“Something Very, Very Different”: Why rumours of Labour’s internal poll numbers are giving the Nats the heebie-jeebies



CAMERON SLATER is appealing directly to members of Labour’s caucus on his Whaleoil blog. Why? Because he’s just got wind of Labour’s internal poll numbers. According to Cameron: “Their internal polls show something very, very different from the publicly available polls. Apparently the gap between Labour & National is about 6 or 7 percent when the public polls have it at 15%.”

This can only mean that, in the usually highly accurate UMR poll, Labour is positioned somewhere between 34-36 percent and the National Party somewhere between 40 and 42 percent. At that level of support, it’s ‘Game Over!’ for John Key’s government. No wonder Cameron is doing everything he can to sow doubt in the minds of Andrew Little’s colleagues.

Clearly, these results have brought on an attack of the heebie-jeebies in National’s ranks. How else to explain the usually very crafty Mr Slater’s tactical lapse? Calling people’s attention to what he’s heard about Labour’s internal polling – when it’s this good – has given a major boost to the Left’s morale. It’s also boosted the credibility of the other big rumour doing the rounds about UMR’s polling: the one that puts the combined Labour-Green vote at 49 percent.

Cameron’s post may also serve to confirm the rumours about National’s own internal polling. According to these, Labour’s much criticised ‘China Play’ almost immediately began shaking erstwhile Labour voters loose from National’s tree in large numbers.

That would certainly explain the way National suddenly went dark on the whole issue. As Matthew Hooton explained in his NBR column of 17/7/15: “Wedge politics are straightforward: You find a genuine problem, associate it with an unpopular minority, raise it with inflammatory language, or in a provocative context, and wait for your opponents to defend the minority. Then you stand with the majority against them.” With advisers as skilled in the dark arts of wedge politics as Mark Textor and Lynton Crosby, the Prime Minister was almost certainly warned against expressing too much solidarity with the targets of Labour’s campaign.

That job was left to TV3’s Patrick Gower, who has been waging a virtual one-man-war against what he insists are Labour’s “cooked-up” statistics. How disappointed poor Paddy must have been when his week-long assault upon Labour for “playing the race card” was rewarded with a marginal increase in Labour’s support (from 30.4 to 31.1 percent) in the TV3/Reid Research Poll. To rub salt in his wounds, the poll also showed the ‘Opposition Bloc’ of parties (Labour, Greens, NZ First) registering 50.9 percent to the ‘Government Bloc’s’ (National, Act, Maori Party, United Future) 48.2 percent. Completing Mr Gower’s discombobulation must have been Reid Research’s finding that 61 percent of New Zealanders support a ban on foreign investors buying-up residential property.

So, let us assume, purely for the sake of argument, that all the rumours are true and all the numbers are correct. It would mean that National has shed 6-7 percentage points directly to Labour. Interestingly, this is exactly what the Roy Morgan Poll of 17 July indicated. It had National down 6.5 points to 43 percent, Labour up 6 points to 32 percent, and the combined Labour-Green vote on 45 percent. Admittedly, the Roy Morgan survey only caught the first day of Labour’s China Play, but, by the same token, it escaped the effects of ‘Paddy’s Play’ entirely.

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From the beginning of the year, Labour’s clear objective, and Andrew Little’s laser-like focus, has been to re-capture the roughly 10 percent of former Labour voters who have, ever since Helen Clark’s departure, taken to voting National with their Party Vote. Crucial to recovering that lost support are the two “Cs” – Connection and Credibility.

Labour and Little must first connect with, and then remain at the side of, their electoral base. They must whistle their tune – and keep on whistling it – until their supporters start whistling it back to them. In lifting Labour’s vote towards that magical 40 percent mark, nothing is more important than saying what you mean, meaning what you say, and sticking to your guns.

For some in Labour’s Caucus, the experience of taking fire (especially from people they considered friends and allies) has been a painful one. But the fact that they have remained at their posts, and returned fire, has not been lost on Labour’s traditional constituency. There have been no leaks, no private briefings, no wayward press releases. The Labour Caucus has – touch wood – rediscovered the power of collective commitment and responsibility. In the process, it has reclaimed a good measure of much-needed credibility.

