Why the latest poll is no cause for celebration


New poll points to big boost for Labour

The TVNZ/Colmar Brunton poll puts Labour on 31 per cent. That’s a climb from the 25 per cent rating in the broadcaster’s last poll, in the days before the election. They got a 24.7 per cent party vote share on the night, a woeful result that saw leader Cunliffe eventually step down. The party haven’t managed to nudge above 30 per cent in a year, and the poll is likely to lift caucus morale.

The poll puts National on 49 per cent, up four points. Prime Minister John Key took a small hit, falling two points in the preferred prime minister ratings.

But with the Greens down two points to ten per cent, roughly their election result, and NZ First down two to six per cent, a National-led Government would remain in place.

Some on the Left desperate for any news that can be spun as positive are hailing this latest poll as some sort of positive.

I think that’s being overtly optimistic.

All Labour are doing is mopping up NZ First vote, the bloody Nats went up 4 points for Christ’s sake!

That’s right, even after all the mud thrown at Key recently, National still goes up!

What it will take to change NZers love affair with John Key is still not actually clear. The mythologies of free market neo-liberal cultural values have ended up with this as a voting block…

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…and a right wing mainstream media welded to the same corporate interests National champion left voters with little wider perspective so they ended up like this at the 2014 election…


…A Poll that has Labour mopping up NZ First vote and pulling a few undecideds off the fence ignores that National are still going up.

Yes Key lied about re-invading Iraq. Yes the Education Minister is hiding Charter school failings. Yes the SkyCity deal is a dirty scandal. Yes the PMs Office colluded with the Secret Intelligence Service to falsely smear the Leader of the Opposition months before the 2011 election. Yes Bill English kept ACC levies artificially inflated so that National could create the illusion of a surplus. Yes National didn’t tell the electorate they were going to privatise $2billion worth of State Houses. Yes Key has lied about mass surveillance powers and rammed through vast erosions of civil liberties.

But a large percentage of NZers simply don’t care, they would still love to have a beer with Key around a BBQ.

Should they care? Of course they should, they should be horrified and ashamed at the abuses of power this maniac has cooked up since taking office, but wilful ignorance locks into place the subdivided middle classes, All Black photo shoots get the desperately shallow rugby mad fetishists, the depoliticised empty aspiration attracts the equally vacant Edge Radio generation and snarling spite attracts the redneck blame the unions, Maoris and beneficiaries rump of the NZ electorate. Key would need to torture an SPCA rescue pet on youtube before National voters started questioning their devoted support for him.

This isn’t an issue of an argument, this is a cultural wasteland where me me me trumps us us us.

What it also highlights is that Labour will need Coalition partners if they are ever to get to power.  Last election the attempt was to use MMP as a means of getting to 51%. With Labour, NZ First and National working together to vote MANA out in Te Tai Tokerau, the reality is Labour’s jump to the centre relies on continued cannibalisation of the left/centre parties while trying to steal off National rather than bringing new disenfranchised voters to the ballot box.

Playing a 51% style strategy in an MMP election is a possibility for National, not Labour.

There’s little to cheer in this poll.



  1. I know comparing the charismatic relationship between Hitler and his supporters with Key and his, might seem a tad facile, but I think there are lots of similarities. They are going to follow him blindly, whatever he does.

    • @ esoteric pineapples – Yep and therein lies the problem of Key and his Natsies remaining right where they are, without challenge!

      Until Natsy supporters begin to wake up and realize their beloved leader, the slimy Key, aided and abetted by the abdominal Joyce, are as crooked and bent as they come, then NZ will continue along that dark ominous road to hell!

      It will happen when they (Natsy supporters) are hit in the pocket. Then watch the fallout! It’s coming!

  2. I’m not optimistic either because Labour does not seem to be learning, any increase in polling, can all be taken away with any ‘dirty politics’ smears closer to any election. Labour have taken their easy position to attack their ‘allies’ and potential partners the Greens and NZ First. Therefore they do not seem to have learn’t anything or been able to understand and adapt to what happened last election.

    National will go up as Labour and NZ First and Greens are not forming an alliance and work together against dirty politics to show what is really happening in this country, not being reported by MSM.

    The election result was also a message from voters on how Labour has handled being the opposition. i.e. poorly and seem to be manipulated at will by National.

  3. Nationals Perception Management is the winner here.

    Those voting National, (reading the comments to John Armstrong etc) think NZ in general is headed in the right direction.

    On the smiley National face side there is the facade of growth, lower unemployment, inflation, less beneficiaries, reported crime down, people are winning on real estate, getting rich and little cherries on the cake like big shiny motorways been built and the AB’s winning. We are told we are Rockstars and by God they believe it!

