National down, Labour up in latest poll

National have dropped significantly and Labour have recovered in the latest Roy Morgan poll, but Greens are also down reducing the right to left swing.

Volatility and uncertainty are apparent.

  • National 46% (down 5%)
  • Labour Party 30% (up 6.5%)
  • Greens 12% (down 3)
  • NZ First 5% (down 1%)
  • Internet-Mana Party  2.5% (up 1%)
  • Maori Party 1.5% (up 0.5%)
  • ACT NZ (0.5%, unchanged)
  • United Future 0.5% (unchanged)
  • Conservative Party of NZ 1% (unchanged)
  • Independent/ Others 1% (up 1%)

The string of embarrassments for National seem to have taken their toll. They will be getting a bit anxious after this result.

Internet-Mana are climbing on the back of sustained publicity and promotions.

The Conservatives are nowhere near the levels claimed by Colin Craig and Christine Rankin.

Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile telephone, with a NZ wide cross-section of 818 electors from July 14-27, 2014. Of all electors surveyed 6.5% (up 1%) didn’t name a party.

Roy Morgan poll 31 July 2014

New Zealand Voting Intention Summary

Davis assures he’s contesting Te Tai Tokerau

After claims and speculation that Labour were not trying to contest Te Tai Tokerau – see Cunliffe lying about electorate deals? – Kelvin Davis has emphatically assured he is still out to win the electorate off Hone Harawira.

of course I’m going out to win it, as I’ve told you a dozen times already. No one has approached me to do any shonky deal.

Davis will be keen on winning the electorate as his chances via the Labour list look precarious.

Yesterday 3 News reported  Annette Sykes chasing Waiariki deal:

Internet Mana candidate Annette Sykes says Labour’s done a secret Epsom-style electorate deal with Hone Harawira.

She’s also calling on Labour to do a deal for her – in the Maori seat of Waiariki.

Internet Mana is…Parliament-bound on Mr Harawira’s coattails.

His lieutenant, Ms Sykes, says Labour’s done a deal which will help ensure he wins Te Tai Tokerau.

“I think it’s already happening there,” says Ms Sykes.”It’s been informally signalled.”

That contradicts what Davis has said.

Labour is denying the claim however, saying all seat deals are off.

“We are campaigning hard in all seven Maori seats and that includes Waiariki – I can’t be any plainer than that,” says Labour leader David Cunliffe.

That would include Te Tai Tokerau. Cunliffe has backtracked on other things but he looks like remaining staunch on this.

But Tova O’Brien at 3 News is not convinced.

Labour’s taken the higher moral ground over coat-tailing, despite not ruling out working with Internet Mana – the masters of coat-tailing – after the election.

So if it does a deal in either of those Maori seats – and it’s hard to tell if it will or not – they’ll be informal deals, done on the ground and on the quiet.

The proof will be in how the campaigns in the Maori electorates play out. If Labour have done or do any electorate deals on the quiet it should be obvious in how the campaign unfolds.

With Labour looking an unlikely winner in the election shoring up any electorate they can and winning as many as possible makes some sense. It will help put them in a better position to rebuild next term – something they have so far failed to do.

 

What would “one law for all” be?

If we had one law for all what would that law be?  Thou shall not hurt anyone else? Thou shall not tell fibs (especially in politics)?

ACT Party

Act Party leader Jamie Whyte has stirred up a race debate by promoting one law for all.

He means that one race (Maori) shouldn’t have separate laws or privileges or Parliamentary seats to anyone else. That’s fine in theory, but very contentious and controversial in practice, as Whyte is finding out.

But it’s having the desired effect, raising Whyte’s and Act’s profile on the potential constituency that matters for them to start to make an impression in the polls. See comments at Kiwiblog in Jamie Whyte on race based law.

Conservative Party

This is also one of the Conservative Party’s key policies (from very sparse offerings).