And if Cameron Slater’s right about the results of the latest UMR poll, they now have their reward.



  1. Dunne’s previous actions suggests he will swap sides in order to stay in a cabinet role, so he shouldn’t be automatically counted as being the National block.

    • Dunne is only there because National say so and in a heart beat they can simply run a candidate against him and he is finished.

      • For National, getting Dunne’s electoral seat is meaningless as it doesn’t increase the size of their bloc as their total number of seats are based on party vote percentage.
        With Dunne’s electoral seat (as in Epsom) they finagle an extra seat in the house (in Dunne’s case from just 0.22% of party vote).
        The National bloc’s (Nat, Maori, UF, Act) total party votes at the last election came to 49.27% of the party votes cast and yet that turned into 64 seats out of 121 i.e. 52.89%.
        They’d really much rather have Dunne on their side. Lord only knows what promises he’s been made.

        1. The National party strategists know this (Dunne’s value) full well.
        2. MMP is better than FPP but it’s still a pretty shit system given that one of its supposed promises was to return representation in the house that closely matched the representation at the ballot.

          • Absolutely agree. I supported MMP over a return to FPP, but I remember a friend explaining to me when we were in high school why STV is the better system, and from everything I’ve learned since, I’ve come to believe he was right.

            I’m just old enough to remember Marilyn Waring crossing the floor against Muldoon. I don’t think any National MP has crossed the floor under Key. List MPs know they’d be out on their ear if they did, and with the increasing power of parties and their propaganda machines, electorate MPs tend to be party faithful, rather than people known and respected for real achievements in their electorate.

            I used to think the problem with NZ politics was National and Labour. Now I suspect it’s political parties in general. Not their existence in general, but the way politics have turned into a series of conceptual pidgeonholes with party names and logos on them, and no place for independent thought.

  2. I have always thought the polls are skewed by the rigging of the polls around election time.

    As the exert testimony from yet another whistle-blower really shows fraud by this voting in NZ is possible.




    “Apparently the gap between Labour & National is about 6 or 7 percent when the public polls have it at 15%.” This can only mean that, in the usually highly accurate UMR poll, Labour is positioned somewhere between 34-36 percent and the National Party somewhere between 40 and 42 percent. At that level of support, it’s ‘Game Over!’ for John Key’s government. No wonder Cameron is doing everything he can to sow doubt in the minds of Andrew Little’s colleagues.

    Yes Chris please COMMAND Labour force a manual paper only voting system now for the 2017 election without any electronic tabulation as this is where the rigging goes on through phantom program source coding that has no traceability the experts warn us, please otherwise this crooked Government will repeat their possible fraudulent rigging of previous elections.

    We cannot afford another loss here.

    The warning signs are if the current polling before elections shows a closer result and then on election day there is a swing over 19% to the Government it suggests vote rigging is going on, and this occurred in previous elections since Planet key.

  3. If #nzpol is NZ’s Twitterati, then Paddy Gower is the ringleader of NZ’s Ignorati.
    I feel sorry for Paddy, he tries hard – very hard, but he’s just an unfortunate and inevitable product of Mediaworks. I honestly don’t think Paddy’s anti-left or pro-right, instead, I see him as a headline hunter who lacks self-confidence. He’s desperate to make a story out of nothing. He’s a lazy headline hunter who prefers not to investigate. He’s a disgrace to journalism and it’s people like Paddy who make us think truth is a narrative. It’s much easier for Paddy to fling his arms around like a drunken monkey and talk about expensive doors in the Beehive, or imaginary bottles of wine. These are great for attracting viewers, but not so good for democracy.
    Paddy will continue to be a corporate poodle for as long as people keep looking at him. Just like the monkeys at the zoo that will keep flinging their shit around, so long as the patrons keep zoos profitable.
    His version of ‘holding power to account’ amounts to uncovering a dodgy latte on a ministerial credit card. Meanwhile our economic, social and cultural structures burn to the ground. But that’s capitalism for you. We didn’t expect the free market to deliver us critical news did we? Surely not when we only have an audience to sustain two channels of news. So we should fling our shit back at the drunken monkey – rub it in his face. Laugh at the desperate attention seeker. Mock his viewers and fans. He’s a burden on humanity.
    However, our soundbite political coverage in our mainstream news is the result of the SOE model that TVNZ is forced to comply with.
    Labour is just as responsible for NZ’s shitty journalism. Come on Andrew Little…get some guts and give us a public broadcaster that is not connected to, or funded by, advertising dollars.

