Canaries In A Coal Mine: Has The Daily Blog Poll anticipated Labour’s Collapse?



Canary in a coal mine (plural canaries in a coal mine) (idiomatic) Something whose sensitivity to adverse conditions makes it a useful early indicator of such conditions; something which warns of the coming of greater danger or trouble by a deterioration it its health or welfare.


THE DAILY BLOG has been running The Daily Blog Poll for nearly a year with, until now, entirely predictable results. Month after month, Labour’s narrow but unyielding advantage over the Greens presented a clear reflection of the Daily Blog’s readership’s collective preference for a decisive election result and a stable, centre-left coalition government.

A couple of days ago, however, the results of The Daily Blog Poll revealed a sudden and decisive shift in the preferences of the Daily Blog’s readers. For the first time that I could recall the Greens were in the lead – and there was nothing narrow about it. Labour hadn’t simply been dislodged into second place, it was running third behind the National Party. Overnight the Greens had moved from a rough parity with Labour to a 2:1 advantage.

I shook my head in disbelief. It had to be a rogue result. But this morning, when I checked, there it was again, a practically identical result. Greens 32 percent; Labour 22 percent; National 21 percent; Mana 9 percent; Internet Party 5 percent; Act 4 percent; NZ First 4 percent; Conservatives 2 percent; Maori Party 1 percent; United Future 0 percent.

Okay! I know, I know! There’s nothing in the least bit scientific about this sort of on-line poll. The 382 participants in the survey were all self-selected and the Daily Blog’s audience is a very long way from being representative of the wider New Zealand population.

But, don’t you see, that’s the whole point! If you exclude the National Party types getting to “know thy enemy”, the people who regularly read The Daily Blog, are overwhelmingly more Left than Centre. If Labour has shed 10 percentage points from the readership of this blog, its most sympathetic of audiences, how long can it be until the big, media-commissioned polls – Colmar Brunton, Reid Research, DigiPoll – all register a similar sudden collapse of Labour support among the general population?

Isn’t it highly likely that the readers of The Daily Blog are playing the role of the canary in a coal mine? Wouldn’t you expect an audience of such ideological sensitivity to register much earlier than the rest of the population Labour’s infuriating and increasingly obvious inability to win the 2014 election?

TDB Recommends

And I’m not the only blogger thinking this way. On his Dim-Post blog, Danyl McLauchlan, has posted “Gut Feeling Update” in which he admits frankly that:

“Up to now I’ve felt that the outcome of the election is too close to call. The sides are pretty even, small changes at the margins could have huge impacts on the results. But my gut feeling now is that Labour’s support will collapse and National will win a third term. It feels like a replay of the 2011 election in which Labour keep doing baffling, stupid things and then demand[ing] to know why the media is biased against them and how anyone could like John Key. People don’t want idiots running their country.”

The Right’s spies are also picking up the signs of impending disaster. Cam Slater’s Whaleoil blog, in a posting entitled “Labour and Cunliffe having a bad week, and it’s only going to get worse”, reports that:

“A mate of mine who travels a lot has noticed a distinct difference between National MPs and Labour MPs. He sits in the Koru lounge in Wellington and Auckland and observes.

“He has noticed that Labour MPs operate in cliques. When other caucus members walk in or past they rarely acknowledge each other, in fact disdain is the most prevalent demeanor.

There is real and palpable hostility between some members of the caucus.

“In contrast National MPs have a more collegial atmosphere, holding court and joking and enjoying each other’s company.”

Yes, I know, it’s Whaleoil, but putting all prejudice aside for a moment, I have to confess that Slater’s mate’s story has the ring of truth. I observed the behaviour of Labour’s caucus at last year’s annual conference in Christchurch and was struck by what can only be called their childish behaviour. These politicians, in whom working-class New Zealanders are being encouraged to vest all their hopes, weresulking. It was pathetic.

Would it really be so bad, then, if these same sulky brats were required to spend a few months eating the Greens’ dust? After all, it was the experience of being whacked all over the paddock for much of the 1990s by Jim Anderton’s Alliance that engendered just enough humility in Helen Clark and her colleagues to make them electable in 1999.

The problem, of course, is that we don’t have ten years to make Labour a fit and proper party to lead New Zealand. Hell, we don’t even have 10 months. And on their performance so far this year that is not going to be anything like long enough.

