The Dim-Post

September 18, 2014

Election predictions and uncertainties and strategic voting

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 12:29 pm

I reckon:

  • National will get between 42 and 44%
  • Labour will get between 22 and 24%
  • Greens will get between 13 and 15%
  • New Zealand First will get between 7 and 9%
  • Before today I thought the Conservatives would get somewhere between 5 and 7%. But with the resignation of Colin Craig’s press secretary two days out and the inevitable whiff of scandal around that, I think that there’s a chance that the news coverage tonight or tomorrow could put him back under 5%.

I don’t know about:

  • The strategic electorates. I have this vague notion that this might be an ‘anti-strategic’ election in which voters get rid of Harawira in Te Tai Tokurau, ACT in Epsom and Dunne in Ohariu. I don’t really know why I think that though.
  • Advance voting. What does the massive increase in advanced voting mean? Have all the parties run ‘Get Out the Advance Vote campaigns and cancelled each other out, or will this advantage some parties over others?
  • GOTV campaigns on the day. Have Internet/Mana spent their pile of money wisely? Will they mobilize loads of young potentially non-voters in Auckland?

I voted today at the VUW advanced voting booth. I voted for the Greens and (strategically!) cast my electorate vote for the Labour candidate in Ohariu. But as I contemplated the ballot boxes for the other Wellington electorates I reflected that if left-wing Hutt South voters cast their electorate vote for the National candidate and Trevor Mallard loses Hutt South, then Labour will get a  list MP who will – probably – actually give a shit about the Labour Party. Vote out Mallard and you might save, say, Jacinda Ardern. AND in three years time you’ll get a new Labour electorate MP you can vote for who also, hopefully, will give a shit about their own party.  So that’s a strategic vote worth considering.

54 Comments »

  1. I’m a little puzzled that everyone’s been so bullish about the Conservatives. They haven’t had a published poll over 5%.

    Comment by russell brown — September 18, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

  2. Agree re the strategic vote in Hutt South. Mallard well passed his best by date.

    Comment by nw — September 18, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

  3. I’ll reserve my final prediction until I see the CB poll this evening, but as things stand, I reckon you’re underestimating Labour by 2. Agreed that depending on what comes out over the next 2 days (particularly how Cons poll this evening in CB) that Conservatives may drop under 5. If that happens, I’d expect a slightly higher Nat vote than you suggest. NZF is closer to 7 than 9.

    I don’t think the strategic electorates will change hands, but they’ll be closer than ever to doing so – I’m picking 60/40 in favour of keeping with the incumbent parties.

    Hutt South will be close, but I’m picking Mallard to just hold. Similarly, I think Palmerston Nth will hold for ILG, but margin will be smaller.

    Comment by lefty — September 18, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

  4. I’m a little puzzled that everyone’s been so bullish about the Conservatives. They haven’t had a published poll over 5%.

    He’s got momentum, also too, the polls underestimated him last time around.

    Comment by danylmc — September 18, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

  5. The downside of voting for Chris Bishop is that a truly odious individual – a man who willingly worked to kill New Zealanders – will claim a local mandate.

    I still struggle to believe that more has not been made of this, or of the 23 year old soon-to-be MP who has also worked to kill New Zealanders. (Then I remember the state of our major newspapers and television networks).

    Comment by George — September 18, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

  6. I think the (media-driven) bullishness about the Conservatives is due to the fact that, sweeping all the madness aside, that this is going to be a really boring election come Saturday/Sunday. I’m not super stoked about it, but barring a miracle we’re going to have a repeat of last election – National in, not quite able to do things on its own, and then it’ll be business as usual (replace asset sales with privacy and away we go).

    The Conservatives getting in would spice things up a little, as the media could feast out on Craig vs Peters stories for a while, but otherwise? Lots of unhappy folk lamenting the utter incompetance of a party that should have waltzed in this time around isn’t quite fit for the news these days.

    I like the Mallard idea by the way – I’d do the same for Cunliffe in New Lynn, but he’s too high up the list.

    Comment by Nathaniel — September 18, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

  7. You live in Ohariu – what’s your sense about Dunne? Is local sentiment to keep him or not?

    Comment by MeToo — September 18, 2014 @ 12:50 pm

  8. Speaking of youth, if the Greens get around 15.5%, then they will elect New Zealand’s youngest-ever MP. Jack McDonald only recently turned 21, but has a very good head on his shoulders. Even if he doesn’t get in, he’s one to watch.

