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UMR’s bombshell poll result

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, May 1st, 2020 - 142 comments
Categories: jacinda ardern, labour, MMP, national, Simon Bridges - Tags:

This will no doubt see a spike in National Party caucus zoom meetings. The Herald is reporting a new UMR poll that has National in the psychologically humiliating 20-30% band. From Jason Walls at the Herald:

The National Party has dropped below 30 per cent in a UMR poll while Labour has reached as high as 55 per cent.

And when it comes to preferred Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has reached a near record-breaking 65 per cent approval rating.

Her popularity eclipses that of her National Party rival, Opposition leader Simon Bridges, who is on a mere 7 per cent.

Bridges is attacking the result. Again from the Herald:

… speaking to the Herald, Bridges rubbished the poll.

“UMR are Labour’s pollsters and are consistently, badly wrong.”

He added that Labour “should be focused on getting New Zealand back to work, not leaking dodgy numbers.”

He should say why he has refused to share National’s internal polling results with his caucus over the past couple of months.

It is time for me to review my earlier calculations. At 29% National would be entitled to 35 seats not allowing for wasted votes.

Presuming the electorate vote swing was 6,000 rather than 5,000 then Hamilton East goes left as does Invercargill, and on a good day Northcote and Otaki. Rangitata is marginal.

Total electorate seats could dip to anything between 30 and 28 leaving room for either 5 or 7 list MPs. National’s list completion process is going to be brutal with this sort of scenario playing out.

142 comments on “UMR’s bombshell poll result ”

  1. ScottGN 1

    While UMR are Labour’s polling company this poll wasn’t done for the Labour Party but rather for corporate clients. Anyone one of them could have leaked it.

    • Sacha 1.1

      Yet Bridges gets away with the smear again, just like the last time. Our media have no pride.

      • Pride is not a virtue that journalists value.

        It is only headlines, "breaking news", or "opinon " that matters.

        OK there are some very rare exceptions.

        They will be accorded the respect they earned.

        [Fixed error in user handle]

        • David Mac 1.1.1.1

          Journalists find pride in invitations to join channel WXX and $250k a year. By and large they toot the tunes they are paid to pipe. Like all of us with a mortgage.

          I'm loving the rise of utube and Patreon. You don't need to be CNN to be heard, just a noteworthy voice.

          I'm hoping that via VPNs etc the Chinese people will be able to establish that we love them but we're really sus on those pulling the strings up there.

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1

            I'm hoping that via VPNs etc the Chinese people will be able to establish that we love them but we're really sus on those pulling the strings up there.

            That is one of the big things to be hopeful about here; I'm seeing an evolving ability to tell the difference between a people and their government. Keep in mind there are millions of Chinese people who loath the CCP.

    • Dennis Frank 1.2

      RNZ headlines just now informed us that Labour has denied leaking the poll. So presumably one of the corporate clients deemed it a public service to inform us…

  2. Anthony Rimell 2

    As an aside, it's interesting that Granny Herald's piece on the poll had an embedded video of Simon attacking the Government on its supposed lack of support for businesses.

    Their love feast with National is undaunted.

    • Grafton Gully 2.1

      The one and only thing that will get us to a stable acceptable standard of living is a steady profit producing and sustainable export business sector. Nice holiday courtesy of covid – lets get stuck in now and find ways to make money. The rest of he world will be – so it's not going to be easy.

  3. observer 3

    Two different things: 1) the poll 2) the narrative.

    1) is hardly surprising. Only 55? National under Key peaked at 60 in their first term. National peaked at 55 in their second term. But at the election(s), they never had a majority to govern alone. I doubt Labour will either.

    The overlooked story is that both the Greens and NZF are very much in contention. "Labour at 55" is a very different story if the support parties are at 2%. But they're not. This is remarkable loyalty from their voters, even when their parties are sidelined.

    2) is popcorn time, obviously. Not just because of the numbers, but the response to the numbers from Nat MPs. Get a plumber in Simon, those leaks are turning into a flood.

    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      Yes, Greens at 6% & NZF 4%, I heard on RNZ midday news. ACT on 3%, so it looks like Seymour has indeed breathed life into the corpse.

      A 26 % differential between Labour & National will bend plenty of heads! Depends on the next poll how many though (not UMR). Bring it on, I say!

      I did expect the remarkable leadership performance from Jacinda, plus the success of the govt's covid-19 strategy, would have boosted Labour's polling, but sucking that many votes away from National is a huge surprise – if confirmed by the next poll.

    • ScottGN 3.2

      Nats peaked under Key by gobbling up every vote on the right. Labour is always going to have to share some of the left vote with the Greens and left leaning NZFirst voters and that’s as it should be. That fact makes these numbers pretty remarkable.

      • observer 3.2.1

        Absolutely. That's why the poll and the narrative (AKA headlines) are different.

        The "take" is 55, the real story is where that 55 has come from. Or not come from.

    • Lloyd 3.3

      In every election since national became national, that was 1935 for those that did not know, only 4 elections have ever been won by a margin of 50 % or more, for national that was in 1949 and 1951 and their average election result since 1935 is 44%

  4. Muttonbird 4

    Government block = 66%

    Opposition block = 32%

    How will the bag of flour raise his own profile without being able to campaign in his own electorate?