Call it the wisdom of crowds. Announce that we’ve reached a tipping point. Put it down to a change in thezeitgeist. However 2014 is later explained by the political scientists, I want the readers of The Daily Blog – the canaries in a coal mine – to remember that they were the ones who succumbed to the gaseous exhalations of Labour’s political decomposition long before anybody else.


  1. I’m probably going to vote Labour but I certainly strongly agree with the sentiment of this post. I fear that the neoliberal old guard are going to hand National another victory and the needy populace a defeat.

    I am underwhelmed by the lack of policy being rolled out. Sure there is capital gains tax and promises for kids in poverty which I applaud. But little else to speak of.

    They are playing a ‘wait and see’ approach to avoid policy being derided in the press. I also suspect that widespread social reform is being stymied by Goff and the rest of what i left of the ABC crew.

    Conservative electioneering relies on National self imploding and that really doesn’t look like happening. Some lessons should be learned from the Greens who have been prevalent in the MSM lately.

    • ‘I fear that the neoliberal old guard are going to hand National another victory and the needy populace a defeat.’

      Lol. Then why are you going to vote for what is essentially a right wing party?

  2. I dunno. The poll size on TDB is miniscule and cannot be convincingly extrapolated for accurate population statistics. That’s the scientist in me speaking here of course… the sinking gut feeling is you’re probably right.

  3. Hmm. Well, all I know is that I voted on this daily blog Poll once several months ago and, until today, every subsequent time I returned to it which was about once a week or so, it wouldn’t accept my new vote.

    I can’t see the point of a poll that is so … selective? …Out of date? …munted?

    Why was it not being updated and why is it working today?

    • We ran the initial poll from December through to early February to get an idea of the audience’s preferences.

      Likewise, we kicked a new poll into gear last week and included the internet party so we could get an idea of whether the KDC party had much support with TheDailyBlog’s audience.

      We have settings that restrict the number of times a person can vote from their personal computer and IP. That is an attempt to prevent a person voting repeatedly, if we allowed that the results would not give us a sniff of the audience’s view overall.

  4. “He has noticed that Labour MPs operate in cliques. When other caucus members walk in or past they rarely acknowledge each other, in fact disdain is the most prevalent demeanor.

    There is real and palpable hostility between some members of the caucus.

    “In contrast National MPs have a more collegial atmosphere, holding court and joking and enjoying each other’s company.”

    The Left, in my experience, has always been like this. Fracturing; refracturing; splintering; re-forming. Think of the scene in The Life of Brian where the People’s Front for Judea hated the Judean People’s Front more than the Romans… (Though admittedly, neither were as bad as the f*****g People’s Liberation Front for Judea…)

    What is it about the Left that has such fanatical inclinations toward Individuality…? (I think I know, but I’ll be buggered if I share that one particular insight with readers from the Right. Let’em figure it out themselves.)

    Meanwhile, the Right – which espouses Rugged Individualism, Choice, and Personal Responsibility/Action, works collectively in a way that Marx, Lenin, Mao, et al, would be proud of.

    And yet, we “muddle” through…

    Don’t get too depressed, Chris. We have nine months left.

    • What is it about the Left that has such fanatical inclinations toward Individuality…? (I think I know, but I’ll be buggered if I share that one particular insight with readers from the Right. Let’em figure it out themselves.)

      Yeah, I’ve got a couple of theories on that one as well 😈

    • As the old adage goes, the Right look for converts and the Left look for traitors. If the NZLP’s factional rumblings are bad, the ALP in Oz have elevated it to a full-time art form.

    • Do you realize that the whole scene you reference from ‘Life of Brian’ was a satirical take on contemporary leftist politics?

  5. The policies and suggestions so far, as I recall them, are Kiwibuild, KiwiPower, Best Start, possibly a NZ state owned insurance co again and, just last week or the one before, talk of ‘Wood First’ which is a great sustainable job creating initiative I hope Labour does put into practise.

    Plus no more selling strategically vital and profitable state assets nor supporting charter schools.

    I’ve probably missed a few and it’s early days yet.

    • Plus strengthening of the Labour laws and increasing the min wage.

