Matthew Hooton on “secret” UMR poll?



Red Green Up


On Monday 11 July, right-wing commentator Matthew Hooton was making his regular appearance on Radio NZ’s Nine To Noon Political Panel programme. The host was Kathryn Ryan, the commentator from the Left was Stephen Mills.

During the debate on Labour’s recently-released housing policy, Matthew Hooton made this startling revelation;

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Matthew Hooton, right-wing commentator and Director of 'Exceltium' PR company
Matthew Hooton, right-wing commentator, columnist, and Director of ‘Exceltium’ PR company


@ 10.25

Matthew Hooton: “And Labour’s at twenty eight percent… And, and, look here’s the thing, Labour, in the latest UMR poll for June, done by Steven’s polling company, Labour was at twenty eight percent, Greens at sixteen. So we are, so they will need to increase because currently they’re polling worse than Jeremy Corbyn.”

Kathryn Ryan: “And where is National at, in that poll?”

Matthew Hooton: “Forty two.”

Using a search engine I could find no reference to any poll carried out in June having been released.

Through Twitter, I asked if Matthew could clarify his comment regarding such a UMR poll. He promptly replied, confirming his statements on Radio NZ;


matthew hooton - umr poll - twitter - radio nz - nine to noon


When I asked for a source, Matthew replied;

“No. It’s secret.”

I have no way of confirming the validity of Matthew’s assertion of the existence of a secret poll by UMR. He could be mischief-making, for which he occasionally has some inclination.


The alleged UMR polling bears striking similarity to a recent Roy Morgan poll released on 20 June;


roy morgan poll - new zealand - june 2016


In the Roy Morgan poll above, 5.5% were Undecideds.

According to Hooton’s “secret poll”, a combined Labour-Green rating of 44%  has over-taken National on 42%.

If the so-called “secret poll” is legitimate, then that explains the recent flurry of panicked activity from National to counter Labour’s recently released housing policy.

The next few polls will be  Crunch Time for National and if they bear out Roy Morgan and the “secret UMR Poll” – then we are indeed witnessing the decaying administration of John Key’s third term government.

The rich irony of such a crisis for an incumbent government is that attempting to avert the down-ward spiral becomes a hopeless exercise. The more policies they “throw” at a problem, the greater the public’s perception that they are panicking.

“Policy-making on the hoof” reached new levels of comic-absurdity when the “Fixit Minister”, Steven Joyce, announced by Twitter that Housing NZ would forego dividend-payments to the National government for the next two years;


steven joyce - dickhead - twitter - housing nz - dividends


Shipley’s short-lived administration and Helen Clark’s final three years were marked by similar acts of desperate ad hocery. (But without “Tweeting” sudden  policy lurches.)

Our esteemed Dear Leader may be about to discover the same fate.



Roy Morgan polls are considered more accurate because they call respondents using both landlines and mobile telephones. (See: Census, Surveys, and Cellphones)





Radio NZ: Nine To Noon – Political commentators Matthew Hooton and Stephen Mills

Twitter: Mathew Hooton

Roy Morgan Poll: National and Labour down in June but New Zealand First still holds the balance of power if Election was held now

Twitter: Steven Joyce

Other bloggers

Chris Trotter: Tricky Customer – Why Is Matthew Hooton Accusing John Key’s Government Of Lurching To The Left?

Chris Trotter: The Terrifying Radicalism of Matthew Hooton

Previous related blogposts

Mr Morgan phoned (2013)

Census, Surveys, and Cellphones (2013)

Census, Surveys, and Cellphones (Part rua) (2013)

Latest Roy Morgan poll – wholly predictable results and no reason to panic (2015)

The slow dismantling of a Prime Minister – downward slide continues








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  1. “If the so-called “secret poll” is legitimate, then that explains the recent flurry of panicked activity from National to counter Labour’s recently released housing policy.”

    And maybe Frank that is why Claire Trevett has gone into overdrive with this piece in this mornings herald

    If she had half a brain, she’d realise Labour started the ball rolling and National have been required to turn it into an avalanche because Labour’s housing policy was so good!

    Panicky Claire has a certain ring too it.

  2. “No. It’s secret.” How childish and petulant – it sounds like something you’d hear from children bickering in the school playground.

    You’re right Frank – National’s recent scrambling around reeks of desperation and knowledge of their pending demise.

    And as for Steven Joyce being “Mr Fix-it” – you know National is desperate and fearful when they get Joyce to front to the media while John Key scuttles away. The whole “Mr Fix-it” thing is yet another MSM lie, emperor has no clothes comment that has been repeated so often it has become widely believed. A certain quote from Joseph Goebbels springs to mind.