  5. Likely seats, using the MMP calculator:

    ACT 4, National 36

    Greens 6, NZF 7, Labour 67.

    • Sanctuary 5.1

      Hmmm, Labour-Greens government, pack Winston off to London as high commissioner and watch Shane Jones self-destruct as boss of NZ First while National licks it's wounds for three years.

      • Morrissey 5.1.1

        While National licks its wounds for twelve years, more like.

      • Tricledrown 5.1.2

        Sanctuary No flights to Covid decimated countries.

        Now China has stamped out Covid 19 Simple Soiman will be deposed before the election and land a plum Job in Bejing from his Sponser's.

    • ScottGN 5.2

      That’s nearly 20 seats gone for National! It’s going to be like Lord of the Flies in that caucus room.

      • Lloyd 5.2.1

        do not forget that fingers english led the nats to a resounding 20% victory

        • Andre 5.2.1.1

          Excuse me, a little fairness and accuracy, please. Give full credit where it's due, and all that.

          20.93%

  6. bill 6

    And if those crowds milling around fast food joints spark up a new round of infection, what then?

    It's no surprise that NZ Labour is riding high – the timing of NZs lock-down was a lucky break insofar as NZ was behind the infection curve of other countries locking down in March. That, and further to the misconception that NZ was 'on to it' like a dog out of trap five, Jacinda Ardern's public persona 'works' for many in NZ.

    • observer 6.1

      And if those crowds milling around fast food joints spark up a new round of infection, what then?

      The opposition want many more of those crowds. "Level 2 now, open for business" etc.

      So that's not going to do them much good.

      • bill 6.1.1

        I don't know if public health peeps are available and authorised to shutter any business not adhering to distancing rules. But if they're not, they should be.

        The 'random' tests that were carried out were performed mostly on older people from what I saw. But younger people would have been those more inclined to pop bubbles, aye?

        Anyway. Hopefully there isn't an uptick in infection rates.

        • Carolyn_Nth 6.1.1.1

          Yes, I think businesses can be shut down for breaching level 3 rules. Today Robertson has talked about businesses and people being checked by police for level 3 breaches – it includes reports of a number of private parties including people not in the same "bubble" – so Robertson says "don't be an idiot" because it will mean staying longer in level 3.

          • bill 6.1.1.1.1

            So police checks, not dedicated public health officials of some shape or form wielding actionable authority? – k.

            • Carolyn_Nth 6.1.1.1.1.1

              See Lyn's comment below. I recall Ardern saying something about spot checks from Health official to businesses under level 3.

              • bill

                k. Thanks. I scrolled. So no authority – just the bureaucratically vested powers to appeal to authority.

            • Paul Campbell 6.1.1.1.1.2

              I believe the chief medical officer can delgate under the Act

            • Tricledrown 6.1.1.1.1.3

              The Police have the Authority to enforce Health rules 1956 act.

  7. JanM 7

    Oh my goodness, this is going to be a very nasty election!

    • Rae 7.1

      My advice to any party who cares to listen, is that if it is to be dirty, to make sure that is only coming from one side.

    • David Mac 7.2

      Nah, Jacinda has latched onto the power of love. That's not so unusual in itself, every muslim clad woman at Womad is mainlining love but this lady is our Prime Minister.

      She is John and Yoko in that NY hotel room except she is running our country.

      All you need is love.

      Simon's chances are looking slim.

  8. Reality 8

    Hosking and Hawkesby will be apoplectic! Waking early today I listened to Hawkesby’s show for a few minutes. Talk about supercilious and snide. She was reading out the nastiest texts and berating Jacinda for asking people to be kind. It was horrible. I tuned out as I object to a complete lack of fairness and balance from this shallow airhead.

    • Tricledrown 8.1

      Wallowing in nastiness doesn't win anyone over infact many who normally support National are changing who they support .Carry on I say do your worst .

  9. Boxing Junkie 9

    Golden days people. This is the kind of polling base that leads to a 3 term (or maybe 4 term…) tenure.

    Would almost like to see John Key come back as leader for the ultimate 'rumble in the jungle' in September. Would love to see Jacinda dunk on him.

    • observer 9.1

      It's not a base.

      National's is 22, Labour's is 24 (actual votes in actual elections). If Jacinda fell under a bus Labour would lose 10% overnight. (Keep her away from buses!)

  10. weka 10

    It's still MMP. Lefties should be concerned about the Greens on 5 or 6%. Because the Greens out of parliament could cost the left an election, and because Labour can't take the necessary action on climate with no Greens or only a small handful (likewise welfare, and the ecological crisis).

    • weka 10.1

      anyone thinking the election is a done deal needs to remember what happened at the last election.

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        Very true, on both comments.

        I tend to view the Greens sort of as Labour's conscience, giving it addtional reminders of issues that need serious consideration.

      • observer 10.1.2

        It's certainly not a done deal. And "3 term triumphalism" is just foolish.