      These are all good policies but the fact is the MSM do continuously undermine Labour, nit picking on minor issues (Cunliffe’s residence, suggesting that DC purposely omitted info from his speech, making a massive story about a TV executive caught doing Labour Party work on work premises when a few months ago he was a applying to be a Labour electorate member (how the fuck did this turn into a major story…surely there were no surprises here))
      You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that Labour’s policies will redistribute wealth from the asset rich to the more needy. Most wealthy New Zealander’s have made their money from Capital Gains (Houses, Commercial Buildings and Farms)…these useless leaches will do anything to ensure that there is NO Capital Gains Tax. As soon as Labour announced this policy they must have known that things would get ugly.

      Its never going to be easy for Labour given its trying to help the people with less influence than the Right Wing slugs…but you cant fucken well give up.

      • I think saarbro that you typically sum up the collective thoughts of the left when you all the middle classes leeches. The left talk about redistribution of wealth, and that quite rightly puts fear into the heart of the middle classes. What are the left going to do the the wealth and income of those who like myself ( and wife) who have worked extremely hard for twenty five years to provide a better way of life for our children. We have paid our taxes, saved, invested, and invested more, paying down debt and building a comfortable way of life without taking but rather significantly contributing to the government coffers so they can already redistribute 30% of my income to those who have not made as much money! to those who live off my effort! to those who chose not to work hard. We are not leeches. We are middle NZ who provide jobs, but spending the 2/3 s ( or less after GST, petrol taxes etc) of our income the government lets us keep by eating out, going to movies, and such like. You insult the majority of NZers with your attitude. Maybe if a few more useless pricks got off their arse and became net contributors rather than net takers this country would be much better off, but as long the the left continue to promote policies that essentially increase welfare, then fewer and fewer are going to support the growing welfare classes. The left have no concept of self responsibility and this year they will promise more spending in order to bribe the country. because AT&T he end of the day it is only bribes of one description of another that the left can offer New Zealand. Luckily it seems the majority of New Zealanders live in fear of the greens being a part of a government and that is why the left are struggling to make impact against the continued strong support for a centre right government. as the left policies and the consequences of those policies are exposed the left support will drop away, and national will win again in 2014, leaving behind a bitter and confused, fragmented warring Labour Party.

        • You know, you sound just like a traditional working class lefty.

          They aren’t fond of lazy slackers and free riders, either.

          Trouble was, the middle class liked to ape their ‘betters’ and be ‘charitable’ – so they were rightly taken for mugs, and have been seen as a soft touch ever since.

          “We’ll start negotiating when you stop conceding and cheating – and paying us crumbs to keep us from making harder and fairer deal.”

          Or: If you don’t want the wolves chasing your sled – stop throwing chops at them, shifting the herds, and wrecking the eco-balance.

          Hard work is not automatically smart.

        • Monty,

          No,no,no..Im not attacking the middle classes. Just the leaches that focus on Capital Gains to gain wealth. If you are paying 30% tax per annum you aint one of em Monty, these leaches hardly pay 2% tax overall(as a % of their annual increase in wealth). I know plenty of them monty, and they are the laziest most useless barstards you will meet.

          labour will actually be good for someone like you, just take a closer look and don’t believe what you read in the NZ Hearld or 1ZB.

          Take it easy Monty.

        • Actually I thought he was referring to the wealthy corporates and top 5% or so who avoid paying any taxes. Bad job on hiding your contempt and hatred of those less well off than yourself.

      • “These are all good policies…”

        No, they are crap policies.

        Your so called ‘strengthening’ of the labour laws, and increasing the minimum wage will cost jobs. Best start is middle class welfare, and Kiwi Power will potentially increase prices and threaten supply.

        The majority of NZ’ers can see through all this bs, which is why labour is polling so poorly.

  6. I don’t expect the Greens to do much better than last time. This just means that the ultra left are abandoning Labour.

    What I do expect in the election is an increase in the non-voting bloc, mostly at Labour’s expense.

    • TOM – my anecdotal feedback that various politically interested people have given me, proves exactly what you suggest. It is depressing and sad, but it is the reality. Labour live in their own “bubble” of some misconception, not realising that there are many out there, who do want some clearer policies, not just “left”, but more democratic, fairer, more inclusive and accessible measures to change society.

      Labour are only scratching the surface of true opportunities, and I fear their MPs are lacking inspiration, insight and understanding, that is a major problem with the caucus, which is the “face” of Labour in Parliament, and in front of the media. The members are all in the background, and only have limited, occasional input.

      Labour caucus members need a damned “reality check”, as they have mostly lost touch!

