingly both times. Troll less, BM.

        • BM 5.2.2.1

          Hmm, you’re missing the point.

          If there are only two parties in the race one party/party grouping is going to end up with over 50% of the vote.

          You get over 50% and you’re completely in charge to do what you please for the next 3 years, very much like FPP.

          Do you believe things would not be different if NZ First was not in the current mix?

          • Matthew Whitehead 5.2.2.1.1

            No I’m not, that’s not FPP. Also, those parties wouldn’t be getting over 50% of the total vote. We frequently have governments that don’t manage that, like the previous one after the 2014 election, and I expect that would get even worse with either NZF or the Greens out of contention, because you would have people still trying to get them back over the line contributing to the wasted vote. (And, once they stop running, you might have people simply not voting)

            Two-party government is a problem, and does tend to lead to elected tyrannies. We would have three and a half parties if NZ First fell out of contention, however I’m not yet convinced that’s what will happen- just that it’s a very real possibility now. This problem can largely be addressed by having a proportional system with a reasonably low barrier for entry. We have the first part, we objectively don’t have the second because of our copying Germany’s ridiculously high party vote threshold, especially seeing with have a very strong two-party culture for a country that has repeatedly endorsed a semi-proportional system.

    • weka 5.3

      “There is a real possibility of it being a three horse race, with only Labour/Green been in a position to form a government.”

      I think this is good, because it then opens up the way for the formation of a new smaller party on the left, and hopefully a new party for Māori. And fingers cross NZ will have learnt from the first 20 years of MMP and not do stupid shit like put millionaire white men in charge. I’d also hope that any new parties can take the time to build themselves sustainably for the long term rather than going after power for its own sake.

      • Puckish Rogue 5.3.1

        ” do stupid shit like put millionaire white men in charge”

        Well NZ didn’t vote KDCs party, Colin Craigs party or Gareth Morgans party so I think its fair to say that money isn’t everything in an election 🙂

        • weka 5.3.1.1

          Doesn’t seem to stop people trying 😉

        • Matthew Whitehead 5.3.1.2

          Actually a fair amount of NZ did vote for TOP and the Conservatives. Both should have been in Parliament in a fair system with a reasonable threshold for entry.

      • Chuck 5.3.2

        I would also not dismiss a new Green* Party that is more to the middle on policy, but its main focus is on environmental issues.

        There are votes looking for an environmental focused party, that can work with either side of the political spectrum.

        The move further left by the Greens and Labour opens up the opportunity.

        * of course not called the Greens!

        • greywarshark 5.3.2.1

          People who are only interested in the environment and saving animals, are trying to opt out of the human species! Greens needed to become a rounded party incorporating understanding how we can improve things for humans and the flora and fauna around us AT THE SAME TIME. We need to think along multiple lines or we beings will all go down together.

        • weka 5.3.2.2

          Hard to see it. TOP should have picked up those votes and didn’t appear to. Or maybe there are just small numbers of people in the group you are talking about who ignore economics and social issues and vote only for the environment.

          Or, if you were referring to a blue green party, there’s a really good reason it won’t work. RW politics in NZ are fundamentally oppositional to environmental politics, not least because their economics is based on wrecking the place. It doesn’t have to be like that, but at the moment it is.

          • Puckish Rogue 5.3.2.2.1

            Well theres quite a few hunters out there, farmers, people who live and work the land (or find enjoyment there) that actually wouldn’t mind a bit of blue-green in government

            So I wouldn’t dismiss it entirely but finding someone to lead would be an issue (especially if 1080 gets mentioned)

            • weka 5.3.2.2.1.1

              “Well theres quite a few hunters out there, farmers, people who live and work the land (or find enjoyment there) that actually wouldn’t mind a bit of blue-green in government”

              They need to have a talk to National then and tell them to wake the fuck up. Anyone that actually gives a shit about the environment is voting on the left.

              1080 people are voting NZF I think.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Or it could be an opportunity for the Greens

                • weka

                  lol did you miss the last 9 months?

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Probably, I was banned after all 😉

                    • Matthew Whitehead

                      1080 is one of those topics Green volunteers fervently hope doesn’t come up in their conversations with voters, just like fluoridation of water. I think the Party has good and nuanced policies on both, and can respect reasonable pushback to that, but I’ve found most of the people who really want to talk about those issues don’t actually want a reasonable conversation.

