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Put away the knives, the polls are up!

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 pm, August 10th, 2012 - 144 comments
Categories: labour, polls - Tags:

I suspect that the knives that were out for a couple days this week will be quietly slipped back into their sheaths now. Labour’s up in the latest Roy Morgan. So are the Greens. The Left’s at 46% vs the Banks Key Government’s 44.5%. We won’t see more hamfisted attempts to undermine Shearer and attack Cunliffe clearing the path for someone else. Well, not until the next bad poll.

lprent: added link and the relevant trend

144 comments on “Put away the knives, the polls are up! ”

  1. Hilary 1

    Wonder whether the media will report this one, probably not.

  2. ak 2

    And if Duncan has been a dutiful servant, that’ll be the next poll…

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    I suspect that the knives that were out for a couple days this week will be quietly slipped back into their sheaths now.

    Do you hear that sound, Zetetic? It’s the pleasant sound of carbon steel being worked against a whetstone.

    A pause in hostilities is an opportunity to rearm and regroup. That is all.

  4. prism 4

    Roy Morgan Poll: National 44% Labour 32% Green 14%
    Friday, 10 August 2012, 3:36 pm
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1208/S00151/roy-morgan-poll-national-44-labour-32-green-14.htm

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      All hail Blue-Green-lite!

    • conducted from July 23- August 5 (up until Sunday)

      • Tracey 4.2.1

        It’s almost as though someone knew the results at the beginning of the week and felt some work needed to be done…

        • lprent 4.2.1.1

          Unlikely. Morgan releases their polls roughly every two weeks all of the time whereas the TV and newspapers poll periodically – usually monthly for part of the year and more frequently towards election time. Also Morgan just does the polling as part of their polling process for their paid business rather than getting paid by media organizations. As far as I’m aware they don’ release to anyone prior to their public release.

          I pretty much ignore the polls other than Morgan because they’re too damn sporadic to really show any trends. When there is a 3 month lag as happens over Xmas or times varying from 2 to 6 weeks during the year makes it hard to see trends.

          Trying to compare with polls from different companies is an exercise in futility because they have too many differences in methodology and you always have to be aware of the sampling time periods. Even producing composite polls in NZ is problematic. There is so much variation in the poll results and so few polls that a few outliers of technique between companies would probably skew results.

          So I stick with Morgan. The absolute values may be wrong but those figures are largely irrelevant anyway (unless you’re a moronic news media hysterically looking at numbers bouncing within the margins of error). But the trends are what is interesting about polls anyway.

          • lurgee 4.2.1.1.1

            “unless you’re a moronic news media hysterically looking at numbers bouncing within the margins of error”

            … Which is what the estimable ZETETIC is doing, of course, trying to forge a leftie-Green bloc out of the numbers in this latest poll.

            Even if the numbers are accurate, and were realised at a General Election, I think it would be difficult for such a bloc to be formed. When one party thrashes another by 44% to 32%, I think the former has the moral right to form a government, and it is incumbent on the minor parties to support (or at least not undermine) its efforts. If the gap was narrower, it wouldn’t be an issue, but with such a gulf between them, it would be strategically disastrous – both parties would be smashed in the subsequent election. It might even re-ignite the whole “MMP vs FPTP” argument. Not worth it.

            Labour need to close the gap if they are going to form a government. That simple. The problem isn’t the leader as such – Shearer and Cunliffe would be in the mix either way, and, bluntly, they’re both pretty banal. The talent pool from which the leader is drawn is a part of the problem, as is the issue about the disconnect between the parliamentary party and the party at large. But the main problem, to my mind, is the lack of vision. They need a credible alternative platform that manages to be popular, accessible and practical. People aren’t interested in voting for Labour because Labour – as it stands – is about as appealing as a three day dead possum. In summer. They need to get urgent, and get thinking, rather than scheming. Otherwise, another stint of Key and Co. is pretty much inevitable. And if Labour allow that to happen, they should be tried for treason.

            • Kotahi Tāne Huna 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah nah, whoever can command a majority has the right to form a government. It is the duty of the opposition to oppose, not to bend over.

            • locus 4.2.1.1.1.2

              When one party thrashes another by 44% to 32%, I think the former has the moral right to form a government

              There really is only one right-wing party in NZ, and if they get 44% of the vote it’s the moral right of the 56% who didn’t vote for them to form a government.

              The reason that there are a variety of views on the left is that it’s still okay to debate, discuss and question what’s good for NZ. There’s no room to do that in a single party with an ‘it’s all about me’ leader.

              The rwnjs and others who can’t see past jonky’s smiley face may never admit that NZ’s performance since 2008 has been spiralling downwards. But by the next election many more than the current 56% of NZ’ers will have decided that the economically-incompetent nacts need to be given the boot.

              • lurgee

                I get how the maths works. I get the idea that Silver+Bronze beats Gold. And believe me, I’m MMP through and through (well, actually, I’m STV through and through, but would take MMP over any third system, any day). But when the Silver and Bronze are so desperately far behind, there’s a difference of quality as well as quantity (or something like that).

                I feel very uneasy at what would be effectively two minor parties coalescing to govern – especially since they would still have been rejected by a majority of the electorate, individually and together. MMP does raise all sorts of questions about legitimacy, and they aren’t as easily put to bed as we lefties would like to think when we get a sniff of victory. The Greens – damn them! – tend to be principled, and would probably accept a confidence and supply agreeement with National in those circumstances. They get it – desperate lefties, facing a third trouncing, don’t.

                Perhaps more importantly, distant seconds and thirds making a government would probably be a strategic disaster, as I pointed out. Both parties would likely be obliterated in the next election. Three years of uneasy coalition followed by oblivion doesn’t seem much of a Grand Plan.

                Don’t be so dismissive of the people that voted for John Key. They are, after all, the people you expect to vote for Labour in a couple of years time. Show contempt towards them, and they’ll return the favour. Be honest – did Labour in 2008 or 2011 really present a very appealing option? And I’m not talking PR bullshit, I’m talking proper policy, a sense that they could govern the country properly, that they had the right ideas. They. Tangibly. Didn’t. This doesn’t mean that National did – massive victories not-withstanding – but oppositions will usually prosper when the government is limping about, begging to be put out of its misery. The current shower are not yet in that poisition – though they are getting that way. The problem is, on current performance, it is still the Labour Party that is begging for euthanasia.

