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Three recent polls

21 February 2013 16 comments

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polls_ist2_141437_arrow_graph_down_rev_2249_704752_poll_xlarge

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A TVNZ/Colmar Brunton Poll on 17 February must have been a joyous event for National and it’s supporters.  At 49%, it appeared to show the governing Party with increased (up 5%!) public support.

No such luck, I’m afraid, my Tory fellow New Zealanders.

Three polls this month (February, 2013)  yielded two distinctly different results.

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Roy Morgan

13 Feb 2013

TVNZ/Colmar Brunton

17 Feb 2013

Fairfax/Ipsos Poll

20 Feb 2013

Right bloc:

National

44% (-2%)

49% (+5%)

44.9% (-1.3)

Maori Party

0.5% (-1%)

1% (n/c)

1.3% (-.01%)

ACT NZ

0.5% (n/c)

.01% (-0.5%)

.04% (+.04%)

United Future

0% (n/c)

.02% (-0.3%)

.01% (-.01%)

Left bloc:

Labour

34.5% (+3%)

33% (-2%)

36.3% (+1.9%)

Greens

13.5% (n/c)

11% (-2%)

10.7% (+.02%)

Mana Party

0.5% (n/c)

1% (n/c)

1.4% (+.08%)

Other:

NZ First

4% (-1.5%)

4% (n/c)

2.8% (-1%)

Conservative Party

2% (+1.5%)

1% (n/c)

1.6% (.02%)

n/c = no change

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Both Roy Morgan and Fairfax/Ipsos show similar, almost identical results for National; 44% and 44.9% respectively. Both also record a drop for the Nats.

Curiously, TVNZ/Colmar Brunton went against the tide, showing support rising by a massive 5%, to 49%.

That 5% rise seems utterly unlikely given the other two polls, and is way outside the “Samnpling Error” of  +/- 3.1%, according to Colmar Brunton’s own website.

So what’s going on? Which polling companies are closer to the real picture (bearing in mind that phone polling is done by calling land-lines – not cellphones, nor door to door)?

A clue might lie in the polling leading up to the 2011 general election:

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Roy Morgan

24 Nov 2011

TVNZ/Colmar Brunton

24 Nov 2011*

Fairfax/Media Research

23 Nov 2011

2011

Election results

Closest Polling result

Right bloc:

National

49.5%

50%

54%

47.31%

Roy Morgan

Maori Party

1%

2.0%

1.1%

1.43%

Media Research

ACT NZ

1.5%

1.7%

0.7%

1.07%

Media Research

United Future

0.5%

0.1%

0.1%

0.6%

Roy Morgan
Left bloc:

Labour

23.5%

28%

26%

27.48%

Colmar Brunton

Greens

14.5%

10%

12%

11.06%

Media Research

Mana Party

0.5%

1.0%

1.1%

1.08%

Media Research
Other:

NZ First

6.5%

4.2%

4%

6.59%

Roy Morgan

Conservative Party

n/r

2.4%

n/r

2.65%

Colmar Brunton

n/r = no result provided

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(A) Roy Morgan was closest to Election Day results with their polling for the combined National/ACT/United Future bloc at 51.5%.

Colmar-Brunton came second with their combined National/ACT/United Future bloc at 51.8%.

And Media Research came third with their combined National/ACT/United Future bloc at 54.8%

The Election Day result for the combined National/ACT/United Future bloc was 48.98%.

(B) By comparison, the results were reversed when it came to the Labour/Green/Mana bloc.

Media Research was closest with their combined result for the Labour/Green/Mana bloc at 39.1%

Colmar Brunton was again second with 39%.

And Roy Morgan came last with 38.5% for the Labour/Green/Mana bloc.

The Election Day result was 39.62%.

When it came to polling in the week leading up to the 2011 general election, all three pollsters seemed to “pick” correct results – but for different Parties.

Roy Morgan picked National, United Future, and NZ First.

Colmar Brunton picked Labour and the  Conservative Party..

And Media Research picked Maori Party , ACT,  Mana, and the Greens.

As such, for accuracy relating to National, Roy Morgan is the poll to watch.

For Labour, it is Colmar Brunton. (Which, for Colmar Brunton is supported by data here: Opinion polling for the New Zealand general election)

Even well-known  right-wing commentator and National Party apparatchik, Matthew Hooton confirmed this on Monday, 18 February, when he said on  Radio NZ,

According to that [poll], National could govern alone. Look, I find that Colmar Brunton poll has a consistant history of over-estimating National’s support, going back right through to the nineties, if not before. I don’t believe that National has more votes, more support, than it did at the time of the election. National got 47.3[%] [at] the last election. This poll gives it 49[%].”

Source: Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams

Conclusion

Polls seems to be varying wildly, but Roy Morgan appears to be marginally more accurate for National, and Colmar Brunton for Labour.

Having said that, all pollsters rely heavily on landline phone-interviews. Anecdotally, fewer and fewer households (low income; students; etc) are relying on landlines and preferring instead cellphones and the internet.