              • mauī

                I remember United Future being very against 1080 too and I think they were quite closely associated with some outdoor/hunting groups at one stage. Obviously that stance never really paid off at the polls.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.3.2.2.1.2

              For example I farm, tramp and hunt…and am a LWNJ. Bugger that Blue-Green crap. Just a way for the Blue to seek their nasty ends and try to wreck the Green while doing it.

          • Chuck 5.3.2.2.2

            “TOP should have picked up those votes and didn’t appear to”

            Come on… Morgan is crazier than the mad hatter! there was just no way he was going to attract enough voters.

            “Or, if you were referring to a blue green party”

            Yes I am.

            “RW politics in NZ are fundamentally oppositional to environmental politics, not least because their economics is based on wrecking the place.”

            Yes, you have a point there to a degree…but that’s a whole new discussion.

            My work is in the environment/sustainability area and I interact with medium to large business including DHB’s and local / district councils. Budgets are now being made available to enable the move to zero waste to landfill as an example. It is more expensive than the traditional option of sending to a landfill…but boards only concerned with the $ are a thing of the past.

            People I talk with would like the National party to do more for the environment but would be reluctant to vote for the current Green Party. They may have voted for the Greens in the past, which could explain the level of Green support at the election and indicated again yesterday.

            The 5% threshold is a barrier to any new party for sure.

            If it was up to me I would have a word with the ACT party, put them into retirement. A ready-made seat for a new Blue Green party that could also get 3% to 4% of the vote that may have gone left (searching for more environmentally focused policies).

        • Matthew Whitehead 5.3.2.3

          stop trying to make fetch happen, Chuck.

          • Chuck 5.3.2.3.1

            You mean this?

            A fetch is a supernatural double or an apparition of a living person in Irish folklore. It is largely akin to the doppelgänger, and sightings are regarded as omens, usually for impending death. The origin of the term is unclear.

            🙂

            • Matthew Whitehead 5.3.2.3.1.1

              No. I mean, there have been attempts made to try and divorce small-g green politics from the necessity of big-G Green ideology regarding just distribution of natural resources when an upper limit is found. (ie. to have a more centrist or right-wing environmental movement) None of them have worked, because there is in fact a tension between right-wing economics and environmentalism- you can’t save things you’re seeking to exploit, you can’t “balance” the economy and environment when you are committed to putting GDP growth ahead of sustainability, and you can’t sell environmentalism to people without them knowing it means that they’ll get a more just economic system with it to justify the reduced short term gain they get from buying into a more sustainable society.

              The Progressive Greens were a failure. TOP was a failure. You will never be successful trying to divorce the green movement from the foundations of Green politics because it’s not logically consistent to actually square a circle.

              • Chuck

                Ok, I agree a Blue Green party would never encompass the full Green ideology, weka mentions 4 pillars? one being environmental and all linked.

                TOP in my view is not a good example (Morgan effect).

                A Blue Green party would be a hybrid…one which would not appeal to you or any current Green party member/supporter.

                It would be targetting soft Greene’s who are not prepared to dive into the deep end of the Green Party pool, rather dip their toes in and are ok they have made a difference via policy wins for the environment.

                No idea if a Green Blue party will emerge! just my thoughts on the matter.

                • BM

                  A rural party with an environment tinge would be quite popular.
                  Focus on clean rivers and forests, protecting resources etc.

                  That would appeal to many who rely on the land to make their living

                  • arkie

                    That ‘tinge’ would by necessity be insufficient to actually accomplish anything significant.

                    Evidence: The previous 9 years of Government

                    • BM

                      Be far closer to what the original greens were all about, this current lot aren’t Greens, they’re just a bunch of SJW’s hiding behind the Green brand.

                      Shaw would even know what end of a spade to use.

                    • Muttonbird

                      BM struggles with change and wishes for a time when the Greens were all sandle-wearing compost enthusiasts.

                  • Matthew Whitehead

                    The Greens already have the rural environmentalists who actually vote based on their environmentalism, BM. People who think subsidizing irrigation is environmentalism aren’t even small-g greens, they’re just farmers wanting a handout.

