The Herald poll

Well, 3.9% is fairly depressing. It seems the Greens have lost/misplaced half a percent to either the Kiwi Party or Act (up 0.4% and 0.7% respectively). Oops. Expect to see Metiria introduce our Abolition of All Swearwords and Taxes Bill to the house next week.

Seriously though, we can’t worry too much because the Herald Poll does seem to have a natural downward slant in its results compared to the other major polls, and half a percent is irrelevant in a survey with a margin of error of 3.6%. But 3.9% seems too low given the good work the Greens have been doing recently on climate change, river water quality, dolphins, and especially human rights in Tibet and trade with China. I’m not at all worried that the Greens will fall below the threshold and I expect to see a rebound next poll.

37 Comments Posted

  1. i believe i am pointing out why you are losing.and where some of these votes will be going too. especially young new voters. a leaky boat. But a big leak which could leave you high and dry.

  2. Couldn’t go to bed without commenting on solarpowered Candle’s post on cannabis. I would like to understand what where the “strong unrest? comes from exactly. What is it that the Greens should be doing that they are not? So far as I know, Green policy in this area is very much the same as in 1999. This is one of those issues whose time is coming, but hasn’t had broad support yet, due I believe to the very emotional nature of the debate. It is easy to scare people that reform would be bad and people like Peter Dunne have played this to the limit for political gain, culminating in his cooperation agreement with Labour 2002-2005 that barred support for reform of any kind, including for medicinal purposes. So there was no hope of anything happening then. Since 2005, he has reduced this demand and would consider medical use and Green MP Metiria Turei has such a bill in the ballot that has not been chosen yet. It seems unfair to call this putting one’s head in the sand. Of course, if all you care about is this one issue, then I’d give the same advice as to any other single issue voter – go elsewhere. But you won’t find the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in Parliament anytime soon, so your best hope is the Greens. So long as they have only six MPs, it will be an uphill struggle.

  3. BB – So you say: “I want some “social justice? of my own, I want our streets to be safe, I want out schools free of drugs, I want criminals to be sent away for the entire length of their sentence and most of all I want to see everybody working for what they receive from those of us who pay tax.”

    But then you don’t want to pay for it. There is only one term for that, and that is freeloading. I’m not calling you a freeloader, as I suspect that you do indeed contribute to this society. As you should.

    The notion that anyone ever makes a success of themselves in isolation, without the use of the commons and all the infrastructure that society provides, is just absurd. People should pay in tax in proportion to the benefits they receive from living in that particular society. You don’t get to hang out at the country club without paying your dues. After the dues are paid, it’s not ‘my money’ any more. It belongs to the elected board of the country club – the government. If they screw it up, elect someone else. But don’t go demanding lower dues and expect all the same benefits of belonging to the club.

  4. Also I like your sophisticated analysis of the Greens’ current policies, really cutting to the heart of what is really relevant. Past thought-crimes on the part of MPs are a problem too, you’re right!

  5. GWDenier

    People are beginning to wake up to the con that is Kyoto, if you want to know the real reason the hard left are so keen is that Kyoto will result in the largest ever redistribution of wealth.

    That has always been the goal of the left.

  6. Lets not beat around the bush here, the Greens are the unofficial COMMUNIST Party. I bet quite a few of them have taken advise from the Kremlin via KGB moles in NZ in the past before the Berlin Wall fell. Crack open the watermelon and you find it’s red inside.
    Locke and Sadford are both ex. Communist members. I am sure there were others.

    Also, all this GW crap is starting to fall down, people are waking up to what it is really about, tax, tax, tax. And with more tax and falling income you start to lose freedom. Example, you will not be able to afford petrol to go on a long drive for a holiday so you stay at home.

  7. legalise nature . there is a strong unrest with traditional cannabis voters who have switched now that the green party have let them down. Being green is good but not if you are being exterminated through pharmacueticals . And the party you have voted for all these years sits back with big grins and puts their head in the sand.

  8. Well a few months ago the Greens polled NINE percent somewhere, not a lot has changed but all of a sudden they’re supposed to be middling. Does the slightly ‘grand’ approach of a few very big, aspirational ideas at The Standard: appeal to anyone?

    It seems the Greens certainly have a sense of social justice, as I would think that smacking kids while not being able to smack adults is unjust; paying kids a different wage for the same work is unjust; and marijuana for personal use being a criminal offence while alcohol wrecks all sorts of havoc every day is certainly unjust. Their positions on these seem to reflect justice in a rigid sense, no?

  9. BP, remember I was responding to a charge that Greens weren’t being green enough. If you want to know what the Green Party means by certain terms, there is more than enough on their website, or on the Oz Greens, or the US Greens, etc.

    For the record, Greens are generally not anti market, though would beg to differ that a capitalist dominated market is ‘free’ in the sense people usually mean by that particular term.

    Public transport a side agenda? I don’t know where to start… And will have to leave it for now as family activities beckon. I’ll end with a question. We’ve heard it argued this morning that Greens are not giving enough urgency to looming environmental problems. Also, that they need a more positive vision, presumably one that doesn’t tell people they are part of the problem. Are both achievable?