Support for left-wing Parties, from low income households, may therefore be under-represented in Colmar Brunton polling. The task for the Left, though, is to motivate these housefolds to go out and  vote on Election Day.

If that can be achieved, the Kiwi flirtation with the centre-right will be at an end.

National is also vulnerable on issues relating to,

  • high unemployment
  • increasing job losses
  • a stagnant economy
  • unaffordable housing driven by investors/speculators driving up prices
  • Christchurch
  • asset sales
  • an upcoming poll on asset sales, which could be a hard slap in John Key’s face, with hisinsistance  of having a “mandate” to partially-privatise several SOEs
  • watch out for on-going problems with education, school closures, charter schools, novopay, etc
  • and potential “hot spots” with environmental controversies and health-related issues

All of which will act as a slow-acting political corrosion on National’s polling.

Note 1

(*) The data for Colmar Brunton was updated on 25 February. New data obtained  was closer to Election Day results  than previous figures quoted in this blogpost, which gave an incorrect result.

Note 2

NZ First is the ‘wild card’ in this equation.

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*

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References

Scoop: Support for National barely damaged by Tea Tapes (18 Nov 2011)

Fairfax: National still cosy in polls after tea break (23 Nov 2011)

Roy Morgan: National set for election victory, but no majority as ‘teapot tape’ scandal dents National & benefits NZ First  (24 Nov 2011)

TVNZ: Gap closes as election looms – poll (24 Nov 2011)

Wikipedia: New Zealand general election  (26 Nov 2011)

Wkipedia: Opinion polling for the New Zealand general election (2011)

Roy Morgan: National (44%) lead down over Labour lead down over Labour  (34.5%) Labour, Greens, with minor parties would win election (13 Feb 2013)

TVNZ: National bounces up in poll (17 Feb 2013)

Colmar Brunton: Current One News Colmar Brunton Poll

Fairfax media: National no longer a sure winner – poll (20 Feb 2013)

Other blogs

The Dim Post: My theory about what’s happening in the polls

Brian Edwards: John Key on 41%, David Shearer on 10%. That can’t be right. Can it?

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= fs =

Latest Horizon Poll – released today!

24 November 2011 5 comments

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The latest Horizon Poll has been released today, with results on,

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  • the electoral system referendum
  • political party ratings
  • Maori voting intentions

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Electoral system referendum

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MMP is still the preferred option, with FPP coming in second place. This will no doubt annoy the heck out of the “Vote for Change” lobby group, who chose the FPP-variant, Supplementary Member (SM) as their preferred option.

Big mistake, boys. I know why you did it – you believed that FPP was tainted by past political abuses of power (which is correct) and that Supplementary  Member would be a welcome alternative. “Vote for Change” even touted SM as a “compromise between FPP and MMP – which it isn’t, of course. But you relied on low-information voters not knowing this and following your lead.

Unfortunately for “Vote for Change”, their non-existant campaign achieved very little. In fact, it was distinctly amateurish, to put it mildly.

The results,

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Full Results

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Political party ratings

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As usual, Horizon Polling results differ markedly from Roy Morgan, Herald-Digipoll, et al, because Horizon prompts Undecided respondants to state a preference. Other pollsters also often do not include Undecideds when calculating their percentages.

The poll results,

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Full Results

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It’s interesting to note that the poll results for ACT, Labour, and the Greens match very closely other political opinion polls – only the result for National is markedly different.

For example, a Fairfax Media-Research International poll released yesterday had the following results;

  • Labour – 26%
  • Greens – 12%
  • ACT – 0.7%

Very similar results to the Horizon Poll, with two important exceptions – Fairfax had the following results for National and NZ First;

  • National – 54%
  • NZ First – 4%

Significantly different to the Horizon Poll.

As the poll above stands, a Labour-led government is possible, with NZ First support. (And woe betide Winston Peters if he plays silly-buggers with Supply & Confidence.)

The election results will point to which company has gauged voter preferences the most accurately.

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Maori voting intentions

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As Maori politics follows Pakeha political movement and fragmentation along classic Left/Right lines, Mana and Maori Parties are becoming critical potentional partners for National and Labour. (Phil Goff may say he won’t go into Coalition with the Mana Party – but I believe he will need Hone Harawira’s Supply & Confidence to govern. He is hardly likely to turn down Mana Party support – critical if the left are to win on Saturday.)

Party Vote Results:

  • Labour is attracting 27.6% of Maori nationwide
  • Mana 14.9%
  • Maori Party 14.9%
  • NZ First 11.3%
  • Green 11% and
  • National 9.5%.

Full Results

It is interesting to note that, generally speaking, Maori still favour Labour-led government;

  • 20% of Maori want the Maori Party to enter a post-election coalition agreement with National.
  • 53.5% would prefer it enter a Labour coalition.
  • 45.8% of Maori would prefer Mana to enter a coalition agreement with Labour, 9.2% National.

If Horizon Polling is accurate – and I believe that their results are more realistic than the 50%, 53%, 56%, results that other polling companies have been coming up with  – then National is on-course to being a one-term government.

And if John Key follows comments he made earlier this year, he will resign from Parliament.

Interesting times, indeed…

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