      • How one-eyed of you. What has national done? Sold off the “family silver” (freed up so him and his millionaire mates can now gain access and become our benevolent over-lords) and caused heaps of job losses. The only reason that isn’t obvious in the figures is because of the Christchurch rebuild NOT any real policies on their part. They’ve turned us into a police/surveillance state. Which the politician formerly known as DonKey now DICKtator is able to use to gain unfair advantage to maintain his position.

        • The prime focus of this post by Chris is on Labour and their challenges. That is why I commented on the Labour caucus and so forth. Of course the Nats are the real main enemy and have in many ways sold this country and the people out. I have made my view of them quite clear in many other places and comments.

          I am galaxies away from supporting the Nats or failing to see the disaster they have created, that is especially on a social scale, affecting poor with and without jobs.

  7. Agree with others. I voted for Labour once on this poll and when I tried again was not able to, so have given up trying.

    Labour has great policies that go well with the Greens.

    The problem is as soon as Cunliffe was made leader (and before of course) the msm have been completely biased. There headlines for the polls are something to behold. When Lab/Greens up and Nat down, the headline was Winnie will be king maker. Latest of course is National could thrash Labour. This becomes the dominant narrative. And Chris, you are buying into this in your article. We on the left must stay strong, fight and get behind Lab, Green, Mana and start talking them up!

  8. To further make this poll interesting a “not voting” option should be included to give a sense of the level of voter apathy. After all voter apathy may have had considerable impact last election.

  9. Chris, you have fallen into the trap of accepting the MSM dominant narrative about Labour and Cunliffe.

    For goodness sake people on the left, when we buy into their spin no wonder we lose. It wasn’t so long ago Lab/Greens were in a position to govern according to the polls. But Msm spin the headlines to make National look good and people on the left start buying into it. Labour are doing great. Great policies, Cunliffe doing great. Jones on the warpath.

    Chris you are in danger of doing what you accuse Labour of (travelling in cliques etc). This is the problem with the left. Time to stand behind Cunliffe and Labour and win this B election!

  10. Chris, while not always agreeing with you, I always respect your opinion and enjoy listening to or reading your comments. I do agree with your thoughts as expressed and I think that observations made in the Koru Lounge can also be made while watching Question Time. Labour do not look like a united energised team ready to assume office. The country needs a strong opposition to combat the John Key factor and I don’t see this happening under David Cunliffe. In my view the person with the best set of skills to achieve this is Shane Jones. Relates well, Maori heritage, good sense of humour, best person to take on John Key.

  11. Green – the thing we have not tried yet – has got 4 principles. 1. The world is finite. 2. Fair access to resources (healthy food, housing, education etc) 3. Direct democracy 4. No violence.

    It’s about ecological realism, sustainability, healthy living, fullfilled lives. It’s about saving the place for future generations, it’s about containing climate change. It’s bigger and more challenging then just ‘left’ or ‘right’- it’s Green. And Green will grow.

    And that’s what many haven’t got their heads around. Labour still depend on the same fossil-fueled economy based on never-ending growth, just like National. And that’s why the Greens are not part of the left or right camp. And Labour hasn’t been ‘left’ for the last 25 years and that’s why their voters don’t bother to turn up anymore. Hence the polls.

        • What a joke. You’d be struggling to find an ACT supporter who could do anything useful. They’re not even entertaining at parties. As for technical savvy – managing to insert a racist avatar doesn’t make you an IT expert. It just makes you sad.

          • Thanks for your comment regarding “Mr Golly” who is a soft toy purchased in Dunsandel near ChCh, and who strikes a remarkable resemblance to some early pictures of Mozart.

            Regarding the technical issue. my comments stem from the fact that software development is possibly the most unregulated industry in the world, so maybe would attract people who think the same mindset can be applied to public policy, and therefore might be attracted to an ACT mindset

            This, or course, just a theory

          • You are much too cruel – ACT supporters have many functions. They make reasonably effective doorstops. You can put one under your fruit trees to scare the birds – and local children. What’s more, they make wonderful fertiliser because they are so full of… neo-liberalism.

            The tragedy is that, like United Future members, you just can’t find them anymore. The cognitive dissonance gets too much for them and they just waste away. If it wasn’t for the protected enclave at Treasury and constant plugging by the Herald they’d’ve been extinct years ago.

