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Polls – focus on the horse race misses the huge mood for change

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, September 15th, 2017 - 56 comments
Categories: election 2017, MMP - Tags: , , , ,

Labour’s surge under Jacinda Ardern has us all talking about Labour vs National – who’s in front. This discussion seemed inconceivable just 2 months ago, and it is a sign how far Labour has come! Maybe Labour is ahead, maybe it’s National, rumour is that both parties’ internal polling has them neck and neck.

It is all good grist to the pundit mills of course, but it’s also old fashioned FPP thinking that misses a more important story, the huge mood for change. Labour and Greens represent a strong vote for change, and combined are almost certainly well ahead of the Nats. The other big chunk of votes is NZF. According to this excellent piece on The Spinoff NZF policy and rhetoric is much better aligned with the left than the right. Significantly, a clear plurality of Kiwis want NZF to go with Labour not National:

1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll: Kiwis want NZ First to go with Labour, not National

The latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton election poll has revealed Kiwis would prefer New Zealand First supports a Labour-led government.

The poll showed 46 per cent of respondents supported Labour, a third say National and seven per cent don’t want the party in government at all. The rest don’t know. …

Another way of putting this is that on current polling averages Labour have more options for putting together a government than National (in fact National may have none).

The mood for change is real, and it is significantly out-polling the stale status quo. After nine long years of National we have entrenched poverty, a crumbling health system, crises in housing and homelesness, dying rivers, and no credible commitment to reducing climate change. The government that sat on its hands all this time is not capable of fixing these problems. That is why we need to #ChangeTheGovernment, and that is why the mood for change is real.

56 comments on “Polls – focus on the horse race misses the huge mood for change”

  1. Incognito 1

    After more than 30 long years of neoliberalism the mood for change is real. We’re slowly but surely replacing the stale old story with a new one (Monbiot). These elections are both cause and consequence (symptoms if you like) of a much bigger mood for change.

    • garibaldi 1.1

      This “huge mood for change” is nothing more than replacing a tired regime with another similar regime. Change will be minimal under Labour. “Business as usual” would not be allowing any change more significant than swapping tweedle dum for tweedle dee. They seem to be happy so it looks like we will be getting a slightly nicer neolib government. I guess it is the least we can hope for and is better than the current lot. However this is not a “Corbyn moment” for NZ. We are years behind and seem to be incapable of breaking out from our conservatism and becoming enlightened like the Scandinavians.

      • Enough is Enough 1.1.1

        That is why if you want real change you need to vote Green.

        Labour are too easily influenced by National’s whinging and the media. Yesterday’s flip flop is clear evidence of that.

        If you want a progressive government that will focus on the environment and reducing poverty vote Green.

      • left_forward 1.1.2

        Don’t agree with you garibaldi, vote Green, as I will be doing, but cut the crap – neoLibs are on the way out – if this is what you want, support any movement in that direction!

      • Adrian Thornton 1.1.3

        @garibald, Yes, it was depressing even for a old cynic like me to see how easy Labour rolled on tax, but then I guess this is an example of Jacinda Ardern’s/new Labour’s ‘Pragmatic Idealism’, which everyone thinks is so Progressive.

        Seriously, why would you let your political opponents dictate your economic platform?, which is effectively what Labour have just done, what a joke.

        • Pat 1.1.3.1

          http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201858622/political-opinions-on-a-rush-hour-wellington-train

          listen to attached link and consider that the mainstream view is varied and vital to enabling ANY change….being ideologically pure is wonderful ….if you reside in Utopia.

          • Siobhan 1.1.3.1.1

            Bringing in a few new taxes to start a rebalance a broken dysfunctional economy, that kneecaps workers and small businesses (other than landlords) is being ‘ideologically pure’??

            “Let’s Do This But Not Now, Maybe, Like, Latter’.

            • Pat 1.1.3.1.1.1

              castigating the Labour Party for delaying SOME tax changes by perhaps a year in order to secure a position to help those in need IS in effect being ideologically pure ….the mindset is beyond belief and the height of stupidity, I saw one comment immediately afterwards state that due to this change the commentor was no longer going to vote at all because they felt betrayed….how does that effect change pray tell?
              It is time that some woke up to the fact the world, and even this small corner of it, is not black and white and that compromise is not a dirty word but a necessity in order that the whole bloody place doesn’t descend into an inferno (although it may in any case)

              • Pat

                post script

                You will strenuously deny it but your uncompromising position is simply a manifestation of the neoliberal philosophy…..winners and losers, winner take all and to hell with the rest…well fuck that for a philosophy

                • Siobhan

                  I’ll be voting Green.
                  They are hardly a Party that lacks the ability to compromise.
                  But then they don’t exactly fall over themselves in the rush to appease the latest opinion poll.

                  • Pat

                    as may I, depending on the polls just before saturday, but never lose sight of the fact that without broad electoral support (in this instance for Labour) that the best ideas and policy in the world mean absolutely nothing on the opposition benches..

              • left_forward

                E tautoko ano ahau ki a koe.