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  No, I mean it’s not electorally viable. The constituency isn’t there. It’s a square circle, it’s like trying to have a party of urban liberals and regional conservatives with no larger glue to hold the two together. It’s doomed to factionalization, and that means it can’t survive unless it’s a significant split from a larger party. The nats as an entire party could probably go blue-green, or they could split off their socially liberal faction and have them go blue-green, but those are the only ways you could do it, and they’d still be likely to split into a genuinely environmentalist faction and a right-wing faction over time, just like the Nats themselves already have a liberal and a conservative faction.

                  • BM

                    or they could split off their socially liberal faction and have them go blue-green

                    That’s why I mentioned a rural party with a bit of environmentalism.

                    Can tell you now those rural environmentalists that are in the Greens would be over to this new rural party in a heartbeat.

                    Holy fuck they could actually find themselves in a position where they could actually achieve something! that would be an enlightening experience for them.

                    • Matthew Whitehead

                      Go ahead and name me ten rural environmentalists in National off the top of your head, BM. I’ll wait.

    • Matthew Whitehead 5.4

      I wouldn’t assume just yet that the current buyers’ remorse for NZ First will last to 2020, or to a hypothetical snap election in the future. They have a way of bouncing back, and writing out Peters in particular, even in government, before you’re into the late election campaign, is a rookie NZ politics mistake IMO.

      I would agree that if we see NZ First outside of Parliament for a term and Peters decides to retire, then the party as-is is almost certainly done. That wouldn’t prevent a new party with similar values coming back in the future, ofc, but I’d hope not. If New Zealanders really want a party of centrist conservatives, they should get a new one that isn’t full of racists and nationalists.

      • veutoviper 5.4.1

        I agree, Matthew.

        Peters has brought the NZF party back from the brink several times – and their support seems to drop between actual elections.

        I would also suggest that those thinking that Peters will retire in the near future are indulging in a bit of wishful thinking. He is not the retiring type and I believe it would take a very major (health?) factor to convince him to do so.

        I gather he has made some changes to his life style over recent years (alcohol/tobacco) and I would not count on advancing age to be a factor in his retirement either. He comes from pretty hardy stock. His mother lived to the ripe old age of 96 and died in 2011. Winston is one of 11 siblings (the eldest was born in 1937 and Winston in 1945) and I understand that they are all still alive and most still living productive lives. In fact an interesting family of achievers as summarised in this article in 2011 at the time of their mother’s death.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=10972313

        • Matthew Whitehead 5.4.1.1

          I am not ruling it in or out. Just because he’s physically up to it doesn’t mean he won’t grow tired of the various BS associated with life in Parliament and want some time to himself at the end of his life. We’ll see eventually. 🙂

    • Wayne 5.5

      Enough is Enough

      Presumably you mean National, Labour and Green as the three horses. Given that Greens are now permanently tied to Labour, it is actually a two horse race. Effectively a FPP fight but fought under MMP rules.

      In my view by the next election there will be almost no voters thinking of voting between either National or Green. The philosophical gulf will be too wide. Currently there are some voters in that space. As the conservative green voters depart the Greens, the Greens could shrink further, maybe another 1% which put them right on 5%. In that case as the Greens go up, Labour goes down.

      Therefore the right/left fight is fought directly between Labour and National. That will intensify over the next twenty four months. Who wins this probably decide the government. Because almost all right and centre right votes are contained in National, whereas some of the left vote is in the Greens, National basically has to beat the combination of Labour/Green. But they will beat them (if that happens) by getting the votes out of Labour rather than out of the Greens.

      I am inclined to support the view of Muttonbird that Labour is gaining some soft National vote and National is gaining NZF conservative vote. It is intuitively logical, knowing the various voter blocs and how they behave.

      It is also worth recalling that in both 1999 and 2008 NZF went under 5%, in both cases after being in government. So it is not particularly unlikely that NZF will go under 5% in 20120. It will depend how brassed off with NZF, the NZF conservative leaning vote will be in 2020.

      If the both Greens and NZF are both under 5% at the next election, it will be a very close result. In that case Labour would have gone up by taking Green vote and National will have taken NZF vote. Again the winner will be which of Labour or National is successful in taking the centre vote.

      • Matthew Whitehead 5.5.1

        The Greens aren’t permanently tied to Labour, please stop telling porkies. The Greens have been unreasonably open to the future possibility of a deal with National, beyond all optimism, and time and again National has spat in their faces, refused to evolve, and refused to compromise.