    Comment by George — September 18, 2014 @ 12:50 pm

  9. I predict IMP will do better than they are polling – they have been holding events at which they collect the details of young people, so they can do a get out the vote action. The Q is whether there are enough people in the databases to make a difference… but I doubt the polls are capturing these potential voters and their intentions.

    Comment by MeToo — September 18, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

  10. Chris Bishop may have worked for the tobacco industry, but Hutt South is probably the electorate least likely to worry about that. I think the tobacco factory in Petone is probably one of the biggest employers in the electorate.

    Comment by Nick R — September 18, 2014 @ 1:11 pm

  11. I’m thinking Labour’s vote will consolidate at around the same level as 2011 once “undecided” (but tribal Labour voters) get into the booth.

    Might get an extra % or two if they actually do ‘turnout-the-vote’.

    Will be interesting to see if 2014 is the fabled ‘disconnect from phone polling’ election that everyone has been waiting for.

    Comment by Ant — September 18, 2014 @ 1:17 pm

  12. I did this exact thing. Voted Chris Bishop for Hutt South and Greens for my party vote. It did make me queasy voting National for the first time (let alone for an ex-tobacco lobbyist) but saw a Trevor Mallard loss as a good thing for the Labour party.

    Comment by Matt — September 18, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

  13. Rounding errors notwithstanding, I predict:

    (a) Dunne squeaking in + 0.1% UF
    (b) Hone in by a wide margin + 2.5% in a surprise turnout for IMP based on specials
    (c) Flavell in + 1.0% Maori
    (d) Seymour in + 0.5% Act
    (e) Cons don’t hit 5%
    (f) NZF takes 8.5%

    Larger parties: As per Danyl, though I would tend to upweight Labour a touch over 24% and the Greens just on / a touch under 15%

    Comment by Gregor W — September 18, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

  14. The weather is forecast to be foul, it will be interesting if the theory about weather keeping Labour voters at home
    I doubt that it does now, on the other hand it definitely will work against Internet/Mana

    Comment by Ray — September 18, 2014 @ 1:37 pm

  15. Here are some other prognistications you can bank on…

    Epsom: Right wing voters will split between Act’s Seymor and Conservative’s Rankin. Neither will gain enough votes to stave off the left wing strategic-voter push, and Nationals’s Goldsmith wins the seat.

    Ohariu: Yet again, Dunne romps home. Why? Because the voter pool in Ohariu is overwhelmingly National-leaning and, quite frankly, they’re smarter than the people that comment on left wing blogs.

    Te Tai Tokerau: Davis will narrow the gap, but fail to overhaul Harawira. The Maori Party candidate vote will be virtually nothing because they’ve all strategically voted.

    Bottom line:
    None of these electorate results will matter, because Winston will do the math and find that National + NZF > 50% of the seats in the house.

    Comment by Phil — September 18, 2014 @ 1:45 pm

  16. I predict something will happen that hasn’t happened before:
    http://xkcd.com/1122/

    Comment by MeToo — September 18, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

  17. 1.I’m a little puzzled that everyone’s been so bullish about the Conservatives. They haven’t had a published poll over 5%.

    No but they have had National claiming their internal polling has the Cons at 6%, and apparently people are still willing to take their word at face value.

    Comment by Adrian — September 18, 2014 @ 2:31 pm

  18. My picks:

    National – 42%
    Labour – 26%
    Greens – 13%
    NZ First – 9%
    Conservatives 4%
    IMP 3%

    Goldsmith will win Epsom. Dunne and Mallard will cling on like a pair of old leechs, Hone will scratch in. Nash to squeak in only in Napier.

    Advance voting – Allowing opinion polls to be published when effectively the polls are open is a blight on our democratic process. It must NOT be allowed to happen again.

    GOTV to be much more effective from the left, causing Tea Party levels of dizzy hysteria over imagined voter fraud in the comments section of Kiwiblog.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 18, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

  19. Looks good, Sanctuary, you using the same algorithms as me? Anyway, Labour’s picking up (better late than never), National’s got that fierce downward trend on they got at the previous two elections, and it’s down to poll bias and those massive shifts on the day we get sometimes. Plus, people actually voting, rather than not.

    As far as I can see, Labour-Green + NZF is about one or two seats off a majority. Unless everyone actually fixed the poll bias, and then National could still govern alone. Undecided turns out to be the left, and they vote a bit, it’s Labour’s. Cool.

