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.

RSA reponse to criticism of their flag campaign

The RSA are confident they have ” the NZ public behind us” in their campaign to retain the current New Zealand flag – but not confident enough to risk the people actually deciding via a sound democratic process. After posting RSA opposes flag change, opposes democratic process I tweeted:

Sad to see @RSA_National actively campaigning against democratic process.

The RSA responded:

We’re all for democratic discussion. We think Govt should hold 1 referendum to ask NZ if they want a change.

They want one referendum because they think that will get them the result they want. Fair enough. But why do they not want to explore possible alternatives to the flag and give people a choice between the best of the rest and the current flag? Presumably because they don’t want change. They want to minimise choice to improve the chances of retaining what they want. I also tweeted:

And unless it can be substantiated claiming just “one or two” in the @RSA_National support flag change insults members.

@RSA_National responded:

Sorry – not our intent. But we are confident we have the support of our membership and the NZ public behind us.

Being ‘confident’ is not any sort of measure. They haven’t offered any substantiation. I replied:

I don’t know how you can claim the support of the public. By what measure?

They haven’t responded. But someone else did. @SarahRoseNZ:

Poll ’14 72%!= No @Yahoo 10,000 voted last month 77% = No! Any ?’s Pete #NZFlag

When I asked how current the Colmar Brunton poll was she said:

Jan last year= no. Don’t shoot messenger. MOST NZ’rs say NO FLAG CHANGE! #NZFlag

That’s over a year ago. I’m sure there will be more polls. And there should be a couple of referendums. I also asked if the Yahoo poll was scientific. No response to that. Some questions for those who don’t want a flag change and who claim that there is strong public support to retain the current flag.

  • What do you fear from exploring possible flag alternatives?
  • What do you fear from having a referendum to let people choose between the current flag and the best of the rest?

If you support the democratic process and you’re confident your choice has overwhelming public support you should be happy with the two referendum process. If you are right that will prove public support is on your side and it is likely to lock in the current flag for the foreseeable future. That would be a win-win for you.

What’s the problem?

Deciding whether to change the flag without knowing what the alternative is would be like deciding to get married without knowing who to.

Jump in New Zealand concerns about terrorism – poll

Roy Morgan has surveyed New Zealanders on what they think is the most important problem facing the world. The biggest change is terrorism, which has jumped from 8% to 23% since December 2014.

In New Zealand, a cross-section of 1,002 men and women aged 14 or over were interviewed by telephone in March 2015. Respondents were asked: “Firstly, what do you think is the most important problem facing the World today?” and“What do you think is the most important problem facing New Zealand today?” The research conducted was bothqualitative (in that people were asked to use their own words) and quantitative (in that the ‘open-ended’ responses were analysed and ‘coded’ so that the results could be counted and reported as percentages).

Most Important Problem Facing the World – Terrorism:

  • October 2013 – 2%
  • February 2014 – 2%
  • May 2014 – 2%
  • August 2014 – 4%
  • December 2014 – 8%
  • March 2015 – 23%

Most Important Problem Facing the World – Totals

  • War & Terrorism/Security Issues – 41% (up 12%)
  • Economic Issues – 25% (down 5)
  • Social Issues – 13% (down 1)
  • Environmental Issues – 9% (down 3)
  • Government/Public Policy/Human Rights Issues – 5% (down 4)
  • Energy/Resource Issues 2% (up 1)

The Sydney Siege happened on 16 December 2014. The Charlie Hebdo shootings happened on January 7 January 2015. The 1080 milk formula threat in New Zealand was first publicised on 10 March. It’s not possible to know why concerns about terrorism have jumped but these events may have had an accumulative effect.

The environment and energy/resources are not as dire in most people’s minds as the Greens seem to think.

