A story on TV1 News on 9 September was more interesting for what it failed to tell the viewer, rather than any information it was trying to impart.
Briefly, the story focused on a recent Colmar Brunton survey that stated that National’s poll rating remained “unchanged at 47 per cent, the same amount it attained at the election“. It also told us;
Mr Key’s personal approval ratings also continue to ride high. He’s steady at 40 per cent this month.
According to the story, the Colmar Brunton Preferred Prime Minister survey gave the viewer a ‘snapshot’ of the survey period 29 August to 2 September. There was no other context to the survey.
The viewer was not given information as to how Key’s popularity compared to previous Colmar Brunton surveys.
If TV1 News producers had bothered to do a brief search on the issue, the result would have given better context and a more overall, informative picture.
For example, a Google search for past Colmar Brunton surveys reveals the rise and gradual decline of our “popular” Prime Minister;
September 2009 – 50%
May 2010 – 46%
November 2011 – 52%
September 2012 – 44%
September 2013 – 42%
September 2014 – 46%
September 2015 – 40%
In fact, the Colmar Brunton Preferred Prime Minister polling shows a striking similarity to polling carried out by TVNZ’s rival, 3News/Reid Research Poll;
Aug 2009: 51.6%
April 2010: 49.0%
Nov/Dec 2010: 54.1%
1-8 Nov 2011*: 50.0%
9-16 Nov 2011*: 49.4%
16-23 Nov 2011*: 48.9%
July 2012: 43.2%
Nov 2013: 40.9%
2-8 Sept 2014*: 45.3%
9-15 Sept 2014*: 44.1%
* Where multiple-polling took place within a given month, all poll results have been presented top give the reader a more accurate picture.
It is therefore apparent that to claim that “Mr Key’s personal approval ratings also continue to ride high” and that “He’s steady at 40 per cent this month” – is not an accurate reflection of polling trends. Those are misleading statements, creating a false perception of a politician’s standing in the electorate.
If this is the new standard of political analysis from TV1 News then the producers may as well not bother. There are plenty of crime, disaster, “cutesy animal”, and quirky-celebrity stories they could broadcast instead.
Perhaps serious political analysis should best be left to the experts – bloggers.
Facebook: Colmar Brunton – 14-18 Sept 2013
Colmar Brunton: 6-10 September 2014
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