There’s no reason why commerce and compassion can’t co-exist

It’s common to see carping about how compassionless the Government and John key and National MPs are. How they purportedly don’t care about poor people – some go as far as accusing ‘right wing’ politicians and rich people of deliberately keeping the masses poor so they can accumulate wealth.

Which is absurd, as anyone who knows how commerce works knows that the more affluent people are the more prosperous business can be. You can’t make much money out of destitution.

Thursday’s budget has created confusion and consternation on the left. How could an allegedly hard right government be the first to raise core benefit levels for 44 years? Something three eras of Labour led government had failed to do.

Amongst the confusion absurd claims have been made. In Thoughts on budget 2015 Danyl at Dim-Post:

National believes in massive intervention in the economy, mostly in favor of their political donors but also in response to signals from their polling and market research…

rickrowling asked “What are the examples of this?” None have yet been given. This statement is typical from the left of National do anything hinting at compassion – there must be an ulterior motive driven by the greed of the 1%.

One way of trying to explain is by claiming that National’s efforts are weak and the left would have done it better. Like ‘truthseekernz':

The response from virtually all opponents was lamentable. I would have preferred something like:

“It’s great to see this government adopt a weak tea, might-work-a-little version of the policies we’ve been promoting for years. So we’ve won the policy argument. National has done it because that had to, not because they wanted to. If voters want the real thing, they should be sure to vote for us (whoever ‘we ‘ are – Labour or Greens) next election.”

National can’t have done it because they wanted to what they thought was a good thing to do, they ‘had to do it’. That’s crap of confusion.


John Key’s hallmark of power is pragmatism and if that means that he has to give a little to the masses, he will, and did. But that does not change his wider agenda that has all the markings of seeking neoliberal outcomes.

Again Key “has to give a little to the masses” but has a “wider agenda”. That’s ideological crap.

Neilm has a different take on it:

And Key’s opponents have developed a rather insular, self-reinforcing narrative about how Key hates the children etc which isn’t quite what National is. I’m not suggesting that National is the perfect social justice party but constantly making strategy on the basis that they’re corrupt liars out to destroy democrat and the planet has distracted from forming a strategy that deals with reality.

Tinakori also challenges the left leaning laments.

Wow, Danyl, there are so many straw men in that post. The major two are the propositions that this government was a group of hairy chested economic fundamentalists and that effective social policy is entirely the preserve of the left.

The first was flawed from the very beginning and was probably prompted by the bizarre and false idea that they had embraced austerity as a fiscal policy when their approach was classic Keynesian. This is just another case of the left and the commentariat looking to overseas political slogans for guidance rather than looking at what a government actually does.

As for the big things – fiscal, monetary and general regulatory policy – there is no major change that I can see and the spending changes are pretty small in the context of both government spending and the economy.

richdrich swings the other way:

The “middle class welfare” concept is an artefact of neo-liberalism.

It divides society into “hard working keewees” and “beneficiary scum” (Labour and National both love the former term, but Labour might be a bit softer on the latter. “Communities with needs”, maybe?)

Benefits (apart from disguised ones like tax free capital gains) are denied the former and grudgingly meted out to the latter, accompanied by an appropriate degree of paternalism, like making them spend all day in a Winz office with no toilet – at least they can’t take drugs while they’re in there.

I haven’t seen any sign that National (and ACT and the Maori Party and Peter Dunne) have “grudgingly meted out” the benefit increases. Confused leftists like richdrich can’t bring themselves to even grudgingly meting out praise when it’s due.

How could this tory scum out left the left on social policy? Tinokori suggests:

On social policy you underestimate the personal impact on government policy of growing up in a state house (Key) and the Catholic social conscience (English).

There may be something in that, but there’s far more to it. I’m not Catholic and didn’t grow up in a state house. I did grow up in a very poor household – where I learnt the value of hard work and self responsibility.

Many people in New Zealand who have built their own businesses and careers and wealth have seen and experienced hardship somewhere along the way.

We now seem to have a left who can’t see past their arrogance.

I see more compassion in Key and English and many in business and on the centre right than amongst the carping on the impotent left.

