Yesterday morning I woke up bright and early and checked my email. One of the overnight emails was not good news. Richard Harman’s Politik website announced the leaking of a new poll, one that had Labour on 38%, National on 31%, Act on 13% and the Greens on 8%.
This result, if it was true, would have presented a significant change in political support. Labour and the Greens would have been ahead of National and Act, but only just. The result would have represented a major switch from the last election which was less than a year ago. Labour-Green would have shed 12 percentage points and National-Act would have picked up 11%.
The figures had been floated around for a while. National’s former pollster tweeted them as random maths.
38 + 8
31 + 13
— David Farrar (@dpfdpf) August 11, 2021
There was one problem dear readers, the figures were totally bogus.
Harman has confirmed (paywalled) that the figures are fake. He explained that he had relied on two different sources for the leak. This just goes to show how dangerous reliance on rumours can be.
Of course this is not the only rumour to have ever been circulated amongst the political chattering class. During the Dirty Politics era the rumours were legendary and mostly completely untrue.
Our media ought to be more circumspect. And be careful not to trust anything said by a Christchurch bricklayer who thinks the turn Ardern campaign is a very good idea.