The Dim-Post

July 22, 2016

Roy Morgan wild guessing game

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 5:45 am

Roy Morgan reckons:

During July support for National jumped a large 10% to 53%, now well ahead of a potential Labour/Greens alliance 37% (down 5.5%). If a New Zealand Election was held now the latest NZ Roy Morgan Poll shows National, with their biggest lead since May 2015, would win easily.

However, support for the National partners was down slightly with the Maori Party down 1.5% to 0.5%, Act NZ was up 0.5% to 1% and United Future was 0% (unchanged).

Support fell for all three Parliamentary Opposition parties; Labour’s support was 25.5% (down 2.5%) – the lowest support for Labour since May 2015; Greens support was 11.5% (down 3%) and NZ First 7% (down 2%). Of parties outside Parliament the Conservative Party of NZ was 0.5% (down 0.5%), the Mana Party was 0.5% (unchanged) and support for Independent/ Other was 0.5% (down 0.5%).

Wow! The easiest thing to say is that this is a rogue poll, and that quarter of a million people did not switch to National in the last month. But maybe the last poll was rogue, and National’s support really is that high? Who knows?

No doubt Labour will start leaking that their secret polls show them getting a major bump after their conference. If you added all the bumps they’ve claimed from their private polls they’d be on about 500% by now.

My guess about the swing – if there was a swing – is that the news recently has been dominated by horror, fear and uncertainty. Terror attacks, racial violence in the US, Brexit, and so voters are looking for political stability and supporting National. If they are.

19 Comments »

  1. UMR poll last week put Labour/Greens ahead of Nat’s by a few points.
    I expect Curia have been spinning like crazy to get some polling going that shows higher support.
    Their methodology has always been skewed, maybe Farrar has got some of his minions into other polling organisations now!

    Comment by anarkaytie — July 22, 2016 @ 6:14 am

  2. Think I just sprained my ocular muscles

    Comment by danylmc — July 22, 2016 @ 6:22 am

  3. Does anyone outside of people who have already decided they are going to vote for a party anyway care what happens at conferences?

    Comment by Cliff Clavin — July 22, 2016 @ 6:42 am

  4. Danyl: “But maybe the last poll was rogue, and National’s support really is that high? Who knows?”

    Bear in mind that the last 4 (pre-July) Roy Morgans have favoured the Opposition parties over the Govt – not just the June one. So, this latest one certainly sticks out like a sore thumb.
    http://thestandard.org.nz/daily-review-21072016/#comment-1206890

    Danyl: “No doubt Labour will start leaking that their secret polls show them getting a major bump after their conference. If you added all the bumps they’ve claimed from their private polls they’d be on about 500% by now.”

    UMR is a reputable polling company that’s conducted Labour’s polling for well over 20 years now. They performed very well in their immediate pre-Election polls 2008-2014 compared to the major Public Pollsters. At the very least holding their own, if not a little more accurate than the others.

    Here’s the final round of polling for the 2014 GE:

    http://thestandard.org.nz/daily-review-21072016/#comment-1206948

    Comment by swordfish — July 22, 2016 @ 6:46 am

  5. UMR is very reputable, but Labour’s briefings and leaks about the contents of UMR polls seem comically disreputable.

    Comment by danylmc — July 22, 2016 @ 7:12 am

  6. Labour’s polls aren’t ‘secret’, they’re the standard UMR poll which goes to a variety of clients including Labour. It’s a pretty reliable poll, which is why Labour still use them after so many years.

    Roy Morgan flails wildly from poll to poll, and the twitterati get themselves into a frenzy every time one comes out because it shows a huge lift for the left or a despairing plunge. This latest effort must surely end Roy Morgan’s credibility. You’re talking a 16 point swing in a month with no real explanation. That only has one historical precedent – Orewa. And the last month has not been an Orewa moment for National.

    Comment by Pollster — July 22, 2016 @ 8:38 am

  7. Danyl, when you comment on Labour ‘leaking’ polls, you do realise UMR polls go to other clients, including one other political party?

    Comment by Pollster — July 22, 2016 @ 8:41 am

  8. All polls move around. They all have statistical noise. Of the public polls, Roy Morgan is by far the most regular – I think the Reid Research poll is six monthly, at the moment? – and the other polls show shifts too. Maybe they’re showing genuine movement, and maybe its just noise, or outside the CI? If they ran it every month it would look pretty much like the Roy Morgan, I think. It’s stupid the way everyone claims that the most regular poll is the most erratic.

    Like I said, I’m not casting doubt on the validity of UMR’s polls. I’m casting doubt on the tendency of their staffers to run around briefing people on the content of those polls, which are always amazingly favourable to Labour, which never seems to get replicated in any of the publicly available polls.

    As regards this Roy Morgan, like I said several times in the post, I don’t know if its right. Nor do you. Maybe, like I said, there is a good explanation. The world seems like a scary place so people are voting for stability. I could buy that. Or maybe the poll is wrong and they ain’t.

    Comment by danylmc — July 22, 2016 @ 8:54 am

  9. Terror attacks, racial violence in the US, Brexit, and so voters are looking for political stability and supporting National.

