GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – TVNZs Colmar Brunton Poll

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While polls are notoriously fraught with predictive problems I found last night’s Colmar Brunton poll particularly interesting in one regard – namely the apparent rise in popularity of the ACT party.

National down 6% Act up two to 5% and New Conservative making an appearance at 1% could signal that, at long last, the political Right in New Zealand is beginning to fracture in the way that has dogged the political Left for many years..

For those of us (like me) who think we should have more of a WE society than a ME society , that’s a welcome sign.

Why the drift to ACT the party of extreme neoliberalism?

I suspect it reflects the concerns of those who benefitted most from the pre-covid economic model (built on the belief that low taxes are a wonderful thing and the State has no business interfering in the marketplace) about the emerging post -covid economy where we are seeing the ideas of the Great Depression economist John Maynard Keynes ( that State spending stimulates the economy ) making a comeback in these tough times.

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In short the extreme Right are worried their strangle- hold on privilege is weakening.

Why are the Greens down 1%?

No doubt there are a number of reasons for that drop but the decision they made back in May of 2018 to give up their questions during Question Time to National, in my view, helped make the Greens become almost invisible for some time as a separate party .

While the philosophy of “advancing the principles of democracy “ through strengthening the voice of the Opposition given as the reason at the time by the party’s co-leader James Shaw may have been well intentioned, it effectively deprived the Greens of those moments in the House when it could show its passion and fire .

The result? I suspect the Greens are currently suffering the same fate as Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrat party suffered in the UK when it appeared to the public that it has become absorbed by David Cameron’s Conservative Party.

Question Time invisibility has also meant that negative issues such as their caving on the Water Bottling plant in Christchurch have made headlines where the more positive things the Greens have achieved, such as making some progress on Climate Change and environment related legislation, have not had the same cut through.

NZ First on 2%, despite their leader’s bravado, must be worried as must the smaller parties like the Maori Party on 1% along with TOP and Social Credit (having no apparent visibility) must be equally concerned.

All that said, we know that polls can be notoriously wrong and that those who announce them rarely mention their margin of error of just over plus or minus 3% .

As is often wisely said , “the only real poll happens on election day”… so… over to you.

Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.

7 COMMENTS

  1. We AO/NZ’ers having to worry and fret about who may, or may not ‘get in’ is indicative of how badly damaged we now are for having spent far too long at battle front Neoliberalism.
    Put as simply as I can:
    We AO/NZ’ers shouldn’t be worried about who gets in. It’s those who get in who should be worried about us watching their every move and acting accordingly. Like striking, picketing, rioting etc.
    It’s no wonder then that the first strike against us having an enduring control over our own politic was at the heart of compulsory union membership.
    Te Ara/ The encyclopaedia of NZ
    “When the Labour Party won the general election of 1984, restructuring speeded up. For the first time in a century, many unions were suddenly on the defensive. They were described as old-fashioned relics from an earlier age of state-regulated institutions, ‘overtaken by nimbler forms of evolution, like Treasury analysts’.1”

    Until there’s mandatory voting, a return to first past the post elections and compulsory union memberships which must include our primary industry work force, the Farmer, then we’ll continue to slid down hill on our arses into a place where there will be coming back from.
    The rich few who already think they own and operate AO/NZ will sell our country to the highest bidder and we’ll all become their slaves in our homelands.
    What’s your views on that @ Maori?
    BTW. The infamous Massy’s Cossacks thing back in the day was a stitch up. Famers were exploited then pitted against striking watersider’s because it was a tactical manoeuvre to gain control by creating divisions between famers and their down stream service industry providers by a few rich fuckers hiding behind the mahogany doors of OUR parliament waiting to funnel all that lovely foreign exchange into their own pocketsessss.
    “The 1913 waterfront dispute saw wharf workers take over the main ports and stop trade. Prime Minister William Massey called for farmers and rural labourers to enlist as special constables to help regain control of the wharves, pitting town against country. This group of special mounted constables – nicknamed ‘Massey’s Cossacks’ – were the Levin Troop, and included future military hero and governor-general Bernard Freyberg “