        I'd be reasonably confident that leftish voters will apply the same self-correction to the polls as previous elections. If the Greens look like missing out, they pick up enough support to get over 5%. Even more likely if Labour are riding high, as voters instinctively balk at single party rule.

        But it might require a few fights with Labour in the campaign, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

        • arkie 10.1.2.1

          Absolutely, and hopefully the Greens can leverage discussion around the marijuana referendum to their other popular policy proposals and boost their party vote further.

        • weka 10.1.2.2

          really tricky position for the Greens, but they did start the differentiation from Labour thing earlier in the year, so fingers crossed. Also, getting over the 5% isn't enough. We need more Green MPs if we are going to make progress on climate and welfare, although not having NZF in govt would also make a big difference I am sure.

      • Tricledrown 10.1.3

        Weka Boring Bill English lost the unloosable election.

        Simple Soiman at 7% continues to dig a massive hole for himself.

        • weka 10.1.3.1

          Little was on track to probably lose the election. Change of leader gave Labour the victory. Anything can happen between now and September. I think Labour are most likely to win, but it's not a certainty. eg if the Greens drop below 5% and Labour don't have a majority.

        • McFlock 10.1.3.2

          Learn from the nats: surest way to lose is complacency.

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    Cameron Slater: "The exact scenario that Chris Trotter and I discussed in last weeks podcast is now playing out in real life". https://thebfd.co.nz/2020/05/01/national-bleeding-out-in-the-latest-umr-poll/

    He quotes this tweet from Matthew Hooton : "I understand that @NZNationalParty’s private polling has not been shared with even its top four MPs since February, let alone the whole front bench or caucus."

    Hell, if I was a top Nat I'd be extremely pissed off at being frozen out like that. Hey Wayne, are they really that craven nowadays, d'you reckon??

    • Alfie 11.1

      Pardon me, but did I miss something over Easter? Has Slater Jnr risen from the dead?

      • ADHDave 11.1.1

        You know the momentum for a leadership spill at National is reaching fever pitch when Slater forgets that he's supposed to be a bankrupt with serious mental health issues and should be keeping away from hate- and intrigue-filled smear politics.

        It's like he never stopped. In fact, he didn't. But it's not like Slater to let his guard down, he must really think Bridges is about to become grilled cheese on toast and is so excited that Collins, Mitchell, Adams, Muller or whoever might get a crack, that he's forgotten to play his role as a mentally ill bankrupt.

        I mean, Slater played a real dirty master card by setting up the convenient coincidence of mental health incapacitation at exactly the moment he filed for insolvency to avoid paying damages in the judgement against him in the Matt Blomfield defamation court case.

        With premeditation and cynically perfect timing (and a good lawyer), Slater shifted all his business and personal funds and assets to companies and trusts controlled by his wife Juana Atkins (who went and bought a new SUV) and then declared himself bankrupt, along with his wife and lawyer's pleas for media to leave him alone, in a highly publicised but never publicly proven claim of mental health incapacitation.

        I *still* don't know why the courts let the stink-fish get away with that monster scam and miscarriage of justice.

        Slater also arranged (while in perfect control of his faculties) to copy the entire "intellectual property" of the WhaleOil blog out from under the Liquidator's nose, straight across to his new clone of it, TheBFD …

        … and then got on with his horrid hate-filled life almost as normal, frothing away under various fake nom-de-plumes on TheBFD but with all his financial activity managed under his wife's name.

        I am unsurprised to see the media failing to do any investigative reporting into his sudden reappearance as if nothing had changed, and a review of his posts on TheBFD back to the time of "incapacitation".

        Slater previously popped up briefly during the Jamie Lee Ross saga, but the media coyly avoided following up on him then, as now.

  12. woodart 12

    this is why herald has had key on repeatedly this week. damage control.

  13. Anne 13

    Could National elect a new leader before the election but who won't take over until after the election?

    That is, Bridges continues as leader then after they lose the election Luxon immediately takes over. That would enable the Nats to try and claw back the numbers pre-election on the basis this supposedly business savvy individual, Luxon will be the shining star of the future who will save NZ from economic ruin. Lots of people will fall for that one – especially speculators and would be speculators.

    • Gabby 13.1

      You know, I don't think I've heard a single comment or prognostication or even a rickn from Luxie, not even about Air NZ. He might turn out to be another Notatallnotatall.

      • woodart 13.1.1

        think the nats are keeping luxo well away from the disaster zone.

        • Anne 13.1.1.1

          Its no coincidence that Key has suddenly re-emerged from obscurity and is talking up Luxon like he is already the leader.

          My pick is: the UMR poll has merely confirmed what they already knew from their own polling and they are panicking. Hence the return of John Key to the political stage and – they hope – will save their bacon.

  14. AB 14

    29% sounds like a reasonable estimate of the number of people who actually benefit materially from National Party governments. "The comfortable third" as Trotter calls them. That National consistently gets low to mid 40's in elections is a marvel of image and narrative management. Even Bill (the assassin of hope) English managed it once. I don't see that this has changed fundamentally – instead we just have temporarily extraordinary circumstances of a poor Nat leader and a global emergency. It can all change very quickly.