        National has made no move to moderate its extreme anti-environment policy and approach the Greens’ positions, and the Greens are unwilling and constitutionally unable to abandon them. I’m actually one of the “theoretically we could work with National, but they would need to offer us a better deal than Labour would have” camp, and National doesn’t seem to realise that their economic illiteracy makes the deal worse, not better, so seems to think the economic distance between the parties’ is the Greens job to bridge, when it’s not, it’s just a symptom of their unwillingness to account for environmental damage and social detriment in their own economic costings.

        The ball is in their court if they want a genuine chance to go into coalition with the Greens, a move which is quite frankly going to be necessary if they ever want to get back into government at the rate things are going.

        • Chuck 5.5.1.1

          “The Greens aren’t permanently tied to Labour, please stop telling porkies.”

          Yes, they are, as demonstrated by the balance of your reply to Wayne.

          • Muttonbird 5.5.1.1.1

            Do you consider yourself green and environmentally sound simply because of the work you do? Or did the work you do stem from you imagining yourself environmentally aware?

            I can’t see how you can reconcile being supposedly environmentally aware and a Nat supporter.

            • Chuck 5.5.1.1.1.1

              “Do you consider yourself green and environmentally sound simply because of the work you do? Or did the work you do stem from you imagining yourself environmentally aware?”

              Under the Green Party values, I am properly not seen as green nor environmentally sound.

              The work I do reduces business carbon footprints, reduces waste and stops whats left from going to landfill. It also recycles wastewater and can generate renewable energy.

              “I can’t see how you can reconcile being supposedly environmentally aware and a Nat supporter.”

              That sentence sums up very well the divide between us (I mean not just you and I Muttonbird). Can’t a person both be more to the center of the political spectrum and also care for the environment?

              Over my lifetime, I have equally been a Nat and Labour supporter. Although lately its been National.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                1. Do you agree that public policy (as expressed in legislation) is more influential than your personal efforts in this context?

                2. Your job description and your personal philosophy and/or ethics are not the same thing. The work you do is very much dictated by the work you’re offered. Your boss, or client, is the one dictating the environmental outcome of your efforts. Their ability to do so is, in turn, dependant upon public policy.

                3. Have you ever turned down a job or contract because it would go against your environmental ethics, or is serendipity your friend?

                • Chuck

                  Short answers are;

                  1/ Yes I agree…legislation has the biggest influence. I hope this Government, for example, substantially increases the landfill levy.

                  2/ I was a founding shareholder of the company I work within. The purpose of starting the company is to achieve zero waste to landfill. Clients come to us because they want to achieve certain outcomes. DHB’s, for example, have targets they must achieve for there carbon footprints. Public policy does impact. We have found large companies are getting on with environmentally positive change without waiting for the Public policy that may make it easier to do.

                  3/ When a client comes to us, it is to improve their environmental footprint so to date have not turned anyone down.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    So why did you vote for the party that denied climate change for two decades and corrupted the ETS?

                    Because there was money in it for you either way?

                    • Chuck

                      Hmm well, this is where we start to disagree OAB!

                      I have voted National and Labour over the last two decades. Each time I voted for the party that best expressed my views across many different areas of policy.

                      If it was only about the money I would have voted Green each and every time, as in theory some of the Green policies could make me a lot of money.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “My views”.

                      How can you be sure they’re yours?

                    • Chuck

                      I could turn that back around and ask – How can you be sure your views are your own OAB? however, that would be petty of me.

                      Now I have answered your questions, it is clear you don’t like my answers which is ok.

                      Let’s agree to disagree?… regardless I respect your views even if I don’t agree with many of them.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The boys throw stones at the frogs in jest. Political opinion is anything but ‘petty’.

          • Matthew Whitehead 5.5.1.1.2

            I don’t mind being contradicted if you’re going to bring the receipts, Chuck, but you haven’t here, so consider this a warning to tread carefully given I have to moderate these posts if necessary. Don’t make me.

            There are plenty of Greens who are open to talks with National. Nandor is one of them. I am one. Just because you don’t like the fact that we have preconditions to those talks and require National to move with the times, and don’t seem to be willing to commit electoral suicide and abandon all our principles on the alter of a coalition with what is basically the party in Parliament that most acts against our values and interests, doesn’t mean we are being unreasonable. Unreasonable would be requiring nothing to make such a deal and doing it on pure political gamesmanship.

