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TVOne’s reporting of the latest Colmar Brunton Poll result

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:

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:

  • Stories should focus on changes that are statistically significant
  • Stories should focus on significant trends, which may not be just between the current and last poll, but over a number of polls
  • Stories should include analysis of not just individual party results, but also likely “bloc” results as the highest polling party may not be most likely to get to form Government

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.

90 comments on “TVOne’s reporting of the latest Colmar Brunton Poll result ”

  1. esoteric pineapples 1

    It is going to be New Zealand First who decides what government we have at the next election. Sadly, I am predicting they will go with National on the argument that they can keep them honest and not too extreme in their policies, although I am quite happy to be proven wrong.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      50/50 I reckon, which probably means Winston Peters will come up with some bizarre third option.

    • Leftie 1.2

      @esoteric pineapples

      I do not think it is a foregone conclusion that Winston Peter’s, who hates John key, and hasn’t supported a National government for almost 20 years, (last time he apologized for it), is going to go with National.

      • Chooky 1.2.1

        +100 Leftie…and NZF certainly would not have done a deal with jonkey nact on the flag like Greens leader James Shaw did..rescuing John key

        ( …hence undercutting Andrew Little’s bottom line that the present flag , the most popular flag choice of NZers, should be included in the first referendum, saving the country the cost of a second referendum)

        … NZF has unequivocally denounced the TPP…and states it is their intention to repeal any agreement if in government ( no other party has done this)

        …so quite a few votes will be heading to NZF next Election imo

    • John 1.3

      But remember that Labour/Greens combined are at 43% v Nats at 47%. In two years time we may not need NZ First. Peter’s has got a fairly strong quite left caucus too who simply hate Key. They may mutiny on this if Peters insists on National.

  2. Tracey 2

    Out of office? Unless NZF went with National/ACT/UF/MP?

  3. Can you lay a formal complaint?

    • savenz 3.1

      +1 – lay a complaint. Otherwise they will keep doing it.

      • dukeofurl 3.1.1

        BSA will easily swat that away as ‘being trivial’

        Im not sure that its allowed in the legislation but they do.

        • savenz 3.1.1.1

          Just lay a complaint anyway. With the All blacks tweeting go Nats on election day and our State broadcaster obviously reporting a very slanted picture of the polls, putting TV1 on notice with a complaint will at least get a message across.

          • dukeofurl 3.1.1.1.1

            Tsk tsk. They dont take any notice of those things unless they are ‘upheld’

            Its hardly a complaint they will take seriously that someting is only mentioned in the 5th paragraph.

            What is more interetsing is the different reporters for different media put much the same tack on it.

            Collusion ?. More likely is they got it ‘pre- written ‘ from Keys media team and Key was available to do a voice to camera and response while Little wasnt available ?

    • Tracey 3.2

      on basis of lack of balance, readily available.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    RANZ needs to put its house in order: Dirty Curia are members.

    How hard is it to enforce their code of practice?

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      For many years he wasnt a member, which was was strange, but it must have conflicted with ‘other priorities’

  5. Karen 5

    The emphasis in the story on polling for preferred PM is ridiculous because as they know only the party vote counts.

    TVNZ also failed to point out that a whopping 32% of respondents responded to the preferred PM with ‘don’t know’, making it even more ridiculous to make the story about this, and not the fact that National no longer has enough support to form a government with current partners (party preference has12% don’t knows).

    Appalling bias shown by our state broadcaster.

    • Tracey 5.1

      I’m sure they aren’t

    • Anne 5.2

      TV1 is no better than the Herald, TV3 and ZB Radio – hopelessly compromised with a blatant disregard for objective reporting. They are hollow men and women who have little connection to political or social reality. Case in point: Q+A last Sunday morning introduced panel member, Josie Pagani as… a member of the Labour Party and representing the LEFT. No more need be said.

      • maui 5.2.1

        If Pagani had any moral fortitude she would refuse to be on any media unless she wasn’t portrayed as representing Labour or any other left parties in any way. How about just political commentator? But she keeps on misrepresenting groups, fucking hell.

    • ianmac 5.3

      “TVNZ also failed to point out that a whopping 32% of respondents responded to the preferred PM with ‘don’t know’”
      And that Karen is the most significant statistic! It does show that about 300/1000 polled are no longer enamoured with Key.

      • Bob 5.3.1

        “And that Karen is the most significant statistic! It does show that about 920/1000 polled are no longer enamoured with Little”
        Doesn’t look too good when you put it that way does it?

        • maui 5.3.1.1

          When has the majority ever wanted Little as PM? His popularity rankings have always been low and that’s just the nature of being the opposition leader.

        • Karen 5.3.1.2

          John Key has been the Prime Minister for 7 years. Everybody knows who he is and that he is the PM. That 27% of the 1000 people polled named him as their preferred PM doesn’t surprise me.