This budget appears to have turned politics upside down in New Zealand. I don’t think it has. It just demonstrates what has been evident for a long time, that the left/right divide was long ago bridged. It doesn’t exist in New Zealand how it once did.

Key and his National government get it. They got it a long time ago, that’s why they are still in government.

There’s no reason why commerce and compassion can’t co-exist. Except in the closed carping minds of the old left. They are left crapping in their own nest.

A Capital Gains tweak

NZ Herald reports PM makes major move on housing profits and foreign buyers. Is it a major move?

A capital gains tax on residential property sold within two years of buying it is being seen as a step in the right direction, but not far enough, with few expecting the new tax to have a big effect on Auckland property prices.

Prime Minister John Key announced the plan this morning as part of the Budget package.

The exemptions to this new bright-line test will be if the property sold is the seller’s main home, if it is part of a deceased estate or inherited, and or if it is transferred as part of a relationship settlement.

The tax will be on the seller’s normal income tax rate.

Is it a major move? Or will it little more than symbolic in practice?

Labour leader Andrew Little said this afternoon the moves were “weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators.”

Little thinks it’s a weak move. It’s debatable whether a major increase in capital gains criteria would do much to alter the property market anyway, as property markets that have more stringent capital gains taxing have similar price surges to Auckland.

IRD have already been tightening up on taxing capital gains on property speculation see Improving tax compliance on capital gains.

This change may be little more than a tool to help IRD more clearly define what property sales should be subject to tax. But that may be a good thing.

Tweaks are often the best may to change things, incrementally rather than monumentally.

Major tax changes can create as many problems as they solve, especially if they cause major market shifts.

More than a Little over the top

Andrew Little was more than a little over the top claiming National’s ‘promise’ to return to surplus by this year was “one of the biggest political deceptions in a lifetime”. Especially considering what Labour said in the same campaign.

In his pre-budget speech today Little said:

That promise, “to return to surplus in 2014/15” sat proudly as their number one commitment in their election material, distributed to every corner of New Zealand.

But their promise was clear. Their good economic stewardship would see us in surplus.

And now they’ve abandoned their promise.

National’s talk now is about how achieving surplus was an “artificial target” and that getting a surplus is “like landing a 747 on the head of a pin.”

A lot of effort has gone into glossing over the broken promise. But I see it for what it is – one of the biggest political deceptions in a lifetime.

It was election rhetoric that has come back to haunt National a bit. They said it, they have to cop flak for not achieving what they claimed they could do. Finance can be fickle. They should have qualified their claims more carefully.

But the gross overstatement from Little is hardly any better. Especially considering Labour’s own campaign rhetoric, like:

Everything is paid for plus we’re in surplus

Labour’s Alternative Budget

As Kiwis we all want to be able to raise a healthy and happy family, have a well-paid and secure job and the chance to buy our own home. To give every Kiwi those opportunities, we need to grow a strong economy. That means we need solid and stable economic management.

Labour will balance the budget and run surpluses every year. We’ll reduce net debt faster than the current government and pay off National’s record debt by the end of our second term. All of our policies are carefully costed and funded. 

No more carefully costed and funded than National.

Little’s statement that National’s election claim was “one of the biggest political deceptions in a lifetime” may not be one of the biggest political overstatements in a lifetime, but it’s more than a little over the top.

Labour source:

Labour’s biggest problems – Dim-Post

Danyl at Dim-Post looks at similarities in the failure of Labour in the UK and Labour in New Zealand in Elections in the anglo-sphere but the response by commenters mostly disagrees.

There’s loads of analysis about on the outcome of the election in the UK; most of it is focused on Labour. What went wrong? Did they choose the wrong Miliband brother? Should they return to Blairism? And so on.

Seems to me that one of Labour’s biggest problems – both here and in the UK – is that they’re faced with an opponent that is (a) better resourced than them and (b) uses those resources to make themselves far, far better at politics than their left-wing opponents.

The Conservative Party’s strategy in the UK election was pretty much the same as National’s strategy last year. It’s because they have the same strategic advisers of course – the infamous Crosby/Textor, who are also very active in Australian Federal and state elections.

Infamous on the left when th left lose lose. Crosby/Textor don’t always help centre ‘right parties succeed.  In the 2010 and 2013 Australian Federal election campaigns “Textor was the principal national pollster and chief external strategist for Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party”. A 50/50 success rate there.

