The Dim-Post

June 19, 2014

Good grief

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 7:58 am

Via Stuff:

In the latest political poll, the party has dropped 6 percentage points to 23 per cent. National is soaring on 56 per cent, which would allow it to govern alone.

Obviously this precedes the Liu stuff. My guess is that its a bit of an outlier but still part of the trend of Labour losing votes to National. And I don’t think that’s really Cunliffe’s fault (although obviously he isn’t helping). Like I said the other day, lots of Labour voters seem to be freaked out by Internet/Mana so they’re switching to National. And Internet/Mana look as though they are picking up votes off the Greens.

Now, Internet/Mana might make good on their promise to turn out loads of young low decile voters, which might not show up in the polls but will have a huge impact on the actual election – and good on them if they do. But at this point it looks like the Harawira/Harre/Dotcom contribution to the election will be to cannibalise the left vote and scare the centre vote over to National, possibly gifting them an historic victory.

If the trend continues Labour will have to take a risk (for once) and rule out Internet/Mana from a Labour government.


  1. Hard to say for sure, but I’d be seeing it as an outlier. Having said that, add the Liu stuff on top of it, and probably the next poll will look the same (notwithstanding this being an outlier given it was taken before the Liu stuff).

    I think that people were previously a bit turned off by the thought of the coalition that was necessary for a Labour win, but at least they were sort of known quantities. But adding Mana/Internet into that mix would be a step too far for some people.

    Comment by PaulL — June 19, 2014 @ 8:20 am

  2. The important thing for the Left at this time is not panic
    And ignore anything Bomber comes up with, now is not the time for culling of dissidents

    Comment by rayinnz — June 19, 2014 @ 8:45 am

  3. There was a fair amount of used scoffing when I voiced the opinion Jones should have been leader.

    I haven’t been proved wrong.

    Cunliffe might say rude things about his caucus in private but telling the media his opponents are scabs is remarkably stupid.

    Comment by NeilM — June 19, 2014 @ 8:46 am

  4. Bomber is a fantastic campaigner for National. Any time I come across an undecided voter I helpfully suggest the take a quick look at his blog. Works every time.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — June 19, 2014 @ 8:53 am

  5. Cunliffe claims full support of caucus. Apart from the scabs I suppose.

    Comment by NeilM — June 19, 2014 @ 9:18 am

  6. Danyl, I’m not so sure it’s an “outlier”. I think the most notable thing is the difference between people polled, and people supporting a party. At 777 out of 1014, that is an increase in undecideds of 5% since last month, and 7% since February.
    (If you hover over the polls, you’ll get the number of decided voters)

    Comment by James — June 19, 2014 @ 9:44 am

  7. Yep, James (9.44 am) is spot on. The swing is first and foremost from the Left into Undecided territory. (Andrea Vance makes a vague reference to this in her poll report). I’ll be setting out some detailed stats from the latest Fairfax on my blog (Sub-Zero Politics) over the next couple of days.

    Comment by swordfish — June 19, 2014 @ 10:18 am

  8. The Fairfax poll seems to repeatedly have National higher than other polls and have Labour lower than other polls. Why is this? Difference in polling practices perhaps?

    Comment by Louis M — June 19, 2014 @ 10:26 am

  9. @Louis, I thought the story around here was that Roy Morgan was the outlier that had National too high. They can’t all be outliers!!

    Comment by PaulL — June 19, 2014 @ 10:40 am

  10. Couple of other interesting things from this poll result (in addition to the ~22% undecided).

    Mana (guess it means Internet Mana) shows increase and is now higher than ACT, Conservative, united Future and Maori Party, all of whom drop. All within margin of error though.

    Have a look at polling by region and age group. Once again big margin of error (around 8% I think) but Greens > Labour in rest of South Island and 30-45 age range. Labour looks best in Canterbury, gain over National if I recall correctly. A d the plus 65s put Greens and NZ First as much the same.

    Comment by Andrew R — June 19, 2014 @ 10:52 am

  11. National was slightly higher in the polls than this, at the comparative time in the 2011 election cycle.

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — June 19, 2014 @ 10:57 am

  12. If you rely simply on the Decided respondents (as the MSM is apt to do), you’d be led to believe that this latest Fairfax-Ipsos reveals an enormous 7 point swing from Left Bloc to Right Bloc.