            The point is that right-wing economics, as dumb as they are, can be compromised with. Labels and tribes like National or Labour don’t matter. What does matter is that National is currently overtly and extremely hostile to the environment, and is making no effort to stop being so. Labour is willing to play nice, but only when it doesn’t cost them much to do so, so that’s at least a relationship that can be worked on for now, so yes, they are currently our political allies. That state of affairs isn’t permanent, however, if the Nats want to start behaving more like the German CDU/CSU in the future, and grow some real environmental credentials. This is why in the past the official position of the Greens has been that they were unlikely to do a deal with National, rather than ruling it out. National have forced us into outright alliance with Labour, however, so here we are.

          • Tricledrown 5.5.1.1.3

            Wayne Nationals fog machine.
            His last ACT trying to United future for No friends National.

        • Hornet 5.5.1.2

          “…and National doesn’t seem to realise that their economic illiteracy makes the deal worse…”

          And then there’s this:
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/editorials/7784620/Editorial-Greens-plan-misses-the-mark

        • Wayne 5.5.1.3

          Matthew,

          I can’t imagine there would be a single National MP who would think a deal is possible with the Greens in 2020. For all practical purposes, at least for 2020, the Greens are locked into Labour. Which is not say there won’t be some Greens and some Nationals who will talk to each other. But that also happens with Labour and National, and no-one pretends they could do a coalition. At least so far New Zealand has not emulated Germany in the idea of a grand coalition.

          Maybe things will be different in 2023, though I personally think that would be unlikely.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.5.2

        As the conservative green voters depart the Greens…

        …which happened when they realised the Greens are serious about poverty, about five months ago.

        • Matthew Whitehead 5.5.2.1

          I’d say the people we lost then were social moderates, who like the illusion of human rights rather than the actual reality, which is pretty hippy and liberal. You don’t really get full-blown conservatives in the Greens, at least not ones that actually understand and believe in the Charter.

          • Chuck 5.5.2.1.1

            “I’d say the people we lost then were social moderates, who like the illusion of human rights rather than the actual reality, which is pretty hippy and liberal.”

            Where Kennedy Graham and David Clendon in the wrong party then?

            “You don’t really get full-blown conservatives in the Greens, at least not ones that actually understand and believe in the Charter.”

            So a Blue Green Party would appeal to that voter demographic.

            • Matthew Whitehead 5.5.2.1.1.1

              Except those people are also supportive enough of left-wing policies they found the Greens a good home, Chuck. Good luck getting socially moderate lefties into the National Party, they won’t go. All the people I was talking to who left went to Labour.

              Blue-greens aren’t a large enough demographic to form a party on their own. They would need a coalition- it’s a larger version of the reality that the Green party isn’t all environmentalism, it has positions on other issues, except this time your environmental core would be even smaller because right-wing economics isn’t compatible with environmentalism.

  6. greywarshark 6

    In our sized country we have to lower the threshhold – though not do away with it or bring it too low. That’s dreamy purism utopianism and daft.

    I think a cautious 4% would fine tune it. I think even three is too low. But let us alter it to 4% – it’s still high enough to be a barrier for keeping down the Rabids but genuine parties with good for citizens different ideas and wider minds could gather and refresh the old ever-narrowing minds of the main parties.

    And when we see how active the RW parties are in producing backward looking rhetoric in TS we just cannot afford to tilt the scales to help that side of politics.

    • Ad 6.1

      That’s fine for trying to be good to the leftie extremes.

      But it would get pretty dark pretty fast if NZF folds and you get a 4% Hobsons Choice or hard anti-immigration party.

      5% requires a modicum of rationality to be attractive.

      4% is heading to every splinter nut-job and their dog.

      • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1

        I am fine having the nutjobs in Parliament if we have a robust system that will expose them for what they are- it works pretty well with wingnuts like ACT, the problem is when you get a nutjob who is acceptably centrist and both Labour and National start competing for them.

        • Ad 6.1.1.1

          That is very generous, but there are too many extremes who should not be represented, including in New Zealand. It’s not enough that a 4%-representative stands for your people: in MMP those 4%-er MPs have to be fit to run the country, because in the inevitable coalition they are quite likely to get a Ministry to run. That is precisely the problem that you describe.