            It was inevitable really, like the pandas, they have trouble breeding. If you assemble a group of typical ACT leadership – Brash, Banks, Hyde etc., their effect on libido is rather like that of Reginald Perrin’s mother-in-law. The captive breeding program has failed, and the desperate last resort led by Jamie Whyte apparently requires large quantities of electric eels.

            • A delightful summary Stuart Munro, of your view of Act voters

              I would add that I feel the same about Green voters, but I would subtract 30 IQ points of each of them, on average

              • Then you should go and tell them on Frogblog. But prepare to be humiliated – the Greens have on average the most intelligent suporters of all NZ parties. They are also infinitely more tech-literate than your imaginary ACT supporters.

                You are a troll and a fool. I’m not sure why you weren’t moderated out.

      • My definition of a theory is the same as a layman’s and the experts
        Of course, the untermenschen should not share the same ideas as the Experts, so this might seem offensive to some

            • Black Mozart Teddy,
              “sociopathic tendencies …Marked readiness to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior that has brought the person into conflict with society.”
              Sounds a fair assessment.
              You and Ted (Bundy) are a laugh a minute.

  12. I never vote in online polls (except the ones on stuff, you can go in and vote again) I’m sure there’s lots of other people just as lazy as I am.
    To be honest, Chris, you are a little depressing in some of your evaluations. This article will have those Nats all over you for it…
    Sorry, but I just have to comment thusly; I’ve been watching Pistols & Petticoats, oops, I mean Parliament tv, recently. I agree Nats chum together like burley on the side of a boat ‘in da house’, but all the intelligent and pointed debate comes from the other side. You should build on that.
    Today’s Best Turned Out: Hon Annette King, Labour, btw.

      • Andys,
        I suspect this is an example of the type of irony you enjoy…
        “At a ceremony celebrating the rehabilitation of seals after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, at an average cost of $80,000 per seal, two seals were released back into the wild only to be eaten within a minute by a killer whale.
        …waits for Andys’ ironic comment about sealing seals fate.

  13. The public will quickly tire of the current level of dishonesty in the MSM. Labour should be laughing at the suggestion of a Gnat victory – spelling it out point by point from real vox pops:

    How is NZ working for you? “Kindof finding it hard to get by actually…”

    Had a payrise? “No…”

    Any prospect of improvement? “Hell we can’t even afford cheese.”

    Do you think John Key is growing the economy? “He sure isn’t at my end.”

    Real journalism will destroy the MSM; truth is stronger than lies.

    • I think that’s how propaganda works isn’t it? Hook them in and they’ll believe anything they’re told especially if it’s from a ‘reputable’ source. The presstitues are the propaganda mouthpiece for the right.

  14. Labour are unwilling to share power with the Greens. Every time that they have had a choice Labour would rather govern with Right coalition partners.

    This time, (and last time), Labour do not have any choice. If they want to govern they will have to overcome their disdain and include the Greens in government.

    Are they willing to do it?

    Are they prepared to bite the bullet and take a more Left path than they are comfortable with?

    For thirty years Labour and National have provided us with a bipartisan government, where the two ruling parties are not that much different to each other, and agree to take turns at ruling.

    Rogernomics was seamlessly continued by Ruthanomics. Bolgerism was continued by Helenism.

    No matter who you vote for you seem to get the continuation of basically the same policies.

    Hence the growing rise of the disenchanted and the non-vote.

    The Kirk administration, our last decidedly Left government, was as Chris Trotter detailed on his post on the SIS, brought down through relentless attack from the defenders of the conservative establishment, the secret services and the media working in tandem, assisted somewhat by a more timid (some would say intimidated) Bill Rowling led Labour Party.

    We can see the same forces at work again. With the rise of David Cunliffe, a more Left leaning leader of Labour than has become the accepted norm, (No pun intended), with the media and their shadowy establishment allies going into overdrive.

    How have Labour responded?

    It seems that Labour have cut their cloth to suit their Right wing critics, dropping their more Left polices, like GST off (some) foods, like not taxing the first $5,000 of income, but retaining and reinforcing their support for raising the pension age and their support for profit driven but planet destroying policies like Deep Sea Oil Drilling, fracking etc.

    These are flag ship policies which differentiate Left from Right.