                • felix

                  “I get how the maths works. I get the idea that Silver+Bronze beats Gold.”

                  What you don’t seem to grasp is that there is no silver or bronze. Gold is the confidence of 50% or more of the parliament and nothing else counts.

                  “Don’t be so dismissive of the people that voted for John Key. “

                  You mean the people of Helensville? Who’s being dismissive of them?

                  • lurgee

                    “What you don’t seem to grasp is that there is no silver or bronze. Gold is the confidence of 50% or more of the parliament and nothing else counts.”

                    On current polling, Labour and Green don’t get that. So they need a three way agreement. The Greens would almost certainly sit out of a formal coalition under these circumstances.

                    Long term prospects count for something, I’d have thought. Those would be very damaged by a coalition of also-rans. The Greens are a separate party for a good reason. They aren’t just some lightly disguised extension of the Labour Party. Also, almost by definition, they’re inclined to take the long view. They’d be stupid to jeopardise their long term viability by compromising with a compromised party. they’d end up copping all the blame, like the Lib Dems have in Britain.

                    “You mean the people of Helensville? Who’s being dismissive of them?”

                    Fair cop. But to Hell with them, anyway.

                    • felix

                      “On current polling, Labour and Green don’t get that. So they need a three way agreement.”

                      So does the current government. What’s your point?

                    • We’ve had four-party and five-party governments before. Really, as MMP arrangements go, a triad of parties in government is relatively stable and ordinary. And don’t rule out the possibility of a minority government with a cross bench “flex” between New Zealand First and the Maori Party on matters other than confidence and supply the same way National has done with Dunne + Banks or the Maori Party, or even National stuffing up and losing it outright to the Greens and Labour.

                      Of course, that assumes that NZF crosses the threshold again and that the Maori Party survives the next election after another abysmal term in government.

            • felix 4.2.1.1.1.3

              “When one party thrashes another by 44% to 32%, I think the former has the moral right to form a government”

              That’s simply not possible.

              44% isn’t a majority so that party would need at least one other party to form a government under our present system.

              However under the new rules you’ve made up about moral rights to govern, they couldn’t include a 5% party in their government. Or a 10% or even a 20%, as those would’ve all been “thrashed” by a 32% party and – according to your moral code – rendered ineligible for government.

              In fact assuming you’re talking about roughly the distribution of votes that we have between parties in NZ at present (and you are), the only possible way for a govt to form in our present system with the addition of your new rules would be for the 44% party and the 32% party to join forces.

              • lurgee

                Er … no. Try again. I’m taking about two deeply rejected (by about 70% and 85%) parties combining. That’s going to stink. Labour needs to get up to within grabbing distance of National before it will look like anything other than naked power grabbing.

                Still, desperation has been the new normal for the NZ Labour Party for the past few years …

                • felix

                  Oh I understood what you were saying about “deeply rejected” parties. But surely the same logic applies to the other even further “deeply rejected” (by about 97% and 99%) parties too then.

                  • lurgee

                    In that case, it is more of a tweak. It wouldn’t stink so much in the nostrils of the electorate – though how anything involving John Banks can’t smell rank is beyond me …

                    Though the real problem might be the stay-at-homes and plague-on-both-yer-houses sections. Trying to steal back 5% of National’s vote might be a bit of a blind alley.

                    • felix

                      What’s your tweak? Big parties ok, small parties ok, everyone else doesn’t count?

                    • lurgee

                      I’m sure you can see there’s a difference between the biggest party in a parliament getting a couple of extra votes to ensure its position, and two much smaller parties combining to shut out the biggest. I do not think these two scenarios are the same. Even if we accept the constitutionality of such an arrangement (which I do) it still has a certain odour about it.

                      The most likely outcome on the figures in the poll would be a National minority government. A Red-Green alliance, on those figures – would be very unlikely.

                      Labour needs to get itself back up to within jostling range of National. End of story.

                    • felix

                      “I’m sure you can see there’s a difference between the biggest party in a parliament getting a couple of extra votes to ensure its position, and two much smaller parties combining to shut out the biggest.”

                      No I don’t, and I don’t accept your framing of it as “shutting out”. Is the 42% party in your example “shutting out” the others by scraping up a few 1% and 3% parties from the bottom of the parliamentary barrel? If not why not?

                      And you still haven’t addressed why a 1% party has a legitimate moral right to govern as part of a coalition but neither a 35% or a 20% party do.

                    • KJT

                      The same odour as National repeatedly getting in with less than half the vote.

                      56% voted against National last election.

                      As someone said. “If voting made any difference it would be abolished”.

                      What was it when Muldoon did the gerrymander. 40%.

                      But it is still meaningless when whatever party gets in is an effective dictatorship for 3 years or more.

                      And for Democracy, we have the example of Switzerland.
                      Worked well for over a century now.

                      The need for democracy is obvious when National implements largely ACT policy. Which less than 1% vote for.

                      BCIR, and recalls, working well in Wisconson and North Dakota. Not so well in California and probably will never work in Texas. A reflection of their societies, not of the worth of democracy.

                    • The problem with BCIRs is that they get used to deny people civil rights.

                    • KJT

                      The problem with representative “democracy” is that it denies civil rights.

            • lprent 4.2.1.1.1.4

              I think the former has the moral right to form a government, and it is incumbent on the minor parties to support (or at least not undermine) its efforts.

              I guess that you don’t understand much about politics. Perhaps you should read on other counties with proportional systems to find out how it is actually done rather than consuming your butt fluff (how I think you came up with that formulation). For that matter in first past the post systems with more than two major parties. But I guess you haven’t actually done any work on how actual systems work…

              But just to see if you can in fact think… How would your formulation work if two parties announced that they would go into coalition with each other before the election to keep the other ‘honest’. As I read your formulation that wouldn’t be ‘allowed’. Then have a look back to the early 20th century in NZ to find out how it actually worked..

              For that matter under our formulation there is a reciprocal. Presumably a major party would never be able to say that they worn’t work with a minor party. So I guess you hate John Ke for committing National to not work with NZF prior to 2008. And similarly NZF and UF for refusing to go into coalition with the Greens in 2005.

