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The Auckland Central Poll

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, September 20th, 2020 - 33 comments
Categories: act, election 2020, greens, labour, national, nz first - Tags:

Some interesting figures have come out of the Reid Research poll of Auckland Central voters.

The candidate vote is not something that Chloe Swarbrick would have wanted.  Helen White is well ahead on 42.3%, National’s Emma Mellow is well back, 15.7 percentage points back on 26.6% and Chloe is slightly further back on 24.2%.  One should never say never in politics but the dynamics are all wrong.  If Chloe was closer then there would be a temptation for some progressives to support her.  But right now that dynamic is not there.

What is especially interesting is the party vote.

This is a rough and ready analysis and something that statisticians would not approve of but if you extrapolated these results then it appears that Labour is on about 55%, National 28.3% and disturbingly the Greens are below the threshold and more disturbingly NZ First is almost over the threshold.

I believe that kiwis will do the good old kiwi thing and start sharing the love and support around.  It would be unprecedented for Labour to poll over 50% and Green’s presence in the next Parliament could be vital for the confirmation of a progressive Government.

Time will tell …

33 comments on “The Auckland Central Poll ”

  1. Uncle Scrim 1

    That sort of party vote result would be pretty remarkable compared to the previous two elections:


    Nat 39.2 Lab 37.7 Greens 13.9


    Nat 44.9 Lab 21.7 Green 22.2

    Not simply a shuffling of left/centre-left party votes between Labour and the Greens either.

  2. froggleblocks 2

    This is a rough and ready analysis and something that statisticians would not approve of but if you extrapolated these results then it appears that Labour is on about 55%, National 28.3% and disturbingly the Greens are below the threshold and more disturbingly NZ First is almost over the threshold.

    Um, what? I think you need to explain your workings / flights of fancy, there.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      If you apply the change in the Auckland Central party vote to last election's national result you get these figures. For instance last time Labour nationally achieved 36.9%. Add 18.4% to this and you get 55%.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Bit of a stretch that calculation.

        However the interesting thing for me is that this poll is bearing out my off-the-cuff analysis of my neighbouring electorate. The Greens simply can't win that electorate this election.

        Mostly what we're seeing is a popular local MP leaving and allowing the electorate to revert to its underlying balance. A Labour candidate who has been around the electorate for a long time and who has done the yards to win it this time against a National replacement. A new candidate from the Greens not getting enough traction.

        Which is good. I'd hate to see 3 party split that let National get a sitting MP there again.

  3. Uncle Scrim 3

    Presumably means extrapolating the Auck Central party vote (or the swing since 2017?) to the whole country? – a bit of a stretch, though, as those 2014 and 2017 results show it has traditionally been more left/centre-left leaning than the average NZ electorate (ie in 2017 Nats got 39% in Auck Central but 44% nationally).

  4. Ad 4

    Even the Australian Greens can figure out how to get a central city seat or two.

    The Green Party had better figure out how to become more attractive to more voters, pretty fast.

    • lprent 4.1

      I'm presuming that you're talking about the federal elections? And the house of representatives? One seat.

      Melbourne held since 2010 by a single MP. The vote there is a particularly personal vote. It is hard to get 72% of the two party preferred vote otherwise. If I went and looked, I'm certain that the key to that continued success will be a very good local electorate organisation and an engaged candidate who has been there a long time. He would have also been lucky in getting a long-time MP retire after he'd already contested the seat one.

      Cunningham was the only other one I'm aware of – won in a by-election in 2002 with a semi-celeb where the liberals didn't put up a candidate. Lost in 2004. But really – who counts by-elections?

      • Ad 4.1.1

        There are three in the Victoria Parliament.

        In the Australian Senate they have 9.

        As well as Di Natale's seat.

        At 10.19% the Australian Greens are the third largest party in Federal government – and have been over 8.6% since 2007.

        The NZ Greens should go over and have a chat about how to generate more voter appeal here.

  5. ScottGN 5

    So what you’re saying is that every election Labour voters have to ask themselves, should I give my party vote to the Greens? Because they can’t even manage to attract enough support to get a measly 5% on their own? It’s bollocks. Labour voters should be voting for the Labour Party to give it the strongest possible mandate.

    • Robert Guyton 5.1

      Yeah! And bring back FFP!

    • lprent 5.2

      There is a good probability that I'll party vote Green this election just to make sure that they're continue into parliament.