“In 2012 Textor was strategist and pollster for Campbell Newman’s Liberal National Party election campaign; one that delivered one of the biggest majority for any party in the history of Queensland politics.”  The Liberal National Party crashed out in their next campaign, in January this year, and Newman lost his seat.

Which gives their clients a huge advantage. Not only can they deliver data and market-research driven advice, they can trial-run lines and strategies across multiple separate-but-similar electorates, hone the techniques and sell successful ideas on to their other clients – who are all right-wing parties that want to see each other succeed.

Often when something goes wrong for John Key and the media goes ballistic, Key will often ‘talk past’ the media and deliver lines directly to the voters. And it always works. He gets to do that because of a huge wealth of empirical data about how voters react to different issues, gleaned from years of study across these multiple electorates.

Labour and the other opposition parties in these other electorates can’t do that. And it shows.

Why can’t they do that? Labour can use whatever strategies they choose, They can employ whatever strategists they choose.

They could use some common bloody sense and they would do a lot better.

They’re forced to experiment, releasing policies or taking positions on issues on a trial basis. Will the public like it? Do they respond? And if the media reaction is critical then they reverse position. They’re playing a complex game in which they know the desired outcome, but not the actual rules, against opponents who know the rulebook back-to-front as well as all the loopholes.

That’s bollocks. If Danyl knows all about the problems then there’s more than a tiny chance that someone in Labour could also work things out.

There are other structural factors at work, of course. But the triumph of empirically based political strategy and messaging is a very big deal that’s getting missed alongside all the chatter about Labour ‘moving to the left, or the center’ etc.

Something that Danyl misses here, that Labour in New Zealand has been missing and something Labour in the UK struggled with:

If parties (and their strategists) put lipstick on their pig voters see a made up pig.

Consultants, research, packaging and marketing can help. But a pig’s a pig. And voters are more perceptive than losers are willing to admit.

There’s some good comments responding to Danyl, the first from PaulL worth repeating in full here:

Partially true Danyl I think. True that the sharing goes on. Untrue that the left don’t also do this sharing. Julia Gillard’s senior team came from the UK and a number of them went back. In the last Australian election one of the big stories going around was that the left had imported important expertise from the Obama campaign in social media and motivating particular categories of voter. I’d expect much of that experience then carried through into people who turned up in the NZ or UK campaigns.

I’d be more inclined to the view that the strategy that the winners took is credited with the win. If Labour had won the election we’d be talking about how Labour outplayed the Tories on the ground.

My personal view is that most of these elections are explained by the middle, by the economic performance of the incumbent, and the likeability of their leader. Gillard wasn’t likeable (nor was Abbott), things were going south fast in Australia economically, and Gillard was moving left in her coalition with the Greens (no longer in the centre).

Cameron has governed from the centre and the UK’s economic performance (as compared to the rest of Europe) has been pretty good. Miliband was unlikeable and pushing hard to the left. On average people in the UK thought that they didn’t want to be more like France, Spain or Greece, which is really what Miliband was selling.

In NZ, Key has governed from the centre, and Labour promised a move leftwards, along with having a potential coalition with the Greens taking them further left. Notwithstanding the beliefs of many on the left, NZ is actually going reasonably well, and when a political party promises to change everything (but things are going reasonably well for most NZers) that scares them.

I think the lesson here is that in a country that’s doing OK you win elections by saying “we’re mostly steady as she goes, other than these 5 specific things that we think those crazy baby eating capitalists have got wrong.” When you say “the whole country is screwed and we want to change everything” then those people (most people) who are doing OK get scared.

Herald journalist Dita De Boni backs Danyl:

Totally agree Danyl. As someone pointed out, in the UK CT and the Conservatives planted the idea that Miliband was “weird” – the same way they did here about Cunliffe. Very effective. Although neither did anything as weird as pulling repeatedly at a woman’s ponytail.

That’s mostly nonsense. National and CT may have promoted and tried to accentuate Cunliffe’s ‘weirdness’, but Cunliffe planted plenty of weird seeds all on his own.

And he was relying on some weird partner parties. Many people like the Greens but not many people want a Green dominated Government.