  4. Is this wonderful news, M Trottoir?

    Well it might be if we were voting this Saturday…

    And it might be if we felt that a Little Labour Government was of any use to us…

    The problem is the Labour caucus neolib goon squad, who might be displaying “unity” and much less of the “six months in a leaky boat” to the media, who have also insisted on the movement to the middle ground voters.

    So we get National under a different name: Labour.

    Big fucking deal.

    It’s a bit like celebrating Peter Dunne returning to the Labour side (which, let’s face it, becomes more possible the bluer Labour gets).

    Call me a cynical old goat if you must but as much as I would love to see this current shower of shit removed from government, my expectations and standards require something a bit more principled than this lot you seem to be lauding…

    I do, however, look forward to being proved wrong.

    • Dead right, by embracing the policy of appealing to the middle ground, itself now far to the right, Labour are confirming their intention to buying into the political merry go round, the game of electoral musical chairs.

      Great for career politicians who can be reasonably assured they’ll be on Govt benches every 6 to 9 years by mere fact that the electorate grow sick of the faces within any incumbent party.

      Meanwhile, NZ entrenches the establishment of the emergent global neo-feudalism, with robber corporations filling the role of the robber barons.

      Be assured, Labour are not a party of the left.

      Don’t be fooled by Labour’s smoke and shadow dancing, only a commitment to a program of re-nationalisation of all property stolen from the commons by corporations over the past 25 years will allow them to use the label “left” without hypocrisy.

      As David Cunliffe refused to even answer questions on rolling back the asset sales, where will that leave Labour under Mr Pragmatic, Andrew Little?

  5. Hear! Hear J S Bach. I only wish I could have put it as well myself. Agree with you 110% Spot on!

    I haven’t heard a single thing out of the Nat-lite party that is getting anywhere near back to a proper Labour Party.

    I cant trust this Nat-Lite Party and they are not giving me any reason to change my mind!!!!

    • I,m 100% with J S Bark too …they don,t even have the guts to stand up totally against the TPPA ….the useless good for nothing’s!!

    • Gadfly and Bark.
      Finding you have common cause with rightwing nutters on overseas buyers of real estate should not deter you from doing the right thing.
      But by the same token, claiming there is no difference between Labour and National, or that Labour is some kind of Quisling fellow-traveller with National’s neo-libs does the work of the trolls and Rightwing Sophists for them.
      Yes Gadfly, your cynisism does not become you or advance your cause by an inch.
      If you want to make sure that Labour, nominally the standard bearer of Left-oriented solutions, adhere more closely to your own principles, join them and add your voice to the debate.
      There is a time for cynicism, and a time for qualified trust.
      Now might be a good time to use the time-honoured American concept: Trust but Verify.
      To stand at the back of the hall chucking shoes is ultimately self-defeating.

      • There is a time for cynicism, and a time for qualified trust.

        I’ve been hearing versions of line that since Labour were thrown out in 1990.

        “trust us”

        yeah right.

          • You have also been hearing that from National, how is that doing for you?

            What relevance has that question to the observation?

            How’s hearing lies and platitudes from National going for me? Well, duh, let’s see now.

            From past experience, I expect to see National lying and disseminating all the time, it’s in their DNA.

            Is that what you wanted to hear?