  15. Fireblade 15

    Interesting poll numbers.

    Simon is a weak leader who acts like a prepubescent schoolboy. Simon needs to grow some balls and go all-out mongrel now. If he can't do that, he should resign and let a real man have a go, Judith would be perfect.

  16. georgecom 16

    Is that Leslie Nielsen running for cover, or is it Tim Macindoe?

    http://www.timmacindoe.national.org.nz

  17. Grumpy 17

    With the most recent announcement from Robertson on the new SME loans and his absolutely accurate attack on banks, is there no end to where Labour's approval can go?

    Certainly if we were a Presidential style democracy, Jacinda would be elected President for as long as she wanted.

    The question is whether the Party as a whole is popular or just Jacinda and Grant but at the moment I doubt Labour cares.

  18. observer 18

    One amusing notion (which won't really happen, but never mind) is that National could be the overhang!

    Hold their electorate seats, add zero from the party list.

    • Hush, observer, don't you dare suggest that. Our Paula might miss out!

    • Graeme 18.2

      Pity most of the National electorate candidates have been selected.

      But I wonder what inducements will be given to plonka electorate MPs in very safe blue seats to reconsider their future in politics and decide to spend more time with their families, followed by a prominent list MP being nominated for the seat in a late selection.

  19. ianmac 19

    The slight lift in ACT poll could be the far Right of The National Party bailing.

    • observer 19.1

      Returning home, really.

      ACT got over 5% in the first 3 MMP elections (96-02). Then Don Brash became National leader and picked up the ACT voters (no surprise, he was ACT enough to later become their leader too).

  20. Where's @Wayne?

  21. Chris T 21

    Govt leads polls during pandemic and leader being on TV every 5 minutes shocker.

    In other news, the sky is blue.

    • observer 21.1

      People not on TV every 5 minutes: Shaw, Davidson, Seymour. Winston a bit, but not that much. Leaders whose parties have not slumped.

      They've all had less coverage than Bridges.

      • Chris T 21.1.1

        People who vote Green just always vote Green.

        Seymour has been on TV criticising

        Winston has been on TV trying to have a purpose and saying the boarders should open at 2. Which everyone knows won't happen, but is a smoke screen.

      • Tricledrown 21.1.2

        Soimon Breedgis is making such a Dick of himself National Voters are looking for alternatives.

    • ScottGN 21.2

      The Leader of the Opposition has been given plenty of airtime by the media, certainly more than Phil Goff ever got after the Christchurch earthquakes. Bridges just hasn’t used his opportunity to speak to NZers very wisely.

  22. Phil 22

    Yeah, raise a glass to a successful and competent PM on this fine Friday. The result is phenomenal for Labour, but keep in mind that it comes at a time when New Zealand's performance in keeping Covid infections low is at its most stark differential from other, more high-profile, nations.

    Ironically, that very effectiveness puts us at even greater risk of second and third wave outbreaks (because we don't have earlier infections and herd immunity). That fact is not well understood by the general public, and I have no doubt mood in the country will turn extraordinarily sour toward a government that has to reimpose L3/L4 restrictions for a second or third time.

    • Carolyn_Nth 22.1

      Good luck with hanging out for herd immunity, anywhere. It has still not been established if someone who has been infected becomes immune. And if they do so, how long that immunity lasts.

      There still is no herd immunity for another coronavirus, the common cold, and this seems to be due to features it shares with some other (pre-Covid-19) coronaviruses.

      It is a worry that, until there is a vaccine, or medication that combats C-19, we will need to keep in place border controls, and some other physical distancing practices. Keeping up surveillance testing, and contact tracing can mean they will be able to contain any future outbreaks very quickly.

  23. National may think the way to win MMP is to become two parties. Judith seizes control in an ultra conservative coup, locking in the 24 base. Luxon leaves in disgust and forms a techy party with environmentalists and unionists and indigenous and christian representatives, like that Kim Dotcom party. And Max does the apps, and there would be some awesome savvy hacker type who knows all about finance and immigration laws. there's another 15. build it up from there, their not going for this election, perfect time!

  24. This is actually a vote for sensible Leadership, which Jacinda Ardern has provided. Simon Bridges was given a forum, and barked like an attack dog, or picked others to do that. Simon today said he thought we could safely go to L2. Really? On what grounds?

    We knew something was up when John Key came out of the woodwork. Luxton has been very quiet.. perhaps it is not an inviting prospect to be compared to the current PM who will not even be 50 in 10 years time . (forgive the ageism).

    • pat 24.1

      Its a vote for nothing…its a poll….4 months out from an election with the world economy in free fall

      Having said that…its a promising sign.

    • Gabby 24.2

      Luxie won't want to say anything that hindsight will throw back in his smirky face, let Slick Bodges blaze a path through the banana skins.

  25. lprent 25

    bill…

    Yes they can. All it takes is a request from a medical officer to the police or a more general one from the chief medical officer.

    The health act and other supporting acts penalties are draconian and very difficult to overcomr or appeal at a court level.

    Like the dimwitted people who tried to do a habeas in court last week will find. The first section of Part 3 of the Health Act 1956 outlines what medical officers can do.