    On the grumpy lefty face side, everything else is a sideshow, an ugly sideshow granted but as long as NZ keeps on keeping on, the growing mountain of debt, the corruption, the dire state of Aucklands property market, poverty, the working poor, the real crime levels, Dirty Politics, the lies, the arrogance, John Key and all the other shit floating around in the sewer that is the real state of NZ politics is a price worth paying.

    Only when these voters started getting burnt by this government and someone joins the dots for them in an easily absorbed headline, irrefutably hitting them over the head with facts that show them the rockstar economy is a lie will they then look at the latter and stop and think.

    Until then National are safe!

  4. Even though I saw the increase in Labours %, it didn’t compute because I immediately saw that the natz had also increased. My shock and horror at the vapid, barren wasteland that is the mind of the natz supporter is complete. I now don’t know what it will take to shift their perception of FJK. It seems the Sabin affair has gone into hiding, never to be heard from again. The natz supporter has been sucked in, chewed up, spat out and stomped on by FJK and they can’t get enough. Pity help the rest of us.

  5. These polls aren’t worthy of any serious attention. The sampling method – landlines – are representative of more affluent opinion. These polls don’t reflect the opinion of society as a whole but rather more likely manipulate it.

    For a party (particularly left) attempting to increase their popularity according to these polls is as futile as engaging in a school yard popularity contest, or a parent caving in to please a spoilt brat. If that’s the case, so much for our “democracy”.

    • THe same excuse was made when the National Vote failed to fall prior to the last election. People claimed that because of the polling methodology the National vote would fall on the day. It didn’t. The polls proved remarkably accurate.
      And if the National’s look to be in danger all they have to do is get some of our AB’s, Rowers and Cyclists to all tweet on election day that they have just voted National. Thanks.
      What was the outcome of that, by the way?

  6. Very well written Martyn. Labour need to either lift it’s vote into the high 40’s, which won’t happen, or do a better job at co-existing with other parties to their left.

    • You have a fair point Nehemia Wall. Labour cannot be seen as a government in waiting if it continues attacks or undermines potential coalition partners.

      In this recent poll, Labour only cannibalised the Green vote and National suffered not one jot. As such, if this keeps up, Key can look forward to another term in office and Labour will have it’s umpteenth leader in a decade.

      This wasn’t “good news” at all and the Nats will be pissing themselves with laughter!!!

  7. Martyn,

    it is a sad indictment on what you clearly cite here.

    “This isn’t an issue of an argument, this is a cultural wasteland where me me me trumps us us us.”

    The MSM has clearly brainwashed them all.

    The most acceptable way to break this destructive cycle of MSM National brainwashing agenda is for all Opposition Parties to agree to go into a strategy process now in light of these poll results.

    The opposition must bury the hacked for our good and must hold a series of secret meetings together to explore ways by which legally they can invoke a court injunction to have their rights in the public interest to take control half of the public media TVNZ and RNZ to give the public their views and research on possible choices for our future while negating the current National/MSM Perception Management machinery so effectively controlling our citizens.

  8. What you do wonder is not how ghastly the typical New Zealander is if this poll is the distillation of their opinion, but rather what kind of information will shake whatever is making them cling so determinedly to the John Key blanket. We may fear things will get worse, we may be empowered to consider only our own selfish interests. These are blocking impulses. Alternatively we hope for a safer and more collaborative community and we are attracted to leaders who offer us a way to achieve a better future for ourselves and our families.

    In both instances the key is the calm, confident and persuasive spokespeople for their message.

    Those who purport to speak for the Left must raise their eyes to the horizon and speak about broader issues than the issues of the minute. Or even limited interests like jobs and houses, important though these subjects are.

    Issues like the kind of country and community you want to live in, how you believe the people should relate to each other and a reoriented future and where a changed attitude to society can take you.

    The speech by opposition leader David Lange about a seemingly perfect nearby country (New Zealand 20 years previously) was one such galvanizing moment. It may be noted that Lange was still much loved years after the demise of his administration, while the Douglasses of his government are still considered synonymous with the Devil – intriguingly on both sides of politics – (consider Act’s unpopularity).

    The battle for both hearts and minds, as the saying goes, should not be overlooked. It is absolutely vital in the reorientation of the country. Consideration of how this broader battle should be fought will be far more productive than criticism of the general population (no matter how wicked they are).

    (Of course, after winning let’s hope we don’t see a resurrection of the Lange Government policies).

    • Totally agree. What is lacking is a vision of the future of this country. That is why the left is losing the fight. They need to get away from ‘point by point’ debating and just focus on ‘what is right’ and a vision. Lange was no saint policy wise, but he also did a really revolutionary thing, stand up to the USA and say no Nukes. He will always be remembered fondly for that one.

      Greens need to do the same.

      Labour needs to stand out for justice and human rights. It is not enough to say no going to war, they need to stand up for local human rights starting with the surveillance bill.

  9. Nat supporters will never change. John Key–their leader–is a total coward and liar. We need to all become activists!

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