    Comment by tussock — September 18, 2014 @ 3:18 pm

  20. I get Mallards a tosser but to have Neville Longbottom in instead just makes me want to cry. The asshole at the end of my street has two giant nat billboard and it ruins my day having to walk past them, please don’t subject the hutt to that clown.

    Comment by Bluey — September 18, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

  21. considering polls historically in this country favour the right due to landline only use,I have serious doubts that conservatives will come in anywhere near 5% on the day ,I would keep a very close eye on Internet Mana though,their constituancy both historically and the newer youth vote they’ve been aggressively going after with the Internet party are basically invisible to new zealand polling

    Comment by Gregory Hornell — September 18, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

  22. @Nathaniel: I think you’re right about boredom being the main driver for people talking up the Conservatives. Plus there’s an element of see-I-told-you-so-ism – a lot of people on the left have sunk quite considerable energies into making fun of Colin Craig. If it turns out he was never a significant threat, they were wasting their time, and nobody wants to think that… it’s similar to the way that a lot of the people who hate Sarah Palin don’t want to admit she’s no longer a political force.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — September 18, 2014 @ 3:59 pm

  23. After redistribution, Dunne has the smallest margin in the country, 0.3%. I think that qualifies as too close to call, not romptastic. Also, Labour + Green + NZF have a 3% party vote margin (likely to increase). Why does this matter? NZF voters tend to split for the red team, even more so when there is no NZF candidate for whom to double-tick, which, surprise, surprise, there is none in Ōhāriu.

    If you look at strategic vote splitting in Ōhāriu and Epsom over time, it’s on the rise. Left voters are increasingly willing to vote ‘dishonestly’. People who couldn’t bear to vote for Worth, but for whom there’s no question of voting for Goldsmith, do exist. So losses for Dunne and Seymour will require a decrease in the righties’ strategic voting, which probably won’t happen cos that’s sabotaging National’s chances at forming a government. TT Tokerau is a bit stranger.

    My picks: N + L < 70%; NZF + Cons =/< Greens @ slightly under 13% (Colin getting just under 5% and demanding a nationwide recount); IMP 3 MPs; Māori 2 MPs; if Seymour gets in, Whyte will get in too; if Dunne gets in it'll be an overhang; 'others' 0.7%.

    Crackpot theory? Angry Nat voters who want to punish National but can't stomach a change in government, split for Labour candidates, creating an overhang, making National require the support of every party possible (Grand coalition?)

    Comment by hydey — September 18, 2014 @ 4:30 pm

  24. Conservatives look wounded from today’s resignation – let’s see if the media pounce on this to frame every bit of related news in a negative way. If they do, will NZ First benefit? Or will soft Conservatives stick with National?
    It has begun:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11327195

    I mean, they have NEVER made the 5% threshold, but they’ve been talked up nonetheless. And their results have bounced around, so while 3.3 is not flash it is also not way out of line. The differences in their polling, from one poll to the next, is margin of error territory.

    Comment by MeToo — September 18, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

  25. I reflected that if left-wing Hutt South voters cast their electorate vote for the National candidate and Trevor Mallard loses Hutt South, then Labour will get a list MP who will – probably – actually give a shit about the Labour Party. Vote out Mallard and you might save, say, Jacinda Ardern.

    General point taken, but Jacinda Ardern is fifth on the list; she’s in with a grin.

    Comment by Matt — September 18, 2014 @ 5:05 pm

  26. My predictions:

    The election result will be declared today and tomorrow. (National win)

    The election result will be declared again at around 8 to 9 pm on Saturday. (National huge win)

    The election result will be declared again around midnight on Saturday. (National narrow win)

    The real election result will be declared 2 weeks later, after the votes have been counted.

    Only the last one will be real, but by then the “truthyish” election result will have taken hold.

    Personally I hope Winston goes fishing again, just to see Patrick Gower explode on screen.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — September 18, 2014 @ 5:34 pm

  27. I reckon:
    – Labour/Green combined vote will be about 40% – the actual split is irrelevant
    – National 43%
    – NZ First 8%
    – Conservatives 4% and Hone gets pipped so vote redistribution means a Labour/Greens/NZF coalition government is viable (viable = i can’t actually work out the exact maths)

    But…..Winston and Key will do a deal and we see a Nat/NZF coalition government.

    I’ve not mentioned Act or United or Maori as I don’t think their results will have a influence on who forms the next government.

