Lots of polls

So, 24 hours of campaigning to go, and confusion still reigns supreme.

There have been three more polls out this afternoon: a TV3 poll with Labour 2% ahead, a Morgan poll with Labour 1.5% ahead, and a TVNZ poll with National 6% ahead. So, again: who the Hell knows? The Greens rate 7%, 7.5% and 5.1% in these three polls respectively, so seemingly safely above the threshold.

Plugging all this new data into our frogblog averager gives National the edge for the first time: 40.4% plays 39.0% – a two-seat edge in our projected Parliament. Note also that United has edged up to 2.4%, gaining a third seat. Act remains terminal, at under 2%.

Our Parliament is completely locked up at 61 seats each: National/United/NZ First on one side and Labour/Greens/Maori/Progressive on the other. In such a dead heat scenario, I guess United would either have to switch sides, or we’d have to have a new election. My guess is that United would blink first, rather than send the country back to the polls.

One or two more polls out tomorrow morning will probably only add to the confusion. Anyway, the new data is here.

Also, sorry for the outage this afternoon. Thankfully, the problem now appears to be fixed.

35 thoughts on “Lots of polls

  1. No, not at all, a vote for the Greens counts equally well as an anti-National vote as a vote for Labour, because we have said we will only support Labour.

    Thus it doesn’t matter how many MPs Labour get compared to how many National get, it matters how many MPs Labour + Prog + Green get, compared to how many National + it’s allies get.

    You can vote for whichever of Labour or Green you most support, safe in the knowledge that it doesn’t matter if it is:

    Labour 54 MPs – Green 7 MPs
    Labour 53 – Green 8
    Labour 52 – Green 9
    Labour 51 – Green 10

    all of those add up to 61 MPs, a majority for the forces of diversity, tolerance and public transport.

    You might also be interested in Matt McCarten’s take on the subject, which doesn’t seem to be online, but frog quotes from it here:
    http://blog.greens.org.nz/index.php/2005/09/11/tactical-voting/

  2. Ok, someone educate me please! So, I’m a green supporter. I live in safe Labour electorate (Otaki). I understand that the 2 major parties are polling neck and neck. I also understand that Winston will go with whoever wins the most party votes between National and Labour. This being the case, isn’t it effectively a 2 horse race? Wouldn’t I be foolish to give my party vote to green when this could effectively play into the hands of National and Winston?

  3. comments on the day are definately legal, it is only comments that advise people to vote for a particularly party or electorate candidate that may not be legal. So you could still say

    “Only a Labour-Green government will save us from climate change.”

    because you don’t actually say “vote Green”.

    I presume that frog and other blogs will leave their comments open, but post a message advising people not to make such comments (between midnight and 7pm) or they risk being deleted. I imagine that blogs that are independent of a political party will continue to make posts as well, and it is only frog, rodneyhide.com and any other candidate blogs that needs to not make any posts between midnight and 7pm.

    cheers

  4. Hey Bradford, you might have come to the party too late 🙂 elections on sat.. though I’m hoping we’ll see some interesting commentary here on the day. Though has anyone figured out if that’s legal?? 😀

  5. Alistair:

    I was teasing with the paranoia crack, and I’m sorry if it caused any offence – but I’m glad that my general contempt for polls seems to be a very mainstream POV nowadays. 😉

    I don’t think it’s the electors who are stupid, but media organisations that pour millions of dollar every electoral cycle into polling while haemorhaging experienced journalists into political/corporate PR. As I’ve said before, I don’t think it says much for Fourth Estate that two of the most experienced political hacks in Parliament are spinning for Helen Clark and Don Brash rather than grilling them from the Press Gallery.

    You run a poll (but don’t fully reveal the methodology or data) and you’ve got your front page/lead, and a good chunk of filler for the inside. Hiring a reporter who may work for weeks on a story that doesn’t pan out (and it does happen), take the time to place events and policies in context, get behind the spin and just THINK is less cost-effective, I guess. But it does contribute more to the quality and depth of political decision making than a steady diet of poll-driven fruitcake, IMO.

    But I digress… I very much doubt Tim has some source inside APN or the polling company leaking him result, though there’s always rumours when two gossipy tribes like the media and political players collide. I suspect he was just awake when it all got posted… but who knows?

  6. Hi, I’m new to this blog, and an American, but I like what I read so far. I’m a liberal over here, so I supposert your green-ness. Not that I know what your’e talking about much, but rock on nonetheless. I’ll keep reading.

  7. Ah oh haven’t made a prediction yet. I won’t. But here’s my dream scenario:

    Dead heat on election night; 61/61 featuring the “Maori overhang”.