              It could be that you are the type of functional illiterate who is simply doomed to repeat history. But more likely it is that you’re just trying to make up rules that suit your selfish purposes without bothering to engage your brain.

              • lurgee

                FWIW, I’ve been brooding over PR issues for the better part of quarter of a century now, ever since the different systems were explained to me when I was a lad of 14. I have looked at many different political systems, especially proportional ones. As I remarked up thread, I’m a big fan of STV, slightly less so of MMP. You don’t come to appreciate STV through a nodding acquaintance with PR.

                Perhaps, my doubts don’t reflect a lack of understanding, but a deeper concern than the straightforward, ‘oh-well-the-sums-add-up’ attitude. Of course the sums can add up. And if you can get them to add up, them you can form a government. But the palpable excitement of Labour (I almost typed ‘the left’ then thought better of it) at the dismal news that they are still appealing to less than 1 in 3 New Zealanders is pretty hard to take.

                I remember the 2002 election night, when the initial results suggested some ludicrous ‘Grand coalition of the right’ might be conceivable. I regarded that with the same queasy uncertainty as I do the idea of two distant also-rans combining. Technically feasible, but impractical, dubious and likely to turn out to be a strategic catastrophe. I think the Greens would look on it in much the same light.

                I can can only repeat what I’ve already said. I can see how a major-minor party match up can fly with the electorate. If National need the support of a couple of minnows to insulate themselves against the slings and arrows, that’s one thing. The electorate can see the benefit of that. But neither of the parties forming the coalition managed to win a plurality, it changes things a bit. Especially if – as on current polling – they couldn’t even persuade 1 in 3 New Zealanders to vote for either party, individually. It might add up arithmetically in parliament, but it will reek in the nostrils of the electorate.

                I think the presumption apparent that the Greens will traipse along with Labour is wildly misplaced, and rather reveals how hopelessly hopeless Labour has become. they have no plan for reviving themselves, can’t see past their own squabbling, other than hope that the greens do well. They may well do well, but it isn’t exactly a strategy for Labour. You’re deluding yourselves if you think Labour can carry on polling just above the 30% threshold, and expect the Greens to make up for their uselessness. The Greens will look at the post election situation and will almost certainly (if the current RM poll is duplicated) allow National to form a government. Get those numbers up, or look forward to more of the same in 2015.

                • locus

                  Any party getting less than 50% is logically a ‘minority’, and has no automatic right to rule. Let alone a ‘moral’ right to form the government.

                  I agree that the party getting more seats (under PR) would normally be the party that gets the chance to form a majority (more than 50%) in parliament in conjunction with other parties that on balance have policies that fit – and would be expected by most NZers to field the PM and most of cabinet. Junior partners in this coalition would normally be those with broadly similar values. If junior partners subsume their values and policies just to get into power then their voters will shift to another party which more clearly and honestly promises these.

                  The problem with the nact party is that there are no other parties in NZ that have policies that ‘fit’. Voters in Epsom and Ohariu are voting for nact by proxy.

                  Most NZers (I’d hope) would respect a coalition of smaller parties with differing policies and opinions about what’s right for NZ but with broadly matching values. This is the beauty of PR – which in NZ is still work in progress.

                  • prism

                    locus Good points thanks. And as for what is logical, we need more of that in this day’s comments.

    • Dr Terry 4.3

      We can regard this poll as presenting basically good news, especially and deservedly for the Greens. It seems Labour will be utterly dependent upon them, but will the Greens be particularly anxious to throw in their lot with this Labour team? Take nothing as a forgone conclusion.

      Surely that which should be a major concern is that 49% support “the direction the country is going in”. It is very hard to interpret precisely what these voters have in mind. On the surface, it seems absolutely incredible, and an endorsement of this government’s policies. Perhaps somebody can unpack this dilemma for me?

      • weka 4.3.1

        It’s all in the question Terry. Here’s the full version:
         
        “Generally speaking, do you feel that things in New Zealand are heading in the right direction or would you say things are seriously heading in the wrong direction?”

        People who answer ‘the right direction’ may be avoiding saying seriously in the wrong direction. If you asked this instead, you’d probably get different results:
         
        “Generally speaking, do you feel that things in New Zealand are heading in the right direction or in the wrong direction?”
         
         

        • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1

          It does indicate that 51% of people who gave a positive or negative answer think that NZ is seriously heading in the wrong direction. So this is not mild dissatisfaction, this is strong dissatisfaction with where things are at.

          We’re pretty smart people after all.

      • Fortran 4.3.2

        Not if Annette King goes for Wellington Mayoralty held by Celia Wade-Brown, a real Greenie.
        It will hit the fan if this occurs. The Greens do not make many real waves but this one is precious.

      • bad12 4.3.3

        Simply check out who REALLY benefited from the 2008 National Government tax cuts, therein lies the answer to your query,

        If i was the sort to gush admirably about a Blackadder cunning like plan i would on the clearly cynically clever division in the rewards given to the various income sectors of our society have to admire this for its stark ‘divide and rule’ politics,

        49% of the income earning population voting simply from their position of being the comfortable middle class and wishjng to retain that position are still benefiting from those tax cuts,

        The 51% of the income earning population below them tho have begun to feel the uncomfortable nature of such tax changes where the lower down the income bracket one sits the more of ones income as a % is returned directly to the Government in GST,

        The deeply cynical part of all this from the part of those within National is that while the tax cuts in 2009 blew a 1.7 billion dollar hole in the Governments revenue, going forward( a phrase i dislike using), with the ongoing nature of price rises making each one a rise for the Government in the GST collected even the crude riffmatic i am capable of says that after year 5 that 1.7 billion dollar hole created by National in its revenue from taxation by the tax cuts closes,

        i assume that as a country we have some form of unwritten deal/agreement with the likes of those that lend to the Government and the likes of the World Bank/IMF where we are allowed to borrow within certain parameters and while that is supposition it may in fact be the key to the determination of this Government to sell off parts of its income earning asset base,

        When you look at the extent of that 1.7 billion dollars of income from taxation the present National government has lost, compare it with the duration of such losses out to at least the end of 2014 and then compare the wish list from the National Government as to what they want in cash terms from the asset sales you have two sets of comparable figures…

      • Shaz 4.3.4

        Isn’t it up to progessive blogs like o start to imagine a way through the policy differences and paint a compelling picture of what a Labour Green government could achieve for NZ rather than emphasising those differences?