          Andrew Little has been the leader of the Labour Party for less than a year, and he had a very low media profile in the years before that. I suspect that a majority of New Zealanders still have not formed any opinion of him at all, and a fair few still don’t know who he is. The 32% ‘don’t knows’ reflects that situation.

          Is that a problem? Two years out from the election I don’t think so.

          Little said he would spend his first year getting the Labour caucus working together and travelling the country meeting people. Next year I would hope polls show a steady increase in party preferences for both the Green and Labour Parties, but the preferred PM is unlikely to change very much until we are closer to the election.

    • b waghorn 5.4

      I think an unintended consequence of MMP is we have ended up with a form of presidential type politics so preferred prime minister does have a bit of weight to it .

  6. Ed 6

    I don’t understand why they are still assuming that United Future will gain a seat – I thought Dunne had announced he was retiring. It is most unlikely that Ohariu will return a replacement United Future MP. Whether that would result in a net gain to any particular party depends on the application of the formula – a good illustration of why the changes in support shown by the survey are well within any margin of error.

  7. RedLogix 7

    Almost as bad as Claire Trevett’s effort:

    New Zealand First up, Labour down in latest poll

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11531667

    • Bearded Git 7.1

      @redlogix

      Where she says NZF’s 9% “is within cooee” of the Greens 12% “. NZF have to up their vote by 33% to get level with the Greens.

  8. Iceberg 8

    Dealing with powerlessness by shooting the messenger is getting a bit old, don’t you think?

    • dukeofurl 8.1

      Ask the Brits about ‘dont shoot the messenger’ meme. I bet they wish they used both barrels.

      You start with bad reporting and then go to bad polling – the whole point is to give a close prediction of an actual election result.

      The UK pollster had the last say: they blamed the voters for not telling the truth…mmmm.

      In reality the methodology is wrong, they ask the wrong questions ( at the end of the usual consumerist pap questions) and in the wrong way.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2

      31 + 12 + 9 = being the messenger’s employer 😆

  9. Brutus Iscariot 9

    “And get this. The one damning statistic, that on these polling numbers National would be out of office WAS NOT EVEN MENTIONED.”

    That’s just as much fantasy as the NZH interpretation.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    The Left has needed its own MSM channel for years now. Still we are left complaining about the corporate MSM that we have, despite the fact that they are not going to change who their masters are.

    • Nessalt 10.1

      You do know what MSM stands for don’t you? The only way you could achieve this is by having a private finder. They would have to be pretty loaded which would have you sleeping with the enemy as you see the enemy. See how this doesn’t work?

    • geoff 10.2

      Haha yeah what the left needs is another echo chamber, eh CV!

  11. Puckish Rogue 12

    Ahhh Micky I can always tell when you’re worried

    National 47% vs Lab/Grns 43% which means the left have to rely on Winston Peters whereas National might have to rely on Winston

    and this coming on the back of the Roy Morgan poll as well:

    http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6506-roy-morgan-new-zealand-voting-intention-october-2015-201510150600

    But well done in geeing up the troops 🙂

    • mickysavage 12.1

      So you want to rely on Peters in two years time?

      Besides in just over 12 months Labour/Green have gone from 36% to 43%. Looks like a very acceptable medium trend to me.

      • Puckish Rogue 12.1.1

        Do I want to rely on Winston, of course not but then neither do you and remember for Winston it’ll be a choice between working with National only or working with Labour and the Greens and the more you slice that pie the less pie there is to go round…not that winston enjoys the baubles of office no sir

        The real problem the left has is that National is still roughly at the same level of support they’ve been at for the last couple of election cycles whereas Labour is still trying to get to the previous levels of David Shearer

        Now Labour has to hope that the TPPA (which doesn’t seem to have hurt National) will be a bust whereas the likelyhood is it’ll just get better

        • Leftie 12.1.1.1

          @Puckish Rogue

          I think the fall out of the TPPA is yet to hit National, who are fortunate to have msm onside.

          Labour under David Cunliffe polled higher than under David Shearer, so why would Labour want to go back to that?

          • Puckish Rogue 12.1.1.1.1

            So we can expect Labour will poll similar at the next election then?

            • Leftie 12.1.1.1.1.1

              @Puckish Rogue

              Can you expect John Key’s dirty politics to produce the same outcome next time?

              • Puckish Rogue

                There was no “dirty politics” there was only only politics but yes I expect a similar electoral result for National with maybe even an extra seat of two for Act

                • McFlock

                  really? You didn’t read the book of that title, then?

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    And how well has the smear job worked out for the left? National still in power, John Key still riding high in the polls, National still high in the polls and Labour going nowhere fast

                    • McFlock

                      You know you’re arguing with a tory when they think that disclosing the secret connections between a minister and pay-for-spray muckrackers is a “smear job”.