      While Labour generally reflects my views – I've been a member most of my life. But, because of internal politics, Labour only really pays lip-service to conservation and science based issues over the long-term.

      There are quite a few ignorant meatheads inside the Labour membership who seem to be too lazy to research what the Greens are pointing to as long-term issues. However even they're capable of understanding basic electoral issues, as you have just demonstrated.

      So despite some of the quibbles I have to some of the ridiculous stances that the Greens have supported over the decades. It is worth providing them with raw leverage rather than trying to reason with fools in Labour who don't know what they're talking about.

      • Uncle Scrim 5.2.1

        Why do people think the Greens have got themselves into this position, after polling in low double digits in 2011 and 2014? The Ardern effect is undoubtedly part of it, as 2011 and 2014 were particularly poor elections for Labour. Is it bad decision-making? Lack of talent? Negative media coverage? Failure to identify a winnable seat and pour effort into it? Auckland Central probably isn't the best bet – maybe they could have developed a long-term strategy in somewhere like Nelson?

        • Andre

          For me it's the loss of the likes of Hague, Graham, Clendon etc, and those slots getting filled with social activists who seemingly barely remember to mention climate or environment at the end of their self promotion blurbs. Y'know, coz their party name is Green or something.

        • lprent

          It is a really hard ask for a relatively minor party to gain and hold an electorate. That is even more so in a MMP environment.

          You wind up with a choice of pouring all of your national effort into a single electorate (ie the kind of thing that NZ First did and Act has been doing), or not being able to concentrate enough long-term effort into a single electorate to get a winnable candidate and their team.

          Labour and National wind up with teams of people who have worked together in the same electorate for decades. As I did in Mt Albert, many of whom had grown up there (as I did in Mt Albert), and who have skills that have been honed to get their candidate over the line. The Greens don't have that depth in any electorate as far as I can see.

          But the Greens do have that kind of depth over the country. But there is always a fashion component, especially when there is a main party dominance. But mostly I think because the Greens aren't as able to represent themselves as fully oppositional party.

          • Ad

            Oh please.

            Jim Anderton did it for multiple terms.

            Winston Peters did it multiple times as well.

            As did Rodney Hide.

            Hell even Social Credit won more electorate seats than the Greens have – and that was under FPP.

            The Greens have achieved an electoral seat once, for one term, them lost it.

            The difference between the group of Progressive Party, New Zealand First, Act, and Social Credit, is that they won electoral seats – whereas the Greens are too self-righteous to put the work in required to hold a seat.

            I give a lot of credit to Swarbrick for having the moxie and the machine to have a tilt. It's the Green Party that's at fault.

            • Incognito

              Electorates are so 19th century, don’t you think? Good for parochial issues and local interests but utterly useless for dealing with larger and more complex problems.

            • lprent

              The difference between the group of Progressive Party, New Zealand First, Act, and Social Credit, is that they won electoral seats

              You missed a few. Peter Dunnes parties, and even all the way back to some of the parties in the 30s and 40s. Not to mention all of the splinter parties of the late 90s and post the Alliance. And what are the positions of those parties now? And they were all effectively zombie parties long before their eventual demise.

              The Progressives and Alliance are dead. NZ First very nearly didn't survive losing the Tauranga electorate, but got a new lease of life after losing Tauranga. Rodney Hide won the Epsom electorate and the Act party withered around that 'victory' to a single seat and never really sustainably getting to threshold after Rodney Hide took the seat. Same for that matter with Dunne, and a number of other one electorate parties – even when you look at Social Credit seats. They die as country wide parties because they win a electorate seat.

              The best thing that ever happened to the Greens was that they only held Coromandel for single term.

              It didn't kill them before MMP provided a real route to becoming a sustainable country wide party. The key point is the amount of effort to gain a electorate seat for a small party is immense, and it never lets up to hold a electorate seat. It simply doesn't leave that much time or resources to keep up a widespread party.

              That is what I was trying to express..

              You wind up with a choice of pouring all of your national effort into a single electorate (ie the kind of thing that NZ First did and Act has been doing), or not being able to concentrate enough long-term effort into a single electorate to get a winnable candidate and their team.

              What happens is that the rest of the party effort withers away over time so that the effort can be concentrated to retaining the lifeline. It makes a political party to become a pretty pointless appendix in our political history to take and try to hold an electorate seat.

              History shows us that as it becomes a way for a single politician (and with MMP – their favoured mates) to get a cushy job(s) then their local organisation eventually starts to disappear into retirement or senility.