    • bill 25.1

      That suggests a bureaucratic process – not the authority to shutter a place.

      • McFlock 25.1.1

        S70(1) gives the medical officer of health the power to shutter it, kill all animals inside it, pull it down, burn it, and force anyone associated with it to report for medical testing and quarantine.

        • bill 25.1.1.1

          So, that's cool (and not at all what Lynn wrote).

          How many Medical Officers of Health are there?

          • Craig H 25.1.1.1.1

            https://www.health.govt.nz/new-zealand-health-system/key-health-sector-organisations-and-people/public-health-units

            Not entirely clear, but I think 12 from that list.

            Also, Worksafe or site H&S reps can shut down a workplace.

          • McFlock 25.1.1.1.2

            Lynn wrote:

            The first section of Part 3 of the Health Act 1956 outlines what medical officers can do

            S70 is the first section in part 3. It gives them the power to "shutter a place".

            As for how many med.off.hlth are there, they're designated by the director general of health "as needed" (s7A(1)). But in regards to quarantine, it also includes any medical practitioner working for a medical officer of health. So quite a few medical practitioners at the moment.

            Have you even bothered looking up the health act at all, or do you just expect other people to do it for you?

            • bill 25.1.1.1.2.1

              Have you even bothered looking up the health act at all, or do you just expect other people to do it for you?

              McFlock. You're displaying that ability you have to be an utter twat. I looked up S70 (1) before responding to your initial comment. And S70(1) does not require any requests be made to the police – as per what Lynn wrote.

              In other words, I agreed with what you wrote and merely enquired about how many officers there are (Craig H has filled in that blank)

              • McFlock

                S71A empowers constables to force anyone to comply with requirements of medical officers of health, regardless of whether the medical officer asked them to enforce it.

    • McFlock 25.3

      Also Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002:

      91 Power to give directions

      (1)

      While a state of emergency is in force, a Controller or a constable, or any person acting under the authority of a Controller or constable, may—

      (a)

      direct any person to stop any activity that may cause or substantially contribute to an emergency:

      (b)

      request any person, either verbally or in writing, to take any action to prevent or limit the extent of the emergency.

  26. RedLogix 26

    I've looked at this result for some hours now, and you know what, I don't feel any need to over-analyse it. It's a good outcome in bad circumstances, there was plenty of opportunity to fuck this up as we've seen in so many other countries.

    Ardern has earned this the hard way, along with a whole of govt response that has been outstanding. To the extent the world has noticed.

    This crisis has a long way to run, with real potential for many ugly consequences we cannot easily predict. Facing these will demand competence and solidarity from the NZ people, but we have made a good start.

    I'm taking a long slow breath and soberly appreciating our great good fortune here. Nice; now back to work.

  27. Do not count your chickens before they hatch. Else where on a blog beginning with K the big issue seems to be that Boris has had a busy six months according to the Guardian.

  28. Maurice 28

    The 'hard' right has yet to emerge in New Zealand … perhaps it will not?

    ACT is surely NOT classically hard right.

  29. Tricledrown 29

    Weka Boring Bill English lost the unloosable election.

    Simple Soiman at 7% continues to dig a massive hole for himself.

  30. swordfish 30

    I'll have a few things to say on this UMR poll over the next few days … but for now:

    Jason Walls conflates & confuses on the leadership question.

    He tells us:

    And when it comes to preferred Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has reached a near record-breaking 65 per cent approval rating.

    So which metric is it ? … Leader Approval rating ('Favourability' as UMR call it) … orPreferred PM rating ?

    On Twitter, Walls seems to imply it is Preferred PM … & various journos & news outlets have repeated this (albeit generally following Walls by throwing the term “approval” into the mix as well) … the Guardian, by contrast, assumes it's the Favourabilty figure.

    Problem is: UMR have never measured Preferred PM ratings in the past … their detailed annual Mood of the Nation reports (no longer available online unfortunately) only ever presented Leader Favourability scores – an entirely different metric.

    So the historical import of Jacinda Ardern's 65% rating doesn't mean much in comparative terms until we know precisely which metric we're talking about.

    3 possibilities:

    (1) Having resisted it since they started polling in the early 90s, UMR have very suddenly started measuring Preferred PM ratings. Seems highly unlikely, but not impossible, I guess.

    (2) The 65% figure is actually Ardern's Favourability rating (the % who regard her leadership in a favourable light) & the leaker failed to explain this properly to Walls.

    (3) The 65% figure is actually Ardern's Net Positive Favourability rating (% Favourable minus % Unfavourable = + 65) & the leaker failed to explain this properly to Walls.

    Be useful to get some clarity on this.

    • Dennis Frank 30.1

      Well done (from one nit-picker to another). The devil must have had fun mediating between pollster & reporters. Why do we expect everyone to be on the same page when the culture of individualism has brainwashed all to believe in their right to create their own page?

      • Grantoc 30.1.1

        The popularity of the the PM and by extension the Labour party in this poll is hardly surprising. The poll was taken as I understand it around mid April.