        • lprent 4.3.4.1

          Not really. I suspect that you haven’t applied any thought to the issue…

          Most work for a living and many have young kids. This limits the amount of time we have for thinking through policy since we cannot feed ourselves or kids through doing it. Plus it is rather pointless when we’re not politicians so we cannot effect change directly. Nor do most of us wish to be politicians. It takes a particular type of sucker to want to do that. Pete George is a good example of the type of person who wants to be a politician.

          Most of us are members of one political party or another, so when we do have a policy idea we tend to deal with it more directly than blathering on a public forum. We give the idea directly to the party via the usual forums or tell a politician who is interested in the area. In most cases that is more likely to effect change than talking about it in a vague way in public.

          Public forums are better suited to looking for holes in ideas and events that are already in the public arena. This allows crowd sourcing on potential screwups before they happen or to make sure that the people responsible for screwups are identified to ensure that they can’t do it again (there are a few slippery bastards though – look at Brownlee in Christchurch).

    • Mary 4.4

      And may the Greens continue to prosper. Labour governing alone would be no different to what we currently have. Interesting how a vote for Labour means the poorest of our poor will continue to be hammered. I’m so glad Shearer came out with all that crap about the sickness beneficiary painting his roof because he’s finally being honest and showing his true colours about his and Labour’s views on beneficiaries which helps everyone to know the truth about what Labour’s about – finally.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    A poll? Seriously?

    Does an aspirin cure cancer?

  6. bad12 6

    Nah sorry Shearer made this personal with His little spot of Bene-bashing at the Grey Power speech, my opinion is that He is some red-neck hillbilly better suited to the ACT Party than His present tenure,

    My further view is that the ‘left’ has nothing to gain from having a Labour Government lead by Shearer and a damn sight more to lose in that Shearer’s obviously ACT like personal opinions will simply leave us all, everyone of us in the bottom 50% decile of income, little better off then we are now and even more prime targets for the Tory’s next time round,

    My view is that Shearer might make a passable Minister of Agriculture,(preferably in a National Government), but, in all reality has the charisma and intellect of a time serving back-bencher and should be dispatched there forthwith,

    The Roy Morgan poll is nothing for Labour, it simply puts the whole electoral equation back where it was a week ago befor Roy decided to include the Conservatives in the Morgan Poll for the first time since the 2011 election and to do so had to mess with the percentages in the last Poll without showing the National Party to have been taking a beating,

    Had Roy just shaved off the 4% of support he saw as the Conservatives from the National % in the previous poll we all would have had a true picture of where National was at in the previous Morgan Poll, but it appears alas that the Morgan Poll is as much about using perception as a political tool as the TV3 poll is,

    The left wing of Labour, and isn’t that bizarre to be saying that phrase at all, must now realize from the Shearer speech to Grey Power that any hope they now have of having a left wing Government at the next election lies in ridding itself of Shearer and installing in His place David Cunliffe as the candidate to be the next Prime Minister and Minister of Finance…

  7. AmaKiwi 7

    Because Labour is up in the polls by the margin of error, we must all be euphoric and forget:

    1. Parker’s economic plan is a copy of National’s
    2. Shearer echoing Paula Bennett’s dole bludger mantra
    3. Shearer’s foreign policy endorsement of National’s search and destroy Afghan war
    4. the character assassination of David Cunliffe
    5. a leaderless caucus which cannot capitalize on National’s failures
    6. the ABC bully-boys cowardly hiding behind their cloak of anonymity
    7. etc., etc. ,etc.

    With National’s stream of recent fiascoes, Labour -Greens should be ahead by 5% to 10%.

    One tiny poll improvement is supposed to revive the Labour party? I don’t think so. The disenchantment is too deep and pervasive.

  8. AmaKiwi 8

    I think I am unimpressed with Shearer.

    He’s a UN mediator. He’s NOT a Westminster politician.

    For two years I and everyone else knew Phil Goff was not going to beat Key. I thought, “The caucus MUST replace Phil.” They never did.

    I am NOT wasting another 2 years waiting for caucus to get a leader who can win the next election. If they don’t act soon the caucus can deliver their own fliers and get somebody else to donate to the party. And those MP’s who can’t win an electorate seat might get a nasty surprise when a lot of us don’t party vote Labour.

    • muzza 8.1

      Shearers background is used like Obamas peace prize, to deceive!

      Oh he did some of the work we are told about, but that does not mean you get what it says on the tin!

      • just saying 8.1.1

        Good analogy.
        He went to school 500 metres from the Otara underpass but voted national and didn’t notice poverty and disadvantage until he went overseas, and having noticed, proceeded to make his fortune off the backs of the poor.

        But very personable in social settings apparently.

    • Cnut 8.2

      “He’s NOT a Westminster politician.”

      Which in my eyes is – at the moment – the best thing you can say about him. Unfortunately that puts him in much the same position as Christ was on Palm Sunday – a sincere, honest, well-meaning and nice guy just before he made his bid for the popular vote in the Temple, and we know how that turned out.

      The problem is that under this system being a sincere, honest and nice guy with some good ideas and a willingness to listen, and who only wants to do what’s right by the country, is always going to lose out to some conniving, back-stabbing, plausible, charismatic bastard who wants the top job just because it’s the top job so he thinks he deserves it and who can gather around him a gang of equally conniving, back-stabbing bastards who think they can ride his coat-tails to the greatness they deserve.

      And for the great unwashed who get to chose between them it’s all just a beauty contest.

  9. Carol 9

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s not so much about the polls, as about how they are reported and responded to. Garner milked his own company’s little margin-of-error effort for all he was aorth, spreading discord amongst Labour and the left.

    Hopefully, though, that little kerfuffle will be a wake up call to Labour. Let’s hope their November meetings will start them thinking truly about taking a new (old Labour) direction, and see them ditch the shonkey neo-liberal clothes they’ve been wearing for too long.

    Although, I’m really quite pessimistic about Labour’s direction in the near future.

    • lprent 9.1

      I’m not confident about the Labour caucus having an ability to work cohesively together. I am confident about the overall trend against the government.