    Keep up the great posts Frank.

    • 1000% GEMMA,

      FRANK SAID; “then we are indeed witnessing the decaying administration of John Key’s third term government.”

      KEY’S “THIRD REICH” more likely!

  3. Gary Morgan always tries to lean favourably towards the Nats. and I don’t think the Ozzy Roy Morgan polling is above manipulation either, and these opinion polls can be used as a tool to hoodwink the public, and I think they often are. They have thus far, always maintained the perception that John key and his Nats are untouchable, even when they got thoroughly trounced in Northland and the TPPA protests etc.
    Whose to say that Roy Morgan doesn’t have a list of mobile phone numbers of known Nat supporters? How many people have landlines anymore.

    What if National and John key are polling somewhat lower than what these polls are suggesting?

    Cellphones make political polling tricky

    • Words, I think that’s why Frank has voiced reservations about the veracity of Hooton’s claims of a secret UMR poll. He’s covered his backside, in case Hooton is playing silly-buggers again.

      The Roy Morgan poll is fascinating though, isn’t it?

      It now remains the question as to what Peters will do? Prop up the Nats, or be part of a progressive government?

      • No matter what Hooten says or doesn’t say… the fact remains this govt has about run its course. There have been far too many abuses that even National party voters have become aware of.

        Too many double standards, too many embarrassing fiasco’s , too many acts of bureaucratic brutality towards their own countrymen/ women.

        The Northland by-election has proven that . It was not just Winston Peters , it was also the total arrogance of a govt that felt it could just assume an electorate would still keep voting for them despite treating them like dogshit.

        National are on their way out now and it is crucial that the unity between the Greens and Labour is exploited to the maximum. Given all credence at every turn . Winston would fall in behind a sensible and well planned left leaning govt at the drop of a hat if it is well executed.He has no particular love for neo liberal ideology nor its quack economic theory’s.

        One could see it this way ,- Labour and the Greens taking the urban votes and Winston and NZ First bringing up the rear with the rural sector.


        And just like in any campaign in war , – the co operation and cohesiveness of the generals is paramount. I think you will find this will become more apparent as time goes by towards elections 2017.

        Nine years of one govt,… is a stretch , and after 9 years… a govt…any govt grows old and jaded. This has happened to this govt. The difference is with this govt is that historically , they have been the most dishonest , anti democratic and subversive govt we have ever known. It is and has only been a matter of time before it has caught up with them.

        And that time is now.

        They will not be returned in 2017, which makes for a very interesting and exciting time for NZ.

        • The difference is with this govt is that historically , they have been the most dishonest , anti democratic and subversive govt we have ever known.

          I think that sums things up perfectly, Katipo…

    • Once I think when he was on a panel on Nation in 2014 when he bleated out something about SS Joyce making some backroom deal with a roading company over closing the Napier/Gisborne rail and he nasty NaTZ queen bee Michele Boag jumped on him and told him to shut up quickly.

      It was a very strange time then to see that so the Nat’s control the poor guy Hooten so he’s bought alright.

  4. The trouble is, it all comes down to New Zealand First. There’s little doubt that that will be king maker. I understand NZ First is presently being infiltrated by ex Conservative Party members (according to another blog on this site). Plus it has Ron Mark who I can’t see ever wanting a coalition with the Greens, and possibly Shane Jones in the mix, plus who knows what else. I think they will support National and claim that they will keep them honest. The fundamental problem is that 60 percent of the voting public support conservative parties whichever way you slice it.

    • Agreed.

      The current National government has taken great pains to sit itself in the middle of the demographic in order to starve Labour of votes. To the extent that some more conservative National supporters are calling John Key “Helen Clark in blue”.

      The problem with this tactic is that it leaves them vulnerable on the right. A resurgent and xenophobic NZ First party can make significant inroads and will likely be the coalition partner next time around.

      Non of this helps Labour though. They have no money, no talent and no unity.

      • Anyone who calls Key “Helen Clark in blue” has failed completely to understand either of the two. The statement reveals nothing about Key or Clark, but plenty about the (obviously hard right) ideological stance of the person who uttered it.

  5. I just hope that the unelectable Judith Collins takes The John Key out in leadership coup. That would make my whole year.

  6. Housing issues will decide election 2017, that is besides of a then stagnant economy, pressures on infrastructure and health, education and social services.

    The immigration fed growth is becoming unsustainable, as it leads to demand that cannot be met in a short to medium term, and people are sick and tired of finding that they have to work ever harder, have to put up with more stress, get less time for their families and private pursuits, and hence start questioning, what is it all good for.

    The mantra of growth for growth’s sake is turning out to be a hollow one, and does not excite people anymore.