    Comment by Kurt — September 18, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

  28. – – “He’s got momentum, ”

    Not really. His tiny increases in the 3 News polls are never backed up by the next poll out. That reassurance that their vote won’t be wasted that a certain portion of potential Conservative voters will need isn’t there.

    Suggesting they might just have got past the 5% barrier is understandable! but 7%? That was never going to happen.

    Other than that I think your predictions are about right, except I’d put Labour up a little and Greens down a little.

    Comment by steve — September 18, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

  29. Latest Poll of polls interesting – demonstrates my point about Conservatives…

    http://jononatusch.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/poll-of-polls-update-18-september-2014/

    Comment by steve — September 18, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

  30. Conservatives won’t make 5%. Jamie Whyte will get in and Act will sit on cross benches.

    Comment by Swan — September 18, 2014 @ 9:18 pm

  31. @Swan: I doubt ACT will stay out of government.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — September 18, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

  32. Conservatives won’t make 5%. Jamie Whyte will get in and Act will sit on cross benches.

    Huh? On how many polls has ACT got more than 1% support, let alone more than 1.2%?

    If we’re just playing “I wish” here, then the Alliance will get 9% and hold the balance of power.

    Comment by Flashing Light — September 19, 2014 @ 7:27 am

  33. @kalvarnsen,

    Having said the above, Swan may be right about David Seymour being on the cross-benches. What odds Peters says to National “if you want my support, it’s me in Government with you and no-one else”?

    Comment by Flashing Light — September 19, 2014 @ 7:28 am

  34. I know several Labour voters (“several” being three) who live in Epsom, and every last one of them is voting for Goldsmith. I really don’t think ACT will do it this time.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 19, 2014 @ 7:59 am

  35. Oh BTW – anyone heard if Judith Dreadful will hang on in Papakura, or will the peasants revolt and kick her out?

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 19, 2014 @ 8:25 am

  36. Kal: Making fun of Colin Craig is its own reward, regardless of whether he’s relevant or not.

    Comment by helenalex — September 19, 2014 @ 8:50 am

  37. Judith Collins is ranked 6th on the party list, but she also holds a large majority in Papakura.

    Comment by Ross — September 19, 2014 @ 8:53 am

  38. know several Labour voters (“several” being three) who live in Epsom

    That would be all of them.
    I agree that Goldsmith is probably the best value pick if you’re a betting man (iPredict has him at $0.13c) but it’s not likely to be because of a left wing push. They tried that last time, it didn’t work, and the socio-economic fundamentals of the electorate haven’t changed much. It’ll be because those who party-vote national will split between Rankin and Seymor.

    Comment by Phil — September 19, 2014 @ 9:17 am

  39. Just putting it out there Flashing, will check in for the shaming on Sunday if wrong. Act have gone hard for the Asian vote in north and east auckland which may be underrepresented in the polls. I think they have done far better this election than 2011 when Brash was basically invisible. Agreed its possible Peters will look to block Act and Maori Party. But I don’t think there is any chance of Whyte or Seymour being ministers in any case.

    I think Seymour will get in – they held their nose and voted Banks last time, it will be easier to vote Seymour

    Comment by Swan — September 19, 2014 @ 9:30 am

  40. Having already given your party vote to the Greens, you’re now encouraging Hutt South to cast their electorate vote for a tobacco lobbyist to ensure the right people come in on the Labour list? What an a-hole!
    I don’t understand your preoccupation with hating Trevor, but even allowing for grudges the assumption that a new candidate (presumably cast in your own image of the left, maybe a Green) would win the seat back is naive. Labour’s best chance of holding the seat is from incumbency, particularly now the hills to the west have joined the electorate.
    Finally, your ditch-Trevor-get-a-list-MP theory ignores where the list looks like it might be iffy. I would take Trevor Mallard in caucus over Sue Moroney any day of the week.

    Comment by Terence Trent Darcy — September 19, 2014 @ 9:39 am

  41. Outside of predictive programming polls… I feel the result will look like this:

    Labour………. 41%
    Greens……….19%
    NZF…………… 15%
    National…….. 15%
    I/M……………. 06%
    Others………. 04%

    Based on real world communications.
    .

    Comment by William Kind — September 19, 2014 @ 10:01 am

  42. I don’t understand your preoccupation with hating Trevor

    TTD – Maybe take a look back through the blog archives for the numerous comments on why Mallard is an incompetent, divisive, back-stabbing, self interested, troughing jobs-worth (albeit a well loved electorate MP).