      I really despise politicians acting like morons (which is why I have always disliked National). Having not for attribution conversations slagging off your own caucus with journalists has to be about the dumbest of all possible maneuveres. It is a classic strategy screwup and one that the caucus leadership who are responsible for that strategy should be all over. They should be doing remediation, demotion, and weeding out the stupid so it is visible in public. It doesn’t appear to be happening.

      And the greens have been acting like a government in waiting. Perhaps the Labour caucus should ask for some help in how to run a disparite group of people and interests less obstructively?

      • Tigger 9.1.1

        Totally agree, L. The Greens constantly show Labour how effective an opposition can be. Time to take notes, Labour.

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          And the greens have been acting like a government in waiting. Perhaps the Labour caucus should ask for some help in how to run a disparite group of people and interests less obstructively?
           

          Indeed. and the reason why the Greens are functioning so well is because it’s in their culture to intentionally practice things like effective communication, consensus, conflict resolution, how to treat each other like human beings (even when you don’t like someone). The party itself is set up way more democratically than Labour, and that shows. If I saw the Greens operating as Labour is I would be spewing, and then I’d be leaving.
           
           

      • RedLogix 9.1.2

        If Shearer was leading an energised, vocal and coherent team the polls would be quite different. What is holding them back is the same problem Goff had, and Shearer is now having. Both men are capable of being good Leaders and PM’s; but there is clearly a front bench cabal in behind them who are there only for themselves, not the party.

        The voting public work largely on instinct (a malleable but not always bad thing) and one thing they do know is that any future left-wing govt is going to have to be a Labour coalition with the Greens. For such an arrangement to be a success (for both parties) the Labour party will have demonstrate a much greater competency than it is at present.

        Right now Labour aren’t even making good coherent decisions internally … how the hell could anyone expect them to function effectively in Govt with the Greens?

      • David H 9.1.3

        Or maybe Cunliffe should tell Shearer to shove it and go work for the Greens. I am sure they would love to have his wealth of experience. Well Labour don’t want it.

        • BillORees 9.1.3.1

          @DavidH

          1. Cunliffe is wanted by Labour. The majority of the membership, the supportive public and 15 of the 32 voting caicus wanted him. Now that more of the Causus see the error of the Shearer experiment the Caucus balance is changing too.  Maybe that is why a few ABCs friend the white-anting stuff against Cunliffe.

          2. Russell Norman is not a big-enough-man to share a stage with someone of bigger intellect, experience and public appeal. 

  10. just saying 10

    I was one of the 1033 polled and having gone through the published data, I can’t help wondering who the information from the other questions that they purported to have been part of the political survey, was sold to? Like the data on smoking and political preference.

  11. Scott 11

    This week’s ugliness was not a result of the polls, so one good poll changes nothing.

    • lprent 11.1

      Agreed. It is a problem with the culture mostly inside caucus. However a single lousy poll provided a opportunity for Garner to link a poll result to some political morons in caucus playing games with journos.

      Stupidity like that just pisses me off and really really makes me uninterested in exerting effort. On the other hand I have seen the same fuckwit behaviour happening in caucuses for longer than most of the current caucus players have been involved in politics.

      Whenever it happens they lose activist support, cause the formation of other competing parties and eventually forces the leaders to learn how to discipline the fuckwits. Presumably eventually Shearer will gain the experience to do it. Otherwise he gets dumped after the election that he loses through a lack of experience by the survivors – preferably with his advisors.

      For a activist member, you simply support competent MP’s (Phil Twyford is a good choice) and wait for the idiots to get discarded. That is what I did with Helen in the end of the 80’s rather than working for Prebble in central Auckland where I was living at the time.

  12. No matter how you shake it, shearer is still shearer,he will not change, to believe
    in labour party values,if he can diss a sickness bene at a public meeting and grey
    power at that any respectability he might have had went out the window,those
    sort of issues dont belong on the meeting floor.
    There needs to be a clean out in labour and new people bought to the front
    bench and shearer needs to go,for too long now he has been like fluff on a
    blanket,stuck, and only a good shake will shift it.

  13. There needs to be a clean out in labour and new people bought to the front
    bench

    A commonly expressed sentiment. But who deserves promotion to the front bench?

    And an underperforming front bench is not the only issue, an overperforming strategy team could also do with a major change of direction (it’s hard to know whether one team is stuffing everything up or there’s an unofficial team of spoilers).

    • Te Reo Putake 13.1

      Concern T 🙄

      • lprent 13.1.1

        That was rather amusing. Looked at the source in moderation…

        I have a auto moderation on the word troll because of it’s over use… TRR said “concern Troll” where the eye rolling smiley code was a ‘roll’

    • starlight 13.2

      David Clark is one who has been impressing me, Jacinda Adhern also given half a
      chance will prove herself,there is talent there,however getting past the main players
      is the problem.

      • quartz 13.2.1

        Both of them voted for Shearer/Robertson.

      • quartz 13.2.2

        Both of them voted for Shearer/Robertson.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.3

        Jacinda Adhern also given half a
        chance will prove herself,

        She can prove herself by beating Nikki Kaye, before trying to beat Key and English, OK.

        • Tracey 13.2.3.1

          It’s almost as though someone knew the results at the beginning of the week and felt some work needed to be done…

          CV, really? Who did Key and English beat off? No one, not a soul. Auckland Central is as blue ribbon as they come. Gone are they days of it being a working class electorate. Ever tried to buy a hous ein Westmere? Pt Chev recently???

          • Colonial Viper 13.2.3.1.1

            CV, really? Who did Key and English beat off?

            Key and English beat the entire Labour Party. Is that good enough for their credentials.

  14. Maui 14

    >if he can diss a sickness bene at a public meeting and grey
    >power at that any respectability he might have had went out the window,those
    > sort of issues dont belong on the meeting floor.

    I think Shearer told us more about himself than he intended to.

    Given that he had previously worked for Goff one has to question how much that
    reflects Goff’s attitudes. Goff’s role during Lange’s reforms is well documented.

    If McCarten were to raise the Alliance banner I would vote for him.
    Aotearoans are facing increasingly tough times, and the world economy is increasingly fragile.

    Since re-entry to NZ, Shearer is reported to have been building a house in one of Auckland’s
    leafy suburbs and spending time in the boarding-school environment of Parliament.

    If his South Island Tour is not a wake up call, there is no hope for his leadership.