    More likely to be an economic issue, probably the Auckland housing bubble.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 22, 2016 @ 8:55 am

  10. And yet, UMR is at odds with EVERY reputable public poll. How weird????

    Comment by avoicetoday — July 22, 2016 @ 9:35 am

  11. Danyl, I see the UMR poll for one of my clients. It has nothing like the spikes the Roy Morgan does, and when it does it’ll be an occasional 2-3% shift, not a 5-10% (or in this case 16%) swing as the Roy Morgan has. What the UMR has shown since the election has been a pretty static political environment. The Roy Morgan suggests that from month hundreds of thousands of people are swinging wildly from Labour and the Greens to National and back again. It’s why no one in the business takes them seriously.

    As for Labour staffers briefing internal polls, that’s not something I’m aware of, but I wouldn’t assume that’s why the UMR poll occasional finds its way into the public arena. Frequently it’s Hooton who claims to have had a leak of Labour’s secret internal polling, when actually he just gets the UMR Omni from one of his clients as I do. I can also confirm he often makes up the figures, because he is a shameless liar.

    Comment by Pollster — July 22, 2016 @ 9:55 am

  12. Perhaps the worst possible explaination is that Labour has come out with a plan for housing, and New Zealand’s class system is so entrenched, selfish, grasping and generally awful that all the aspirational slum lords have flocked to National to preserve their ability to make oodles of cash from poverty.

    After all, National polls incessantly. The fact that they’ve apppeared totally clueless on doing anything about the housing crisis may not be evidence of incompetence so much as evidence of winning the class war.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 22, 2016 @ 10:17 am

  13. I agree entirely with Pollster here, who is right about the UMR and Matthew Hooton.

    The chances of Roy Morgan being even close to accurate is very low. It is practically worthless as a poll.

    If there is a bump for National, which I find unlikely, then I think Danyl’s hypothesis that it’s due to global uncertainty is more likely than Roy Morgan’s baseless assertion that it’s due to the housing infrastructure fund.

    Comment by RHT — July 22, 2016 @ 11:44 am

  14. The fact that they’ve apppeared totally clueless on doing anything about the housing crisis may not be evidence of incompetence so much as evidence of winning the class war.

    They’ve had help.

    The Len Brown council in Auckland maintains a policy brief of supporting our entrenched, selfish, grasping and generally awful aspirational slum lords with as many asset inflation tools as a council can provide. As long as Len Brown’s policies are cuddled deeply and positively within the body politic of the left, it doesn’t matter what Labour in Wellington does. Labour Auckland spends its efforts making the upper classes richer and impoverishing the poor, through a truly offensive level of Muldoonist interference to support asset price inflation.

    Len Brown has been doing most of John Key’s job for him, the upper classes in Auckland are enriched and the poor are demotivated, National aren’t never going to lose.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 22, 2016 @ 11:49 am

  15. Perhaps voters get scared by Labour’s focus on housing and the imminent bubble collapse and are reassured by thevsteady as it goes National approach to the problem.

    It should of course be the other way round – Labour rewarded for “pointing out the problem” and National punished for “inaction”.

    But given the type of year it is.

    Comment by NeilM — July 22, 2016 @ 5:43 pm

  16. Danyl: “If they ran it every month it would look pretty much like the Roy Morgan, I think. It’s stupid the way everyone claims that the most regular poll is the most erratic”

    Pollster: “I see the UMR poll for one of my clients. It has nothing like the spikes the Roy Morgan does”

    Yep, Pollster is on the money here. UMR do actually poll every single month, always have, and their results are significantly less prone to wild swings over consecutive polls. To be fair to RM, though, until this latest effort, there’s been much less turbulence over recent months.

    Danyl: “Like I said, I’m not casting doubt on the validity of UMR’s polls. I’m casting doubt on the tendency of their staffers to run around briefing people on the content of those polls, which are always amazingly favourable to Labour, which never seems to get replicated in any of the publicly available polls.”

    Last 4 UMRs had Labour on 28-33%. Over the same period, the Public Polls put the Party in the range of 26-31%. Not an enormous divergence.

    Comment by swordfish — July 22, 2016 @ 9:30 pm

  17. Pollster says: “Frequently it’s Hooton who claims to have had a leak of Labour’s secret internal polling, when actually he just gets the UMR Omni from one of his clients as I do. I can also confirm he often makes up the figures, because he is a shameless liar.”

    I think I have mentioned specific quantitative numbers from UMR polling data twice in the media. UMR polling is what “Labour’s secret internal polling” is – or, has been historically. It is also sold to corporates as you indicate. Unless you think UMR does one quantitative study each month for its corporate clients and then another one for Labour. Perhaps it does. I don’t see that point in that though. Whenever I have mentioned polling of any kind the numbers have been correct. Pull your head in with your lying accusations, whoever you are, anonymous guy on the internet. This is the DimPost not The Standard.

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — July 24, 2016 @ 7:57 am

  18. Yeah the Roy Morgan operation seems flaky. Perhaps they can’t afford to contact enough people to reduce their margin of error to +/- 3% & looks like TV3 owners can no longer afford polling either since the last one reported on Reid Research website is November. The NZ Herald used to do a regular political poll, which presumably ended when owners decided they could no longer afford to pay for the research. Political polls have become an endangered species in our social ecosystem.

    Maybe the next TVNZ poll from Colmar Brunton will suggest the National support base has been unaffected by the housing bubble – but it would be unwise to assume such an indication is reliable.

    Comment by Dennis Frank — July 24, 2016 @ 2:42 pm

  19. “Specific quantitative numbers” excludes all the exciting conversations on Twitter and on blogs, I suppose?

    Comment by RHT — July 24, 2016 @ 8:16 pm


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