OneLawForAll

One Law For All is one of four very brief policy statements on their Issues page.

Another is the Conservative’s ‘bottom line’ policy “On Our Watch Referendums Will Be Binding’. In the unlikely event that they have a watch in Parliament they won’t get support for this, an issue that seems inspired by Craig’s obsession with getting the ‘smacking’ law repealed.

Craig wants one law for all if it involves Maori ‘privilege’, but he wants parents to have a different law than children when it comes to being hit. One could agree with Craig that there’s some crazy thinking here.

Another of their policies is YOUR FIRST $20,000 TAX FREE THEN A FLAT TAX. Act at least have some consistency, wanting one tax rate for all instead of no tax for those earning under $20,000 and then tax whack the rest of us.

NZ First

NZ First seem to stake a claim to the ‘One Law For All’ slogan but it doesn’t stand out in their policies. Their website doesn’t have a page for ‘Winston Peters Rhetoric’ but their is plenty of that elsewhere, for example in Budget in Reply Speech – Winston Peters.

We believe in one law for all – irrespective of ethnic background.

Not the crumbs of tokenism from the Cronies Club Tables!

New Zealand First believes that we must train, skill, educate and employ our own people first.

There’s no excuse for the hiring of cheap labour from overseas when so many are on the unemployment scrap heap back here.

On the issue of foreigners speculating on housing in New Zealand – we’ve had the courage to say it for years but successive governments have refused to act.

Ok, one law for all as long as you’re one of “our own people” and not “from overseas” or a “foreigner”.

NZ First and one law for all seems to be contradictory.

One Law 4 All Party

There is also a party set up and now registered to address this issue – One Law 4 All.

To keep faith with 1Law4All supporters from across the political spectrum, we have the one bottom line – that of legal equality of all citizens regardless of race, ethnicity, culture or religion.

Should we win a position in government, 1Law4All will take a middle-of-the road position on all other issues or proposals by other parties. Should this be difficult to define or involve highly controversial legislation, we will seek a majority public consensus and vote accordingly. We will not have personal conscience votes.

Legal equality is a bottom line but on anything else majority public consensus will enable the overruling of minority rights and needs.

Several Questions For All

‘One law for all” and legal equality sound fine in theory, but life and legislation can be more complicated than that. How would the above parties answer the following questions?

  • One assault law for all or separate law for parents?
  • One tax for all or different tax rates?
  • One property law for all or ‘one of us’ versus ‘foreigners’?
  • One immigration law for all regardless of race, religion, age, skills?
  • Can anyone put flashing lights on their car and run red lights and speed?
  • No age limit for marriage, sex, voting, firearms, driving, alcohol?
  • Superannuation for all?
  • Early childhood education for all?
  • Domestic Purposes Benefit for all?

And what seems to be at the centre of all the ‘one law for all’ posturing is the Treaty of Waitangi. Should New Zealand declare all treaties invalid – one treaty for all or no treaties for anyone? There’s quite a few, for example see Treaties and International Law.

Or just selected ones?

Back to Act

While Act want no legal or other privileges for Maori…

Treaty of Waitangi and Race Relations

ACT supports the vision of a free society and would seek to remove all race-based appointments in parliament or any other branch of government.

…they sound more reasonable regarding the Waitangi Tribunal:

We would work towards ensuring the Waitangi Tribunal process ends on the basis of full, fair, and final settlements.

But a quick scan through their other policies suggests they support some targeting and don’t propose universal rules for everyone.

ACC: “The one-size-fits-all compulsory, government-owned monopoly insurance provider is failing New Zealanders.” So they don’t support one insurance provider for all.

Crime and Justice: “ACT supports tough, appropriate sentencing for all offences including burglary (three strikes you’re out), livestock theft (weapon and vehicle confiscation) and murder (sentenced by degree).” Selective application of three strikes, which is targeting some offences and offenders differently to others.

One law for all, unless getting tough on (some) crime will get more votes.

