- Date published:
10:17 am, December 17th, 2017 - 47 comments
Categories: Economy, greens, jacinda ardern, labour, Media, national, nz first, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: heather du plessis-allan, john roughan, nz herald
What was the most significant political event last week?
Clearly it was the mini budget and the Labour-NZ First-Green Government’s intention to get tens of thousands of kiwi kids out of poverty so their chances of living a rewarding life are significantly increased. Most commentators saw that and commented favourably on the changes.
So what does the Herald Weekend political team talk about?
How Labour is struggling because it did not get a big enough boost in the latest Colmar Brunton poll which is now a week old.
First this was this homily by John Roughan on Saturday. He did that most dangerous of things, he took the latest Colmar Brunton poll at face value even though it is but one set of data points in a series and then drew conclusions which cannot be maintained from a more careful analysis.
He said this:
A new government normally gets a good lift in the first post-election poll. It stands to reason. A certain number of those who didn’t vote for it find the sky hasn’t fallen, they’re finding it interesting to have a change and while they don’t regret their vote, should a pollster phone to ask what party would get their vote if an election was held today, they go with the change.
For all those reasons Labour would have been expecting the polls to wipe out National’s election victory by Christmas. I thought they would, I suspect National thought they would too. But it hasn’t happened. Colmar Brunton’s first sample for TVNZ since the election found 46 per cent would have voted National last week against 39 per cent for Labour, both up 2 per cent on their election results.
National’s own polling, I understand, has the gap narrower but National still ahead, as does Labour’s if I heard its pollster, Stephen Mills, correctly on RNZ this week. What is going on?
But he cherry picked the results. He accurately described the individual Colmar Brunton poll result but ignored the latest Roy Morgan poll which had National’s support crashing to just over 40%, Labour just behind and the Greens on 10%.
He also acknowledged that internal party polling had different results to the Colmar Brunton but still took its one result as gospel.
Then this morning there is this train wreck of a post by Heather Du Plessis-Allan which basically says the same thing as the Roughan piece again relying on the Colmar Brunton poll figures. Embarrassingly for her she gets the figures wrong, Labour received 39% not 38% in the latest poll.
She says that the Government has been “slogging its guts out for weeks, but it hasn’t paid off”. The Colmar Brunton data started being collected three weeks ago and finished on December 5.
She says this:
Maybe voters might’ve rewarded Labour for cracking down on foreign purchases of land and houses. Or delivering a year of free tertiary study. Or ditching National Standards. Or giving Australia the finger over the Manus Island refugees.
But any approval of all that work — and it is a lot of work — hasn’t translated into “Yes I’ll vote for you next time”.
Which is a surprise, because the last two new Governments — John Key’s and Helen Clark’s — had much bigger jumps in support after their first election wins.
It feels like Labour’s honeymoon is over. In fact, it probably didn’t have one. It probably used up its honeymoon during the election campaign. That sucks for Labour. John Key’s went on for years.
The legislation for cracking down on foreign purchases of land was introduced on December 15 and has not yet been enacted. Free tertiary education has been announced but not yet implemented. National Standards was ditched this week again after the collection period for the poll data.
And apart from one throw away comment she misses the big news of this week, the announced intention to lift 88,000 kids out of poverty.
She also does not talk about the other aspects of the Colmar Brunton poll that the Government can enjoy, the fact that Jacinda Ardern’s popularity has surged and that most people believe the country is heading in the right direction.
The Herald appears to be attempting to create a meme, that the honeymoon is over and this Government is in trouble. Nothing could be further from the truth. The relief that I have sensed in the community since the change of Government has occurred is palpable. And the right track wrong track result will inevitably lead to further support to Labour unless it changes dramatically.