        The level 4 lockdown was underway and about half way through. Ardern and Bloom were dominating the the news by way of their midday news conferences. Ardern in particular was communicating how things were and the way forward with impressive empathy and effectiveness. A culture of Group Think was rapidly taking hold amongst many in the community, encouraged by such phases as 'we're all in this together'. There was criticism of reporters and opposition politicians from the 'group thinkers' if they asked questions or, worse, criticised Ardern and the governments response at the time.

        These were ideal conditions for the Labour party pollster to conduct the poll. Under the circumstances it's surprising that support for the government and Ardern wasn't greater. These are also ideal conditions for Labour or their sympathisers to leak the poll results.

        I don't think the same conditions as described above will exist at the time of the election.

        • Dennis Frank 30.1.1.1

          I don't think the same conditions as described above will exist at the time of the election.

          They won't. Media reports pointing that out emerged a week or two back, with the suggestion that recession will replace covid-19 as political determinant.

          Which is why I & a few others are pushing for a recovery plan. Voters will not be impressed by adhoc responses. Doesn't matter how well the govt manages things between now & then. Next election will be won by whoever has the best plan for the future (provided they do their marketing with finesse).

          National will promote business as usual, on the basis that enough voters are too stupid to discern that it will no longer work due to adverse global circumstances.

          Labour neoliberals will want to copy National, but Labour progressives will be aghast at that prospect. Expect a real shitfight in Labour. They will try to keep that behind closed doors – could work, if goodwill prevails.

        • Tricledrown 30.1.1.2

          Grantoc looking at other countries and more recent behaviour by National I would not be surprised if National go down in a screaming heap.

        • observer 30.1.1.3

          True, the same conditions won't apply. But consider this …

          1) Ardern's approval rating was already high (and Bridges' low) BEFORE Covid-19 and the lockdown, for example:

          TV3 poll in February

          Ardern and Bridges have not transformed public perception of their leadership, they have merely had the opportunities to reinforce existing perceptions. Both have achieved this.

          2) As pointed out already on this thread, Labour at 55 is no surprise – you are correct about that. But you've ignored the fact that the other 2 gov't parties have maintained support, without the advantages you've described. That is much worse news for the opposition.

          • I Feel Love 30.1.1.3.1

            The Nats and RW troll attack lines before Covid was Adern was a weak leader, which clearly isn't the case.

          • Grantoc 30.1.1.3.2

            Observer

            I agree that the leadership approval rating pattern was in place prior to the impact of Covid- 19. The way in which this has played out under Covid- 19 is not at all surprising. For the reasons previously discussed you'd expect Ardern's popularity to increase and for Bridges to decrease.

            What is interesting to me, but probably not surprising given the circumstances, is the shift in the popularity of the main political parties under Covid – 19. Ardern's popularity and leadership skills, especially around communications, has had the effect of, currently, generating a significant shift in major party support towards Labour. (The smaller parties are largely irrelevant in this regard).

            Prior to Covid, with broadly the same approval rating figures for Ardern and Bridges being recorded in the polls, the party vote for the Nats was holding up in the mid 40% range; roughly the same as Labours. Under the UMR poll there has been a dramatic shift in party support, generated by Ardern's leadership and the Covid health crisis.

            As the impact of the economic challenges etc kick in over the next few months it will be interesting to see if this major party support holds up or if it begins to shift back towards National. As has been pointed our elsewhere it is likely to come down to who has the better vision and solutions to the economic challenges that the country faces. That puts National right back in the game because that debate will take place on a much more equal playing field.

            I would not be shouting from the roof tops as many Labour supporters are doing on the basis of the UMR poll that the the election is already won.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 30.1.1.3.2.1

              "I would not be shouting from the roof tops as many Labour supporters are doing…" – uncharacteristically negative reaction from shouty Bridges.

              In a statement to RNZ, a spokesperson for Bridges UMR said Labour's pollsters and are "consistently, badly wrong".

              "Labour should focus on getting New Zealand back to work not leaking dodgy numbers", they said.

              https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/415583/leaked-poll-shows-big-jump-for-labour

              • Alice Tectonite

                Why is National's internal polling being withheld from most of their MPs? Could it be that Simon believes that Curia's polling is also "consistently badly wrong"?

    • observer 30.2

      Yes. It's pretty basic stuff.

      "A? Yes or no?"

      "A or B or C or D?"

      You could easily approve of A but prefer B. Or approve of none, but still have to pick one.

  31. Stephen D 31

    I can’t reply but can post.

    Some limited front bench ideas.

    JA = PM

    JS = DPM

    GR = Finance

    GAJ = Transport

    CH = Keeps education, just

    MW = Health

    WP = London

    SJ = keep him in the regions

    TM = Social Development

    Just some thoughts.

    • Muttonbird 31.1

      Could you please be more clear. No one has time to decipher your initials.