          It’s called achieving power.

          • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.1.1

            Actually, my general response is that I’d rather have them inside Parliament pissing out than outside pissing in. Isolation breeds extremism, which breeds division and violence. We should listen to them, laugh where necessary, and then go about our business, but they still deserve to be heard. It will help genuinely sensible New Zealanders realise how serious and dangerous some of their ideas are. The fact that we’ve actually had NZF in Parliament and in government before is part of why New Zealand hasn’t had the whole Trump/Brexit phenomenon: we took the early inoculation, and enough of us are on the watch that it’s difficult for the alt-right types to get any purchase, even inside NZF, because they too have actually mainstreamed to a degree by being invited in. (although not enough to make them worth keeping in government, IMO)

            I disagree that every party in Parliament has to be fit to run the country. This is why confidence votes exist- what you do is you have sensible parties all agree that they will work with each other to some degree, (as little as “okay, we’ll abstain on confidence and supply”) even if they disagree monstrously, before they let any of the nutjobs into government. That philosophy is why Germany frequently has grand coalitions, although I think you have to be a little careful with those too and not lean on them too much. The problem has been in the past that neither National nor Labour are mature enough to do so.

            I’d also remind you that 4% has been no help keeping NZ First out. This is the first time I can remember they’ve actually polled below that number. It won’t keep the nutjobs out, it’ll just delay them until they’re already feeling aggrieved, ignored, and empowered.

    • But let us alter it to 4% – it’s still high enough to be a barrier for keeping down the Rabids…

      So, you’d graciously concede that a minority of those disenfranchised by the mainstream should be allowed to have their vote actually count? Very generous, most generous indeed. Three cheers for slightly less tyranny of the majority!

      • greywarshark 6.2.1

        PyschoMilt
        It appears that you can’t cope with anything that I say that is different than your superior ideas! I notice that you are mocking/sneering in your replies to me lately. You are one of the unpleasant lurkers that make TS a disappointment to lefties wanting to be able to have good and free discussions. You have been able to discuss some matters in a thoughtful way but I noticed a RW bias to your comments and am now receiving the sort of downputting and ambushing from you that has been evident FTTT from other hard-liners on this blog.

        • Matthew Whitehead 6.2.1.1

          At the same time though, it’s a very valid point that disenfranchising people is supposed to be something that we’re against. It should be a very high bar to clear to make an argument as to why we shouldn’t count certain votes, because it comes dangerously close to arguing that certain people shouldn’t count as full citizens.

        • Psycho Milt 6.2.1.2

          Apologies for the sarcasm, but people cheerfully suggesting disenfranchising others for failing to hold sufficiently mainstream views really pushes my buttons.

    • Matthew Whitehead 6.3

      4% is not “cautious.” 4% is still “I think we should set the barrier to entry so high that even multi-millionaires can’t clear it.”

      The absolute ceiling of what we should be considering for the threshold is 2%, which still puts you in a position where many parties would be getting three MPs before qualifying for Parliament.

      • arkie 6.3.1

        Am i correct in thinking 0.84% is the percentage of the vote needed for a single seat and therefore in a scenario without a legislated threshold would represent the functional threshold?

        • Andre 6.3.1.1

          No. In New Zealand, seats are allocated using the straight Saint Lague method. If there were no threshold, about 0.42% or 1/240 of the vote would be enough to get a seat in the 120 seat parliament. There are other methods for allocating seats, such as d’Hondt or modified Saint Lague which bring the minimum vote required for the first seat closer or equal to one seat’s worth of the vote.

          edit: This why the last parliament only had one overhang seat, Ohariu, when United Future got 0.2% of the vote. ACT was not an overhang since it was allocated one regular seat with 0.7% of the vote.

        • Matthew Whitehead 6.3.1.2

          Yes and no. As Andre says, if we repeal the threshold altogether, 0.42% is the amount to actually get allocated a seat, because the divisor method rounds up at a certain point.

          But I would actually recommend a threshold of 1/120th of the total vote to qualify for list seats if we’re reforming the rules, (which is the number you’re thinking of) ie. winning a list seat outright, if we want to stick with 120 seats, or one of double that amount if you insist that list parties should have a caucus. Any amount other than that is pretty arbitrary in my mind. This is a good threshold to start with because it’s very permissive, allowing in parties like Mana, TOP, the Māori Party, etc… if they continue to campaign well, but also allowing for the death of parties like ACT, and all previous joke parties to have failed in getting into parliament.

