Latest TV1-Colmar Brunton Poll – Back To The Future IV?





It was a shocker of a poll on Sunday evening (23 February); the TV1-Colmar Brunton poll had National soaring to stratospheric heights. At 51%, the Nats would hold around 62 seats in the House – sufficient to govern alone in a 120 seat Parliament.

The numbers;

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National: 51%

Labour: 34%

Greens: 8%

NZ First: 3%

There is no figure given for Undecideds/Refused to Say, which kind of makes the stats a bit dodgy.  The Colmar Brunton website, however, does have a download facility to download the full report;


colmar brunton Feb 2014 - undecideds


The “Don’t Know/Refused to say” was a whopping 13%!

That’s a sizeable chunk of voters who could yet decide the election outcome.

But how credible is a polling figure of 51% for any political party?

The answer? Not very.

The highest Party Vote for any political party since the introduction of MMP in 1996, was 47.31%, achieved by National in the 2011 election.

So is 51% a credible indicator for National’s re-election chances?

Again, not very.

In a February 2011 TV1-Colmar Brunton poll, National stood at… 51%. In fact, the 2011 Poll is a remarkable mirror of the current Colmar results;


National's popularity falls, but no party near it - Colmar Poll - feb 2011


It’s almost as if Colmar Brunton has simply ‘dusted off’ the 2011 poll results; given Labour an extra one percentage point; and slapped a February 2014 label on it.

It is further worth noting that the actual election night result on Saturday 26 November 2011 was as follows;

National:  47.31%

Labour: 27.48%

Greens: 11.06%

NZ First: 6.59%

No other Party breached the 5% threshold.

At 34% current polling (by Colmar Brunton), this is still 6.52 percentage points above the 2011 election night results. Not a bad starting point to go into an election.

But 51% for National? Not in the realm of possibility. That is the polling they started from in February 2011 – and still they finished at 47.31%.

Let the campaigning continue.





TVNZ:  National’s popularity falls, but no party near it – Colmar Poll

Colmar Brunton: ONE News Colmar Brunton Poll 15-19 February 2014

Colmar Brunton: ONE News Colmar Brunton Poll 15 – 19 February 2014 Report (Pdf)

Wikipedia: New Zealand general election, 2011

TVNZ: Surge in support for National – poll




Labour Mana Green

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen



= fs =


  1. Frank I think you are forgetting that a number of National voters (like myself) choose to use their vote strategically on election day.

    Whilst they say they support National between elections these voters may choose to vote for Act, United Future or in this years election the Conservatives.

    Take the figure as support for National and it’s co-alition partners.

    • @ The Real Matthew…

      First, I voted *thumbs up* for your post. I appreciate your honesty in declaring where you stand politically.

      As to where the voters I referred to stand, one of them is (was?) a long time National voter (though still disapproving of state asset sales). Last year he said he wasn’t voting for Key, though whether or not he’ll feel that way later this year, is anyone’s guess.

      Another National voter – I’ve no idea who they normally voted for. But from what she said, her support was more for John Key rather than the Party. She was disillusioned with him for pursuing asset sales. I’ve heard several in that category and my berst guess is that they were swing voters.

      Take the figure as support for National and it’s co-alition partners.


      We should always look at Right and Left Blocs – though this ultimately depends on whether or not smaller Parties cross the 5% threshold or win an electorate seat. Hence, ACT may win Epsom, and if they gain over 1.2% of the Party vote, the Epsom ACT candidate will pull in another ACT MP on his coat-tails.

      Colin Craig? I doubt he’ll be successful. The only proviso is if the Conservatives look to be polling 3% or 4% – then National may “gift” an electorate seat to the Conservatives.

      Peter Dunne? I give him less than 50/50. He won Ohariu simply because 1,775 Green voters foolishly gave their electorate votes to Green candidate, Gareth Huges.

      Those were wasted votes.

      Had those 1,775 voters voted for Labour’s Charles Chauvel instead, Labour would have taken Ohariu by 129 votes.

      More here:

      As you rightly point out, it’s about voting strategically so that voters get the best possible outcome they want. (In your case Matthew, a National led government. In my case, a Labour-led government.)

      • Well said Mr Macskasy. I have a landline and have NEVER been polled by any of them. I have decided to try not to listen to these endless polls. Okay the Colmar-Brunton one got to me but that’s the last one. I just hope they don’t psyche out the reluctant voters.

        • @ Avenging Angel…

          I just hope they don’t psyche out the reluctant voters.

          That is one of two very real dangers;

          1. That the anti-National vote will stay at home, thinking (yet again) that it’s a foregone conclusion so why bother get out to vote.

          This is what we have to confront leading up to Election Day and all of us on the ground have to encourage potential non-voters to get out and cast their ballots.

          2. Swing voters who opted for National in the Poll(s) may have their initial thoughts further validated that they’ve made the “right choice”. That may entrench their voting preference right up to election day.

          On this point, Labour’s (and the Greens) leadership have to create a reason why those swing voters should reconsider their initial preferences and look to the Left instead for meaningful solutions.

          It’s going to be a hard slog, and it won’t come easily.

  2. Why not just accept that New Zealand, like every other democracy, occasionally goes through prolonged periods of venality and stupidity, and then work out how you will ride out another three years of poor government?

  3. The Press have a very strong influence over voters here in NZ, however the problem we have here in NZ is people are very non political and do not care. I know a number of people here in NZ who I know did not vote because they thought it was a waste of time and the Press had already told them it would be an easy National victory.

    • I had relatives visiting from overseas last week. They know nothing about NZ politics, but asked me why the media seemed to suck up to John Key so much. It’s pretty obvious.

      • The media suck up to John Key because he gives them what they want: smiles, cute photos and jokes. He has them eating out of the palm of his hand. The NZ media (particularly Fairfax) wants this to continue as long as possible so they will not risk biting the hand that feeds them by starting to speak and write the truth. Those few that don’t contribute to the John Key admiration society (eg Chris Laidlaw and Brian Edwards) are swiftly sidelined and subject to ridicule because they see things not through National Party rose tinted spectacles.

  4. I have noticed this for about four weeks now, National, supported by their pollsters and MSM, are getting the country ready for the absolute majority, no need to discuss their whacky coalition choices. They are going for it.

    They have manipulated public opinion for two elections, they’ll do it again.

    Unless someone calls the bluff. Anyone?

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