  32. Stephen D 32

    JA = Jacinda Ardern

    JS = James Shaw
    GR= Grant Robertson

    GAJ = Julie Ann Genter, my bad with the initials

    CH = Chris Hipkins

    MW = Megan Woods

    WP = Winston Peters

    SJ = Shane Jones

    TM = Tracey Martin

  33. swordfish 33

    On this latest UMR leak:

    I see a smattering of giddy excitement briefly erupted on both Twitter & the Blogosphere as a handful of punters managed to convince themselves that a long-cherished Labour-Green Govt was just around the corner, with an ill-fitting, barely-tolerated, morally-conservative NZF sidelined to the dustbin of history.

    On the contrary, I'd say this UMR poll really hasn't been good for the Greens at all, whereas the Winstonistas are sitting in a relatively comfortable (though by no means rock solid) position.

    (1) Das GrĂŒn

    Bearing in mind the usual caveats when interpreting a single poll, … the Greens 5% rating doesn't look too healthy when you realise the Party almost always scores higher in the UMRs than in the Public Polls.

    Since the election of the Ardern Govt, Green support has, on average, rated around 2 points higher in the UMR compared to the Colmar Bruntons (both in terms of 6 month averages & comparing individual polls from these 2 polling companies when they're conducted at roughly the same time) … although the gap seems to be widening as time goes by … in the last 2 UMR leaks (where a CB was carried out around the same time) the differential is even greater with the Greens a significant 3 & 4 points higher in the UMR.

    So we might expect (on average) the Greens to be sitting on about 3%, possibly lower in any CB carried out this month.

    Meanwhile, the Greens' UMR ratings are generally about 1 point above their Newshub Reid Research figures. So perhaps 4% if an RR was conducted now.

    That's a pretty precarious position. Possibly just a temporary swing from Ardern-admirers among the Green faithful – grateful for the COVID-19 response – before they revert back to their default setting in a month or two … and possibly (like 2017) some strategic voting for the Vegetable Rights & Peace Party from erstwhile Labour supporters come Election Day … but I wouldn't be overly-excited (nor overly-complacent) at this stage.

    And 5% is certainly at the lower end of the Greens' UMR ratings over the last 3 years.

    We're relying, of course, on the various poll leaks that have made their way into the public domain … some (esp the big Nov 2018 leak) more authoritative than others.

    Greens UMR support:

    Context 1: First 12 Months of Ardern Govt (Big Nov 2018 leak of 12 UMR Polls conducted on a Monthly basis):

    Greens Range: 5-9%
    Greens Average: 7.25%

    Greens on 5%: 1 out of 12 Polls (higher in all others)

    Context 2: 2019 Leaks (3 UMR Polls):

    Greens Range: 5-9%
    Greens Average: 7.3%

    Greens on 5%: 1 out of 3 Polls (higher in others)

    Context 3: 2020 Leaks (4 UMR Polls – before latest)

    Greens Range: 5-9%
    Greens Average:7.5%

    Greens on 5%: 1 out of 4 Polls (higher in others)

    So 5% definitely at the lower end of Green UMR support whichever cluster of leaks you consider (at least in terms of the 19 UMRs we have data on). Could just be part of the normal ebb & flow augmented by statistical noise / but, who knows, might just prove a more decisive & potentially fatal shift.

    (2) The Winstonistas

    By contrast, NZF seems relatively secure on an above-average 6%

    NZF UMR support

    Context 1: First 12 Months of Ardern Govt (Big Nov 2018 leak of 12 UMR Polls conducted on a Monthly basis):

    NZF Range:4-7%
    NZF Average: 5.2%

    Context 2: 2019 Leaks (3 UMR Polls):

    NZF Range:4-5%
    NZF Average: 4.7%

    Context 3: 2020 Leaks (4 UMR Polls – before latest)

    NZF Range: 5-7%
    NZF Average: 5.8%

    • Dennis Frank 33.1

      The partisan leftist stance of the parliamentary Greens continues to alienate folks. Still, given how long they have continued to make the same stupid mistake I doubt precarious poll ratings will teach them anything. Stealing votes from Labour worked for the prior leftist co-leaders but pursuing that moronic zero-sum strategy failed to impress anyone other than the partisans.

      In the current situation they will have to pull finger to survive. Stop pretending that Green economic policy doesn't exist! People want a positive alternative to provide for the common good into the future. That alternative to neoliberalism is the edge the Greens need. I wish we had someone in parliament with intellect. If those there currently reckon they've got an intellect, now's the time to prove it!

      • KJT 33.1.1

        You complain about the Greens "leftist" stance, then in the next paragraph you want them to adopt a "leftist" set of policies.

        Which, in fact, they have.

        Que?

        • Dennis Frank 33.1.1.1

          Probably a generation gap between you & me. When I was co-leading Green policy development in the early years, the traditional Green `neither left nor right, but in front' framing was still governing our collective praxis. The Greens economic policy ended up suitably radical, but any leftist evaluation of the mix is purely subjective.

          The problem with the leftist stance is that it distracts the parliamentarians into identity politics (thus partisan thinking) away from the common good. That's a guaranteed vote loser due to the minorities not being where govt gets formed. Government is usually formed in the middle ground.

          We've known since it was first mooted as a truism (late sixties, in my experience) that the pragmatic centrist few who shift strategically between left & right when they lose confidence in the current govt are typically 3-5% and collectively produce our election outcomes. The Greens have yet to factor that in at the top level. Political naivety, but why take so long to learn the lesson?!

