Enrolments declining, flawed poll

Stuff reports Voter enrolment rates declining:

Voter enrolment rates are declining in almost every electorate in New Zealand, despite a general election being less than two months away.

As we reported last month about 367,000 eligible voters are yet to enrol to vote.

Since that report, the percentage of eligible voters enrolled to vote has fallen in all but six electorates, according to the latest figures from the Electoral Commission – albeit by less than one per cent in most cases.

That’s disappointing but not surprising considering the declining standards in politics, the current campaign circus and the disarray in Labour. It will be an uphill battle for Labour and other parties who have claimed they will “get out the vote” by targeting non-voters.

Stuff has a poll on it’s Political page that links with this but it is seriously flawed. Current result are:

Will you be voting in this year’s General Election?

  • Yes, I always vote – 902 votes, 92.5%
  • Not this year. None of the parties represent my political views – 55 votes, 5.6%
  • I never vote – 18 votes, 1.8%

The Yes response is far higher than likely voter turnout (last election it was 74.2%) but this self selecting poll will never give anywhere near an accurate result.

People who are disillusioned with the current parties are less likely to be reading the Political pages at Stuff and those who never vote are far less likely to be anywhere near a political news page poll.

This is like going to a public bar and polling patrons on who might have a drink on election day. The “Never drink” response is likely to be quite low.

Turnout over the last sixty years (since polling has been on a Saturday):

1954 13-Nov 91.4
1957 30-Nov 92.9
1960 26-Nov 89.8
1963 30-Nov 89.6
1966 26-Nov 86
1969 29-Nov 88.9
1972 25-Nov 89.1
1975 29-Nov 82.5
1978 25-Nov 69.2[9]
1981 28-Nov 91.4
1984 14-Jul 93.7
1987 15-Aug 89.1
1990 27-Oct 85.2
1993 6-Nov 85.2
1996 12-Oct 88.3
1999 27-Nov 84.8
2002 27-Jul 77
2005 17-Sep 80.9
2008 8-Nov 79.5
2011 26-Nov 74.2

[9] This figure is misleading because the electoral rolls in 1978 contained a large number of outdated and duplicate entries. If the 361,000 names deleted in 1979-80 are subtracted, the turnout was 79.9%


More bad poll news for Labour

The July Fairfax/IPSOS is out this morning and while it has a slight improvement for Labour they are only up to 24.9%.

There are some variations to the Roy Morgan moll that came out yesterday.

  • National 54.8% (down 1.7, Roy Morgan 51)
  • Labour 24.9% (up 1.7, Roy Morgan 23.5)
  • Greens 12.4% (up 0.5, Roy Morgan 15.0)
  • NZ First 2.6% (down 0.6, Roy Morgan 6.0)
  • Conservative 1.3% (up 0.4, Roy Morgan 1.0)
  • Mana 1.2% (no change, Roy Morgan Internet-Mana 1.5)
  • Maori Party 0.9% (up 0.2, Roy Morgan 1.0)
  • United Future 0.2% (up 0.2, Roy Morgan 0.5)
  • ACT 0.1% (down 0.6, Roy Morgan 0.5)

Tracey Watkins comments on the poll in Could National lose the unloseable?

The number of National voters contacted by our pollsters has not markedly changed since our last poll in June – the real movement is among Labour-leaning voters, who appear to have become a highly volatile bunch at this point in the electoral cycle.

And in the Stuff poll report National holds on to huge lead:

Today’s poll, which follows Labour’s recent election-year congress and a series of targeted announcements on education policy, shows more decided voters, with Labour clearly benefiting from the change.

But 15.3 per cent of voters still don’t know who they will vote for.

Analysis of other polls has indicated similar patterns of stable support for National and volatile support for Labour. Much may depend on whether support firms up for Labour in the poll that matters or if it deserts them.

And much may also depend on late swings to small parties, which can be a lottery for opportunists. There’s a big difference in results for NZ First and a notable difference for Greens between these two polls.


Click here for full graphics.

Roy Morgan results.

Labour 23.5% in latest Roy Morgan

The latest Roy Morgan:

  • National 51% (up 3%)
  • Labour Party 23.5% (down 4.5% )
  • Greens are 15% (up 3%)
  • New Zealand First 6% (up 0.5%)
  • Maori Party 1% (down 0.5%)
  • Act NZ (0.5%, down 0.5%)
  • United Future 0.5% (up 0.5%)
  • Internet-Mana Party 1.5% (down 1%)
  • Conservative Party of NZ 1% (unchanged)
  • Independent/ Others is 0% (down 0.5%)

More bad news for Labour. Very bad.This suggests that the Fairfax IPSOS poll may not have been an outlier.

Greens get a lift but it’s not much use if Labour sink.

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 819 electors from June 30 – July 13, 2014. Of all electors surveyed 5.5% (unchanged) didn’t name a party.


View interactive New Zealand Election charts here

New Zealand Voting Intention Summary

Minor moves in Roy Morgan poll

The latest Roy Morgan poll has minor moves with support levels similar to most other June polls.