    Labour’s plan to replace the $1.5 billion they promised in tax cuts for the poor, has been replaced with $525 million of “targeted” assistance. As well as being almost 2 thirds less than what they originally promised, it buys into the Right wing meme that the working poor and beneficiaries are responsible for poverty by being bad parents neglectful of the their children, and that if they had a choice and if this money wasn’t targeted on their kids they would blow it on booze and cigarettes.

    Labour have moved away from the Left and back to the centre, (and probably further), this is not going to invigorate their core voter support base, and it is not going to take any votes from the Right, Right wing voters being generally loyal and why would they vote for a pale copy when they can get the real thing.

    Labour’s shift to the Right is what has started the stampede to the Greens by Leftists at the Daily Blog. This move to the Greens is unlikely to followed by the wider electorate, the more likely response will be even more abstention than the last election, as most realise that the Greens cannot win and Labour have given up.

    • the hostility shown by members of my local LEC towards the Greens right to share power beggars belief. Their narrow life experiences and outright ignorance of the reality of most middle class New Zealander’s lives fair takes my breath away at times. Good people … yeeees. But prejudiced and suspicious unless they are young, and they have totally bought into the neoliberal paradigm. Hard to hang in there .

  15. Some of us have been “canaries” for decades regarding the limits of social democracy and parliament itself. However the prime strategic task for 2014 being the denial of another term for the Key gang, a Labour Party that fired more often would be most helpful.

    Having a family member who is involved with the LP, Labour does have some good policies and it has an Obamaesque online initiative “I’m In” and LEC street level tactics like be a “Labour Neighbour”. But Who Knew?

    Maybe who knows is the same bozo/s that organised David Cunliffe’s State of the Nation in Kelston which I attended being close to the venue. It seemed a mix of enthusiastic happy clappy rank and file members and roped in MPs from the ABCs looking like the proverbial.

    Maybe TDB regulars are just going to put their efforts into Mana, Greens and our small hard left groups as we should.

  16. I have heard these tales of Labour ABCs who are dragging their feet so that they can have their power back once they’ve done what they can to make Cunliffe lose. I think what they really need to be asking themselves right now is how badly they want the Greens and Mana to end up getting their vote?

    And as I noted the other day, where are the members of these MPs’ electorate committees? Don’t renew their candidacies for this election. Put someone else up, and dislodge them.

  17. I’d love to see a public debate upon the actual value systems that underpin and drive the two main factions in NZ (National, the right vs Labour/Greens, the left.)

    While I have absolutely no doubt that either Cunliffe or Norman, in a face-to face, unscripted, off-the-cuff TV or radio debate would run rings around Key, the sad fact is that it won’t happen.

    Key’s approach, when confronted by the media with an issue worthy of extended debate, is to dismiss it with a glib, fatuous one-liner then walk off. Why? Because he knows he’s incapable of mounting a sustained rational discussion on pretty much any fundamental, underlying issue of critical importance to the running of a country.

    I’m referring to fundamental grass-roots issues such as:

    1. is the primary role of government to look after societies’ most-vulnerable, or is it to look after the rich?

    2. Precisely how has National’s “Do nothing and lets see what happens” approach to running the country (including the economy) enabled us to survive (thus far) the current economic recession?

    3. Is the world economic system overdue for drastic overhaul and reform? Is an economic system that is dependent upon “growth”, in a world of ever-increasing population and ever-diminishing resources, doomed to failure in the long term?

    These questions won’t be debated because Key doesn’t want them debated in the run-up to the election. Quite possibly, he realizes that they are issues that reflect poorly upon the fundamental deficiencies that are inherent in National’s underlying philosophy of governance.

    Instead, all we will hear about from National are the great things that they think they have done to save this country from the fall-out of the global recession.

    • I don’t think that a no growth policy is either Green or Labour party policy. If it was I would love for Cunliffe and Norman to articulate it. It would be so enjoyable to see the middle classes desert these two in droves.

    • We could also be asked what we think or believe is the role of governments – local and national – in our 21st century society.

      And whether we can now consider whether the ancient adversarial system, with its traditional attendant lobbying and cronyism, is working for a literate and educated population.

      Once, we gained universal suffrage. Now we are losing that achievement because the system it serves doesn’t serve the majority – only the traditional elites of country and industry.

      Shall we challenge this?

      • The role of government is to keep the heck out of our lives as much as possible.

        I regard most people in these roles as parasites, and have no time or respect for them whatsoever.