‘One law for all’ is a simple political slogan in a very complex real world.

Another prominent person seeking name suppression

Another prominent person seeking name suppression, this time a lawyer. Stuff reports:

Lawyer charged over drugs

A prominent Wellington lawyer is fighting to keep his name secret after being charged with drug offences.

Police say they found methamphetamine, LSD and ecstasy when they raided his house, office and car this month.

The man cannot be identified after he applied for an urgent order from the High Court last night to keep his name secret.

When first contacted by The Dominion Post on Monday, he flatly denied that he had been charged personally and said he was due to appear in court regarding clients’ records that had been seized by police.

“No, no, not me,” he said. “No, no, there was, no, that’s not right . . . I haven’t appeared in court.”

When asked directly if he had been involved personally in drugs in any way, he again said no.

“There’s all sorts of rumours going around . . . but . . . I’d be very careful there, man, because you know defamation and all that type of thing.”

Yesterday, when contacted again and told that police had confirmed he was facing charges, the lawyer continued to deny any knowledge.

“I haven’t been charged with anything. I haven’t been served with them,” he said.

Police confirmed that the lawyer had been charged with possession of methamphetamine, LSD and ecstasy, as well as possession of drug utensils. He has yet to make his first court appearance on the charges.

If he succeeds in protecting his own identity he casts suspicion on all prominent male Wellington lawyers.

People seeking legal services need to be able to have confidence they are dealing with a clean lawyer.

Innocent until proven guilty. It may be tough on this lawyer if he turns out to be not guilty, but all the other prominent male Wellington lawyers are presumed innocent and shouldn’t have suspicions cast on them.

 

National’s low-key campaign

The election campaign seems to have been effectively running for most of the year, with most parties announcing arrangements and candidates and policies.

National have been notably quiet. They did announce their party list last weekend – National mixes experience and new talent in 2014 list – with no real surprises. No surprises, steady as she goes seems to be National’s approach. This was evident when John Key stated his support party position on Monday – it was very predictable.

So far National have dribbled out minor policy statements, but nothing of real significance. Will they have any major new policies? Last election they announced their flagship asset sale policy early in election year.

Are National going to step up their campaign?

Or is their strategy to hold their support and let the other parties fight for position and fight for survival amongst themselves.

It isn’t without risks, especially as National candidates like Gerry Brownlee and Nick Smith and ex-candidates like Claudia Hauiti seem to have relaxed their standards too much. This could be damaging.

So far National look to have tried to run a very relaxed low-key campaign. The danger with that is uninspired voters may be too relaxed to bother getting out and voting.

Cunliffe lying about electorate deals?

While David Cunliffe criticises National for doing electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu, and insists Labour will not do any electorate deals, there are reports from Te Tai Tokerau that Labour have effectively thrown the electorate, leaving it to Internet Mana..

Is this a case of Labour doing something different to what they claim, and doing what they criticise National for doing? If so this is deceitful.

In NZ Herald Cunliffe denies double standards over deals:

Labour leader David Cunliffe has denied he has double standards for refusing to rule out relying on the Internet Mana party to form a government despite deriding National for its coat tailing deals in Epsom and Ohariu.

Mr Cunliffe has accused National of manipulating voters by using the coat-tailing provisions to try to boost its support partners’ chances through electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu.

However, he will not rule out calling on the Internet Mana Party if needed to form a Government.

There appears to be double standards and deceit there.

Mr Cunliffe said he had made it clear it was “extremely unlikely” any Internet Mana Party MPs would get ministerial positions, or even lower level associate or undersecretary roles in a Labour-led Government.

But he would not rule out policy concessions in return for their votes, saying that was a matter to discuss after the election. “We will talk to whoever the voters serve up.”

But there are claims that Labour are ‘manipulating voters by using the coat-tailing provisions’ to try to boost Hone Harawira’s chances  in Te Tai Tokerau.