  • National (48%, down 1.5%)
  • Labour Party 28% (unchanged)
  • Greens 12% (unchanged)
  • New Zealand First 5.5% (up 1.5%)
  • Internet-Mana Party 2.5% (unchanged)
  • Maori Party 1.5% (up 0.5%)
  • Conservative Party of NZ 1% (down 0.5%)
  • Act NZ (1%, up 0.5%)
  • United Future 0% (unchanged).
  • Independent/ Others 0.5% (down 0.5%).

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 817 electors from June 16-29, 2014. Of all electors surveyed 5.5% (up 0.5%) didn’t name a party.

Summary report

New Zealand Voting Intention Summary

PDF Summary


Labour “won’t be terribly unhappy” with 27%

Labour were down 27.3% in the 3 News/Reid Research poll this week, a drop of 2.2%. Former Labour Party president Mike Williams said yesterday “I think the Labour Party won’t be terribly unhappy with that result”.

Really? They should be horrified.

This follows 28% in a Roy Morgan poll and 23% in a Fairfax/IPSOS poll last week, both trending down.

Labour sunk to a record low of 27.48% last election. That they are polling at a similar level now, less than three months out from this year’s election looks terrible for them.

Poll results leading into the last election:

They should be very unhappy.

Williams was interviewed by Guyon Espiner on Radio NZ yesterday in Another poll brings more bad news for Labour:

Espiner: When you and I spoke about this last time you said that if polls continued to show Labour in the earlier to mid twenties then people would start to worry that they could lose their seats, and their could be some issues for the leader. Are we there yet?

Williams: No. No, twenty seven is almost exactly what Labour scored in the last election, so no seats are under threat and the caucus will be relatively quiet. Um, it’s not a great number, but it’s, I think they’ll be breathing a sigh of relief Guyon, because they had a poll, the IPSOS Stuff poll earlier in the week that said they were on twenty three.

Now that is a very dangerous number because then your vote can collapse but twenty seven, twenty eight, I think they’ll be happy about that, particularly given that the capture period was during the Donghau Liu scandal…

There is quite a bit of talk about the risk of Labour’s support collapsing. Polling in the twenties is very risky territory, and some sitting MPs will be getting very uneasy.

Espiner: Really? I mean, I know you’re a glass half full guy on this stuff…

Williams: …you have to be…

Espiner: …but really Mike, I put it to you that twenty seven percent effectively means you can’t lead a government. I mean would it be credible to be the leading partner in a government on that sort of number, even if you could stack it up with all your mates?
Williams: Well it depends on what all the other parties get of course. Then you’ve got to remember that Labour scored twenty seven percent in the last election and were ten thousand votes away from leading the government, so anything’s possible. This is MMP.

Only if Greens, Mana, NZ First, United Future and the Maori Party made governing agreements with Labour. They would have needed substantially more votes to actually have been able to form a workable government.

Espiner: Yeah, but don’t you think these trends, um, I mean you compare it to the Fairfax poll, but if you look at TV3′s last poll, they were at twenty nine I think, and now down to twenty seven, the trend looks to be one way doesn’t it.

Williams: Well, you could also explain that by the capture period, and the capture period appears to be at the worst of the Donghau Liu allegations which of course have all been swept aside now and turned out to be fabrications [they haven't], so honestly overall I think the Labour Party won’t be terribly unhappy with that result, and look upon it as something to build on.

Two days earlier David Cunliffe was talking up Labour’s chances after the release of their party list.

Cunliffe confident Labour will poll in 30s

Labour leader David Cunliffe says his party has “every expectation” of polling well on election day and bringing new MPs into parliament.

Labour unveiled its party list on Monday, but questions have been raised about how many of its candidates would make it in as list MPs, based on current polling.

Support for Labour has been sitting just under 30 per cent across most recent polls.

If current levels of support carry through to the election, Kelvin Davis – ranked number 18 on the list – would just scrape in as a list MP, if he fails to take Te Tai Tokerau from Mana leader Hone Harawira.

None of the party’s new candidates would make it into parliament.

But Mr Cunliffe is confident Labour will poll “well into the 30s” on election day.

The morning after the poll Jacinda Ardern wasn’t looking or sounding terribly happy on Firstline.

Ardern down with poll

Jacinda, those poll ratings are not looking great. Why are they in decline, and can you reverse them, have you got the time?

Ardern: Yeah I mean it’s fair to say we’ve had a rough couple of weeks and I’m not going to argue that those polls are good, we do need to do better, um but I would say that eighty days is still a very long time in politics, and it doesn’t feel to me as if we haven’t had as much time to talk about some of the policies we’ve announced even in recent times, our new tax plan for instance which was only announced this week.

Once we start talking to voters about some of the plans that we have to improve the New Zealand economy, reduce inequality, those are the kinds of ideas that I think will make people start to consider their options.

The problem is Labour has been trying to talk to voters for months. According to some analysts the negative polls are largely due to people moving from ‘Labour’ to ‘undecided’.

Polls could change and trend the other way, but for that to happen Cunliffe and Labour need to be seen to change significantly. What they are doing now is clearly not enthusing voters.