              I give a lot of credit to Swarbrick for having the moxie and the machine to have a tilt. It's the Green Party that's at fault.

              It is a good effort – sure. It means that her first attempt in the electorate is running third in the polls – behind a brand new National candidate who got the position after one of the more massively botched selections that I have seen.

              I don't think much of her 'machine'. From what I have seen it appears to be amateur hour – the targeting appears to be quite flawed (ringing us out of the electorate for instance). I'm afraid that 'moxie' doesn't do much against even moderately competent organisation with decent data systems.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Jim Anderton did it for multiple terms.

              Winston Peters did it multiple times as well.

              Yes, after being part of the large parties and having built up the connections and personnel who shifted from those large parties with them necessary to do so.

              whereas the Greens are too self-righteous to put the work in required to hold a seat.

              Nope. They simply don't have the resources.

              It's the Green Party that's at fault.

              No, that would just be you looking for someone to blame when there isn't anybody.

            • froggleblocks

              Hell even Social Credit won more electorate seats than the Greens have – and that was under FPP.

              When electorates were much smaller. If we had the same population per electorate now as in 1993, we'd have 143 seats in Parliament.

              You're also ignoring that there was no Party Vote then, so a party could spend all of its cash and organising manpower contesting a handful of specific seats. That's not the case now, especially for the Greens.

        • Dennis Frank

          Ardern effect

          Mostly that. We can see in retrospect that the prior co-leaders pulled votes from Labour by being unashamedly leftist. That only worked while Labour leaders were uninspiring. That leftist positioning the Greens remain attached to is unpalatable to centrists and operates as a ceiling on market share, apparently.

          Still, the wealth tax is a cunning plan to flush out the beneficiaries and get them voting. Let's see if it works!

    • solkta 5.3

      yes and all supporters should be 100% happy with Labour and not think that they could be more than they are.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      You mean I shouldn't vote for Phil Twyford (sp?) in the election to ensure he beats the Nat candidate and should vote for the Green candidate despite the fact that they're not going to win?

  6. millsy 6

    As long as National doesn't win it, I don't care who wins.

    Keeping National off the Treasury benches is the first priority for this election.

    • Andre 6.1

      But if Mellow wins the seat, then one Nat less comes in off the list. That's someone like maybe Garcia or Goldsmith that doesn't get in. What's the downside there?

      • Graeme 6.1.1

        That's going to be a reality for the Nats in a lot of other electorates as well. A very junior MP is going to be elected in a safe seat and displace a senior, or very useful list MP. How are the National Party going to deal with this?

        They could get their polling back up somehow, well stand by for large amounts of incoming bullshit and a very messy campaign from here on. Or they can throw the odd plonka under the bus so they don't win so many seats, equally messy.

        • woodart

          yes, think natz lawyers will be brainstorming as to whether they can have legally elected idiots walk the plank so the odd gold nugget on the bounty, titanic, marie celeste? can survive

          • Graeme

            Sort of wonder if a compelling reason to be thrown headlong and publicly under the big blue bus about a week out from election day hasn't been a selection criteria in recent National electorate selections. North Harbour and Auckland Central come to mind, and our local selection in Southland had me scratching my head regarding the shallowness of the pool, like they were just after someone to take on for the team.

  7. Peter 7

    It'e all a bit past me. "… more disturbingly NZ First is almost over the threshold."

    Is that threshold a new way of saying NZ First is almost at the end of Oblivion Avenue?

  8. ScottGN 8

    @Robert 5.1

    The electorate votes are FPP Robert. That’s the whole point really isn’t it?
    mid the Greens get back and go into coalition with Labour that’s fine but I’m not terribly worried if they get turfed out for a cycle either.

  9. woodart 9

    another way of thinking about greens etc. many kiwis are returning home(population has ballooned), traditionally, greens have done well with diaspora votes. maybe the returnees arent in the system yet to be annoyed by pollsters.. still a million or so kiwis overseas . voting for who this election? dont think many would be keen on judith or tinydancer.

  10. observer 10

    I mentioned on here before that I was polled twice on Auck Cent. I'm guessing the robocall was Newshub (I didn't catch the intro, as I was still in shock at hearing ye olde landline ring).

    The other one was Curia, and a real person. Among the questions was one asking me if I knew the name of the National candidate. So I infer that it was a National party poll.

    That poll hasn't been leaked, and we all know that parties only leak their good ones. Draw the obvious conclusion.

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