Written By: - Date published: 8:16 am, October 20th, 2015 - 90 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, greens, john key, labour, making shit up, Media, national, nz first, Politics, polls, spin, tv, winston peters, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: jacinda ardern
I try to avoid commercial television and radio. Too many egos and the commercial agenda is too transparent. This is why I believe state media has such an important role to play. Radio New Zealand for instance does a very good job in providing in depth analytical Stories on current events. But Television New Zealand leaves a lot to be desired.
Last night’s report on the latest Colmar Brunton poll is a classic example of its failure to report a story properly.
The written article started by saying that Andrew Little was “down to single figures (eight per cent)” while “John Key remains well ahead.” It then reported on the party support figures. But it did not report that the opposition parties now have a significant advantage over National and that support for National’s support parties is disappearing.
The film was even worse. It felt like a John Key love in with video of him speaking to the UN and being a soldier boy in Iraq being shown. What a guy. He had the chance to make comments on various issues and even had the chance to say that National was finishing the year quite strong.
Meanwhile the only presentation of Andrew Little was negative with the reporting essentially being that he was not polling that well and how he must be worried.
But the changes in the poll were all within the margin of error for the poll. Little going down 2% and Jacinta Ardern going up 1% suggests a marginal change if one actually occurred. All of the movements were minor and within the realm of statistical noise.
And get this. The one damning statistic, that on these polling numbers National would be out of office WAS NOT EVEN MENTIONED.
I wonder if Television New Zealand has heard about the Research Association of New Zealand’s political polling code? This is a document which sets out best practice guidelines for the conducting and reporting of political polls in New Zealand. The code includes these rules:
Arguably each of these rules were broken by the analysis. The changes in the results were not statistically significant, the current trend is essentially there is no change and the failure to report the block result is as startling an omission as you can imagine.
And concentration on preferred Prime Minister rankings is rather silly when you think that the only vote that matters in an MMP system is that which the parties enjoy.
The overall trend is fine for the left. On these figures Labour has increased its support by 6% points since the last election and the opposition block is already well ahead. I can confidently predict that National’s support will not improve and with the absence of a viable coalition partner it will struggle next election. Unless National wants to swallow a rather large dead rat and make Winston Prime Minister.