    After counting specials : Greens pick up an extra MP, and Winsome loses Tauranga. In the resulting redistribution (NZF on 4.5%), LPG gets an absolute majority. Peter Dunne, who has spent the intervening week negotiating his spot as Foreign Minister in both a Labour and a National administration, takes early retirement.

  8. Not paranoia, Craig, just curiosity. I thought it might be a breach of etiquette.

    This is rather spine-chilling, from the Herald survey :

    Quality control checks, in which respondents to this week’s poll were contacted again after three days, showed that 20 per cent had changed their minds.

    What’s the use of having a best-of-breed electoral system, if the electors are flakes? Pearls before swine!

  9. Alistair:

    Oh, calm the paranoia – The Herald posts material to its website “in the dead of night” as you put it, and I guess Tim has just replaced his blood with black coffee. ;P

    FWIW, I think the HeraldDigipoll (slightly) overestimates Labour support, and the One/CB does the same for National. I just don’t have the sense that either major party has that big a lead – and the headline (“Labour could govern alone”) was ever so slightly spin-dizzy. Any way, the poll that counts begins in 26 + 1/2 hours and either way there’s going to be a lot of commentators with egg facials on Monday morning…

  10. -=* Do poll results affect voting patterns? Answer: YES! *=-

    I think this issue is of critical importance, especially to a smaller party like the Greens. I asked Dr. Cullen the other day when he spoke here at Otago Uni what the Labour Party’s position was on political polling by companies that are not beholden to democratic ideals, to which he responsed that ‘you have to be careful about legislating things like that’.

    “Polls may also have a contagion (or bandwagon) effect. In the case of a contagion effect, voters come to like the parties that appear to be doing well in the polls and to dislike those that seem to be weak. In the case of strategic considerations, the polls influence voters’ perceptions and their vote choice (they do not waste their vote on parties that appear non “viable?), but the polls do not affect voters’ preferences: supporters of weak parties still like their parties, they just decide to cast a strategic vote for another party given the context. In the case of contagion, voters come to like the “strong? parties, and so the polls affect perceptions, vote choice, and preferences.”

    I recommend “Does the impact of polls vary across electoral systems?” by André Blais, Auckland Uni’s Jack Vowles, and Kees Aarts: http://www.nzes.org/docs/papers/APSA_2002_Blais.pdf

    More info, or just want to chat about it: squeakylobster at] hotmail dot] com.

  11. oh by the way, Glenn50 : Doesn’t France ban polls before an Election?

    Used to. But people were still commissioning them and circulating the results privately, foreign newspapers were printing them, foreign websites too of course, so French websites were linking the foreign sites… in the end the restriction was abandoned. I’m in two minds about it, but there are huge positives in genuinely uncontrollable information diffusion generally, and it is technically unstoppable! so we just have to say bye bye to the good old days of censorship.

  12. Oho oho oho! The Herald’s numbers are interesting…
    (howcome Tumeke can post them in the dead of night? Aren’t they embargoed or something?)

    PARTY VOTE:
    LAB 44.6%
    NAT 37.4%
    GRN 4.6%
    NZF 4.5%
    UNF 2.6%
    MAO 2.3%
    ACT 1.3%
    PRG 1.1%
    DST 0.9%
    CHP 0.2%
    ALL 0.1%
    ALC 0.1%

    A bit of a quandary here, folks : overall they are good for the left, except there’s this little detail of the Greens on 4.6%…

    I think it’s the irrational “rally round the big party, the country is in danger” reflex, and people will think about it and shift back (with an outside chance of numbers of Labour voters switching to Green to make sure… over-correction… Greens at 10% heh heh)

    Because those numbers taken at face value give us a virtual two-party parliament, and an absolute majority to Labour… sure I don’t want that… probably a lot of Labour supporters don’t either, if they think about it.

    heh heh, I think I’ll spam all my friends with this message… “latest poll puts Greens on 4.6%, you know what that means, vote splitting time!”

  13. Juicy bits from the Morgan Poll details

    1. The highest rise in support for the National Party occurred among people earning over $80,000 — now a majority with 58.5%, up 17.5%.

    2. Further analysis of the New Zealand electors swing to the National Party showed a dramatic 19.5 point swing among New Zealanders who do not believe ‘Maori culture is an essential component of New Zealand society’. The swing was only 10 points among those who saw Maori culture as an essential component of New Zealand society.

    Taxcuts and bladdy Marries. Appealing to the higher sentiments!
    Good strategy eh.

  14. Hot diggedy, it could all depend on the size of the Maori Party overhang!

    Insert borderline-racist comment about the size of Maori overhangs?