    • fatty 14.1

      “If McCarten were to raise the Alliance banner I would vote for him”

      do you vote Mana?

    • felix 14.2

      “If his South Island Tour is not a wake up call, there is no hope for his leadership.”

      Up til that sentence you articulated the fundamental problem very clearly. Why so keen to give him yet another chance to prove you wrong when he’s done nothing but prove you right, day in day out, since the moment he assumed the office?

      If he were going to lead, he would be leading already.

      If he were going to change, he’d have changed already.

      If he were going to win, he’d be well on the way to winning right now.

      • Maui 14.2.1

        If this world were rational, you would be right, but I have this perverse irrational need to be an optimist.

        I think it is called ‘the human condition’.

        Why else do people have children ?

        • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1

          Why else do people have children ?

          Well, 😀

        • lprent 14.2.1.2

          Apparently parents brains partially shutdown… A neat evolutionary defense mechanism by the DNA… (people are DNA’s way of making more DNA 😈 )

      • Rosie 14.2.2

        Felix, your last three sentences nailed it. If the opposite proved to be true over the next 2 years there would be a lot of hat eating going on in these pages but somehow I think hats will be staying firmly in place.
        If theres any chance of a Labour/Greens coalition in 2014 Shearer has to go right now, with no mucking around.

  15. aerobubble 15

    Don’t read so much into polls. Basically, any movement is natural attrition away from Key, as Key’s
    natural far-right core is exposed. Your general public hasn’t change their view from the last election,
    when Labour was so roundly drummed out, because Labour have yet to start a cogent conversation
    with the public, in the way that it attacks the government, or dealt to the obvious elephant, how did
    Labour introduce neo-liberalism into NZ all those years ago. Shearer however is doing okay as a
    rather boring but likeable alternative to Key (who is become rather brashly blaize? about everything
    as he pops up all the time on TV like a muppet).

    • tc 15.1

      +1, no need to change him really if he deals with this leak by booting out the offenders and shuffles the pack by ditching the useless Parker for DC,who proved he has Blinglish’s measure and getting the spokespeople opposite the shockers like Bennett/Collins/Joyce etc out there nailing the bastards to the mast and not letting go.

      Good cop, bad cop works with DC etc hammering the gov’t and Shearer presenting that soft likeable image as it’s the womens weekly/new idea set that will decide 2014.

      If he doesn’t deal with this by wielding the axe, Labour’s screwed along with the bulk of NZ. as it’s rank and file will move on as he’s clearly another puppett with no leadership spine as they’ve changed the rules to protect their lazy arses now.

      • bad12 15.1.1

        Pray tell me how does Shearer ‘get the spokespeople opposite a shocker like Bennett and nail that particular bastard to the mast’ when Shearer in the Grey Power speech directly calls A beneficiary a cheat, AND, by insinuation calls all beneficiaries cheats,

        Shearers ugly comment whether a figment of His speech-writer’s or His own imagination have gone as far if not further to denigrate beneficiaries than anything said in ugliness by Paula Benefit,

        What Shearer should be telling His audiences is that there is not the number of jobs in the New Zealand economy to match the number of people able and obviously willing to work and that the relative poverty we as a nation keep those people for whom there is not a job in is in fact what keeps the comfortable middle class in that relatively comfortable position,

        The fact that Shearer cannot or does not have the intellect to elucidate that simple message to the electorate makes Him in my opinion not fit to lead the Labour movement and not fit to be the Prime Minister…

        • xtasy 15.1.1.1

          What Shearer has done is getting onto very thin and dangerous ice. He simply grabs some red neck type comments about generally not too kindly looked upon people in society (sadly is the state of affairs now, due to poor, misleading information), namely a “sickness beneficiary”, and then talks as if he knows that persons’ circumstances, or at least gives credit to some local in his electorate, who seems to think he is a medical expert or health advisor working for WINZ.

          This is real nasty, dirty stuff, catering for the types that listen to and cheer on Michael Laws and similar extremists.

          It also discredits the medical profession, and education and intelligence as such, jumping to conclusions, while expert assessments are needed to be accepted for such a benefit in the first place.

          It has sent the message to beneficiaries: Do not bother voting for me or Labour, we are not interested in your concerns!

  16. Bill 16

    Zet. I don’t think it matters a fig whether the polls are up or whether the polls are down. The fact remains that a neo-liberal apologist clique within labour want to turn it into their own wee fiefdom. Their motivation? To collect ‘tribute’ until their political days are done. And where do you or I sit their scheme of things? Well let’s see. They’re obviously looking after number one. And it ain’t like you or I are number two. So..yup, we’re the big fat irrelevant zero’s.

  17. weka 17

    Shearer owes some of the most vulnerable people in society an apology.
     
    I’m relieved to see this poll and I will take it as good news, but as a Green voter I’m depressed by the state of our future coalition partner.

    • muzza 17.1

      Weka, as a green voter, you are going to be left scratching your head should they form another government.

      Sadly the Green vote is supporting exactly the same system which we have now, only time will prove to be correct to those who don’t yet see it.

      Only a massive revolt by a shed load of people as a minimum, can stop the downward slide of this country.

      Worrying about future coalition performance options is the least of your worries…I’d be more worried about the likes of Kennedy Graham if I were you!

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        Only a massive revolt by roughly ten thousand people, can stop the downward slide of this country.

        FIFY. Your sentiment is correct, but with all due respect, your details were a bit off.

        See how achievable this is now?

        • KJT 17.1.1.1

          Well it would be nice to actually have democracy, instead of a three year rotating dictatorship, but I suspect it will be over the bodies of politicians of all shades.

          Interestingly Belgium is one of the countries which weat5hered the GFC most effectively. At least in part, because an electoral stalemate meant they had no Government to introduce austerity and banking bailouts for a year..

        • muzza 17.1.1.2

          I reckon once the reality really bites, that 10 000 would be those who arrive early for the stauch.

          Sadly, its beginning to feel inevitable, that in time we will see what Europeans are on the streets for, come to NZ.

          Will be very pleased to be a long way wrong on this!

        • weka 17.1.1.3

          Why 10,000, and what do they need to do?

      • weka 17.1.2

        Sadly the Green vote is supporting exactly the same system which we have now, only time will prove to be correct to those who don’t yet see it.
         

