The Dim-Post

July 29, 2008

Pontificating about polls

Filed under: media,Politics — danylmc @ 7:34 am
Tags: , ,

Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?

– Robert Orben

I’m not going to comment on poll results very much, because that would be a bit too much work; but the Herald have some new numbers and the usual post hoc explanations for them showing a Labour slump and National surge. The numbers buck the current trend so the poll may be an outlier, its also a relatively small sample size (n=770).

New Zealand First shows a slight increase – I don’t think this reflects on the current Peter’s scandal at all, which would have been happening during the tail end of the poll. These things seem terribly important to politics junkies but tend to take some time to filter out into the wider electorate.

The poll shows a large number of undecided voters and Herald journalist Paula Oliver thinks this may be good news for Labour; but undecided’s tend to break against the incumbant so maybe not.

If Labour have lost their bump then my (worthless post hoc) guess is that the Labour attacks on Key were working, but they’ve lost their effect now that Labour have backed off.

A lot of commentators have been clicking their tongues and stroking their beards in disapproval of Labour’s anti-Key rhetoric; realistically it is the only option the party has. They tried releasing policy and looking like a responsible government and it just drove them furthur down in the polls. Their only alternative is a circut breaker that can knock Key out of the game.


  1. Look when the poll was taken… it pre-dated the polls over the weekend and started during the truckies protest

    Comment by Ian Llewellyn — July 29, 2008 @ 10:04 pm

  2. I didn’t see that – that must mean they ran the poll for well over two weeks, which doesn’t seem like very sound methodology especially with that small a sample size.

    Comment by danylmc — July 30, 2008 @ 12:59 pm

  3. “Their only alternative is a circut breaker that can knock Key out of the game.”

    or they could have stuck to policy. it would have taken a bit more nevre given how down they are in the polls but given that their chances of re-election were always going to be slim, after 3 terms, they could have taken the moral high road and lost with dignity. now they just look mean and desperate.

    i know quite a few uninon members (not the union-boss type over at The Standard) whose enthusiam for Labour has plumeted.

    Comment by Neil — July 30, 2008 @ 8:30 pm

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