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Matthew Hooton on “secret” UMR poll?

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Red Green Up

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On Monday 11 July, right-wing commentator Matthew Hooton was making his regular appearance on Radio NZ’s Nine To Noon Political Panel programme. The host was Kathryn Ryan, the commentator from the Left was Stephen Mills.

During the debate on Labour’s recently-released housing policy, Matthew Hooton made this startling revelation;

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Matthew Hooton, right-wing commentator and Director of 'Exceltium' PR company

Matthew Hooton, right-wing commentator, columnist, and Director of ‘Exceltium’ PR company

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@ 10.25

Matthew Hooton: “And Labour’s at twenty eight percent… And, and, look here’s the thing, Labour, in the latest UMR poll for June, done by Steven’s polling company, Labour was at twenty eight percent, Greens at sixteen. So we are, so they will need to increase because currently they’re polling worse than Jeremy Corbyn.”

Kathryn Ryan: “And where is National at, in that poll?”

Matthew Hooton: “Forty two.”

Using a search engine I could find no reference to any poll carried out in June having been released.

Through Twitter, I asked if Matthew could clarify his comment regarding such a UMR poll. He promptly replied, confirming his statements on Radio NZ;

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matthew hooton - umr poll - twitter - radio nz - nine to noon

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When I asked for a source, Matthew replied;

“No. It’s secret.”

I have no way of confirming the validity of Matthew’s assertion of the existence of a secret poll by UMR. He could be mischief-making, for which he occasionally has some inclination.

Yet…

The alleged UMR polling bears striking similarity to a recent Roy Morgan poll released on 20 June;

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roy morgan poll - new zealand - june 2016

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In the Roy Morgan poll above, 5.5% were Undecideds.

According to Hooton’s “secret poll”, a combined Labour-Green rating of 44%  has over-taken National on 42%.

If the so-called “secret poll” is legitimate, then that explains the recent flurry of panicked activity from National to counter Labour’s recently released housing policy.

The next few polls will be  Crunch Time for National and if they bear out Roy Morgan and the “secret UMR Poll” – then we are indeed witnessing the decaying administration of John Key’s third term government.

The rich irony of such a crisis for an incumbent government is that attempting to avert the down-ward spiral becomes a hopeless exercise. The more policies they “throw” at a problem, the greater the public’s perception that they are panicking.

“Policy-making on the hoof” reached new levels of comic-absurdity when the “Fixit Minister”, Steven Joyce, announced by Twitter that Housing NZ would forego dividend-payments to the National government for the next two years;

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steven joyce - dickhead - twitter - housing nz - dividends

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Shipley’s short-lived administration and Helen Clark’s final three years were marked by similar acts of desperate ad hocery. (But without “Tweeting” sudden  policy lurches.)

Our esteemed Dear Leader may be about to discover the same fate.

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Addendum

Roy Morgan polls are considered more accurate because they call respondents using both landlines and mobile telephones. (See: Census, Surveys, and Cellphones)

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References

Radio NZ: Nine To Noon – Political commentators Matthew Hooton and Stephen Mills

Twitter: Mathew Hooton

Roy Morgan Poll: National and Labour down in June but New Zealand First still holds the balance of power if Election was held now

Twitter: Steven Joyce

Other bloggers

Chris Trotter: Tricky Customer – Why Is Matthew Hooton Accusing John Key’s Government Of Lurching To The Left?

Chris Trotter: The Terrifying Radicalism of Matthew Hooton

Previous related blogposts

Mr Morgan phoned (2013)

Census, Surveys, and Cellphones (2013)

Census, Surveys, and Cellphones (Part rua) (2013)

Latest Roy Morgan poll – wholly predictable results and no reason to panic (2015)

The slow dismantling of a Prime Minister – downward slide continues

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 14 July 2016.

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Labour to win in 2014 – does the media know?

5 November 2012 10 comments

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Full story

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TV1/Colmar Brunton’s recent(4 November) poll yields some interesting results and points to a conclusion that the author of the article has missed.