          I don’t think there’s any legitimate stability argument in favour of a high threshold. Larger parties are fundamentally less stable than smaller parties because more people are involved, so that’s actually a judgement call for those forming a government as to whether a smaller party can be trusted as a partner. Likewise, dog-wagging arguments are again down to solid practices in negotiating coalitions.

          • Andre 6.3.1.2.1

            In my musings about electoral reform I keep coming back to overhang seats. National significantly benefited from Ohariu being an overhang, and if ACT continues its vote-share trend but Epsom keeps voting for the latest ACT puppet, then Epsom will become an overhang.

            I usually come around to pondering the effects of disqualifying overhang MPs from confidence and supply votes. Seems to me if a seat isn’t earned through having enough nationwide support, then it shouldn’t have a say in who gets to form government. Then if there’s no benefit to having rotten boroughs installing puppets, then there’s no incentive for the big parties to play rotten games like Epsom.

            • arkie 6.3.1.2.1.1

              Thank you Matthew and Andre,

              I tend to agree that it would be better for our Parliament to be as representative as possible and minor parties should be present if they have a nationwide vote percentage for a single seat.

    • alwyn 6.4

      You are clearly becoming a realist.
      The Green Party drops below its polling numbers in an election. The amount varies but if they are actually polling at 6% before the next election I don’t think they will survive.
      I could be wrong of course. I didn’t think they could recover from keeping up support for that Meteria fraudster and dumping there only environmentalist MPs last time but they scraped back in.

      Quite normal for small parties that go into Government of course. The only reason the Greens have survived as long as they have is because no-one would let them near the Ministerial ranks until last year.
      So, what do you do? Change the threshold so that the Green Party can get back but New Zealand First can’t. At the moment that looks like 4% so you are in favour of it.
      When the Green polling numbers drop to below 3% I’ve no doubt your reasoning will change to fit.
      One can’t go too low of course. Might let that evil Conservative Party or Gareth Morgan’s minions get some seats and that would never do, would it?

      • Muttonbird 6.4.1

        You say absolutely nothing here, is this a comedy post?

        I suspect it’s a case of an opposition supporter losing hope, and his marbles.

        Chin up, son.

  7. My one single hope that that Peters does not panic over this poll result. Mid-election polls are rarely sympathetic to small parties, starved of “media oxygen” that election campaigns generate.

    At present, their best hope is for MPs like Shane Jones and Tracey Martin to do well in their respective portfolios; deliver good results (and headlines); and not engage in silly things like subsidising the racing industry.

    • Matthew Whitehead 7.1

      I’m quite happy for him to panic myself. 🙂

      • Pat 7.1.1

        even if it resulted in an early election?

        • Muttonbird 7.1.1.1

          Yes, this seems like silly factionalism. What this government needs is to make solid attempts to be united and to not wish ill of each other.

        • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.1.2

          Right now? Yes, I would take an early election and a quick path to a Labour-Green government.

          I’m not gonna burn any bridges to do it, but neither am I going to feel bad at the consequences of NZF’s own decisions.

    • Sparky 7.2

      Or could it be polls like economics are bullshit tarted up to look “scientific”? I take it all with a grain of salt myself.

      • Matthew Whitehead 7.2.1

        Taking it with a grain of salt is reasonable, but polling is a better predictor than economic forecasts are. Like anything that relies on probabilities, it can easily be “wrong” in the sense that it can give a high probability for something that doesn’t happen.

        For instance, polling correctly predicted the popular vote in the US election within its margin of error, but it incorrectly predicted the winner of their electoral college by putting Trump at between a 20-30% likelihood of winning because of poor polling in many states that ended up flipping republican unexpectedly, and some that were predicted to flip but didn’t.

        It’s just an indicator, and it’s best understood in motion, looking at several of these and how they change over months.

  8. Tricledrownm 8

    Nationals minions out in force today desperately trying change the narrative.
    Get a life Trolling is not good for your health.

  9. Sparky 9

    Labour looks so much like National after this election I personally can not see much difference. Guess the right wins again and we on the left have little to celebrate.

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