The Herald Digipoll released on Tuesday caused some consternation to the Labour Party. With support dropping below 30% I am sure that more than a few MPs took a deep breath. But there is something wrong with the figures.
The swing in Auckland was for some strange reason very pronounced. The Auckland vote for Labour plummeted from 36.6% to 26.7% when the result was compared with the previous Digipoll result in December 2013. Amongst the rest of the country the result showed a more modest drop from 34% to 31%. Auckland is traditionally Labour’s strongest area and it seemed strange to me that the fall was so large.
At the same time the Green vote in Auckland almost doubled from 7.3% (which seemed low at the time) to 13.4%. And New Zealand First crashed from 5.2% to 1.6% even though in the rest of the country it went up from 3.3% to 4.9%. I appreciate that relying on small samples is always dangerous but it appears that 248 Aucklanders were polled and you would not expect that big a shift in preferences particularly when the rest of the country was fairly stable.
And the really strange thing is that at the same time Aucklanders were polled about Len Brown and the results were published yesterday morning. And as has been noted by Thomas Lumley the results do not add up.
Even though only 34% of Aucklanders actually voted in the last local body election an impressive 85% of those surveyed claimed to have voted. And less than one third (31.3%) claimed they had voted for Len even though he enjoyed 46% of the vote. These are some rather large discrepancies.
David Cunliffe has been quoted as saying that Labour’s internal polling is in the mid 30s. It looks like this particular poll result was a rogue.