      • Nick, thank you for your thoughtful comments but I must say these have been made by someone who does not know me. I cant speak for Bark so these comments are my response.
        First: I believe firmly in doing the right thing! What I believe to be right and what you consider right might be different but if you do what you think right the path is always laid out for you. It may not be easy but you can always sleep at night. So lets agree to do what’s right.
        Second I have over a period of forty-five years fought (not a good word) the right. I have been active in the union movement and been a card carrying member of the labour party. I was involved in the protests re the 1982 Springbok tour of New Zealand and as an aside was disgusted in my local LRC meeting a few days after the brave demonstrators at the infamous Hamilton game, where 90% of the attendees of the LRC were baying for the protestors blood! Not supporting them! I made some enemies that night when I addressed their “No-one is telling me who I can play sport with.”
        Then a few years ago I re-entered the fray and once again became a card carrying member with a passion to bring Labour back to its roots. I can now describe the experience as trying to push s**t up hill with a pointed stick!
        Maybe you are right Nick and I should rejoin the fray!
        But one last word Nick, as you get older you get more cynical! It is better than depression!

  6. Also of interest is the latest TV3 leaders ratings. For as long as I can remember the incumbent PM is always streets ahead of their nearest rival even when the writing is firmly on the wall for an outgoing government.

    And so it is in 2015 but Key is down to 38%, which of course National spin men will argue is sensational, but in reality it also means almost two thirds of voters polled no longer see him as Teflon John. They don’t like the look of him and the only surprise is that it took this long.

    And ignoring this fact this makes the Uber egotistical Paddy and his paddies against anyone but National all the more sad!

  7. YES!!!

    You are saying exactly the same as what I have been saying about this, Martyn, those polls that are featured on TV-One and TV-3 are biased in favour of the Natz. They always have been, and they still are. The Roy Morgan poll is more accurate regarding the truth about how NZ would actually vote. That being the case, the left just needs to hold its nerve and stare down idiots like Paddy.

  8. I’ve been looking at the 3 News Reid Research poll as well. There is another interesting point, which I’m in the process of completing a blogpost on the issue.

  9. Brilliant blog XRay 1000% mate

    What goes around comes around.

    just watch Question & Answer tomorrow at 2pm at parliament..

    There you will see a horrible sight to see how arrogant this NatZis Government has become,

    They are so aggressive like a pack of hunting dogs.’

    This is killing our respect for governance in NZ unfortunately.

    Don’t they know we expect them to work together for our benefit not their’s?

    • “Killing respect for governance” as outlined by Nicky Hager is all part of the same dirty politics game. turn off the voters who care about participatory and the spoils go to the power hungry.

  10. It is close to checkmate for National.
    Bound by their simpleton ideology which has resulted in them being totally reliant on the F.I.R.E economy, they now, have nowhere, to turn.
    Keys’ total lack of response to what has become a desperate situation for the born and bred young and not so young generations, that rightly have a desire to try and establish a future in N.Z, has gone down like a cup of sick.
    Hard core D.N.A Nats I know , that now have adult children in their late 20’s still living at home with them and aren’t within a bulls roar of even having a deposit for any sort of house, are furious that nothing meaningful is being done.
    In fact they are bewildered at how quickly their children’s future has been made fraught.
    Key has made the fatal mistake of believing his own press.
    The gullible, who for so long have succumbed to the ‘ sleeper hold ‘ put on them by this vacuous , shallow puppet, pumped up by ‘ vested ‘ big money interests are not slowly waking from their slumber.
    No, they have suddenly sat bolt upright in bed bathed in a cold sweat and are screaming, “what the hell is happening , this is turning into a nightmare.”
    And quite fittingly , one of Keys’ best mates, Mark Weldon, has been responsible for the rapid demise of one of his biggest propaganda machines , TV3.
    Why has Gower had no effect?
    Answer. Nobody’s watching !

    • God Grant this is superb mate you get the jingle of the day.

      “a future in N.Z, has gone down like a cup of sick.”

      To top that off you can then say;

      “last one to leave NZ, turn off the lights”

      We said that after the last Carpetbaggers Douglas and co were running NZ down in 1986.