    Comment by Gregor W — September 19, 2014 @ 11:06 am

  43. Yeah Gregor, I’ve seen the posts accusing Mallard of all manner of crime, but have never seen much actual evidence. I’ve seen him being a good MP, reasonably effective at both electorate and portfolio work.
    He owes Cunliffe nothing, but has joined the rest of the MPs who endured 5years of Cunliffe’s bullshit and are now providing the most unified and constructive caucus Labour has seen since Helen. But he’s still a stock whipping horse for the activist left, which is looking more trite and lazy by the day.
    That’s what I don’t understand.

    Comment by Terence Trent Darcy — September 19, 2014 @ 11:59 am

  44. @Swan the NZ parliament has no cross benches, its a hemicircle:

    The UK House of Lords has cross benches, as shown:

    Comment by richdrich — September 19, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

  45. He owes Cunliffe nothing, but has joined the rest of the MPs who endured 5years of Cunliffe’s bullshit…

    I think that’s your gulf in understanding right there, TTD.

    Where you see “he owes Cunliffe nothing…”a lot of other people view Mallard’s legacy as very little to do with his relationship with Cunliffe at all but rather, about his inability to move beyond his own privileged incumbency and petty factionalism to do the best for the NZLP, irrespective of who is leader.

    Comment by Gregor W — September 19, 2014 @ 12:42 pm

  46. and are now providing the most unified and constructive caucus Labour has seen since Helen.

    That’s a bit like saying ‘Songs of Innocence’ is the best U2 album since ‘Achtung Baby’.

    Comment by Phil — September 19, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

  47. Gregor, I’ll humbly suggest that the gulf is rather more between our perception of what is good for the NZLP. I thoroughly disagree with your characterisation of Mallard.
    Fortunately there are a growing range of democratic avenues within the party to work on bridging that gulf. They’re probably more constructive than encouraging people to vote for Chris Bishop.

    Phil, at least it’s better than All That You Can’t Leave Behind…?

    Comment by Terence Trent Darcy — September 19, 2014 @ 2:08 pm

  48. Without Judith Tizard and the pious fraud of ‘her’ NZ Music Month Quiz, Mallard has no point or purpose.

    Comment by Joe W — September 19, 2014 @ 5:04 pm

  49. “That’s a bit like saying ‘Songs of Innocence’ is the best U2 album since ‘Achtung Baby’.”

    Everybody knows that’s ‘Zooropa’.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — September 19, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

  50. @ Tussock: “…National could still govern alone..”

    Ours is a proportional system. When we the citizens voted it in all those years ago, our intention was to prevent any party from governing alone, after what we’d endured in the previous decade, we wished to clip the wings of the Executive, by forcing parties to form coalitions or other governing arrangements with other parties. Yet we still have journalists and commentators talking about one party or another “governing alone”. I conclude that they don’t understand the system. What they should be looking at is, not who gets the most votes, but how votes are distributed among blocs: in NZ’s case, Right and Centre-ish – we no longer have Left-wing parties.

    If one party were to get enough votes to be able to govern alone, that would mean our proportional system has failed. And NZ would be a one-party state. Do people really want that? I doubt it.

    Comment by D'Esterre — September 19, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

  51. “If one party were to get enough votes to be able to govern alone, that would mean our proportional system has failed. And NZ would be a one-party state.”

    I know hyperbole is fun, but that’s not what a one-party state is.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — September 19, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

  52. @ Kalvarnsen: “I know hyperbole is fun, but that’s not what a one-party state is.”

    Ha! Of course I know what a one-party state is: Syria; Zimbabwe; etc….. Fiji, of recent memory. Still is, some might say.

    However, I lived through the period which preceded and precipitated the change in our electoral system: it sure as Hell felt like a one-party state. And, like many others who also endured that period, I get irritated by commentators who should know better rabbiting on about National – or any other single party – governing alone.

    Comment by D'Esterre — September 20, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

  53. Your predictions were about as accurate as Snowdens “evidence” delivered at the “moment of truth”.

    Tonight was the real moment of truth.

    Comment by Nick K — September 21, 2014 @ 12:30 am

  54. Well those predictions were well wrong. Another three years of National and they’ve never been more powerful or popular. A good result for New Zealand. A hilarious result for Public Sector workers. More pay restraint, more pay restraint. Plus some public sector rationalisation.

    Comment by OECD rank 22 kiwi — September 21, 2014 @ 12:34 am


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