GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Poll Dancing


I’ll be honest, it was a long day yesterday so I only watched the first 10 minutes of the Leader’s debate last night.

What I saw confirmed the view I expressed some weeks ago that in Judith Collins National have chosen someone who will save their party from oblivion. The rise of ACT in the latest and the appearance of the New Conservative Party however I think indicates the political Right is splitting.

The choice between the major parties who want to form the next government now does seem pretty clear.

If you want to pay less tax and have welfare cuts – in short unrepentant neoliberalism and a less caring society that panders to the wealthy – then a National /Act coalition will be what you are hoping for.

On the other hand, if you want the wealth of our country to be shared more equally and see the government driving the marketplace in the post-covid economy rather than big business and big money – then a Labour /Green coalition is what you will want to see once all the votes are in.

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A Labour alone government? On current polling it could happen but it would be against the history of MMP voting in our country.

NZ First? You can’t right them off just yet but it seems at this stage that Winston Peters will not be in the position of King maker.

I think this is also true of the smaller parties – even if one of them managed to get a candidate elected I doubt they would find themselves in the Kingmaker role.

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.


  1. Interesting analysis Bryan. But can we trust the data? I think it was Chris Trotter who said (in the washup podcast with Martyn and Damien) that people who are polled are not the same as those who vote, or something akin to that. So what do the polls really tells us? Do they have any validity given their poor representation? Merely part of the media spectacle? Something more sinister, trending this way or that, a Chomskian manufacture of consent?

  2. I’ve got one pertinent opinion, Bryan ( in my opinion ) …

    WHY has it taken National SO LONG to wheel out Chucky when she’s been in National for so long?- Doesn’t that point to desperation and a lack of credible leadership? Think back , … how many times has Collins been spurned in that party…just what’s been going on in that party ? If Collins is so good,- WHY has she been thrown to the backbenches by Key , threatened with being booted out of the party, and senior Nat circles doing everything they can to thwart her rising to power?

    Seems dodgy to me, mate.

  3. Polls indicate trends. The trend is that Labours(jacindas) popularity is on the wane.
    In this day and age I think people are already polarised.
    So the 14% undecided I suspect have already decided but didnt want to tell the pollsters what they would do.
    This election I think will be won and lost on Social Media.
    Jacinda will have a lead on that metric.

    Whatever happens will be interesting.

    PS. The opinions of elite and academics/Experts no longer matter in Socila media.!!

    • Geez Bryan you only watched 10 minutes???
      My mind shut down when in the first two minutes I saw the shockingly bad setup of face lighting on Jacinda and then saw the bad camera shots showing Judith’s face clearly and jacinda’s was absent somewhere in the shadows of that bad lighting, so I gave up.
      It was and absolute shambles John Campbell setup and he has shot his past respect we ever had of him being a balanced presenter he is toast.

  4. a Labour /Green coalition

    Yet the Greens already seem to be sabotaging that option, making it more difficult in several ways by issuing this noisy, public ultimatum in advance of any votes being cast. The very fact of that public ultimatum will turn some voters away from both Labour and the Greens. It will also present an obstacle to such coalition forming, without a lot more talking between them, if/when they get over the line. And it turns off otherwise green- sympathetic voters such as myself, who cannot stand that sort of overt power play.

    • This is good stuff from the Greens. As a few have said on this site, we want some/all of the Greens policy in coalition with Labour to get some bloody change going on. Well this is a good way of doing it, isn’t it. If Labour don’t want this policy, then they can suck up to somebody else. This is having the balls to stand your ground.
      Let the voting public know what you stand for – unlike Winston First who did exactly this without the transparency. You know the handbrake thing, all settled on day one behind closed doors. Nuff said.

      • I guess you’re right.
        (Only now they’ve backed down on it again.)

        The things I care about the most are ending the sale of our land and water to overseas entities. Those are not even on anyone’s radar, let alone non-negotiable.

        • Yup, it’s more or less choas at the moment with the Greens. If they can get some leverage in Govt. to push enviromental policy instead of kotowing to everything we might even hope for a back tracking on water bottling rights and all that entails. I’m not sure why but I have some faith in this.

  5. Why do people keep investing faith in polls? They are a microscopic statistical perspectives on pretty much anything.I really wish this practise would stop as its not terribly useful or in my view helpful.


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