    We AO/NZ’ers have been manipulated, mislead and exploited for generations.
    Do you really think our abusers are going to go quietly?
    I’ve only just found this on Boingboing.Net.
    Simply replace America/trump with AO/NZ/ douglas.
    Mark Frauenfelder / 4:12 pm Fri
    This devastating video encapsulates the Trump/GOP horror show in 3 minutes
    Juice media is an Australian organization, and here’s what they had to say about this video:
    We’ve had so many Americans begging us to make an Honest Government Ad for their government. So we decided to give it a go. I hope we did your shit government justice. It almost makes ours feel benign by comparison. Despite the levity, we’re genuinely concerned about what’s happening in your country and we hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe. I hope this doesn’t come across as “FoReIgN InTeRfeReNcE!” If it does, well… let’s call it even… the US Government has been interfering with our shit here ever since 1975, when it helped to oust our Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam. But on a more serious note: even though we’re all the way down here in Australia, the result of this election will impact everyone on earth. In terms of climate action alone, this could be the most important election of our lifetimes. So I figure it’s one of those all hands on deck, let’s lend a hand to our friends in the USA – kind of thing.
    https://boingboing.net/tag/telling-it-like-it-is

  2. While the philosophy of “advancing the principles of democracy “ through strengthening the voice of the Opposition given as the reason at the time by the party’s co-leader James Shaw may have been well intentioned, it effectively deprived the Greens of those moments in the House when it could show its passion and fire .

    The Earth does not have a clear voice. The land of Aotearoa does not have a clear voice. The many ecosystems do not have a clear voice. The flora and fauna of our land do not have a clear voice. Some of us had hoped that there would be sufficient integrity within the Greens to provide a voice for the voiceless of Aotearoa. Instead they opted for political expediency. That will not be forgotten.

  3. “No doubt there are a number of reasons for that drop but the decision they made back in May of 2018 to give up their questions during Question Time to National, in my view, helped make the Greens become almost invisible for some time as a separate party.”

    Bingo. The question that the Greens should have been asking themselves before committing this act of altruistic hara-kiri was, “Would National have done the same for us if we were in their place?” The answer is an unequivocal “Fuck no!”

    • Even if they were so mind-stuffed as to think the Nats would have done the same, it is arguably highly unethical to give away those questions – They were not “theirs” to give away!! If they had any real sense of responsibility towards the environment at all, then they owed it TO the environment to keep their freedom to raise questions on its behalf, and on behalf of all of us, as the need arose.

      When will they learn that theirs is a position of TRUST, of responsibility, NOT one for trading some votes as if they were a new bitcoin. They betrayed that trust when they pulled that little swifty, and made themselves even more contemptible by claiming they were doing it for some sort of ‘higher good” (B.S!!).

  4. Labour are in danger? Or, these surveys masquerading as polls are wrong?

    Firstly, Act on 5%!! Yeah Right!

    Secondly, just a week ago the gap was 39 points. Now its a 21pt gap with 8 weeks to go. See the trend??
    At this rate, labour are toast. However, all this means is that it’ll be Winston and/or the Maori party being in a position to Crown the the “Queen”?

    Or the bet paying 80 bucks is that the Nats and Labour form a coalition government to keep the Maoris out, mainly JT and also Winston.

    • I do see the trend and I don’t think you do the trend is this:

      If you take in the 3% margin of error in both polls last week the result is almost identical:

      Take 3% off labour and give it national from the RR and nats are on 28% in and labour on 57%

      Take 3% off National in Cb and give it to labour, National is on 29% and labour 56%

      Labour are consistently since March mid 50s and national are consistently high 20s to low 30s. The needle hasn’t moved except for downwards for the nats in months and Judith received a leadership drop not a bounce while labours keeps ticking upwards.

  5. I hope Labour don’t have a majority after the poll and need the Greens to form a coalition. That way a Green agenda will have more chance of succeeding with a coalition agreement and a place in cabinet. Then we can have a possible progressive administration for three years without having to ask for Winston’s support to back a progressive platform. Then we might just get the transformation we have been waiting for and the slow dismantling of the free market post covid.
    The split may only be temporary on the right as the election of Chris Luxon in Botany will lead the recovery back for National after Judith’s scare campaign and the alienation of a lot of their soft centre vote to Jacinda’s warm loving emebrace.

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