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What the polls are saying

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, September 4th, 2012 - 39 comments
Categories: polls - Tags:

I reckon that if Labour and the Greens combined get more votes than National next election, they’ll be able to find enough support parties to govern. Vice versa too.

During the last term, National averaged an 11% lead over Lab+Green. This term 3%. Since June, less than 1%.

Until March, Lab+Green had been less then National for over four years. Since then, it has been equal or above half the time. In both August polls, Lab+Green was ahead.

39 comments on “What the polls are saying ”

  1. Dr Terry 1

    I have no problem with the Greens. But first, I want to be convinced that Shearer and Labour will be able to take over and do a better job.

    • Carol 1.1

      I’m coming to feel it is an urgent necessity for Labour to ditch the Shearer-Robertson team. I was depressed about them last night, realising I really don’t feel positive about them being PM & Deputy. They would not have my support.

      Lost night, I even got into some nostalgia for Goff as leader, finding him preferable to the current leadership – even though I am no great Goff fan.

      • Te Reo Putake 1.1.1

        But you don’t vote Labour anyway, Carol, so nobody that leads Labour is going to get your support. Which kinda makes your comment concern trolling, doesn’t it?

        • Carol

          No, TRP, because, whatever left party I vote for will be looking to support a Labour-led government if it’s possible.

          I would be happier with another leader for Labour, and that would include Cunliffe, or even Little.

          Also, if you look back, I was never one of those constantly calling for Goff’s resignation as leader.

          I would also vote for a more coherent, well-led and left wing Labour.

          Nice try, TRP, in your constant support for Shearer et al. But I have grave concerns about the current Labour leadership.

        • weka

          “But you don’t vote Labour anyway, Carol, so nobody that leads Labour is going to get your support.”

          hmm, you really don’t get MMP that well do you? Of course Green and Mana voters are going to be concerned about who leads Labour, and how well Labour does at the next election.

          The best move now is co-operation politics, whereby the parties on the left work together to form government. Is Labour ready for that yet? 

          • gobsmacked

            Last time Labour won from opposition (1999) the message was clear: Labour plus Alliance.

            Voters could decide the balance – more Alliance votes for more left. Clark and Anderton standing together at the conference was the signal, and it worked.

            Labour should be aiming for a Labour-Green majority. It’s achievable if they want it. The Greens do want it, but what about Labour MPs?

        • fatty

          I gave Labour my local vote, but my party vote went to Mana….might not bother this time, I will probably throw it towards a minor candidate with no chance of winning, as a protest.
          I can’t give a vote to a bene-bashing party.

      • Peter 1.1.2

        Well, I do vote Labour, and share the same concerns. As do many.

        • Tom Gould

          How many, Peter? I mean, other than the Greenie trolls and the old new Labour comms? Just an estimate will be fine.

          • lprent

            Me for a starter. And Peter has been active for quite some time now. Amongst the more active people – the ones that tend to organise campaigns my guesstimate is that close to 50% are either uncertain or have stopped being active over the past four years. Some of that was inevitable because of the usual dropoff after a government and activists ‘retire’. But much of it is not.

            It isn’t even that many of them are Shearer, or Cunliffe or Goff supporters or indeed any people or grouping inside Labour. It is more that the bloody caucus and many of their spokespeople seem to spend more time concentrating on being inept than they do on anything else. At present they reassemble nothing as much as that bloody caucus under Mike Moore where everything was incoherent and showed a excessive focus on short-term tactics rather any kind of strategy.

            That is particularly the case with long-time activists because we have seen all of these stupid tactics before. If you can’t convince even quite apolitical ones like myself (even notice that I seldom focus on policy) that they worth working for then how do you run a campaign to get the talking going that bypasses the media’s rather predicable message muzzling.

            Amongst supporters, I feel exactly the same thing when talking to them. The ones who don’t vote all the time can’t see any particular reason to do so except that Labour isn’t National. Those who always vote but who tend to swing, will seek other parties.

            Now imagine if they manage to drift into power with this malignant malaise of general incompetence … There is a hell of a problem somewhere in the damn caucus and their staff.

            • Carol

              Now imagine if they manage to drift into power with this malignant malaise of general incompetence … There is a hell of a problem somewhere in the damn caucus and their staff.

              That is my fear, which hit me as a depressing mini-revelation last night. This was a result of contemplating the muddle of asset sales etc, and thinking there might be a possibility that Key Inc will resign.

