GUEST BLOG: Willie Jackson – Analysing the Polls


I’ve had a number of people ask me about the latest TV One News Colmar Brunton Poll. If you missed it, the numbers are: National (49%), Labour (30%), Greens (9%), NZ First (9%), The Opportunities Party (1%), ACT (1%) and the Maori Party (1%).

Here’s my take on it.

This Poll is probably the most reliable of all polls. It has been consistently close to the mark over a number of years. The Nat’s are up 3% to 49% without doubt because of the budget.However, there’s four months until the Election and I think there’s no way that they will stay at this number. Expect them to come down to at least 45% in the Polls by the Election if not less (remember they got 47% in 2014). And obviously, I would hope that we can get them closer to 40% by Election Night, which is September 23rd.

Labour 30% – we have been here for several months. I don’t think we can be the Government at this percentage, although technically, we could put some sort of combination together.

However, I think that for us to be contenders for Government, we need to get to a minimum of 33%. And we definitely can be Government if we hit 35%. So picking up 3-5% over the next 4 months, one would think shouldn’t be that tough but time will tell. It’s important I acknowledge though that the Party’s aim is to get to 40% which is only right.

I keep getting this question though, how do we become Government at 33-35%? Well, like this. MMP is about blocs, and the current left-middle bloc is 48%. Now if the Greens who are our partners and NZ First can get their vote up to between 12-15%, we get 33-36%, then we are very much in business. This Election is that close.

NZ First’s Poll of 9% is very good for them. At the last Election, they were polling only around 2-3% at this time, and Winston is the King in terms of campaigning. So, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them hit 12-13% or more.

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The Greens traditionally poll high but always seem to come back to around 10-11%.Obviously they will be hoping that their traditional high polling holds up this time.

Now, the Maori Party’s 1% totally confirms what I said about their last Colmar Brunton poll when they ended up with 4%. That poll was an aberration and this can happen from time to time. You only know if the poll is real if it coincides with other polls and there wasn’t one other poll which came anywhere near to the 4% that they got last time.

So the Maori Party and their supporters need to understand how this all works, rather than prematurely celebrating something that didn’t really make any sense.

They have never hit 2% in a General Election and very rarely hit 2% in any polls. Now that’s not to say that they can’t hit that figure, but 4% for a minor party is huge, and they are very unlikely to get near the 4% mark again.

They have had a very poor budget and expect them to be taken apart by some of our MPs like Meka Whaitiri over the next month or so because of their inexplicable support for the Ture Whenua Bill.

Funny enough, I caught up with Winston down at the Green Parrot just a couple of nights ago, and he said ‘don’t believe for one moment those polls, Willie. If you think NZ First are only 9%, then you must be silly’.

So, I’ll leave it up to you to decide who’s right. Winston or TVNZ’s Colmar Brunton Poll.


  1. What I take from that poll is voters think business as normal and even if they are unhappy they do not see a viable alternative.

    The headlines tell us we have a surplus. Our economy is the envy of others. National have stolen Labours territory with its budget. NZ First and the Greens voted for this budget so that confirms all of the above and the Greens are Labours preferred partner for want of better words. I’m rich because my house worth so much. They know what they are doing with the economy. And who knows what Labour represents?

    That is the sum total of the headlines for voters. No immediate argument from our corporate media who never question National anyhow.

    What I want to see is reality.

    We have a “surplus” because National have cut and frozen budgets, underfunded government departments to the point where there are unofficial sinking lid policies in place on staffing (police, mental health etc) and dysfunction. Some government departments were probably close to insolvency like Solid Energy and even less understandable, Housing NZ and look at the homeless and housing problems in this country.

    If we have such a “Rockstar” economy then why all the austerity?

    Where is Grant Robertson on this? When I here him speak the headline I hear is – yes the economy is going really well, but we can redirect spending better. And if that ain’t a vote for National then what is?

    Labour was slow out of the blocks speaking in plain English to highlight that this budget was a redirection of tax payer money to the wealthy. It was never ever in Labour territory, but I never really heard why until much later and in bits and pieces, long after the ship had sailed.

    Where is the argument against tax cuts? Incrementally smaller government, which is precisely what National are doing, heads us the way of the US and who in their right mind, apart from the multi millionaires that make up and support National, want to go there?

    I know Labour are out there but plain simple reasons why this bullshit budget and Nationals miserable way forward are not the answer and why Labour have a better vision, are needed as soon as possible, like yesterday.

  2. The Transnational Capital Party keeps going up because they are granting voting rights to 2000 foreigners on a weekly basis (look at how many residency applications were approved last year); speaks for itself, really.

  3. Are National using firms like Strategic Communication Laboratories and offshoots like Cambridge Analytica which provide marketing based on psychological modeling. One of its core focuses: Influencing elections.

  4. Labour UK also low in the polls at start of campaign – now look to be doing quite well…thank you.
    Need to be rid of foreign money propping up NZ politics.
    Very anti- democratic!

  5. After watching the Tories implode in the UK against all expectations, my money’s on Winston being right this time.

  6. All the minor party and labour gains imagined here are probably on individually. But they would all have to come together out of the nat vote to all happen at once. That won’t happen, the gains by one will be losses by another on the left. Some inspiration and difference will be needed to change the government.
    D J S

  7. National will have seen what happened in Britain when young people get motivated out to vote, and they will be very worried. No Brexits to confuse the people here, the policies are stark even if our intrepid National-loving MSM try to find other distractions.
    The budget was designed purely for the middle class sleepy hobbits, so no wonder National went up.

  8. almost 3 years of a possible election campaign wasted, Labour is invisible, inept head in the sand strategy combined with the continued niggle of the NEOs within is continuing to show voters that if they voted Labour they would just get the same version we have had for the last 9 years.

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