Another weird party leader at least recognised his mistake – too late.

The best example from this campaign isn’t Labour, however — it’s Kim Dotcom. He said on election night that it was only in the past two weeks that he realised how tainted his brand was. He threw $4.5 million at the Internet MANA campaign and it polled less than the Māori Party, who had the same number of incumbent candidates and a tiny fraction of the money and expertise. Had he thought to spend $30,000 on market research* asking questions like those asked by Curia about what New Zealanders think of Kim Dotcom, he could have saved himself the rest of the money, and saved Hone Harawira his seat, Laila Harré her political credibility, and the wider left a severe beating.

That is effective use of data: not asking questions to tell you what you want to hear, but to tell you what you need to know. This electoral bloodletting is an opportunity for the NZ political left to become reality-adjacent, and we can only hope they take it. Because if they don’t, reality is just going to keep winning.

Simon Garlick explains Labour’s ‘awesome’ fallacy, something that left wing activists also seem afflicted by. They often complain in defeat that the money and the media and excuse excuse excuse prevented the voters from seeing how awesome they were and how loathsome their opponents were.

NZ Labour is an organisation the has no idea how to communicate effectively, which is a bit of an impediment when you consider that it’s in the business of politics.

While I’m sure that the Labour comms team occasionally and temporarily counts talented communicators among its ranks, collectively the organisation is ignorant of the techniques and methodology of effective communication. To them Crosby Textor’s success is a complete mystery. I’m not sure that they even know what Crosby Textor does.

Remember that Gary Larson Far Side cartoon about “What you say – what dogs hear”?

I suspect that when you say to Labour, the organisation, “you need to do focused polling not on what people care about but how much they care about it, you need to use that information to develop key points that will influence people to vote for you in the places that you need votes the most, and then you need to work out what to say, when, and also about what things you need to say absolutely nothing, and you need to sit down with a calendar and work out when and where the best places to be seen saying things are”, what Labour actually hears is “ooga booga magic dust”. Otherwise there’s nothing that can explain the fish, and the ginger hairdo, and the man ban, and the “my house is a doer-upper”, and the “let’s penalise beneficiaries for not voting”.

The really depressing bit about Labour is that it is totally 100% religiously convinced of the self-evident awesomeness of its platform. “We’re awesome, and our policies are awesome, and if people don’t vote for us that means that the people are stupid sheep who don’t deserve our awesome.”

The thought that the people might need to be listened to and that the policies might need to be amended based on what the people care about is just crazy talk. Ask third parties for advice? Pffft. Hire third parties to help work out what people care about? Pffft. Get third parties to identify what policies will most likely make a difference to the way people vote? Pffft. Magic dust. Beneath us. Our awesome is self-evident.

Hey, Labour and Labour and Labor, all of you have been buttfucked on national TV recently, and each time it’s been by an opponent who used the services of one particular campaign strategy firm. Did any of you think of maybe hiring a campaign strategy firm yourselves? Like, maybe even Crosby Textor? Or like maybe finding out if Crosby Textor has any strong competition and hiring that firm? Like maybe seeing if any of Crosby Textor’s key talent could be incentivised into jumping ship and setting up a competitor? No?

Didn’t think so. That sort of nonsense is for political parties who aren’t awesome.

After last year’s New Zealand election it was common to see left wing activists expressing bafflement at the result (Martyn Bradbury a prime example). They had been convinced they would be rewarded and couldn’t fathom why they were punished by voters.

Labour’s biggest problem is itself and the people who make the biggest noises on the left. They are too blind and deaf, and they are often wrong about what voters perceive and what voters want.

Donations don’t necessarily win elections

The 2014 (election year) donation returns have been released. David Farrar has posted some handy lists in 2014 donation returns including:

Total Donations from donors over $1,500 are:

  1. National $3,977,537
  2. Internet $3,500,000
  3. Conservatives $2,971,000
  4. Greens $969,384
  5. Labour $939,411
  6. ACT $726,187
  7. Internet Mana $656,227
  8. Maori $420,000
  9. NZ First $132,156
  10. Mana $31,194
  11. Focus NZ $22,880
  12. ALCP $9,138

That highlights:

  • the futility of the multi-millions pored into campaigns by Colin Craig and Kin Dotcom
  • the success of National in fundraising (popular parties attract donors)
  • Labour’s financial struggles
  • United Future’s absence

But in The Soap Box: Money can’t buy votes Felix Marwick at Newstalk ZB points out that a single total doesn’t tell the whole story about the effectiveness (or not) of donation levels.