Mr Cunliffe denied it was a double standard.

“Because I’m not trying to tell New Zealanders who to vote for. I’m being absolutely plain that they should vote Labour with two ticks.”

That doesn’t appear to be what’s happening in Te Tai Tokerau, despite Labour’s candidate Kelvin Davis previously saying he would vigorously contest the electorate.

A resident of the Far North commented on Kiwiblog:

A couple of earlier commenters mentioned Davies winning TTT. Forget it. He is invisible, no signage in the North. None. Labour have hung him out to dry again. A vote for labour is a vote for the Harawira crime family and Kim Dotcom.

And a similar story at No Minister:

NEWSFLASH … LABOUR CONCEDES TE TAI TOKERAU TO HONE

So much for the hypocritical beating from Labour about National doing ‘deals’ in Epsom and Ohariru (leaving aside the fact that MMP is all about doing deals).   It is now clear the Cunliffe and Labour, have done exactly that and conceded Te Tai Tokerau to Hone in a deal that should let the Mana/Internet Party come in with three MPs (based on their current pollling).

What’s the evidence for that?     Well, the Vet and Mrs Vet took a trip up to Kaitaia on Saturday for a meeting of the Far North Vietnam veterans.    On the way up we encountered numerous National Party signs; a sad looking half sign promoting Labour’s Northand candidate; two signs from a weird mob called Focus New Zealand ; a heap of signs from Hone, but from Kelvin Davis, the Te Tai Tokerau Labour candidate, zip zero nothing, nothing at all.

And I am told suma suma in the southern part of the electorate.

…now it’s clear that Cunliffe and Labour have pulled the rug from Davis as a serious player…

It may be that Kelvin Davis and Labour are yet to launch a candidate campaign in Te Tai Tokerau. I’m trying to check that out with him.

But at this stage of the campaign it looks like David Cunliffe may not be being truthful about Labour’s electorate intent.

UPDATE: Cunliffe has just spoken on Firstline repeating that Labour would contest electorates “up and down the country” and wouldn’t support coat tailing.

UPDATE 2: Kelvin Davis has responded this morning “That is a pure beat up. Im out to win the seat.” But he hasn’t replied yet when I asked when he was putting hoardings up.

Paul Henry: The rights and wrongs of name suppression

Last night on TV3 Paul Henry spoke to lawyer and ex-Act MP Stephen Franks on name suppression in relation to a prominent New Zealander exposed (except for his name) by Rodney Hide in a series of Herald on Sunday columns.

Name suppression controversy for prominent New Zealander

A prominent New Zealander who pleaded guilty in 2011 to committing an indecent act has been given permanent name suppression.

His name cannot be released but due to a chain of events started by a column in a weekend newspaper, this Kiwi man is being compared to Rolf Harris.

So should he have got suppression in the first place? And is suppression all meaningless in the age of the internet?

Lawyer and former ACT MP Stephen Franks joins Paul from Wellington to discuss whether this man should have been given name suppression when it was not given to protect the victim.

“It’s pretty weird that the judge has decided that it would cause extreme hardship for them to face the normal shame that offenders are supposed to face,” says Mr Franks. “The law has had various wording for extreme hardship, but it turns on whether there is a suicide rick or a loss of livelihood.”

Paul Henry’s introduction:

There is a prominent New Zealander out there who pleaded guilty in 2011 to committing an indecent act.  You won’t find his name in the mainstream media. He’s been given permanent name suppression.

We can’t tell you his name, obviously, but many people know it thanks to a chain of events started by a column in a weekend newspaper which compared this Kiwi man to Rolf Harris.

Tonight a simple Google search will identify him for you.

So, should he have got suppression in the first place, and is it all meaningless in the age of the Internet?

Video at: Name suppression controversy for prominent New Zealander

Conservative disappointment in Craig

While some Conservatives are disappointed that John Key has shut the door on an electorate deal for Colin Craig other conservatives were already disappointed in Colin Craig, who has been called a faux conservative.