              • Adrian Thornton

                @Pat “It is time that some woke up to the fact the world, and even this small corner of it, is not black and white and that compromise is not a dirty word”

                What the hell are you talking about? since 1984 workers and the poor have compromised in every way possible apart from actually …well let’s not go there…to allow this neo liberal project to flourish for the everybody but themselves,.all this while productivity has grown to record highs and wages ( for the majority) in real terms have remained flat lined, and workers conditions and security have plummeted, that is where compromising with economic terrorists gets you…
                So you go ahead and advocate compromise with these free market ideologues, and lets talk in five years, you can be sure nothing of substance will have changed..

                .http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/snapshots-of-nz/nz-social-indicators/Home/Labour%20market/lab-productivity.aspx

                • Pat

                  “So you go ahead and advocate compromise with these free market ideologues, and lets talk in five years, you can be sure nothing of substance will have changed.”

                  I will continue to advocate for compromise….with my fellow NZers many of whom are unwitting victims of that ideology and if it takes some give and take or some breathing space to adjust so be it…..the alternative?

        • Patricia Bremner 1.1.3.2

          Well Adrian, if that piece of pragmatic reading of Joyce attack modes means we get into government, when standing stubborn in the face of their crap might mean missing out, I say, “Well played Jacinda”

          After all, when she is in her 100 days, she can announce a different tack, because I believe the underfunding is at critical levels, and may need swifter responses. ie targetted taxes.

          But, we have to win. Red Green/ Green Red Let’s do this!!!

          • tracey 1.1.3.2.1

            Labour still has its 5 year “bright line” policy though? That will ease some security concern for some renters if the landlord has to hold the property for 5 years. It wont solve the cost but the constant moving…

          • Adrian Thornton 1.1.3.2.2

            @Patricia Bremner, If that’s how you see it fine, personally I would rather a uncompromising idealist right now.
            But if you are happy to compromise your fundamental positions and principles and let National dictate your narrative, then it seems you have found a political voice that speaks for you…well done.

        • Thinkerr 1.1.3.3

          I think Labour realised they were creating a huge risk for themselves by not putting detail to the tax proposal.

          Then, they probably realised the working group thing would take about a year to work through (until June, the new government has to manage last years budget) and then maybe another year to get people introduced to the changes and implement them.

          So what theyve done is sacrifice about 12 months to get rid of an elephant in the room of their own making. Ironically, National is still out there with its new ad – I didnt know they could use the Labour tag on their own ads?

          What all this says to me is that this will be a major change to taxation – not tweaks like before. Hopefully worth the extra wait.

          Santa, I want a Tobin Tax for Christmas…

      • simbit 1.1.4

        Agree that Labor will get tired too… In about 2026.

      • mikesh 1.1.5

        ¨Change¨ seems to be the current buzzword.

      • Incognito 1.1.6

        Time will tell whether this election is just a ripple or wave on the incoming or outgoing tide or the actual tide itself.

    • cleangreen 1.2

      “trickle down mood for change’ not ‘smoke & mirrors’ is shall be our battle cry.

  2. tracey 2

    God I wish polls would just die and go away.

    NZF policies absolutely align more with Labour so why does Winston still hanker for National? The National party he joined no longer exists. It also suggests they are still really a one man party? Is that true, will NZF survive without Winston?

    Labour were 24% a few weeks ago. This remains a story of massive proportions but still the attacks come. If they provide detail they are criticised. If they do not they are criticised.

    • Hanswurst 2.1

      NZF policies absolutely align more with Labour so why does Winston still hanker for National?

      Judging by his interview with Espiner yesterday morning, policy isn’t Peters’ big thing.

    • You_Fool 2.2

      Winston wants power for Winston, and the baubles that come with that power. Any post-election discussions will be Winston finding out which colour party will give him the most stuff. I am sure he is still hoping to convince either one to give him the PM slot, whoever does that will get his support with absolutely no other requirements, and that is more likely to be the Blue team as they have no PM level people anyway. Otherwise it is a lolly scramble and Winston will take what ever is the best for him personally, and where he can have a platform to preach from in the lead up to the 2020 election.

    • cleangreen 2.3

      yes Tracey,

      National are so desperate they have resorted to ‘attack mode’ now.

  3. Pat 3

    As you say the numbers clearly show a mood for change, however it is worth noting that using this method that could have been said of the previous few elections where National secured the treasury benches with approx 30% support of eligible votes…..the point cannot be made strongly enough….turnout is key…..and ominously latest reports indicate a lower turnout than last election, particularly among the young.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/election-2017/339434/fewer-young-people-enrolled-than-2014

  4. Anne 4

    Its almost as if people are now feeling safe enough to come out into the open and admit they’ve had enough of the status quo [read neo-liberalism] and want to see big changes in the way the country is run.

    Until the change in Labour’s fortunes, few people were prepared to stick their necks out for fear of being cut down. Steven Joyce and co. had the natives (yeah that’s all of us) in a nationwide cowed state (metaphorically speaking) for nine years.