But when you compare the Green Party’s donations to what they got at the 2011 election it really jumps out at you that they almost doubled their election year take. $492,000 to $970,000 is a huge jump.

So the Greens doubled their >$1500 donations but that didn’t translate into a better result, their support barely changed.

Farrar points out:

With National, they also get millions from party members subscriptions which are under $1,500 each. So I suspect that overall less than 20% of their income comes from major donors.

Greens do a lot of donation promotion, frequently pushing for micro donations, for example from a recent email fronm Russel Norman:

The Green Party leads the opposition to the TPPA in Parliament and in the community. This is why it’s more important than ever to step up our grassroots campaign to share our vision for a cleaner environment, a fairer society and a smarter economy with all New Zealanders.

Please donate $3 today to ensure this vision gets maximum exposure in the media and in our communities.

The amount if these sorts of donations isn’t reported. And it doesn’t seem to have translated into more votes for Greens.

Greens also got a sizeable $451,662 of >$15000 of donations compared to Labour’s $251,000 – and $162,000 of that was from unions, so Labour a missing out on major donations.

The Green >$15000 total will be boosted by their MP tithing which in past years has been $15-20,000 each.

‘Rule number 1′ is fairly stupid

In one of his growing number of ‘John bad, Judith good’ posts Cameron Slater highlights one of his hypocrisies. Having done a lot of trying to explain many things (apart from what happened to Freed and why he hasn’t denied paying Ben Rachinger to hack The Standard) he reverts back to one of his so-called political rules:


Leadership should be a truism. You are the leader because there is no other alternative.

When it no longer become s a truism then your leadership is in question. It may be still solid, but questions are now being asked.

And when those questions are asked you get forced into breaking Rule Number 1 in politics.

1. If you are explaining, you are losing

Why he wants to highlight that when he has post so much over the last year is a bit baffling.

In a round about way Slater is trying to explain that he thinks John Key is nearly history and Judith Collins is the heir apparent (if you forget everything that’s been revealed over the past year).

Unless leaders have surnames like Stalin or Pinochet then they have a basic responsibility to explain quite a few things on an ongoing basis.

If John Key is having to explain to his members that he is definitely sticking around then there are problems.  

Explaining is losing and there are increasing signs that there is pressure.

What Slater doesn’t explain is that he’s trying to talk up some pressure. Except scepticism is now rule number 1 when considering Slater style politics. It’s only bloggers like Slater and Greg Presland who try to convince people who never listen to things like The rise of Collins and the decline of Key.

Don’t expect wither Slater or Presland to explain why they are promoting the same futility.

But Slater goes on to try his best to explain how Key will lose his leadership. And he concludes:

When the polls start moving then you will see more action on finding a replacement for John Key.

The polls move around all the time. National have fluctuated between about 44% and 55% over the last few years. There has been no sign of ‘more action’ with any of those movements so far.

But expect Slater to try and keep explaining his strategy, frequently.

I’m waiting for a good explanation of why John is bad and Judith is good for National. And I’d be fascinated by any explanation as to why Slater is good for Collins’ prospects.

Key remains committed

John Key has told National’s Northland regional conference that he’s as determined to still lead National in 2017 as he was in 2008.

NZ Herald reports John Key determined to stick around.

Prime Minister John Key has scotched speculation he could stand down this term, telling National Party faithful in Northland that he is just as determined to lead National in 2017 as he was in 2008.

Mr Key’s speech to National’s Northland regional conference at Waitangi was his first on home soil after a torrid fortnight dominated by questions about his pulling a waitress’ ponytail.

He avoided directly referring to that incident in his speech but made it clear he did not intend to quit: “I am just as committed today to leading National to victory at the next election as I was when first taking up the role as your leader in November 2006.”

Mr Key also gave a behaviour pledge of sorts, referring to the need for hard work, oversight and good judgment.