  11. Encouraging post Chris. I like the two Cs. Here are three more. (What a pain when someone comes up with a key concept that doesn’t start with a C!) Confidence, charm and control.
    Way before policy, voters want to feel that their leader knows what he is doing. That his guiding principles will keep him on our side whatever comes along. If he exudes confidence, that is a good sign that he speaks from a firm base. With this in mind, it might be time to occasionally speak a little disparagingly of Mr Key. He is no longer Teflon and the dogs responding to the whistle will begin to look stressed and defensive.
    Confidence again in interaction with coalition partners. Believe me, no votes will be lost in showing no fear of being seen with them or agreeing with them at every opportunity. In fact to be seen as the great coalition builder is a massive plus.
    To connect with people something of a charm offensive is needed. You can suffer from any kind of charisma by-pass but the voting public have to feel they sort of know you and that you can relax, smile or joke but still stay on message. I remember Helen Clark an Michael Cullen mercilessly mocking National while in opposition. It was a fairly grim humour, but it was humour, nevertheless, but their focus was lasar-like. To say nothing of David Lange, of course.
    The control thing is about how you frame the answer to a question. When asked if all your MPs support some policy, you can answer: “yes”, or you can say “this is not about what a few people in parliament think; there is a mood in the country for this change. The National government is having a problem keeping some of their young progressives behind the status quo….”
    This begs the question: “who is unhappy in National?” and not: “are you telling the truth about all your members supporting it…didn’t MP X say last year….”and we are back on their negative research talking points.
    What I mean is take control of the narrative and become a commentator of the political scene.
    All these things are things I believe Andrew Little should do. But in truth none are hard and none are not potentially in his trick locker. But it must be him. No one else is in a position to do it.
    Policy nuts and bolts can come way later. Sure the troops need some broad strokes and the attention of new or lost voters can be gained this way too, but in this instance the Medium really is the Message.

  12. “That job was left to TV3’s Patrick Gower, who has been waging a virtual one-man-war against what he insists are Labour’s “cooked-up” statistics. ”

    Patrick Gower has NO credibility, his bias towards National is embarrassing, but then again, on the Nation program on the Sunday over a week ago, he admitted that the “right” of the political spectrum representing panel member was also his “mate”.

    Paddy needs a few cold showers, do go out into the country, do some hiking, canooing, and get some fresh air, out from the big smoke. Perhaps he can reconnect with reality again, and get back some balance into that grey matter stuck between his ears.

    Such “reporting” that he delivered last week, is anything else, but NOT political reporting.

    I hope Chris is right with that information Slater and he appear to have gotten hold of.

    Surely, slowly the people must start realising that they have been conned for too long by Key and his spin masters. Surely, they must slowly get it, that it cannot go on like this, that we need a change of direction, economically and socially, and that will be done politically, the latest by the next general election in 2017.

  13. Cleangreen is so right. History will show the 2014 NZ election to be rigged, all to get the TPPA through. So what was up with the American plane that arrived in NZ so close to the election, then to be gone just as quick. The left needs to insist on a paper count only on votes alright, but by the 2017 election it will all be to late anyway.
    NZ has be conned. Lets hope we can nul invoid the TPPA once the truth comes out.

  14. Well I must say I liked that word ‘ discombobulation ‘…I’ll use that at the next social event I attend – what a ripper !!!

    It ‘s interesting about Hootons talk of not engaging in ‘wedge politics’….and that is exactly what National have been doing with the unemployed – and surreptitiously those on low incomes.

    And as I’ve said before on many posts….this population wont be stirred by many issues but one issue will stir them . And that’s when govt policy starts to hit them in their pockets. Sad but true.

    You can have all the moralizing in the world but that one primal motive is the one that’s the kicker . Always.

    And that’s the winning formula of being able to get away with ‘ Dirty Politics’. Basically….a form of public collusion so long as their backyards looking rosy. And National were advised that and capitalized on that fact.

    And practiced wedge politics.

    Interesting that now the worms turned.. and the boots on the other foot. Literally. So much so that National seems hung by its own policy’s as sooner or later the affects of its policy’s started to show for all to see.

    The Auckland housing crisis.

    Never mind Jason Ede , govt illegal surveillance , or Nicky Hagars dirty politics revelations ….or any other of the obscenely long list of Key and his govt’s skulduggery – what got the middle class stirred up was that their finance is being played round with.