              We need an organised Left with a clear, focused and new direction, that takes account of the new global economic and resource realities. Not a government led by those that are coasting on bits and pieces of some old compromises with neoliberal policies and PR strategies, along with, cobbled together with some bits from distant echoes of traditional Labour policies.

              Such a government won’t last long, and by then the Nats will have a new leader (a resurrected Simon Power?), and be ready to capitalise on Labour’s weak and incompetent state.

              • Crashcart

                What worries me is red voters not turning out because of this. Surely the best option is to turn out green or mana. The more power green has the more they can pull red back to the left.

          • David H

            And me.

        • gobsmacked

          I’ve voted Labour in every election under MMP.

          Last time I stuck with Labour, despite misgivings. Old loyalties (and a decent effort by Goff in the end). Next time I intend to vote Green.

          The polls? What are we supposed to do? Tell the pollsters we’re voting for Colin Craig (yuk, no way)? Are we going to spend the next two years hearing “oh look at that, Labour plus Greens plus Mana plus Winston, it’s all good, people aren’t going anywhere.”

          It’s not all good. And I don’t want to drive Labour down in the polls in order to get that message across to the idiots in charge. But do we have any other option?

          • Blue


            Always been a Labour voter, going Green next time. There seems to be no other way to get the message across to those running Labour.

            If the membership had any effective way of forcing the parliamentary wing of the party to take them seriously, then it wouldn’t be necessary, but there you go.

            It goes against the grain to even think about ticking any other box but changes must be made in Labour.

            Trevor Mallard must go. And Shearer and Robertson must step down or be rolled.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And I don’t want to drive Labour down in the polls in order to get that message across to the idiots in charge.

            The problem with driving Labour down in the polls is that they’ll immediately follow NACT to the right.

            But do we have any other option?

            Yep, boost a far left party.


            • Colonial Viper

              Maybe I’m missing something in your suggestion DTB: Isn’t boosting support for a real Left party going to drive Labour down in the polls?

              It’s ironic that it’s very possible that Labour leadership will steer the wrong course to the Right even harder, the more that steering that course causes their polls to drop.

              Someone tell them – who is going to vote for a light bue party when they can have the real thing?

        • Peter

          Well, if you wanted an accurate estimate, I would say up to 50% of the activists active in the party in Dunedin who were active in 2008 have walked. This is in a Labour stronghold. Don’t even get me started on outlying rural seats, where the situation is far worse. The really worrying thing is that most of them were under the age of 30 and all had large roles at an LEC or regional level. The membership stats won’t show this though, but most members of the NZLP generally just pay their fees and sit back – it’s when the core of activists who do the bulk of the work leave or refuse to do work that you’ve got an issue. It’s back to a band of baby boom old reliables.

          Labour governments come and go, policies come and go, but the work of organising a political party must endure. But the disconnect between Caucus and the membership is so deep that a general malaise has set in whereby most members can’t see the situation ever getting fixed. Those that remain in party roles have just set their sights a lot lower, and doggedly carry on, maybe instead arguing over the minutes from month to month.

          I do admire what Moira Coatsworth, Jordan Carter et al have achieved with the organisational review, particularly with the leadership ballot, but there are some clangers in there (such as removing Labour regional councils and replacing them with Caucus controlled organising hubs), and above all, no focus on actually resourcing the party to achieve all of the new aims in the review. Instead, it’s the usual focus on just increase the monthly credit card donations…

          For me, whilst I still try and keep up to date with things, I’ve never been happier personally and professionally since I quit – the organisational culture was pretty rotten. I guess you can only see such things for what they are after you leave.

          • Tom Gould

            Thanks, Peter. I have not been a member of any party or been to a party meeting of any sort for years, but I do recall the very same syndrome you describe in the 1980s and the 1990s, mostly during periods in opposition.

            • Colonial Viper

              I think you have made a slight mistake. Its not the period in Opposition which is the common factor between Labour today and Labour in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. It is the ideological bankruptcy and moral cowardice.

        • Luke

          I concur, I am uneasy at Robertson especially. He still looks like he has puddings after dinner. He is smarmy and somwhat of a charisma vacuum. Sheaer is a nice guy, but would probably be better suited as the Labour spokesman for Education, and Research & Development. Labour needs a person who is pugnacious, and lives and breathes politics. More importantly, has vision. The only person I can see doing that is David Cunliffe. But without Nanaia Mahuta (another lacklustre MP), perhaps Charles Chauvel. He seems to be inoffensive, smart and more unlikely to stab you in the back than Robertson. Speaking of which, if he becomes leader I will be resigning my membership. ABCs have no place in my Labour Party.