He said he did not take the high levels of support in the polls for granted. “You have my strong commitment that I will do everything I can to lead a strong Government and a strong National Party as we face the next two and a half years until the 2017 election.”

This will please staunch National supporters and dismay the left.

It may also dismay some on the right. Judith Collins played down her comeback ambitions on Q & A yesterday:

Judith Collins is happy as Larry in her role as member for Papakura and dismisses any chatter of a come back.

The former justice minister says she’s getting on with her work, having fun, and leaving it up to the Prime Minister when/if she will re-enter Cabinet.

“Obviously I would like to be back in Cabinet,” Ms Collins told Q A this morning.

Asked if she was planning a come back, Ms Collins fired back, “what come back?

But fanboy Cameron Slater seems to have different ideas. Yesterday he posted:


When the media regularly speculate about what is to happen after you’re gone, it is an indicator that you are in the autumn of your political career.

It continues to amaze me how little political journalists understand of the National Party’s internal leadership processes.

They continue to confuse the apparent outward popularity of an MP with the public as a critical factor.

Not so.

But that aside, the talk about “after Key” has started.

Slater has been talking about “after Key” ever since Judith Collins was dropped from Cabinet.

Unusually for him he posted the full transcript of Collins’ interview in JUDITH COLLINS INTERVIEWED BY HEATHER DU PLESSIS-ALLEN ON Q&A.

But if Key stands again in 2017 and wins then time is running out for Collins’ (or Slater’s) leadership ambitions. By 2020 Collins will be a politician with a long past – she was first elected in 2002 and is seen as of Key’s generation.

Even if Key loses in 2017 National may look to a new generation of leadership. Paula Bennett is often talked about as a potential successor to Key.

But anything could happen. Slater may become a credible power broker.

In the meantime Key looks set to continue and Collins herself looks set to bide her time and see what opportunities may arise.

English signals missed surplus target

Bill English has clearly signalled he will announce another deficit budget this month.It’s likely to be a small deficit relative to the size of the budget, but red ink is red ink.

On The Nation yesterday:

Well, okay, it would be nice if the number got there this year; it’ll just take a bit longer.

We’ll soon be in a position to start paying off debt. Our expenditure’s under control; the revenue’s a bit harder.

We think that it’s really important we get to surplus…it’s going to take a bit longer.

In the whole scheme of financial management over seven budgets this won’t be a big deal.

Except that English and National have promoted and campaigned on reaching surplus by now so conceding this target is a bit of an embarrassment to them. English will take this on the chin, outwardly at least, but he will be frustrated. At least he should be.

The financial crisis followed by the Christchurch earthquake made it a very challenging two terms for National and despite clocking up some huge loans they have managed things fairly well, and compared to many other countries (notably Australia) it’s been well managed.

Minister, you used the analogy of weight loss, but let me use another one, the All Blacks. They set a goal to win the World Cup; they don’t. That’s a failure, and they call it that. You set a target for a surplus, and you haven’t met it. That’s a failure, isn’t it?
Well, for a lot of people, the surplus is less important than the World Cup. But the thing about the World Cup is—
But it’s your target, Minister. Minister, you set the target. It’s your target, and you didn’t get there. Isn’t that a failure?
With the World Cup, there is a final, and you’re absolutely judged on the final. With a surplus, it can take a bit longer and you still get there. You don’t get another go at the World Cup.

It is a failure to achieve what English has promoted and what National campaigned on last year. It’s not a broken promise. It’s pragmatic. But it’s a failure to achieve a target.

You’ve set yourself a time limit, and we were supposed to be in surplus and you’re not going to get there. Can you not concede that that is a failure?
No, I don’t call it a failure. It is what it is, and that is for the 14/15 year, we budgeted $370 million surplus. It looks like it will be a $500 or $600 million deficit, and the surplus will be the next year. So we’re on track.

But if English and National can’t get to surplus by next year’s budget the pressure will pile on them. They could be judged at the 2017 election by extended failure to achieve a surplus.

National and Labour down in Roy Morgan poll

The latest Roy Morgan polls has drops for both National and Labour with Greens and NZ First up. This may reflect the respective attention the parties got in the Northland by election.