    Now…I’ve written before about Labour leaders needing to have a bit of mongrel and having a ‘ blood and guts ‘ attitude. No compromise.

    And where that comes from is a little story from world war two…General George Armstrong Patton.

    When told by his Theater Generals to avoid a certain town/region on the push toward’s Berlin…he cabled them back saying ” I’ve already taken it , – what do you want me to do ?….give it back ???!!! ”.

    And the same is involved here….any ‘weak as dishwater ‘ namby pamby type response- particularly with the TTPA and other vital issues such as the housing crisis will meet with the same dismal results at the ballot box. People aren’t going to vote for that sort of crap !!!

    Now is the time to push home the advantage – and develop a strong relationship with the Greens , NZ First and others on the Left. And it doesn’t stop there.

    Oh no.

    Now is also the time to ram home at each and every opportunity to harass , mock , humiliate and expose this corrupt govt at every turn. A constant barrage of showing them up for the viscous anti public corporate sell outs that they are. And by definition – anti sovereign.

    Only a fool would believe there hasn’t been ample opportunity over this long period of time. There is a wealth of back history at their fingertips. And what held them back ? Gutlessness. Sickening gutlessness.

    So we want a tough leader and an equally tough and dynamic caucus. Then the people would follow. And any Rogernome in that Labour caucus caught up in the tide needs to learn to swim with it or they’ll be swept away. Then and only then will Labour start to be seen as a legitimate left political force again.

    So this means radical policy shifts , keen and shrewd analysis of the public mood , – and a possible purge of those Rogernomes who refuse to stop sitting on their hands. The moods changing and Labour better be prepared to run with it ….or once again….they will be the laughing stock of the Left.

  15. Slater? Why is that toad even relevant? His tide went out with the other garbage! And in that respect why would Labour even read his dribble!!??

  16. Rumor has it Mr Trotter???, fair enough i suppose, if rumor of ”The Win” is spread far and wide it just might spread like a Chinese share-market crash said to be akin to the ‘bank runs’ famous in history of having been fueled not by economic fact, fact of any kind, simply Rumor,

    I agree with those above, Labour are still reeking of National-lite cologne, an out-right win for Labour/Green in 2017 might of course change that, but, when Rumor turns to fact, ie the mainstream polls begin to reflect the Rumor in an ongoing series then, and only then will i put an ounce of faith in such Rumor…

  17. Polls are meaningless at this time.
    Next big story is foreign residential speculators avoiding GST on purchases.
    TPPA isnt going to save Dairy, banks will be foreclosing on dairy farmers who are 35 Billion in debt according to reserve bank figures. Aussie banks will be sending the cows to the works, this will drop beef prices. The reason NZ dairy is being talked down is because Grosers taken it out, its why U.S. dairy interests have stopped protesting about NZ…heard anything lately? Fonterra isnt gambling on it, and Westpac are sacking 800 workers, hows their Govt banking contract renewal going?
    Key expects banks to be welfare for farmers, the next two years will see their support base eviscerated. Getting a few Asian immigrants in wont replace voters in the economically deserted regions, populated by less than 13 % on NZers.

    • “Getting a few Asian immigrants in wont replace voters in the economically deserted regions, populated by less than 13 % on NZers.”

      It would not be the votes in the regions, boosted by Asian immigrants or other immigrants, or not so, the fact is here in Auckland, the kinds of immigrants that are encouraged to come here, they are such opportunistic, business savvy, often morally conservative people, they make natural voters for Nats and ACT.

      ACT’s Seymour got a lot of votes from new migrants from Mainland China and other East Asian origin, and I know first hand, that only few “Asian” migrants tend to vote “left” or “progressive”, as that is not the kind of political direction they are inclined to.

      They like a government that tells them what is right or wrong, that offers them competitive advantage and business opportunities, and that does tax little and that reduces welfare. Look at the countries they come from, there is damned little “welfare”, as the governments there simply do not believe in it, and do not offer it.

      National knows that the migrants coming in, under their reign, will be appreciating being allowed to “invest” and work here, including buying homes.

      So gradually, with more and more such migrants, the chances for Labour are being reduced.

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