                      Yes, national is still in power. And you’re still a moral vacuum who thinks that babies being killed by state houses is part of some game.

                    • mickysavage

                      Smear job? Pffft the left are amateurs compared to you guys.

                • Leftie

                  @Puckish Rogue

                  You are in denial, it was all about John key’s dirty politics, he couldn’t have won without it, and if the media had of told the truth, National would not have been elected.
                  Given that people are more aware of National’s dirty politics, and National have already lost a safe seat since the election, and with Colmar Brunton suggesting that National would be down another 2 seats, maybe the outcome would NOT be the same as last time.

    • Leftie 12.2

      @Puckish Rogue

      You have nothing to crow about. By all accounts, John Key and National have stalled in the polls. Even by Roy Morgan’s dubious rankings, JK and the Nats are no longer hitting those big 50+’s like they used to. The right are trending downwards, the left are trending up.

      • Puckish Rogue 12.2.1

        I agree that the left will win the 2020 elction if it makes you feel better

        • Leftie 12.2.1.1

          @Puckish Rogue

          It may be sooner than that, and how I “feel” about it is irrelevant.

          • Puckish Rogue 12.2.1.1.1

            No it really won’t be sooner

            • Leftie 12.2.1.1.1.1

              @Puckish Rogue

              How do you know? It may very well be sooner than you would like to think.

              • Puckish Rogue

                A. National is still high in the polls
                B. John Key is even higher in the preferred PM stakes
                C. Andrew Little is in a race with Winston Peters for preferred PM which, considering the difference in party sizes, suggests that theres not even a lot of support for Andrew Little to be PM in Labour
                D. How many leaders won elections with low preferred polling numbers
                E. The economy is still chugging along quite nicely, employment is still reasonable and the outlook is still looking pretty good
                F. Mortgage rates are still low

                • Leftie

                  John key, stick at 40% used to ride high in the 50’s and in some polls the 60’s and has lost a lot of support over the last few years. Some Labour PM’s polled low prior to becoming PM’s. Wasn’t Helen Clark polling at just 2% at some point?

                  Who are the pollsters really polling? it still doesn’t suggest “theres not even a lot of support for Andrew Little to be PM in Labour”

                  The economy is tanking, coupled with an unprecedented level of government debt. Not a very bright future for most. The last 7 years have been an unmitigated disaster.

      • Bob 12.2.2

        It might be best to check the Poll of Polls before suggesting trends that don’t exist: http://polity.co.nz/poll-of-polls

    • tracey 12.3

      Sigh, It isn’t a game. There are real people’s lives getting worse.

      • Leftie 12.3.1

        Who implied it was a game?

        • tracey 12.3.1.1

          Anyone who talks about it as winning and losing and is poll pre-occupied

          • McFlock 12.3.1.1.1

            i.e. our local moral vacuums.

          • Leftie 12.3.1.1.2

            @Tracey

            Well, it is an article on the Colmar Brunton poll and TV One’s, (namely Kate Bradford’s), skewered reporting of it that we are commenting on.

            • Grindlebottom 12.3.1.1.2.1

              I just can’t get my head around Katie Bradford as TV One’s political reporter. She just seems a real lightweight who treats the role like a spot on Entertainment Tonight.

  12. Bea Brown 13

    McFlock
    If state houses kill children does that make Michael Joseph Savage NZ’s very own mass murderer?

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      reminder to all well heeled toffs: it’s not a damn game.

    • maui 13.2

      So Savage organised the building of homes that were stated as being the very best of their time, improved the housing stock and you’re saying this killed people? I’m not sure if you’re joking or not. They could also afford heating back then.

      • Anne 13.2.1

        Ignore the troll!

      • Naki man 13.2.2

        “They could also afford heating back then.”
        Well that is if you call an open fire heating.

        • John Shears 13.2.2.1

          What else would you call it Naki man?
          Some of the comments you and others make on this thread are just plain stupid.

          I grew up in the Sth Island with really hard frosts and snow in the winter. Heating was open fires in 2 rooms and the kitchen range Kauri Villa no insulation.
          Plenty of wood and coal and yes it was heating all right. How do you think we survived 30 to 38 degree frosts ? If you forgot to turn off the water and drain the pipes they would burst as would the radiators in cars if not drained. No electric blankets Hot Water bottles which would also be frozen in the morning.
          Get a life.

    • North 13.3

      Go away Bea Brown. The dogs in the street know you as an unhinged right wing loon’. Go pash your Ponce Key dolly. And to you Naki……history will be rewritten on account of your perspicacity noting that MJ Savage callously denied the poor heat pumps, way back in ’35. Well done……oaf !

  13. Colonial Viper 14

    Having just read the TV One news article:

    The National Party remains steady on 47 per cent, while Labour is down one to 31, and the Green Party is on 12.

    New Zealand First is up two to nine per cent.