  • National 45.5% (down 1%)
  • Maori Party 1.5% (down 0.5%)
  • Act NZ 1% (unchanged)
  • United Future 0% (unchanged)
  • Labour 27.5% (down 3.5%)
  • Greens 13.5% (up 2.5%)
  • NZ First 8.5% (up 2.5%)
  • Conservative Party 1% (down 0.5%)
  • Internet-Mana Party 0% (unchanged)
  • Independent/ Others 1.5% (up 0.5%).

National won’t be too worried with a slight easing but Labour may be a bit worried, it’s the first drop since Andrew Little took over leadership. It’s just one poll but the Northland rock and a hard place may have knocked them.

It demonstrates one of Labour’s problems – if their potential support partners go up they go down.


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 888 electors from April 6-19, 2015. Of all electors surveyed 4% (up 0.5%) didn’t name a party.

Roy Morgan:

Standard poll reaction – the people are comatose

Reaction from the Labour left to the latest poll is blaming people for being asleep, to the extent of a comatose conspiracy.

Last week’s One News Colmar Brunton poll suggests that little has changed in national support:

  • National 49%
  • Labour 31%
  • Greens 9% (down 1)
  • NZ First 7% (up 1)

So after all the hype and hope after Northland Labour and the Greens have gained nothing – which shouldn’t be surprising, they sought nothing in Northland and have been quiet politically since..

Initial reaction to the poll at The Standard last night, first from Anne:

Have you noticed ianmac there has been virtually no political news since the byelection? The MSM has gone dead quiet. To my knowledge Andrew Little has only been ‘allowed’ one spot on the 6pm TV news since that time. Nobody from the Greens have had a look in.. to anything.

Out of sight and out of mind? I think so.

Political news from all parties was quiet over the polling period with the Easter break dominating. But Anne’s knowledge is deficient. Looking at One News:

Andrew Little featured in all of those items. The polling period was 11-15 April.

‘Paul’ can’t believe the country doesn’t notice something.

So NZ is still sound asleep.

So Anne plays the grand conspiracy card:

They are now in a politically comatose state – as planned.

That card is well worn. The Joker isn’t worth anything in this game.

And this morning ‘Notices and Features’ (the author that doesn’t want to be known as an author) has posted:

No significant changes in yesterdays TV1 / Colmar Brunton poll, with National unchanged on 49%, Labour unchanged on 31%, and all changes within the margin of error.

Certain Nats have started counting their chickens for a fourth term!

Yes, there’s a bit of that at Kiwiblog in comments on Latest poll. But looking at opponents is ignoring one’s own predicament.

And Paul continues his disbelief here:

Northland bridges.
International Milk prices.
Housing bubbles
Child Poverty
The attack on Campbell Live
Clear and present warnings from economists that NZ’s economy is vulnerable.

And 49% of NZ is still sound asleep.

It’s the people’s fault. If only they would wake up and see how awful National are and marvellous the Labour-Green-NZ First fantasy is.

Whateva next?

It is, and I don’t believe that 49% of the country akshully think that National are any good.
questions can be asked to produce desired answers, just like Key can find a lawyer or a scientist to say whatever he wants.

Questions like “If a general election was held today, would you be eligible to vote?” – whatever next, perhaps wanting a question like “Do you support the fantastic Labour Party over the lying corrupt National Party?

But Paul seems to think it’s Colmar Brunton who are lying and corrupt:

Maybe they just ask property owning Aucklanders, with good savings and therefore no reliance on a thriving NZ economy. These same people must also be either unaware or don’t care about the rest of the issues mentioned.

And Sanctuary tries facts…

Time to face facts – we’ve psychologically become a third world country, where the top half of the population dominates the media and has given up even caring about the bottom half, and the bottom half have slipped into invisibility and inertia.

…with no evidence of any actual facts.

It takes a righty to suggest reality – Matthew Hooton:

For a govt to change, the incumbent needs to look arrogant, dodgy, corrupt, out of touch, out of ideas, or a combination of these; and the challenger needs to look attractive and competent.

National is doing it’s bit for a change of govt even if Labour is not!

The degree of disillusionment, despondency and dissing at the Labour left Standard does the opposite of making the challenger look attractive and competent.


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