  10. Margin of error as mentioned here is statistically relevant only when you approach 50% of the sample, thus the error margin as you approach the fringes (tiny %ages) – where the greens, act and nz 1st resides would be measured in 0.1 of a % error of margin.

    This error is propagated by journalists and commentators who do not have basic mathematical or statistical knowledge and presume that a error of margin for a party scoring 50% and one scoring 2% would be the same (2% – 3.6% margin of error equals -1.6% of the votes come election day????). Truth is the 3.6% error only applies to the party/ data equaling 50%. For anything below that the error margin decreases proportionally.

    Personally I don’t believe the greens are anywhere close to where the Herald poll places them. This has nothing to do with margin of error but rather experimental design. Meaning that the people the Herald choose to include in their polls is probably not representative for the people who are actually going to vote on election day. They are however representative for the sub-section of the population the Herald chose as “representative of the average NZ voter”. To see how hard it is to pick a representative section of a voting population think about the democratic primaries in the us where opinion polls have frequently been dramatically outside the margin of error (even in the proper statically sense) due to poor design and sampling difficulties.

  11. What the Greens are really missing is the opportunity to align the outcomes they (claim to) want with the desires of the people.

    Take energy. This could be framed in terms of economic value. If we can produce our own energy at the same or lower cost of imported energy, who is going to argue with that?

    But the Greens being their usual selves insist on needlessly making enemies by bundling it with all manner of sideline agendas, such as public transport/fewer roads/cycling/hairshirts/restriction, etc.

    People need a clear, more positive vision.

  12. >>social justice, holistic

    Could mean anything.

    The poor are all fed, housed, clothed, educated and provided free/low cost healthcare in this country. Many appear to have Sky dishes. Rather comfortable, especially when compared with the poor under Socialist regimes. This country is free-market and capitalist.

    So one could argue that upholding free market capitalism equates with “social justice”, depending on how one defines the term.

  13. BP, I’ve answered this already. The principles are holistic, including environmental wisdom, but not exclusively so, as social justice, non-violence and appropriate decision-making (see the Greens website) are also required for environmental progress to be real.

    samian asks the best question. It will be interesting to see how the Green Party deals with this urgency. It will be very difficult if environmental progress requires backwards steps in other core areas.

  14. Valis; I guess the environment has finally caught up with the ‘traditional’ green-with-red-movement. The urgency of the environmental issue(s) virtually requires the lefties to (at least in the mean time) abandon their agenda to ‘man the ramparts’.
    Further; the public awareness has turned greens way, surely now is the time to ‘seize the day’
    And… the Green Party should be emphasizing the opportunities that lie before us to embrace sustainability. Sustainability is a growth opportunity if you, er um, know what I mean.

  15. I just love the term “social justice”, I wish it could be applied to all of us and not simply used as another way of justifying high taxation and the theft from one sector of society.

    I want some “social justice” of my own, I want our streets to be safe, I want out schools free of drugs, I want criminals to be sent away for the entire length of their sentence and most of all I want to see everybody working for what they receive from those of us who pay tax.

  16. BP, a good example as they paid big for their mistakes. Their compromise was over supporting a foreign military escapade. Its the same thing that killed the Alliance here. Pragmatism is fine until you compromise your basic principles. That’s when you become irrelevant.

  17. But they have been largely irrelevant.

    It’s hard to say how well they could have done had they not stuck to the far-left, but the success of the Greens in Germany might offer some insight (hint: the pragmatists won out of the fundamentalists).

  18. BP, I’ve just described the fundamentals and I do expect Greens will stick to them. As for your other comments, I can only say I’m happy Jeanette and others didn’t give up over the last 35 years when others leveled the same ridiculous charge of irrelevance.

  19. >>includes a ‘red’ tinge, for want of a better word, by definition

    Careful now. They try hard to dissuade us of that notion round here…. 😉

  20. samiam, you seem to have missed that fact that being Green in a political sense includes a ‘red’ tinge, for want of a better word, by definition. Look at the stated principles of almost any green party in the world and you will find they are very similar in taking a holistic approach that includes a strong sense of social justice. Most Greens believe even that these goals are of equal importance because you cannot achieve one without the other. So the Green party tinged blue or yellow would no longer be a green party.

    The reason Greens don’t like the ‘red’ tag is that it assumes too much about how social justice goals are pursued, which is very different from the traditional left, who (like the right) assume unlimited resources and that the main question is how they are distributed. Ironically, the real ‘reds’ worry that Greens will trade social policy for environmental (which as you imply is silly), while the newly environmentally aware ‘blues’ accuse Greens of the opposite. Refer Kermit for an appropriate quote.

  21. Samiam nails it. Stick to the fundamentals.

    You’ve become a side-show.

    If you can’t figure out a position that makes National as likely an ally as Labour, what is your future?

  22. Don’t be complacent Frog, when we get closer to election time your opponents will drag up section 59 all over again, 82% of kiwi’s will be reminded that your party pushed through a bill that they did not want.