    • Pat 4.1

      let us hope you are correct and that it is reflected in next weekends result.

      • cleangreen 4.1.1

        Here here Pat.

        We are hoping also for good carma to spread like wildfire and extiguish the fearful life National have placed us all under.

        Be free kiwis – ‘lets do this’
        @ilovejacinda

    • Carolyn_nth 4.2

      I think people started to put their necks out and ask for change (of social welfare, and against poverty and inequalities) after Metiria made her speech that included her confession.

      • Bill 4.2.1

        That’s the truth of it.

        I do like how, in spite of everything they had to throw at it, the vampires of Liberalism and their Igor* servants from various media have have failed to quell the sense of disquiet.

        * I know Dracula’s servant was called Renfield, but what this being NZ, accuracy being no big deal, and Igor being a better or more emotive name…..

        • DSpare 4.2.1.1

          Bill
          He was Frankenstein’s (film not book) servant*, so the analogy would work if you said something like: The mad scientists of Liberalism and their Igor servants from various media have have failed to quell the sense of disquiet, as their grotesque creation continues to leave a trail of destruction in its wake.

          *Also Renfield wasn’t Dracula’s servant (that would be the Romanian gypsies, or the Sisters), more a clerk who had been driven insane by contact with him. This being Aotearoa, accuracy remains important to some of us.

      • Anne 4.2.2

        Thanks for reminding me Carolyn_nth. You’re right. Metiria did begin the process…

        The task of eliminating poverty and inequalities in NZ is going to be a massive one and I’m hoping that a Labour/Green coalition (if it transpires) will see Metiria Turei playing a major role. There will need to be ‘work-shops’ and specialised agencies set up to cope with the hugely increased workload. Perhaps Metiria will be appointed to lead one of them.

  5. Eco maori 5

    No One mention the 15 Maori seats.
    To hard well if not that than we should press for a law to be made to make it compulsory to vote and that will
    make our political process more democrat
    Like Australia’s.

    • Patricia Bremner 5.1

      We think that Maori people should have their say on the Maori seats.

      It affects them more than anyone. If Labour get 44% of the vote, we will have the greatest Maori representation in Labour ever.

      Tamati Coffey will be there to poke his counterpart Te Ururoa Flavell. (Unless he beats him that is!!)

  6. cleangreen 6

    Yes we see every day the sheer frustration with everyone now wo are wanting a change of government to a ‘warm, caring , inclussive government and with jacinda we will get this, as she generates good carma.

    Good carma brings good things to us all, – carma is contagious.

  7. cleangreen 7

    If everyone questions whether Winston will go with National;

    Why has he got on his billboard “had enough”?

    He is sending the message right there.

  8. swordfish 8

    Significantly, a clear plurality of Kiwis want NZF to go with Labour not National

    Including pluralities and outright majorities of NZF voters in the New Zealand Election Study over recent Elections

    NZF supporters are disproportionately former Labour voters according to NZES

  9. McFlock 9

    Mind you, ISTR that was the vibe in 1996, as well.

    Other factors helped fuck a lab/all/nz1 coalition then, but the salient point is that you never know which way winston will bounce…

    • cleangreen 9.1

      Hi McFlock – long time no see!

      Winston has been through the 33 yrs of political works with the right & left, and now has committed to removing this crapy sellout government!!!

      He clearly said so, at the 230 strong public meeting last Tuesday in Gisborne as i was standing there when he said it.

      Winston wants a political revolution as we do too, he said that also.

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        Yeah. He said a lot of things in 1996, too.

      • adam 9.1.2

        If I remember rightly, The Age in Melbourne printed somthing like Peter’s saying he was likely to be going with national, as this was his best fit. I asked family back here if that was what he was saying, and they said he was not saying that. This was before the election.

        Peters is, and has always been, all over the place.

      • red-blooded 9.1.3

        In ’96 Winston said the only way to get rid of the Nat govt was to vote NZF. Afterwards, he argued that he had got rid of “that” government, because this new one was Nat/NZF. Winston will spin and spin and spin…. If we need him, I hope he’ll spin our way (but I really hope we don’t need him).

  10. The government that sat on its hands all this time is not capable of fixing these problems.

    A few rich people are getting richer from them and so they don’t actually see these things as problems to be fixed.

  11. adam 11

    Funny, I getting somthing slightly different. I’m getting more people who feel we need real change, rather than just a change of government.

  12. the mood for change – I like that because in reality everything is changing all the time so a mood for change could be considered a mood for the way it is and this is important imo because acceptance is part of the process of change. We accept the way it is and we want to improve or change it to make it better. For me that is so much better than saying unless the change I want occurs I will stymie others feelings of change or I will nit pick because the changes aren’t big enough. For me that attitude shows an attitude of scarcity and actually an attitude of buying into neo liberalism.

  13. Glenn 13

    My National friends (they think I’m slightly demented LOL) are worried. They are talking about generational change as their children are ignoring the families favoured party for the first time and voting for Jacinda. Not Labour (or the Greens) but Jacinda. All that matters this time around is they are ditching National!

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