In 2011 the Conservatives were excused for being under prepared because the party had only been launched a couple of months before the election.

Three years later Craig had a chance to promote himself and the party and has failed to impress all but the faithful and the blindly hopeful. He has been noticed more for his gaffes, some odd promotional photos and a lot of political naivety.

And while the Conservative Party has a slogan of “Stand For Something” it’s difficult to know what they stand for apart from supporting smacking (the single issue that seems to have driven Craig since he stepped into the political arena), an impractical bottom line on binding binding referenda and a small number of other populist policies.

The Conservative Issues web page has only four policies with scant detail.

A number of conservatives and Conservative supporters have been regulars at Kiwiblog.  Comments from National announces coalition choices sum up sentiments:

Tinshed:

I regard myself as a conservative but find I have very little, if anything, in common with Colin Craig and his Conservative Party. The right decision.

Queenstreetfarmer:

What idiots ever thought Colin Craig was “conservative” anyway, let alone a trustworthy ally for National?

iMP (who has been a prominent supporter of Craig and the Conservatives):

Well, here’s a reality check and a prediction:.

1. The polls will close and Labour will come back some, as NZers ‘re-balalnce’ a lop-sided race.
2. National will get 47-48% on polling day, much the same result as 2011, not enough to govern.
3. They will lose badly in canterbury, which will swell the PVote to Labour and some seats will change hands.
3. Having been sidelined in favour of polygamy and Cabinet leaking leaders, the Consvs will breach the threshold in their own right.
4. On 21 Sept. JK will be forced either to court Winston or Colin Craig (there simply aren’t enough vote on the C-Right).
5. CC will demand more than he would’ve otherwise, having made parl. in his own right, and build for the future whole NZF dissipates with Winnie’s health.
6. Labour will work strategically to win Ohariu and help split the vote in Epsom.

National has no friends left; the pickings on the C-R just got much leaner.

Chthoniid:

Sometimes his party really comes across less as a coherent political entity and more as a vanity project. Nailing his colours to the binding referendum issue, kind of signals he’s nursing some resentment over the failure of the 2009 smacking-referendum.

Changeiscoming:

As a supporter of the Conservative Party I am very pleased JK has made this decision. I didn’t want the party beholden to National, now it’s all on. I don’t want to hear any complaints on the 21st of Sept when the Nats find themselves a couple of percentage points short.

Georgebolwing:

Colin Craig is a looney and to endorse him in any way would have driven urban liberal votes to ACT in droves to make sure that National had enough dependable partners to govern.

Maybe, someday, someone sane will attempt to form a conservative party that isn’t just a bunch of ratbag populist christians fixated with the sexual practices of others. Such a party might offer National some support. But the CCCP is just a rich guy trying to pretend to be a politician. He should leave it to the experts. At least the other rich guy trying to buy the election has had the good sense to hire professionals.

Longknives

I’m a National/National man but can anybody tell me why Colin Craig is considered such a “looney”? He seems to have some good ideas…

ShawnLH

When the CP first got off the ground I thought “yes! finally a conservative party to vote for!” But as time went on I saw very little policy focus on areas of concern to social conservatives, and a lot of pilfering from NZF. Well, I could if inclined vote for NZF so why do I need NZF v2?

Then there was Craig himself. Early on I was happy to defend Craig and overlook his oddities, but as the whole issue of a seat came to the fore he started looking far more dicey. His “bottom line” demand when his party was only just scoring 2% in the polls was arrogant and naive.

So sadly I think JK has made the right decision. Craig would not beat McCully in a straight contest, no matter how many nods and winks ECB voters were given, and forcing them to vote for him by pulling McCully would have drawn a big fat target on National in a way that the other deals do not.

And despite Red’s fantasies Craig and the CP was never going to be the Saviour of the Right.