         
        Sure, muzza, but I don’t vote Green because they’re going to save us. I vote Green because they will hold the line until the shit hits the fan (peak oil or whatever) and/or until something better comes along. We need that. We would be so much worse off without them.
         
        Why should I be worried about Kennedy Graham?

        • muzza 17.1.2.1

          Fair play Weka, your position makes sense.

          Hopefully the Greens are able to hold ground should they get the opportunity to do so.

          Mostly a gut feeling, wondering what the conversations are like around the Graham family dinner get togethers!

          • weka 17.1.2.1.1

            I think they already are holding some ground muzza. Simply having MPs in parliament, esp at the moment when they are performing well and getting good media attention, keeps certain issues in front of the public. Look at their work on resisting asset sales for instance.

      • KJT 17.1.3

        You still have to bring a majority with you for lasting change.

        Honest leaders would be explaining why we need change. Not dog whistling to opponents of change bashing those on social insurance.

        Greens are the only ones, apart from Social Credit, who have even started the dialogue.

  18. Tracey 18

    Politics is corrosive. It corodes good people. Then they become PM or want to.

    Until Labour gets that even middle class Labour voters dont want it to be centrist it will keep trying to draw votes fromt he so-called beltway and alienate everyone sle along the way. In the past people didn’t feel there was a viable alternative. The Greens are showing they are more than viable. Ready yourselves for the attacks on greens in the 12 months before the next election. “Funny money”, hippies etc….

    BTW when I was young Social Credit was derided and ridiculed as the “printing money” party. Interesting to see that is the method chosen by Europe, Britain and the US to get out of trouble now. No ridicule or derision to be heard.

    Shearer with Cunnliffe would be the best option. Cunnliffe is the most Cullen-esque we have from an opposition attack-dog kind of way.

    • bad12 18.1

      My opinion, as a Green voter, would be for Labour to ditch Shearer into a position that his intellect obviously qualifies Him for, the Backbench, and, run on a ticket of David Cunliffe as both Prime Mijnister and finance Minister with Grant Robertson as His deputy to manage the politics of the Labour Caucus…

    • Colonial Viper 18.2

      BTW when I was young Social Credit was derided and ridiculed as the “printing money” party. Interesting to see that is the method chosen by Europe, Britain and the US to get out of trouble now. No ridicule or derision to be heard.

      Japan as well. However, this whole monetary “pretend and extend” experiment is doomed to be a big failure especially as all that money is going into financial markets, not the real economy.

      • KJT 18.2.1

        When I was younger I used to be puzzled by how effectively our Governments seemed to follow whatever failed overseas. Usually 10 or 15 years later, after it had been proven to fail.

        Especially when they had examples, like our 30’s Labour Government, of success.

        I can see why people like Key do it. Though I do not see how they can reconcile their conscience.
        Even the Brash’s and Douglas’s. True believers in the religion.
        Why present day Labour do is a mystery.

        • muzza 18.2.1.1

          KJT, your posts here indicate you understand on at least some levels, the reasoning/answers to the statements you made above.

          Failure is a result of the policies lobbied for, then pushed onto nations/peoples, continents etc, in full knowledge that the policies would fail the majority before they were forced into place.

          Why would you believe Key to have a conscience, or any of those who dictate how this world runs, functions or is controlled for that matter. These people have no conscience, and to have one would imply that they were better than the masses, they are not, they are human beings too.

          The question of why NZ picks up failed policies, usually after they are known failures, is simply an indication of how controlled NZ has been, that the successful nations policies, are seemingly not even an option, and the failed methods embraced and implemented without a second thought, as directed by those same groups who knew it would fail in the first place.

          The “mystery” you refer to about Labour, is not really much of a mystery, the answer to your void, can be found in the same place as Key/Banks/Brown and the like!

  19. weka 19

    Can anyone translate those % into seats, taking into account overhangs etc?

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Overhangs are a bit tricky but purely on the basis of 120 seats its something like:

      National 53 seats
      Labour 38 seats
      Greens 17 seats

      With 12 seats out of the 120 left over for other parties

      • weka 19.1.1

        Thanks CV, it was the other parties I was curious about, or how those percentages would work if they were election results. How the 12 seats fall is crucial.

        • Maui 19.1.1.1

          In other words, it is winnable ..

        • prism 19.1.1.2

          From Roy Morgan’s latest for minor parties.

          4 NZ First 2 Maori 1 Mana 0.5 ACT 0.5 UF 1.5 Conservative 0.5 Others
          7 in first three – likely plus NZ First could go higher. Maori Party one more, then if that takes it to 9
          3 others to screw the country and get paid for it.
          If Labour hadn’t lost the Maori vote… But then they have lost so much why bother about losing another jewel from the family holdings.

    • Lightseed 19.2

      If we assume
      a) Harawira holds his seat
      b) Maori Party hold its 3 (actually, as long as they win one electorate they get 3 seats on these numbers)
      c) Epsom reverts to National
      d) Dunne retires or losses

      then the Electoral Commission calculator says:

      Nat: 57
      Lab: 41
      Green: 18
      Maori: 3
      Mana: 1

      There’s no way National’s making 61 there.

      If you let Dunne and Banks back in then National and Labour lose one each. National could make 61 with Act, UF, and Maori but that would be the lamest of lame ducks.

      This also shows why it’s so important for the Left to make sure that Dunne doesn’t win again. Consider that if Chauvel had bothered to run a decent campaign and the Greens hadn’t stood, National wouldn’t have had the numbers for asset sales

      • Colonial Viper 19.2.1

        Thanks.

      • weka 19.2.2

        Thanks! The left really needs to get over the anti-accommodation thing.
         
        You haven’t taken NZF into account. If Labour get Dunne’s seat, and NZF get 5% (6 seats) they could easily form a govt with National instead of with Labour/Greens.
         
        Labour 40
        Greens 18
        Mana 1
         
        Maori Party 3
         
        NZF 6
         
        UF 1
        National/ACT 57

  20. MrSmith 20

    The stronger the greens get the further right Labour can move.

    • Lightseed 20.1

      but it’s not that simple. Swing voters aren’t saying ‘well, if Labour moves 2% right, I’ll switch back to them’. Swing voters look for a leader they can believe in, credible promises of a better future, and for reassurance that they won’t lose what they have. Key was believable, his background as a self-made millionaire made his economic promises ring true, and in 2008 he neutralised issues like WFF, anti-nuclear, and asset sales.