    • I would walk out if questions like that we’re asked too. They are not “fundamental grassroots issues”, they are at best childish immature and uninformed potshots. Maybe if you showed a little more maturity and informed yourselves, you could go a long way towards earning the respect of the opposition.

  18. I am excited at the possibility of a more representative MMP government instead of the FPP mentality. Maybe policy and serving the public will again become a priority and parties be forced to some consensus on important reforms.

  19. So Cameron Slater (all’s fair in war, peace and politics) got both of his friends to vote for National in TDB poll.
    One of them mentioned that to some sycophantic psychopathic sidekicks and so they and their lackeys posted their mischievous votes.

    Then the debate is about that rather than the real issues. If the eyes are not kept on the ball the donation to Rio Tinto may as well have been $300 million and next time probably will be.

  20. While there are definite signs Labour’s vote could collapse I don’t think this poll is one of them.

    Polls, online or otherwise are not good indicators of opinion and the smaller the sample size the worse the indicator. This is illustrated by the results on this poll changing overnight – for it to do this quickly indicates how small the sample is.

    Comment was recently made on here that while Whaleyoil was shut, a bunch of right leaning people came over the Daily Blog. This didn’t last very long, but for it to have skewed the results indicates how susceptible this small sample poll is to manipulation.

    I have a problem with polling in general – MSM polls tend to favour those who interact with MSM. Most big polls tend to favour people at home, with a landline, listed number. They all favour those with the free time to do polls, and since the data used to contact people is usually old as the hills, it favours those who live in a fixed residence for a long while. These favour most polls towards the conservative. Polls on blogs, meanwhile, tend to favour those engaged with niche political interests.

    • We must point out, this poll isn’t claiming to be scientific. We run it on TDB as an indicator of the cumulative audience’s political preferences. We also run it over a sustained period so as to reduce the manipulation effect that sudden flight arrivals of audiences pushed here from other sites may have on the results.

      So, consider it a rolling poll of political preferences for those who bother to vote on TDB. That’s about it.

      But… having said that, Chris is right, TDB ought to be a picnic ground for a Labour Party led by David Cunliffe, particular due to the policies he advocated prior to and during the leadership primaries. The sudden shift in proportional support on TDB in favour of the Greens is, in my view, indicative of a mood swing among the core audience.

      A couple more weeks of this rolling poll and we will get a better idea of whether that mood among TDB audience is ebbing, flowing, or omnidirectional.

      • Nor do I see how Chris Trotter can treat the poll as being a running popularity poll.
        As Andy and others pointed out, cookies supposedly prevent repeated vote casting by each source, so by its very design it won’t indicate any change of political allegiance.

        • Cookies and IP… But the value is in the comparison. And while all this analysis is subjective, it does offer an opportunity for us all to think through what may be happening within the public sphere.

          Richard are you suggesting, for us who are attempting to get an idea of where the wind is blowing on TDB, that there’s more value in the Fairfax, Roy Morgan, 3News, Herald, Colmar Brunton polls etc etc?

          • Richard are you suggesting, for us who are attempting to get an idea of where the wind is blowing on TDB, that there’s more value in the Fairfax, Roy Morgan, 3News, Herald, Colmar Brunton polls etc etc? </i?

            No. I'm only observing that Chris seems to argue or think that this poll will shift according to how well the parties are perceived to be performing by readers at any particular time. i.e. a running poll.

            That would be true only if we could repeatedly vote on it and replace our earlier vote with our current viewpoint. Most of the votes are frozen wherever they were placed months and months ago.

            I don't know to what comparison you refer. Maybe I've missed something, but as far as I can see Trotter's whole argument is fallacious in as far as this poll is concerned.

            • Ok yea I see where the confusion lies. The poll that is currently displaying on the right hand side bar was initiated on Feb 12, replacing the previous poll, and will run to the end of the month. It will by then have gathered a reasonable number of votes.

              It will then be replaced with another for March with the same options.

              To make it more open and clear, I’ll label them as TDB Feb Poll, and TDB March Poll.

              Thanks for clarifying where you were coming from.


              • Should seriously consider a “not voting” option in the March and subsequent monthly polls to gauge voter apathy/disillusionment, I suspect such an option would poll higher than the majority of the minor parties with a low poll result.

                A number of past blog posts on the subject of voter apathy revealed a number of commenters who seemed sympathetic or supportive of not voting.