Labour should be terribly unhappy with poll results of 23%, 28% and 27%. And they should be doing something about reversing them. Same old parrot points won’t do it. They have to somehow look competent.

At least one thing may have worked in their favour this week – after political point scoring turned against them they seem to have come to the same realisation as Claire Trevett that Pointscoring politics in danger of boring voters.

These four in particular need to stop boring voters and significantly step up their credibility quotient.

3 News/Reid Research June Poll

  • National 49.7% (-0.6)
  • Labour 27.3% (-2.2)
  • Greens 12.7% (+2.5%
  • NZ First 3.6% (-2.0)
  • Conservative 2.8% (+0.5)
  • Internet-MANA 1.8%
  • Maori Party 1.5% (+0.9)
  • Act 0.4% (-0.1)
  • United Future 0

This confirms Labour’s problems with the third poll in the past week or so having them in the twenties.

Greens have recovered but NZ First have been slipping back in the last few polls.

Both Conservatives and Internet-MANA will get some hope out of this.

The Maori Party may benefit from party vote this election if they lose electorate seats.

Act and United Future continue to look entrenched as one MP parties, if they can win their electorates.

Conducted between June 19 and 25

Roy Morgan poll more ‘normal’

The latest Roy Morgan poll is more in line with recent poll trends and fluctuations compared to what appears to be an outlier poll from Fairfax/IPSOS yesterday - Fairfax/IPSOS – National 56, Labour 23.

It is still an awful result for Labour with them at 28% with nothing of this week’s news covered by the polling period but it’s not as dire as Fairfax/IPSOS at 23%.

  • National 49.5% (-3)
  • Labour 28% (-1)
  • Greens 12% (+3)
  • NZ First 4% (-0.5)
  • MANA 1.5% (+1.0)
  • Internet 1.0% (+0.5)
  • Maori Party 1.0% (-0.5)
  • Conservative Party 1.5% (+0.5)
  • Ac t 0.5% (-0.5)
  • UnitedFuture 0% (no change)

National still look strong but are lacking potential partners.

Roy Morgan: 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 845 electors from June 2-15, 2014. Of all electors surveyed 5% (down 0.5%) didn’t name a party.

Fairfax/IPSOS – National 56, Labour 23

A very grim Fairfax IPSOS poll result for Labour:

- National 56.5% (+8.9)
- Labour 23.2% (-6.2)
- Greens 11.9% (-0.8)
- NZ First 3.2% (-0.5)
- Mana 1.2% (+0/7)
- Conservative 0.9% (-0.7)
- Maori Party 0.7% (-1.2)
- Act 0.7% (-0.2)
- United Future 0% (-0.1)

Internet-MANA combined – 2.1%

This sort of extreme poll result would normally be expected to come back into line later but polling was complete before yesterday’s news on Cunliffe and Liu.

National won’t be expecting to stay that high through to the election but Labour will be getting very worried.

Poll – National surge, left significantly down

A significant lift for National in the latest Roy Mrogan poll. Labour is still struggling to impress but more surprising is Greens dropping to  their lowest support since September 2011 )before the last election).

  • National 52.5% (+7)
  • Labour 29% (-1.5)
  • Greens 9% (-4.5)
  • NZFirst 4.5% (-1.5)
  • Maori Party 1.5% (+0.5)
  • Conservatives 1% (no change)
  • Act 1% (+0.5)
  • Mana 0.5% (-0.5)
  • Internet 0.5% (no change)
  • United Future 0% (no change)

Mana and the Internet Party are still shown as separate parties and haven’t made any inroads.

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 849 electors from May 19 – June 1, 2014. Of all electors surveyed 5.5% (down 0.5%) didn’t name a party.

RM 6 June 2014


This confirms the results as posted this morning –  Poll puzzle and Trotter mania

Roy Morgan poll – National bounce back

The latest Roy Morgan poll has a bit of a bounce back for National (45.45%) but they remain vulnerable, and Labour (30.5%) are still struggling in the low thirties.

  • National 45.5% (up 3%)
  • Labour 30.5% (down 0.5%)
  • Green Party 13.5% (down 0.5)
  • NZ First 6.0% (no change)
  • Maori Party 1.0% (no change)
  • Mana Party 1.0% (no change)
  • Conservative Party 1.0% (up 0.5)
  • ACT NZ 0.5% (no change)
  • Internet Party 0.5% (down 1)
  • UnitedFuture 0% (down 0.5)

Apart from National’s recovery there is negligible change, except for the Internet Party will be disappointed to drop back below 1%.

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 873 electors from May 5-18, 2014. Of all electors surveyed 5.5% (down 0.5%) didn’t name a party.

Roy Morgan New Zealand Election 2014 Interactive Charts

These interactive charts allow a deeper look at voting patterns in New Zealand over varying timeframes and provide election observers with the ability to pinpoint key turning points for the political parties.

In future weeks we will be adding key demographic variables to the charts including Age, Gender and Regional breakdowns to show which way key demographics are voting and which demographics each party needs to target to maximise their vote at this year’s New Zealand Election – called for September 20, 2014.

Roy Morgan May 22 2014



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