          • solkta 33.1.1.1.1

            All this time and you still don't get it. When the Greens say they are not left nor right they do not mean to say that they are Centrist but rather that they are too radical to fit on that axis. Centrists are people who are generally happy with the status quo who can lean a bit to the left or right depending on circumstances. As such they don't generally look to the most radical party as an option.

            You seem to be very confused as to whether you want the Greens to be a radical party with radical policy or a 'green' version of NZF.

            • Dennis Frank 33.1.1.1.1.1

              No such confusion here, actually. I agree with your second sentence, and the third with the caveat that it's generalising to exclude radical centrists.

              The point is that radicals can actually be radical in thought & opinion, while being centrist in praxis (collaborating). If the Greens stood in the middle of the political spectrum, like Archimedes suggested they'd gain the leverage to shift the world. Winston got their by default when Jeanette & Rod failed to grasp the opportunity.

              • Sacha

                You do not get leverage by standing centrally under the thing you want to move.

              • solkta

                If the Greens stood in the middle of the political spectrum

                How can you say that you agree with my second sentence and then say this? Praxis is the unity of theory and practice. When your actions don't correlate with your ideas and objectives, that is known as being full of shit.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Only to an observer who is prone to such subjectivism! Thing is, some use the political spectrum as a frame of reference and some transcend it. To those transcendent, signalling can work on a more sophisticated basis. To those locked into the frame, signalling only works if it refers to the position on the spectrum. Through the '70s & '80s, radical leading edge Green thought was outside that frame.

                  Political praxis kicked in via Capra & the German Greens but only gradually here due to the Values schism, so we had to reluctantly conform to the frame to get MMP in. I took the lead and advocated we adopt a leftist parliamentary alignment (Tuakau Annual Conference, '91) due to Bolger & the Nats capturing a couple of our leading environmentalists. It was a matter of urgency. Nobody disagreed, so we adopted that policy. But it was no longer necessary when we won MMP.

                  • solkta

                    Wow you must feel so guilty for having led the Greens astray.

                    • Sacha

                      Can't stop talking about it. 🙂

                    • Dennis Frank

                      No, it was essential at the time. They have to take responsibility for their own failure to learn from experience – if I did it for them it would be a breach of the relevant Green Charter principle…

                    • KJT

                      Dennis Frank is still pissed the Greens haven't listened to his superior intellect, when they figured out he was full of it. "Praxis". FFS?

                      Then we still have the Labour “centrists” who are resentful of the Greens. “For stealing, their! voters.

              • KJT

                There is no evidence whatsoever, for the mythical group of "middle ground swing voters", that "centrists" keep trotting out.

                It is simply projection, of their own wish, that their own comfort, continues!

                • Dennis Frank

                  Ain't something I dreamed up. It was originally asserted as fact by political scientists quoted in current affairs shows. Became a regular feature of political commentary here in Aotearoa through the '70s & '80s.

                  Obviously you will only learn that the theory of swing-voters is still valid if you examine election stats – no partisan would want to do that because it involves facing reality.

                  Amusing to see leftist partisans exhibiting the same denial syndrome as climate deniers!

                  • KJT

                    The stats never established that it is always a consistent group.

                    Which is what you are claiming.

                    I’m not even a “Lefty” in reality.

                    It shows how much the Overton window has shifted when a pragmatic capitalist businessman, who believes in the once common, New Zealand principles, of a fair go, equality of opportunity, and not sweeping fellow Kiwi’s under a bus, is considered, “left”.

                    Values which the Greens still reflect.

                    Never been a “partisan”. I leave that to political tragics.

                    “Centrists” have a lot to answer for.

                    • KJT

                      If the Greens ever abandon the values above, for "electability" then they will lose my support.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Well, okay, fair enough. I haven't forgotten my own original bias against the swing-voters (`bunch of spineless creeps'). I'm just saying that the theory still seems to work. I accept that it is not a theory which can be proven via stats.

                      Re Green values echoing the older tradition of a fair go, I feel the same but you never see our parliamentarians say that. Lack of political nous. Would help build the Green vote if they articulated it to show folks we're as much part of the fabric of Aotearoa as them…

          • Tiger Mountain 33.1.1.1.2

            A green Green, like say Steve Abel, is preferable anyday over a Blue Green.

            • Dennis Frank 33.1.1.1.2.1

              Oh yeah, for sure. I'm gonna be putting him close to the top of my list ranking vote. Good to see a range of strong contenders though, even if expertise derives from other areas than environmentalism.

        • Sacha 33.1.1.2

          For those readers interested in evidence, here is the actual Green Party economic policy: https://www.greens.org.nz/economic_policy

          A recent applied example of that: https://www.greens.org.nz/greens_push_for_large_intercity_rail_infrastructure_to_ensure_sustainable_post_covid_19_rebuild

    • Sacha 33.2

      I agree, Swordfish. NZ First also has better campaigning leverage, whereas the Greens will find it harder to differentiate themselves unless Labour actually work with them on campaign planning rather than poach policy for themselves.

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