Written By: - Date published: 7:38 pm, May 28th, 2018 - 59 comments
Categories: act, conservative party, greens, labour, maori party, national, nz first, polls - Tags: colmar brunton, pollwatch, simon bridges, threshold
It’s poll night for the second night in a row, so I’ll keep this one a bit more brief.
TVNZ appears to have just lost the race for the first post-budget poll, but has given us a much different picture of what’s going on in their poll, despite having basically the same numbers for Labour, National, and the Greens as Reid Research did.
On first blush, this is another poll telling the same story as the last one: Even though NZF is at risk of being under threshold at 4-and-change-percent, Labour and the Greens can hang on and be a government on their own. As expected, NZ First’s result is a little volatile between the two polls, but is still hanging out in danger territory. Reid Research was the poll that got NZ First’s numbers roughly correct before the election, but I’ve generally found it best to assume whoever has them polling highest is correct, so I would point out briefly that this is not actually a guaranteed bump below the threshold yet. If you want to make assumptions about demographics, CB polls cellphones as well as landlines now, RR polls the internet for a quarter of its survey.
Things are a little more complicated than that once we start running the numbers on what sort of government is LIKELY, however, and most of that is simply down to the fact that the Greens are polling a little less than 1% lower this time.
So, looking at that graph on the left may be a little terrifying, but let’s analyze it a bit. These simulations represent the Greens being under-threshold 48.3% of the time, which I personally think accounting for the previous polls is an absolutely unrealistic assumption, and should be dismissed out of hand. (any party that’s consistently polling at 5% or above has never fallen below threshold under MMP) If you agree with me, you can basically ignore all chance of a National-ACT government here, and halve the chance of a hung parliament.
If not, there’s still a total 47.6% chance of some form of Labour-led government.
NZF is barely hanging on here, and you get to see Excel’s inconsistent rounding as it gives me a 98.7% chance of them being under threshold, but a 1.4% chance of being in a coalition government of some sort. (some of that 1.4% may include scenarios where the Greens are out but NZF are in, I haven’t bothered to seperate out those two scenarios because at this stage I think that’s unrealistic)
Also worth noting is that the Māori party is hanging in there with their party vote, still doing better than ACT, as they’re on 0.9% and 0.7% respectively.
There was some speculation about the Conservative Party on TVNZ- as such I ran some extra simulations, and assuming they have all the leftover vote of 1.2%, (which is being incredibly overly generous, TVNZ would have mentioned if they were coming in fifth) they would get to form a government with National about 20% of the time if they won an electorate, and could tip the balance to National’s favour about 10% of the time once you account for this poll over-estimating the Greens chances of falling under threshold- if they retained ACT at the same time. The graph to your right had a 51.9% incidence of the Greens under threshold, and a 97.7% chance of NZF there, again showing that even with new Conservative buddies, National would still be relying on gaming the threshold to knock out Labour’s coalition partners, as every single scenario with NZF in Parliament resulted in a Labour-led government.
For those of you following the Preferred PM drama, this poll paints a much different picture, with Collins flat to last month at 2%, and Bridges gaining two points at 12%. (Ardern’s at about 41% on this poll, absolutely crushing it with most Labour voters onside) This is better for Bridges than Reid Research’s preferred PM, but it’s not exactly good either. Bridges will probably be glad preferred PM is such a bunch of rubbish though, as robust polling on his approval would not be coming out well for him right now.
So, overall: A close poll if you rate the chance of the Greens falling under threshold, or a good one for the government if you don’t, but at the least things coming this close should probably have the government rethinking its political strategy to some degree- either to hold onto New Zealand First, or to simply increase the left vote directly so it doesn’t matter whether they do or not. The budget appears to have met expectations, but not really gained a bump for Labour- this is understandable as they front-footed a lot of their priorities into their 100-day plan, so Labour will need to keep delivering the goods if it wants a boost to be sure National is out of striking distance.