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What was it about that Herald poll?

Written By: - Date published: 5:24 pm, July 29th, 2008 - 20 comments
Categories: flip-flop, john key, polls - Tags: ,

Should Labour be worried about today’s poll in the Herald which contrary to other recent polls showed the gap between the parties rising? Colin Espiner doesn’t seem to think so, suggesting:

I wouldn’t take much notice of the Herald DigiPoll. This one’s even worse than the last one. It was taken over THREE WEEKS and interviewed just 770 people. Most of the major polls are of 1000 people are taken over one week. Three weeks is simply too long to get a meaningful result. The DigiPoll is also an ‘omnibus’ poll – ie political questions are thrown in alongside stuff like what brand of soap powder you buy. The DigiPoll is showing the gap between National and Labour widening when four other polls with bigger sample sizes taken more recently have shown it narrowing. I don’t think this poll is worth the cover price of today’s Herald.

And in case you missed it, he said some interesting things about Mr Key’s about face on supporting  Working for Families too:

National has long said it wouldn’t change the basic structure of WFF, of course, but it had dropped hints that it was considering alterations to stop this middle-class welfare creeping quite so far up the income scale. Key has said many times that he considers this to be a disincentive to work, that middle-income families should be paying less tax in the first place rather than getting a handout, and that the ‘one size fits all’ approach of WFF wouldn’t work.

In fact, back in 2004, Key called it ‘communism by stealth’ and opined that ‘it didn’t work very well in Eastern Europe and it won’t work very well here’…

There is one danger for National in all of this, though, and that’s that it inoculates so many policies that voters begin to wonder whether there really is any point in changing governments at all. If the policy differences disappear then it really does become a straight horse-race between Helen Clark and John Key. If Key is shown up by Clark during the campaign, National has absolutely nothing else to offer besides slightly bigger tax cuts.


20 comments on “What was it about that Herald poll?”

  1. Anita 1

    The gender split in the Herald poll is bloody impressive though.


    Female: 49.6%
    Male: 60.6%


    Female: 37.5%
    Male: 24.7%

    It’s hard to know whether the gap is real (assuming genders polled equally through the three weeks), or skewed in the same way (assuming more of one early and filling the other quota at the end).

    It doesn’t feel wrong tho.

  2. Likewise Auckland vs the rest. It is quite possible for the poll to be “out” overall but for these categories to be reasonably indicative of how the these categories are split.

  3. Anita 3


    Yeah, I was really surprised by the Auckland vs the rest too.

    Hasn’t the Herald been showing a huge regional difference all year? Suddenly this poll no real difference at all in the National and Labour percentages.

    What gives?!

  4. Normal service resumes I see.
    it is rogue I tell ya… Rogue.

  5. randal 5

    NOBODY reads the Herald down this way and furthermore if by chance they do they dont believe a word of it. it comes from aukland you see

  6. Hey Bill – if Labour wins again will you leave New Zealand?

  7. jbc 7

    Bill, ‘sod’s suggestion is not such a bad idea. You can then get to enjoy NZ as a holiday destination at your leisure. It can be surprisingly good.

    You become a subject of the Ministry of Tourism (Economic Development) instead of a target of Inland Revenue.

    Best of all though: following NZ politics and rogue polls (such as the subject of this thread) is much more tolerable when you don’t have to suffer the consequences.

  8. Have been trying to leave for nearly a decade Rob. Family and circumstances have conspired to keep me here. I fear age and my health are against me now. The only place that can provide political theatre to the same high standard as here is the UK. Unfortunately my country of birth is now over run with mussies and pikeys, so can’t go back there.
    Anyway, i wonder what tomorrows Dom Post will serve up for the daily winston cabaret?
    Did anybody else think he might have been drunk in parliament today?

  9. burt 9

    Hey Bill – if Labour wins again will you leave New Zealand?

    It will lift the average IQ in both countries. Ha ha ha ha – I’m so funny.

    Winston eh, the man who’s party has been using a secret trust to get around declaring donations from big business. Is there a sequel to the Hollow men planned? Perhaps it could have pictures of Winston on both covers, it’s one way to show both his faces. Filthy Labour-led govt has been doing what it supporters accuse National of… bet they think it’s OK when Winston and Labour do it?

  10. ak 10

    “mussies and pikeys” Bill?

    and relapse burt? or just drunk again?

  11. burt 11

    Hi ak

    One day I’ll be surprised when you address me with some substance, I’m not holding my breath.

    I’m also not holding my breath for Winston to explain how he reconciles his rhetoric over National and their secret trusts and the EFA and I’m also not holding my breath for supporters of the Labour-led govt to call for Winston to resign. It was apparently appropriate for Brash, but I guess Brash wasn’t integral to the Labour-led govt.

    Have a nice night.

  12. burt 12

    Winston voted for retrospective validations because the electoral laws were confusing and other people also got it wrong as well.

    He’s having no trouble being sure of himself over this use of the electoral law. I guess some sections are confusing and some are just dam convenient. Guess that’s the way it goes when lawyers are free to judge their own indiscretions under laws they wrote for their own advantage. But hey Winston has the confidence of Helen Clark (who’s govt depends on him).

    Bananas anyone?

  13. John 13

    It is pretty simple. The Herald has decided they want a National government and damn the truth they plan to make it happen even if it means dodgy polling. The question is, what has John Key offered them? It has to be more than getting Audrey Young’s brother elected.

  14. RedLogix 14

    The question is, what has John Key offered them?

    Re-open the $120m plus GST tax loophole that Dr Cullen closed on them?

  15. The Herald-Digipoll is a strange one. The Herald is openly committed to a National win in the elections. That could not be more clear. Their newspaper’s news copy is – right down to what light bulbs we use – is shaped around “Labour government = bad”….ad National wins by default.

    The editorial in the Herald today was giving Key a hard time for not being radical enough.

    What more needs to be said?

  16. Razorlight 17

    This is one reason why the left will be out of government in only a few months time. Rather than listening to the message coming from the media they simply dismiss it as Tory propaganda. In fact unless the media praises the Labour government it is dismissed as low brow media hacks not having the intelligence to understand what a great job is being done by the government.

    Get off your partisan high horses and accept that the media reflects the opinion of many New Zealanders. Rather than arrogantly dismissing their messages try working out why they and 50%+ of the public is not happy with Labour and wants a return to a National led governmant.

    Simply claiming they are Tory hacks is not going to win you this election.

  17. infused 18

    Well said Razorlight. That really is their problem. Also, they keep dismissing it. I think this is what pisses the public off more. Labour cannot accept the public don’t like them.

    I find it bizarre to be honest. I think if they just sat down and listened this election would be a different story. But no, they just try to piss the public off more.

    Labour = We know whats best

  18. BeShakey 19

    I suspect that given the small initial sample size the (already large) margin of error, would be huge once you roughly halve the sample size to get to the male/female level. I suspect thats the reason the Herald is happy to report the results but not so keen to report something that would tell you how huge the MoE is.

  19. Razorlight: We hear the media just fine. They mount a campaign to save dimmer switches and slag off the government for saving 277megawatts in peak power demand (half of Project Aqua)…..while failing to pick up a story that the numbers on the employment benefit are the lowest in 30 years….as 17,456.

    Bad news about labour is fine – even if you have to make up.

    Good news isn’t printable(lowest unemployment in a generation)…or has to be turned into bad news (dimmer switches).

    The message is VERY clear.

    Are you sure you’re hearing is OK?

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