Craig and his Conservative Party will now have try and do it the hard way by getting to 5%.

Conservative son of NationalAttacking National hasn’t worked out very well.

 

Craig’s contradictions

Colin Craig didn’t rule out taking advantage of a helping hand from National in East Coast Bays but now John Key has ruled it out …

After weeks of speculation, Prime Minister John Key has indicated that he will not pull Mr McCully from the seat.

…as reported by NZ Herald – Craig: ‘Better for us’ if McCully stands in East Coast Bays Craig says he didn’t want Murray McCully to stand aside for him.

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says he’d prefer National incumbent Murray McCully to stand in East Coast Bays, and has taken a shot at the deals National does with the Act and United Future parties.

He said he did not expect to beat Mr McCully in East Coast Bays this election.

Yeah right. And…

And he has opened the door to Labour, especially if they are open to his bottom line of binding referenda.

But Mr Craig said he supported a third term for National, if they won the largest share of the party vote – though he could not rule out working with Labour.

If Labour agreed to the Conservative’s bottom line of binding referenda, and National did not, then “that would be a very interesting scenario, and perhaps Labour would be prepared to do that”.

He has repeated  a number of times that he’d go with the party with the largest vote, which will obviously be National.

But now he’s saying that if Labour give him what he wants on binding referenda he will consider going with them instead.

Craig seems to be trying to compete with Winston Peters in coalition horse trading stakes, albeit in a more ham fisted way.

 

Campaign “at a delicate stage” for Labour

How can I put this delicately?

Greg Presland has posted  The election campaign is at a delicate stage: at The Standard:

We are entering an interesting phase of the election campaign and a number of recent events may have a critical effect on the eventual outcome.

Firstly nothing is more important in politics than momentum.  The latest Colmar Brunton poll result 1 suggests that Labour may be developing some of that most cherished of political assets, momentum in the polls.

Thankfully the slide in Labour’s support has reversed and there has been a healthy increase from poll results with Labour polling nearly 5% above the recent Roy Morgan and a previous Ipsos poll results.

‘Swordfish’ has been analysing polls and gives some detail:

Labour’s Poll Support – June/July in chronological order

JUNE
28, 31, 23, 27, 29, 28

JULY
24, 25, 27, 27, 28

So, Labour’s does seem to have largely bounced back from that little trough.

So Labour are back to where they were at the start and end of June. As far as polling goes the last three results have been virtually the same – which coincidentally is virtually the same as their record low result in the 2011 election.

The 23 and 24 results were weeks apart so may be blips in general trends. If so that means Labour is pretty much flatlining, taking into account margin of error, which is about +/- 2.75 for 27% with a sample size of 1000.

Another comment points out the slight drop in support from the previous One News/Colmar poll…

National has climbed to 52% in the latest ONE News/Colmar Brunton poll while Labour is down one point to 28%.

Labour on 28% is just above its 2011 election result and the Greens have also slipped, dropping two points to 10%.

…which puts National on 52% compared to Labour+Green on 38%. That does look a wee bit delicate.

Tom Gould points out:

Breathing a sign of relief that support only dropped one per cent to 28 whereas the Tories only rose two per cent to 52, and the gap between Labour and Green versus the Tory only widened to 14 points, hardly shows the campaign at “a delicate stage”. T

What looks “delicate” is the grasp on reality.

Activists like Presland have to try and sound positive – especially with a Labour slogan of Vote Positive – but trying to talk up a mangy dog of a position risks looking out of touch as Tom eluded to.

Presland does try to explain his post…

1 This post has been written in a style which right wing commentators usually use.

…but it doesn’t sound anything like the style any tight wing commentators I know of use, let alone a supposed collective “right wing commentators”.

It’s difficult for Labour to promote themselves in what looks like a dire  situation. Talking sunshine in a cyclone can look more than a bit out of touch.

Labour should at least be trying to convince voters they know how to use an umbrella.

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