      Shearer’s bene-bashing story is an attempt to reassure those swing voters that he wouldn’t be giving more of their taxes to bludgers but the big deficiency for Labour is on the economy – the swing voters don’t trust them as they do National. That should be their focus. Unfortunately, their best economic spokesperson has been relegated for not being one of the boys.

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        And Labour aren’t offering any serious economic alternative to National; it’s just a mildly softer neoliberal approach and still very reassuring for big business and corporates.

      • Maui 20.1.2

        Well said ..

      • Olwyn 20.1.3

        A couple of points: context was helpful to Key; he was not Don Brash. Don Brash rallied the National troops to the point of almost winning, and Key modified his position to reassure the nervous swing voters that they would be safe in his hands.

        Overt beneficiary bashing, which even National does not do to any extent, loses voters without necessarily gaining new ones. National, after all, is the low tax party, so what has Labour to offer in this regard that National lacks? If a position is not already established, then there is no position to modify to reassure swing voters.

  21. Fisiani 21

    Shearer would make a great Prime Minister. He has the negotiating skills to bring on board the Greens, NZ First and Hone Harawira. Imagine
    Shearer PM
    Norman Finance Minister
    Robertson Deputy
    Peters Foreign Affairs
    Harawira Maori Affairs

    What a government that would make!! One that no one voted for.
    Would Australia be able to handle the influx of refugees fleeing the Aotearoa Taliban?

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Would Australia be able to handle the influx of refugees fleeing the Aotearoa Taliban?

      They seem to do fine with the influx of NZ refugees fleeing Key and English.

    • Maui 21.2

      So your argument is that a Shearer leadership is good for self-important land/property speculators
      and other get-rich-quick types while ordinary NZers can relocate across the ditch.

      They’ve been doing that since the original gold rush ..

    • prism 21.3

      Fisiani
      I should have known better than to expect reasoned analysis from you. You almost had me fooled though. Are you a politician, the sort that say everything from both sides of their mouth?

    • Cactus Kate 21.4

      Problem with that scenario is the Greens and Mana would be leading because if Shearer was in charge he would be so bloody indecisive. I think that’s the point the Cunliffe supporters are not so delicately making. Of which I agree with them.

      Forget about Key and beating the Nats, Shearer cant control his own caucus how on earth would he handle the above? By throwing them mango skins from the back of a 4×4?

      • Pete George 21.4.1

        How do you think the Duck Squad will get on trying to deal to Peters or Harawira, who won’t have the same fears as limp Labour MPs?

        And the Labour and Green cultures could have major compatibility problems.

        • felix 21.4.1.1

          🙄 Good thing there are no such “culture” issues between National and UF and ACT and the maori Party.

  22. xtasy 22

    “The knives” were not out, it was an expression of genuine concern, disillusionment, depression and in some cases disbelief and even anger, yes, but these are VOICES of the disconcerted, who want a Leader they can look up to, support and stand behind!

    Sorry, I wish it was that simple to simply say, calm down, let us enjoy that one new, more encouraging poll. Of course that is a bit of consolation, but still, it is not enough, especially NZ has a government that showed so much incompetence, confusion, made so serious mistakes and misjudgments in the first 6 to 7 months of its new term.

    Labour should have gone out on the full attack, but we only got bits of it, even overstressing NZ First and Greens a bit, as they only have so many in numbers, some of whom also need to shape up more very soon.

    I now agree, that Duncan Garner went up to some real mischief and stirring, and he is known for his favourable preferences, is he not.

    Also whosoever may have watched ‘The Nation’ this morning can clearly see that it is almost a ‘Nat Party Propaganda Outlet’ now, rather than a low quality current affairs program.

    Over half of the program dedicated to interviewing Murray McCulley and some idiot “experts” on the Olympic Games and why NZ should have done better in swimming and so, then an almost farcical debate between selected, clearly “business cadre” groomed students from Otago and Auckland involved in a debate about the pros and cons of farm sales, especially to Chinese investors, and another interview with some official line towing Chinese professor from Beijing about Mainland Chinas importance and strategic policies and views.

    Labour need not only a better leader, it needs a new and more aggressive team with some policies with substance to present, also throwing stuff at the mainstream media, to keep them involved, rather than let them present more drivel and distracting crap.

    A leadership challenge will come later this year, that is my feeling, and early or mid next year Shearer will be holding another position. NO other way will get Labour out of the too low poll ratings, which of course also are to some degree questionable anyway.

    • KJT 22.1

      We had Labour MIA* all but the last 3 months before the last election.

      (* AWOL may be a better description)

      As the man said. “Deja-vu all over again”.

      As someone who wants a credible and effective counter to the radical right narrative that has overtaken NZ I will keep the knives out until Labour gives us a reason to vote for them.

      Shearer plus the Neo-Liberal old guard are not that reason.

      Instead of trying to pick up the right wing swing voters, who, judging by the dog whistling, by NACT and Labour, to meanness, bene bashing and tax dodgers, are a mean spirited, racist, greedy and selfish bunch, Labour should be giving the disaffected reasons to vote. The ones who rightly feel that Labour does not represent them anymore.

      I can only conclude that Labour, at present, largely agrees with National’s, and Labour’s for much of the time since 1984, directions.

      And Labour do need to take note of Greens. A lot of Greens can/may electorate vote Labour.

      And I do not care who is in power ultimately so long as we dump the failed Neo-liberal paradigm. If Labour get a brain, backbone and a heart, again and push Green policies, which once, would have been Labour’s well and good.

    • handle 22.2

      Changing the leader instead of those running the campaigning will not make a blind bit of difference. Flush out the nincompoops.

  23. infused 23

    So what does one do? Sounds like the party is imploding? Or is that going too far?

  24. AmaKiwi 24

    Changing the leader is a good start for two reasons:

    1. No new leader is likely to use Parker as their finance spokesperson because he can’t speak. For three years Cunliffe was Goff’s finance spokesperson and Cunliffe is NOT a Neo-Liberal.

    2. Changing the leader would show the members demand control of the party.

  25. just saying 25

    Just trying to find a way to get to page two of the comments.

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