    • Steve W 1.2

      If Shearer is an aspiring “middle way” guy then I have no real interest in him at all. More neo-liberal economics isn’t what this country needs…and the “middle way” is built around that presumption….with a supposedly human face.

      Same bus different driver won’t get NZ where it needs to be.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Light Blue-Green coalition

    • You_Fool 2.1

      I have a friend who wants a yellow-green government, or probably more a green-yellow… and he is half serious…. though it was the early 2000’s yellow he liked… not blue-

  3. Tom Gould 3

    Can anyone remember which dog whistles the Tories blew between 1 and 16 April 2012?

  4. captain hook 4

    to hell with the polls.
    just ask the working man.
    national tried a high risk game and they lost.
    tough for them.

  5. jack 5

    Glad to see National falling. I think the stalling of asset sales and getting the troops out of Afganistan was a result of this poll. Notice how National changed their policies so quickly.
    Gould, it might have been about class sizes and Nick Smith resigning. So much really because National started to go off the rails.

  6. Karen 6

    I am another long term Labour voter who would vote Green if there was an election tomorrow. The current government have performed so badly this year that the Labour Party should be well ahead by now. I still am not sure what Shearer believes in but his support of Paganispeak is not a good sign.

    • gobsmacked 6.1

      The current government have performed so badly this year that the Labour Party should be well ahead by now.

      This. In fact, Labour’s increase since the 2011 election has been no more than National’s rise after 2002, while Bill English was still their leader (around +5%). In each case, they went up, simply because the only way was up.

      The difference – Labour/Clark were cocking up far less (post-2002) than National/Key today. The government was at least competent. For the current government, the last few months have been a series of disasters. A turnip in a suit could be taking votes off this lot.

      Anyone got a spare turnip?

  7. keith ross 7

    I am a person that has always voted labour and this upcoming election is the first time that I will be voting green. I find Shearer the most useless leader that any major party has put up since brash. For gods sake he can’t even string together three sentences without putting his foot in it. At least Goff (sorry about the spelling) had his heart in it and knew what he was talking about. If I was hiring then Shearer would not be on my payroll. This move to the right is sickening for a regular guy like me and the other 2 million New Zealanders,who want and need a real option One nation party is more than enough.

    • Sunny 7.1

      I talked at least a dozen friends and family into voting Labour last time. Never again with Shearer/Robertson et al at the helm. It’s Mana and Green

  8. keith ross 8

    whoops that should be national party

  9. lurgee 9

    Labour have to learn to stand on their own two feet if they are to be a viable governing party. They can’t rely on the Green to toddle along with 15% of the vote and push them over the line. The Greens have their own interests and their own voters’ interests to think of. They are not just a slightly dishevelled, pot smoking extension of the Labour Party. They can – and will – do business with National if need be. Labour will lose support if they are constantly chasing the elusive Green Alliance. They will look pathetic, disgust their supporters and find themselves going no-where if they try. Stop dreaming about Red-Green alliances, if the Red team can’t get itself into a more useful position, it won’t be going anywhere near the Government benches.

    What can Labour do? On studying the talent available, very little. The best team is in the top jobs, shuffling them about would make a minute difference, but there isn’t very much they can do unless they face up to the reality that vaguely aping National’s policies with a few populist, opportunistic postures, isn’t going to get them anywhere.

    I suspect, bitterly, that Labour is simply hoping Key gets bored and goes away before the next election – for if Labour’s talent pool is pretty shallow, National’s – without Key – is a sort of anti-pool.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      They can – and will – do business with National if need be.

      Which is why the Greens have lost my vote.

      • Steve W 9.1.1

        Draco: The Greens are very much awake to the bait and switch tactic National uses to get what it wants. If you look carefully, the Greens have not allowed themselves to be held to ransom by any policy or commitment. Whereas…..the Maori Party are well and truly compromised. Funding for Maori TV (NZ’s last TV public broadcaster), Whanau Ora and several other significant items would be “gone by lunchtime” if they pull the pin on National…and National is able to remain in government. With John Banks and Peter Dunne to prop them up, that is entirely possible. National kept the Maori Party waiting for a very much watered down law on customary rights. As the raison d’etre of the Maori Party that law is a pale shadow of what they were seeking when Tariana Turia walked out of the Labour Party.

        The Greens have not gone there…and party members wouldn’t let them go there even if the parliamentary wing got their lenses fogged by empty promises. As the most democratic party in the country, the party members would rebel outright over any bad deals….because they can and it would matter.

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