    However, re-calculate Party support on the basis of the ENTIRE sample (thus allowing one to take into account movement in and out of the Undecided category) and you get the following:

    LEFT BLOC – 7.6 points
    RIGHT BLOC + 2.4 points
    UNDECIDED + 5.1 points

    Major swing from the Left to Undecided category and a minor Left-to-Right swing. I think that provides a much more accurate indication of the change in popular sentiment recorded in this Poll.

    Comment by swordfish — June 19, 2014 @ 11:00 am

  13. But adding Mana/Internet into that mix would be a step too far for some people.

    Probably true but the party might have only 2-3 MPs in the next Parliament. So, they’re unlikely to have a massive influence on any Labour led govt. I imagine Labour will be making that point closer to the election.

    Comment by Ross — June 19, 2014 @ 11:18 am

  14. Thanks for that analysis swordfish. It’s at least as plausible as Danyls constantly repeated “swing from Labour to National”. The truth is that unless we actually track people over time, we can’t actually know who is swinging where or why. We can only guess. A pairs plot on the past data can give an idea of correlations (but not causation, obviously).

    Comment by Ben Wilson — June 19, 2014 @ 11:30 am

  15. >But at this point it looks like the Harawira/Harre/Dotcom contribution to the election will be to cannibalise the left vote and scare the centre vote over to National, possibly gifting them an historic victory.

    Well, it was a sitter for National already, you know. Blaming Mana/IP for the woes of the entire Left…brilliant satire. Laila Harre scared NZ into the arms of an outright majority for Key.

    It is actually plausible that people like National more for other reasons than the machinations of the extreme Left. The country could just be becoming more conservative, whilst National becomes less so, and they meet in the middle.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — June 19, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

  16. Nice to see that in rest of South Island (not Canterbury) Greens polling higher than Labour. Same for 30 to 45 age range I think.

    Then there is the reducing poll levels for ACT, United Future, Conservative, Maori Party but up for Mana/Internet.

    Comment by Andrew R — June 19, 2014 @ 12:45 pm

  17. Not sure what the problem is but this is the third time i have tried to leave a comment.

    Other interesting tidbits from that poll (in addition to the % of undecideds reported above) are
    — the South Island excluding Canterbury is showing Greens polling in higher than Labour, big margin of error though
    — similar result I think for the age range 30-45
    — over 65s really don’t like the Greens
    — ACT, Maori Party, United Future, Conservatives all show drop. Mana/Internet polling highest of the smaller parties. But probably all overlapping margins of error country.

    Comment by Andrew R — June 19, 2014 @ 1:08 pm

  18. This is delicious.

    The writing at the Standard seems to have been taken over by Monty Python. As limbs continue to be sliced off Labour and its leader, their response is “merely a scratch/flesh wound”.

    Comment by King Kong — June 19, 2014 @ 2:06 pm

  19. Yep, Andrew – quite a significant margin of error with some of those demo/geographic breakdowns. Some of these sub-groups involve a base of just 80, 100, 120 respondents. So not entirely surprising that – with many of them – party support fluctuates wildly between polls.

    It’s important, I think, to remember that Fairfax Polls consistently indicate that a majority of Undecideds favour a change of government. In this latest Fairfax, the split among the entire sample is 48/44 in favour of the status quo in terms of the “Mood for a Change of Government’ question (which, unlike the party support results, includes both decideds and undecided). That 4 point gap is far narrower than the divide between Right and Left on the Party Vote question.

    All of which suggests that the Country is a little more evenly divided than the dear old MSM would have us believe. Just a pity that a large chunk of erstwhile Labour/Left voters may well stay at home come September. A vicious circle, the more the MSM emphasise the notion that ‘Labour is Dog Tucker’ (as they did in 08 and 11), the more Left voters will be driven into non-voting (and, to a lesser extent, into sheer insanity).

    Comment by swordfish — June 19, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

  20. Today’s Roy Morgan, over a similar time period, gives the Ipsos more context. Labour is dripping support, and National and the Greens are holding steady. The Government Confidence Rating of 139 is still a bad thing for the opposition, and won’t give much hope.

    The only glimmer of light for the opposition is that National’s current coalition partners are *collectively* worth 1.5% of the vote, and the Conservatives are far enough from 5% at 1.5% that they won’t do anything except waste votes.