    • Well those two intellectual giants can go rotate while they think up some additional off beam generalisations to amuse themselves with.

      • Good afternoon, everyone.

        My name is Frank Macskasy… and I am a political junkie.

        My road to rehab started today.
        Nah, just kidding! I’m off to listen to Focus on Politics on Radio NZ! 😀

  21. “If Labour has shed 10 percentage points from the readership of this blog, its most sympathetic of audiences, how long can it be until the big, media-commissioned polls – Colmar Brunton, Reid Research, DigiPoll – all register a similar sudden collapse of Labour support among the general population?”

    Good post, and with some depressed mood, I have to agree with much that Chris writes. I am dismayed and shocked about Labour. I was one of a few, who dared some time ago, to argue, it would be best to start a NEW, fresh, unblemished “left” or “left of centre” party, to replace present Labour. Others argued that was not going to do much good, and that instead Labour would need to be changed from within.

    I accepted their views and I was like them happy when Labour decided to run a fair and rather open competition for a new leadership. We got Cunliffe get the support of the wider party members, many in the unions and some in caucus.

    The latter has proved to be a disaster now, as Cunliffe is NOT getting sufficient support from the caucus, many of whom are now re-organising themselves as the unreformed and unconvinced ABCs! They never liked Cunliffe to lead the party, they never accepted the members’ voice, they are themselves part of a “rotten system” that has a grip on this country and how it is and has been run.

    They are “entitlement pollies”, the ones who cling to their chairs, who think that their long years of supposed “service” entitles them to a place in not just “the system”, but in “history”.

    I have seen this in the House, where we have had Hipkins and Mallard act in ways that resemble their former roles, where they repeatedly raised points of orders, which Grant Robertson should first of all be doing. That Grant Robertson seems to also be playing a double agenda again, undermining Cunliffe.

    We have seem the tension in the caucus in the House, where some are clearly very unhappy about their demotions. But what could Cunliffe do, but demote some, as they only have a small caucus now, and only little “talent” left in it, apart from some “experience” of course.

    In my view Labour is screwed as a party, totally screwed, and that is because the caucus, who is doing their work nearly 24/7, have not listened to the members and will not listen to potential voters. They dream already of ministerial posts, once they may be back, they think. But this is now starting to look less likely, that they will be back in government, unless a last minute reality check happens.

    We have had a Stuart Nash dish out more of what Labour has stood for over the last two or so decades, which is NOT what we here on TDB want to hear. He is wanting to continue with sweeteners for the middle class, and bypass the interests of the working poor and beneficiaries. I take it badly, what he wrote in his comments to criticism I expressed, same as others.

    He and Labour offer NO answers to the poor in this country, but just slogans, they are also under Cunliffe too pre-occupied to cater for parts of the middle class, thinking getting a few votes of the Nats will win the election. In the meantime the hundreds of thousands, possibly a million voters, who have already been disillusioned, are so again, have resigned to the reality, that Labour will not take their concerns too seriously.

    I fear that I was right, that we need a NEW LEFT PARTY, as Mana is also limited due to personalities involved, where Hone is unsure, whether it should first cater for his ethnic and cultural group and secondly for others, or not so.

    It is time to prepare for the inevitable, that Labour may stuff up again, as they are not seeing the need to present more honest, more revolutionary, and real effective change policies, and rather carry on with petty slogans and subjects, that will not bring much change.

    It is time for a NEW LEFT PARTY, that is reaching to those so far let down and left on the sideline, I feel, and we should perhaps include a lot of environmental stuff too, to bring the “greenies” in as well, so that their temptation to also just please more on “middle ground” is stopped.

    I am dismayed for all beneficiaries, treated like third class in their own country now, and we have NONE in Labour speak for them. Stuff you, Labour, you are USELESS!

    Most in caucus do NOT deserve to sit where they are, clean them OUT!

  22. Interesting to read the various opinions agonising over the Labour/Greens relationship etc ,some I agree with, others I don’t, but putting them all together, gives a good idea of the problems Labour is facing and hence their current not so brilliant position.

  23. Cunliffe announced that our current system is broken and he has put forward more third way policies as an answer.
    I’d be more concerned if people were moving towards Labour

  24. It is time all the old hacks within Labore like mallard, Goff,King and the rest of the right wing crowd were booted right out. Theyve been in there forever and it is so obvious theyre there for the safety of a good wage for doing SFA

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