The results of the recent poll are,

National: 45%

ACT: 1 seat (highly unlikely)

United Future: 1 seat (possibly)

Maori Party: 3 seats (???)

Labour: 32%

Greens: 12%

NZ First: 4.9% (5% rounded up)

Mana: 1 seat (likely)


TV1’s analysis and conclusions are,

The latest numbers mean National would have enough votes to form a coalition.

National would get 58 seats, add three from the Maori Party and one each from Act and United Future and the centre-right would have a majority of 63.

The opposition would have just 41 seats from Labour plus 16 from the Greens and one from Mana.”

Source: Ibid

I see no rationale as to how he author of that article can predict an outcome that “The latest numbers mean National would have enough votes to form a coalition“.

There are at least four unknown variables present in the above data,

  1. NZ First’s 4.9% could easily become 5%, thereby passing them over the threshold. If National legislates to reduce the Party threshold from 5% to 4%, that automatically translates into seats with this poll.
  2. ACT’s John Banks is unlikely to retain his seat.
  3. Without polling the three Maori Party electorates Tāmaki Makaurau, Te Tai Hauāuru, Waiāriki, there is no telling how many seats the Maori Party are likely to win. Neither is their preference to coalesce with National a foregone conclusion.
  4. Ditto for the Mana Party.

Taking more certainly from the following data, a National-led coalition is less than likely, and shows a consistant preference for a Labour-led coalition government,

National: 45%

United Future: 1 seat (possibly)

Maori Party: 3 seats (???)

Total National-led coalition: 45% plus up to 4 seats

Labour: 32%

Greens: 12%

NZ First: 4.9% (5% rounded up)

Mana: 1 seat (likely)

Total Labour-Greens-NZF Bloc: 49% plus 1 seat

Perhaps the most telling aspect of this poll is  Key’s personal rating.

A 2009 UMR Poll had John Key at the stratospheric approval ratings

In 2008, JohnKey’s favourability rating (‘very favourable’ or ‘somewhat favourable’) was consistently in the mid 60’s, however he started 2009 on a high when this jumped to 75%. His ratings were in the high 70’s throughout most of the year, with a couple of peaks of 80% and 81% in June and October respectively. No other politician, in a series dating back to 1996, has recorded a favourability rating as high.”

See: UMR Mood of the Nation Dec 2009

By 5 November 2011, Key’s popularity – though still high – was beginning to drop,

In the preferred Prime Minister stakes, John Key is well ahead of any other rival for business voters, with 69% support.”

See: National a Sure Thing for Business Voters

A year later,  Key’s popularity has plummetted,

John Key’s popularity has been slowly dropping away since the election but 42% still want him as Prime Minister.”

The interesting point here is that more respondents support National (45%) than they do John Key (42%).

This indicates that the scandals; the untenable support for John Banks; the lack of growth in jobs, despite big promises in 2008 and 2011; embarrassingPrime Ministerial faux pas; unpopular policies;  an impression he no longer wants to be Prime Minister; and other bad stories, have eaten away at Key’s image like some political ‘necrotizing fasciitis’.

Any impression that he is the ‘Teflon Man‘ is long gone.  Bad, smelly stuff is sticking to him, and the public perception of Key is that of someone who isfailing to meet expectations; break promises;  and ducks responsibility on major issues. He is not just seen as evasive on contentious matters, but is developing a reputation for witholding the truth; using memory loss as a convenient excuse; and the suspicion that he is telling outright lies.

National’s public support continues to fall, and the outcome in the next election will most likely be a new government.

Addendum

Interestingly, the same  UMR Poll ranks the top five respected professions as nurses, doctors, teachers, police, and dairy farmers. The bottom five are bankers, politicians, share brokers, investment bankers, and real estate agents.

Real estate agents rate below politicians?!

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Sources:

UMR Mood of the Nation Dec 2009

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