    Comment by George — June 19, 2014 @ 3:57 pm

  21. Cunliffe has cleverly turned the tables on National. Apparently National have been mean to him.


    Comment by NeilM — June 19, 2014 @ 4:11 pm

  22. The Greens out to the left of labour can of course do no wrong, and Labour needs to cuddle up close. IM on the other hand are all bad and must be squashed.

    Nice to know what the thinking is at Greens HQ Danyl, thanks for letting us know.

    Comment by Swan — June 19, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

  23. Roy Morgan (June 2-15) National 49.5% Labour 28%.
    Fairfax-Ipsos (June 14-17) National 56%, Labour 23%

    And once again we have two polls conducted over a similar time period with results that are way outside the differences that would be expected by sampling error alone.

    Comment by wtl — June 19, 2014 @ 5:08 pm

  24. Rule out Internet/MANA. Right.

    So then if IMANA held the balance of power, Labour would support a National minority government on confidence and supply rather than form a government with the dreaded pinko commies?

    Comment by richdrich — June 19, 2014 @ 5:57 pm

  25. Thanks for notification of the latest Roy Morgan, George. I assumed it wouldn’t be out for another few days.

    But, I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion that “Labour is dripping support and National and the Greens are holding steady” ?
    Sure, Labour’s down 1 point (margin of error territory), but National’s down 3, while the Greens are up 3. IMP up 1.5.

    Left clearly up / Right clearly down (in stark contrast to the latest Fairfax).

    Comment by swordfish — June 19, 2014 @ 7:06 pm

  26. Sure, Labour’s down 1 point (margin of error territory), but National’s down 3, while the Greens are up 3. IMP up 1.5.

    Left clearly up / Right clearly down (in stark contrast to the latest Fairfax).

    But only in the context of the last RM, which was a bounce/rogue for National. Based on the last eight weeks of polls, 46-48 is where we’d expect National to poll at without substantial movement from their recent position, 11-13 for the Greens, and 31-33 for Labour.

    Comment by George — June 19, 2014 @ 8:18 pm

  27. Now that it has suddenly dawned upon Cunliffe that National does indeed conspire against Labour he might be motivated to use that political,genius he is supposed to have.

    Comment by NeilM — June 20, 2014 @ 12:19 am

  28. I sometimes like to imagine an alternate universe where Danyl is a close advisor to the Labour leadership. I can just see him telling Cunliffe the urgent need to rip into Internet/Mana publically, while at the same time saying nice things about the Greens. And when this brilliant strategy doesn’t work, some blogger would wonder what Cunliffe’s advisors can possibly be thinking.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — June 20, 2014 @ 12:21 am

  29. Meanwhile the Minister (as in, actual power) is found to have told porkies about the letter and his role in it, but nobody cares, because he doesn’t look funny like Cunliffe does, or something.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — June 20, 2014 @ 6:07 am

  30. Imagine if this were Shearer instead of Cunliffe and how badly Shearer would have responded to the pressure. It would have been excruciating. Cunliffe has interviewed well on this; looking past the original mistake,he might come out of this okay.

    Comment by MeToo — June 20, 2014 @ 7:34 am

  31. He’s bound to do better at crisis management than Collins since he’s taken aggrieved self pity and added the polishing touches of a fake smile and insulting caucus colleagues.

    Comment by NeilM — June 20, 2014 @ 11:38 am

  32. One thing that strikes me is it’s yet another political shambles partly attributable to our immigration policy of favoring the wealthy.

    If Labour want to do something about immigration then that might be a good place to start rather than axing family reunification numbers.

    Comment by NeilM — June 20, 2014 @ 12:21 pm

  33. As limbs continue to be sliced off Labour and its leader

    You must be dreaming, or a rabid Tory.

    Comment by Ross — June 20, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

  34. Tic toc . Two or three more full throated denials of wrongdoing should be enough to see the next bomb released.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — June 20, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

  35. If this counts as a “bomb”, political discourse has gone down the shitter in NZ.
    No at all a fan of Cunliffe, but if a form letter written to a constituent by a staffer 11 years ago is regarded as a smoking gun, people need to have their fucking heads read.

    Comment by Gregor W — June 20, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

  36. As long as the press gallery considers political reporting to be a variant of sports commentary, who’s pulled a better stroke this week is the discourse you’re going to get.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — June 20, 2014 @ 4:13 pm

  37. Compulsory reading: TLDR version. Labour loses votes not to National, but to undecideds. Labour most certainly does not lose votes to the Greens.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — June 23, 2014 @ 11:20 am

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