    Cartoon material surely.

  15. Yep, definite win to Helen tonight. I thought the first segment was very good, because she managed to make it clear that although they may not be planning a referendum right now, that certainly doesn’t mean they won’t want one next year. Did anyone belive Don when he said he supports our anti Nuclear policy? Given everything he’s said in the past that sounds like a big fat porky.

    I also think Don is being a bit duplicitous when he talks about Nuclear Weapons not being on this referendum. What the Americans want is to be able to dock their navy ships in our harbours again (it’s all a bit freudian if you ask me) and I assume they still have a “neither confirm nor deny” policy on whether there are nuclear weapons on any of their navy ships, so in order to give the Americans what they want in exchange for an FTA, Nuclear Weapons _are_ involved.

    So if you belive David Lange won the Oxford Union Debate because he was right and not just because he was a great orator, voting National is not an option so far as I’m concerned.

    But regardless of sentiment, and regardless of the reality of the situation, being perceived to be on the side of the Americans will be sufficient to do us a great deal of damage. I’ve blogged what is not quite a worst case scenario over here:

    http://tiberias.blogspot.com/2005/09/national-headlines-for-2006.html

  16. I disagree Dave, I don’t see how it is against the law if any member of the public posts anything on the day. It’s similar to if a member of the public homemade a Vote {{Insert Party Name}} poster and displayed it – there is no way the party is going to fined for that sort of breach and I can’t see anyone beyond the blogosphere being the slightest bit interested in any “breaches” in public discussion forums.

    The whole electoral act interpretation towards the web is so full of holes and inconsistencies and what if’s, that it just can’t work when you start thinking about it. A bit like National Party policy 😉

  17. The leaders debate finishes on 3. Then a documentary on the evil of Cannabis. This will strike a cord with folk re their Greens vote. The documentary is about as unbiased as the Exclusive Brethren. Frightening really. After the documentary the viewers can watch the news then Campbell with the political experts.
    Meaning you have to watch a deliberate political ploy by TV3 to see what the pundits say.
    I don’t agree with dope but I am staggered that this documentary was placed in this time slot this particular week.
    I predict it will do immense harm to the Green vote by slowing down tactical votes…Whats the bet that right wing radio will be pushing the evils of marijuana tomorrow.
    Unfortunately there is a preoccupation with the Greens and Cannabis..re Dunne, Peters

    I did post this further down on another thread but I worry about our media…
    Goebbels would be so proud.

  18. Hey Frog ,youd better change the dates on your blog comments\. If someone posts a arty political statement on 17 September ( which from your blog is tomorrow) you could be had up for breaking the law if you cant provie they were done on Saturday…

  19. Stymied:

    I’d say yes, but… if I knew exactly how much influence, on whom, and why
    I’d be bigger than Karl Rove. 🙂 Then again, it’s hard to tell with the numbers being so volatile you have media outlets trying to discredit their own polling.

    I have one comment on the Three/TNS poll. I don’t think Labour would be taking too much comfort with their lead in the one poll that consistently favours it CLOSING from around 9% to a statistically insignificant 1.8%. To be perfectly honest, I certainly wasn’t expecting the Three survey to flip, and almost fell off my chair when I saw the gap was less than five points. See why I don’t bet on elections – my psychic powers got lost in the mail.

  20. helen won the last debate.
    don brash said the labour party is not mainstream.
    new zealand’s oldest party, which has been consistently supported by about half of all new zealanders, is not mainstream? that’s insulting.
    i’m sure many nats would agree brash has gone too far.

  21. well thats good to hear.
    In that case, what would be really funny, is if the nats told everyone in epsom to vote act, so labour then told all THEIR supporters to vote nat. and the nat candidate wins and is cursing himself for being too damn charismatic!
    ;0)

  22. they can’t “pull” their candidate, he’s already on the ballot.

    they can only ask the people who would have voted for him to vote for hyde.

    doesn’t mean the voters will listen. they might still vote for worth anyway.

    and a lot of people might not even hear if national “pulled” its candidate.

    won’t happen anyway. much too late.

  23. wouldn’t it be funny if national, at the last minute tried to give epsom to act.
    Ie. if they pulled their candidate, then surely hyde would win, thus giving (on current fugures) the right block, the election.

  24. Doesn’t France ban polls before an Election? It would be refreshing not to have polls thrust apon us. At least, thank god we don’t allow exit pols at polling booths.

  25. Hey, quick question: do you guys think the poll results effect peoples vote? ie If their party is in the lead are they less likely to vote? Or maybe if people think their number one choice will get in they’ll give their vote to a coalition partner they also want in?

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