    If you really want to ensure that you make the 5% threshold then perhaps you would do better to concentrate a little more on domestic matters and less on Tibet.

    While I am on that, it does not help when Jeannette is on the TV positively glowing at new of the latest price rise in the cost of fuel, like it or not we all need to use fuel and those struggling to pay the mortgage do not take kindly to somebody who cannot wait for the price to hit $2.50 a litre.

    You guys can bang on all you like about public transport but RIGHT NOW there is very little alternative, people HATE paying high fuel prices, a little more empathy and a lot less smugness from Jeannette would go a long way.

  23. Your problem isn’t a green tinged labour or national. It’s a red tinged green party. As I’ve said before stop smoking weed, get away from Labour, stay away from Maori party, drop the socialist agenda, don’t disown National, Act, etc.
    Go Green! Be Green! Stay Green! The votes will come pouring in!

  24. ari blames the media..?

    (oh well..!..)

    frog mentions all the ‘good work’ the greens have been doing lately..

    um..!..what good work..?

    keith spoke up on the tibet issue..(and good on him..!..)

    jeanette argued against nationals’ plan to double the solar-water-heating subsidy.(!)

    and nandor is off on the ‘dead mps walking’ tour..of europe..

    with the speaker..

    (btw..that nandor-speakers-tour business must be causing some upset for the ‘get russel into nandors’ seat’

    he can’t really just walk five minutes after he returns from the junket..

    (‘yoo-hoo..!..i’m off now..!’…)

    the media/opposition will howl like wolves at him/you..

    if you dared to do that..


    that hardly leaves any time for a ‘decent’ nandor

    and any effective period in parliament for norman..?


    (i could go on at length about why your polling is so dismal..

    but i won’t..for now..

    but a word to the wise ..ari..

    it ain’t ‘the medias’ fault’..



    was there something i missed..?

  25. its obvious why greens are 3.9%, crazy keith locke and his all his crazy ideas of saving people in other countries, in this age of oncoming global catastrophe, its every person for themselves.

  26. Frog is right that the Herald Digipoll does tend to treat the Greens more harshly than other polls. Now this is nothing to do with the Herald – they don’t decide the results. It may reflect the methodology of the polling company, which changed last year when they went monthly as they appear to now survey over a couple of weeks presumably as part of a larger omnibus poll, instead of a dedicated stand alone poll over three or four nights.

    Now in the nine polls since June 2007, the Herald Digipoll has had the Greens at below 5% in five of them.

    By comparison the Morgan poll has never had the Greens at below 5%, TV3/TNS only once, and TVNZ/CB only once.

    They also tend to have Labour quite a bit higher than all the other polls.

  27. the main problem fwwog is that the conservative is moving into your vote base, like with dudes like me and that with the v8 what we don’t plastic so much, also i notice my girlfriend light a candle to earth day and that, yous got to move fast to get into a NAT Government fwwog,

  28. The Greens always get under-represented in the polls, like most of the other parties, and I wouldn’t be worried unless we were dipping into the 3-3.5% area, especially given that the Herald has been… shall we say, a bit more slanted recently? Personally speaking, the worst I see this coming out for us is about 5% on election day, given that the Greens are very strong in the special vote, which isn’t going to get polled very often if at all, and that are some key areas like Wellington that have very high Green support, so it’s likely that many polls that don’t have a very widespread sample are going to disadvantage the Greens.

    I do believe that Bryce is right to a degree- the issue of “greenwashing” policies with fake environmental commitment is a really a big area that can steal our votes. One of the things we’ve really got to sell is that National and Labour will implement costly policies that don’t actually gain very much for the environment if the Greens don’t have a significant presence in Parliament.

    That said, I actually wonder how much of any losses we’ve conceded are actually due to this factor- I find it far more likely that it’s simply that the focus has recently been on the fight between Labour and National, and that the media is edging out its coverage on smaller parties at the moment.

  29. I wouldn’t read much into the herald, they’ll paint the scenario they want and use it to influence – it probably works to – as it marginalised rather than normalises the Greens, which is what the “Proud to be Green” tries to counteract.

    As for Labour and National undercutting environmental issues – yeah right! in rhetoric alone – loook at labours SOE’s, solid energy and meridian putting coal and Hydro before Kiwis and natural habitat.

    A vote for Labour or National is ambiguous – you could be voting for anything. Only a vote for the Green Party clearly states your priorities – this is what drives the rhetoric of Labour and National, but only the Greens can ensure that this rhetoric turns into policy.

  30. My impression is that many voters don’t see the Greens as standing for much in particular anymore. Rightly or wrongly, the party has been successfully undercut by Labour and National in environmental issues. So if you take away the core environmental issues, the party isn’t left with very much else to be identified with apart from an array of socially liberal causes, which are possibly viewed as “worthy” but not that central.

    But I’m genuinely surprised about how low the party has been polling. I presumed that the Greens would be doing very well this year. Many things seem in it’s favour. So I’d be interested to know what analysis the Greens have for their poor results.


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