    Somehow it does all not add up, more and more find out.

    So yes, I think the tide is turning, there is no way the Nats can stop the tide against them now, they are stuck in third termitis and facing a dilemma, not being able to deliver what is needed urgently.

    Good riddance, I will have a party when John Key is thrown out by the voters, a huge party.

  7. What worries me is that, even with the atrocious NAct performance and the shipwrecks they have on their front bench, they’re still above 40%. I hope Labour is looking at this and seeing it as a sign that they’re not doing very well. However, I suspect they’ll be patting themselves on the back. And for what? Probably the chance to form an opposition to NActFirst.

  8. Well, no, it’s not “secret” exactly.

    UMR poll every month for the Labour Party.

    Have done so for many years.

    UMR’s Stephen Mills and Hooton clearly regularly indulge in wide-ranging discussion before they go on air and Mills has obviously thrown this juicy little morsel to Hoots as part of this political gossip.

  9. Labour is still NOT polling high enough!!!!!!!!!!!
    They have too if you believe the corporate polls GAIN 10-12 points to be in contention.
    Could or would Labour confirm their own polling numbers ?
    Helen achieved government minority status with 38% in 1999 but the National party polled only slightly lower.
    I believe Hooten may be right with the Nats at around 42% which is above their low average of 35%.
    Labour IS NOT taking votes from the government which it needs to do, the left vote is going too the Greens who on this poll are at 16%.
    Key and Joyce will be hard too beat and i am yet too be convinced that there will be a change as depressing as that sounds.
    Key wants that fourth term and WILL do anything ,promise everything and give anything to get it.
    Labour may get the numbers it needs but has not convinced the electorate in the last 8 years that they have what it takes.
    If they could match National in support it would make it one hell of a decider.
    The MEDIA remain one of their biggest problems and will have too find other ways too get that all important message out as they will NOT come on side for Labour as in the past.
    MSM are proving too be the thorn in the side for the left.

  10. National is importing voters at the rate of about 50 people per day. Good luck winning an election with the so-called “left”, like the neo-liberal Labour Party that started the treason. I sniff a civil war…

    • You’ll probably get a civil war with a coalition of Act, Natz,Maori, United Future and NZ First. Bring out the popcorn.

      • The sooner the better. Our Brexit/Trump moment, when it hits… is going to turn No Zealand into the new Mogadishu… a dangerous house of cards created by Labour and National governments…

      • The idea that NZ First would join that ragtag group is preposterous. Immigration/colonisation is at treason levels… brought on by National AND Labour

    • What is it with you and your yearnings for violent revolutions and civil war? Why would you romanticize such a possibility?

      • I have made no romanticised notions of any such thing. What is it with you and your inability to see our non-society collapsing into a violent heap as an inevitability rather than “possibility”? Bit of a romantic, eh? I suppose you would try to save Antoinette from the guillotine?

        • The way you word your comments and your use of the name Castro suggests an affinity towards it. If that’s not your intention, then ok, but that’s how it comes across. I’m not saying it can’t happen, we’re no less human than other nations in which it has, but as for my reading of your statements, well – You must see that your moniker and constant references to the subject lend heavily to the interpretation that you are in favour of such. If this isn’t the case, feel free to explain your intention, and I’ll listen.

  11. Hooton has a history of acting in self interest.
    Safe to assume the Nats have ruined a business opportunity for him and he’s now making stuff up again in an attempt to show them who is the boss.
    Problem is this Whaleoil style burn the world strategy isn’t very forward thinking. Whaleoil has ended up on holiday, maybe Hooton needs to join him.

  12. I wouldn’t be counting chickens just yet. Key is just a figurehead -the highly polished turd presented to easily duped Kiwis to keep their ignorant votes. But over nine long years, the Nazional Party has had time to place their cronies in many positions of influence and power, and build up formidable resources and funds. Even with as odious a replacement as Criminal Collins, they could still win an election, based on what they’ve managed to get away with over the last decade. And those Nazional sympathisers now occupying key positions within society…..they will not “go gentle into that good night”.

    • +1 QUICKSILVER – it is not going to be easy winning the next election – the Natz cheat and have everyone in their pocket.

      But like Brexit, the people can get to the point where they have had enough. That point has now occurred.

      Co-operation and collaboration between the left is the only way they will defeat the Natz cheats.

      • Yes – well said SaveNZ. I’m sick of Despicable Key and his sorry coalition of the damned. All of my elderly friends are determined to get rid of National and they realise that a vote for NZ First could be a vote for the next cab-off-the-rank coalition to replace ACT, MP and UF.

        Good riddance to Despicable Key, that has turned this great nation into an unequal, socially devoid wasteland.

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