    So, LAB + GR is still four points behind National. And the MSM is not going to make assumptions about who Winston is going to go with.

    To me the only fair and factual headline would be:

    Labour/Greens fall short of National; Winston the King Maker

    We also know why the MSM didn’t run that line. Too much spotlight on NZ First.

  14. Saarbo 15

    Yep, watched the article and thought exactly the same as you MS, very annoying as don’t bother with TV3 since they told us they aren’t interested in serious NEWS. Not convinced TVNZ are either, a hopeless biased article.

  15. Melb 16

    “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.”

    Hey Mickey, this demonstrates a common misunderstanding about the margin of error.

    The stated MOE applies at the polling mark of 50%. At much lower response rates the margin of error is also much lower. So a change of 2% when Andrew Little is only polling 8-10% is going to still be statistically significant.

    A lot of people get this wrong, hopefully you change it so as to not spread the misinformation further.

  16. Melb 17

    “And get this. The one damning statistic, that on these polling numbers National would be out of office WAS NOT EVEN MENTIONED.”

    Big call mate. On these numbers Labour + Greens would also be out of office. It all hinges upon what Winston chooses. I think you would be making a mistake to assume NZ First will automatically side with Labour and the Greens – have you already forgotten 1996?

    • lprent 17.1

      …have you already forgotten 1996?

      Winston hasn’t forgotten 1998

      On 14 August 1998, Shipley sacked Peters from Cabinet. This occurred after an ongoing dispute about the sale of the government’s stake in Wellington International Airport. The issue itself appeared merely the outward manifestation of much deeper disagreement.

      Peters immediately broke off the coalition with National.

      Or that Shipley and National then proceeded to try to destroy Nz First.

      Then there is 2008 and the National party campaign against NZ First using their Act hand puppets.

      In the months before the 2008 general election, New Zealand First became embroiled in a dispute over donations to the party from Owen Glenn, the Vela family and Bob Jones. This resulted in an investigation into party finances by the Serious Fraud Office on 28 August 2008 and an investigation into Peters by the Privileges Committee.[12] On 29 August 2008 Peters stood down from his ministerial roles while the investigations were ongoing.[13] Although the Serious Fraud Office and the police both found that Peters was not guilty of any wrongdoing, the episode harmed Peters and the party in the lead-up to the election.[14]

      Basically it was lousy bookkeeping by what was essentially a rather amateurish political party. But it was neither corrupt nor illegal. I doubt that Winston wants anything to do with the political arseholes who engineered those. He’d prefer to force a minority government with no agreement rather than deal with such scum again – especially John Key.

      The only thing that I can see causing a problem with NZ First and a ‘left’ coalition is that Winston & NZ First don’t trust the Greens after their role in the kangaroo kourt travesty at the privileges committee in 2008. Sure they were getting their own back for 2005. It wasn’t wise.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      No and I’m pretty sure that Winston hasn’t either. As a populist MP leading a populist political party he really screwed up there going against what popular opinion wanted which was to get rid of National.

      He won’t do that again.

  17. Mike S 18

    In regards to Little’s 8% as preferred PM. Does this mean that roughly 75% of those who would vote Labour don’t prefer Little as PM? (or don’t know who he is (the 32% don’t know) Because surely you would expect him to be closer to the Labour party vote percentage?

    Also, I see they still don’t acknowledge the fact that they use a landlines only sample selection. I don’t know anyone with a landline and none of them are National voters. (Except my parents who have a landline and are National voters.)

    • Melb 18.1

      Colmar Brunton were the most accurate poll in line with the 2014 election. The don’t sample landlines, but would account for that in their methodology.

      Two polling outfits sample mobiles – Roy Morgan which came middle of the pack, and TV3/Reid Research, which came dead last.

      So sampling mobiles isn’t all some people think it’s cracked up to be.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.1

        “most accurate”

        Not to rain on their parade, given their track record, it’s far more likely the ‘accuracy’ was a fluke. Wait ’til they’ve done it two or three times in a row before popping the cork.

      • Leftie 18.1.2

        @Melb

        Most accurate? No way. Generally the pollsters over exaggerate National’s ratings, then just out from the election result they adjust it. Not to mention the fact, that changes in technology have made polling inaccurate.

        Roy Morgan say they use landlines and mobile phone numbers, given that less people use landlines now, and there is no white pages that list peoples “current” mobile numbers, and telcos do not give out that kind of information, how does Roy Morgan etc get mobile phone numbers to randomly call?

        • Chooky 18.1.2.1

          +100… unfortunately the polls are a self -fulfilling prophecy…and their sampling is far from accurate…many people wont talk to pollsters .

          • Grindlebottom 18.1.2.1.1

            I don’t blame them. Some pollsters are the devil’s spawn. I’ll bet it’s been scientifically proven somewhere on the dark web.

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