Neither is Religion/Religious conflicts as big an issue as a few people at Kiwiblog seem to think, as this breakdown shows:


  • Terrorism 23% (up 15%)
  • Wars & Conflicts/Unrest 12 % (unchanged0
  • Religion/Religious Conflict 3% (down 4%
  • Peace/Lack or World Peace 2% (unchanged)
  • TOTAL 41% (up 12%)


  • Poverty/ The Gap Between Rich & Poor/ Imbalance of Wealth 14% (down 2)
  • Cost of Living/ Increasing Prices/ Financial Hardship/ Household Debt 3% (down 3)
  • Economy/ Financial Crisis/ Recession 3% (down 3)
  • Over-population 2% (down 1)
  • Unemployment/ Job Security 2% (up 1)
  • Food Shortages/ Feeding the People 1% (1)
  • TOTAL 25% (down 5)

Remember that this is a First World view on the world. To most here Third World problems seem largely out of sight, out of mind.


  • Social Apathy/ Lack of Values/ Lack of Empathy Toward Others/ Intolerance 5% (down 1)
  • Greed 3% (down 1)
  • Violence 2% (unchanged)
  • Crime/ Law & Order 1% (unchanged)
  • Drug/ Alcohol Issues/ Drink Driving 1% (unchanged)
  • Lack of Religious or Spiritual Values 1% (up 1)
  • Racism/ Racial Tension 1% (unchanged)
  • TOTAL 13% (down 1)


  • Climate Change/ Global Warming/ Ozone Layer/ Greenhouse Effect 5% (down 1)
  • Environmental Issues/ Changes/ Degradation 2% (down 1)
  • Famine/ Hunger/ Starvation 2% (unchanged)
  • Environmental Pollution 1% (unchanged)
  • Natural Disasters – Earthquakes/ Tsunamis/ Floods/ Volcanic Eruptions 0% (down 1)
  • TOTAL 9% (down 3)


  • Energy Crisis/ Fuel Shortage/ Need Renewable Energy Sources 1% (unchanged)
  • Shortage of Resources/ Consumption of Resources 1% (up 1)
  • Water Shortage/ Clean Water 1% (up 1)
  • TOTAL 2% (up 1)

Other 1%, Can’t Say 4%, totals may not add up as they are rounded.

Margin of error on a sample size of 1000:

  • 40%-60% ±3.2
  • 25% or 75% ±2.7
  • 10% or 90% ±1.9
  • 5% or 95% ±1.4

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. The following table gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. The figures are approximate and for general guidance only, and assume a simple random sample. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Poll on ‘Problems facing New Zealand’

Roy Morgan has a poll on what New Zealanders think are the major problems facing us.

When asked about the most important problem facing New Zealand:

  • Economic issues 40% (down 1)
  • Government/ Public policy/ Human rights issues 26% (up 5)
  • Social issues 15% (down 5)
  • Environmental issues 7% (up 1)

With National being seen as the strongest party on dealing with the economy this isn’t a surprising result. And it suggests why the Greens struggle to get traction with the environment a relatively low concern.

A breakdown of the most important Economic Issues facing New Zealand:

  • Poverty / The gap between the rich and the poor 18%  (down 2)
  • Unemployment/ Job security 8% (up 2)
  • Cost of living/ Increasing prices/ Financial hardship/ Household debt 5% (unchanged)
  • Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession/ Inflation/ Exchange rate/ High dollar 5% (down 1%)
  • Low Wages 3% (up 1)
  • Christchurch Recovery & Rebuilding 1% (up 1)
  • Foreign Ownership/ Selling our Assets 1% (unchanged)
  • Need to Increase Exports 1% (down 1)

A breakdown of the most important Government/Public Policy/Human Rights Issues facing New Zealand:

  • Housing shortage/ Housing affordability 10% (up 4)
  • Government/ Politicians/ Leadership/ Government Spending 9% (up 1)
  • Education 2 (up 1)
  • Health Issues/ Disease/ Obesity/ Poor Health 2% (up 1)
  • Benefits Given to the Maori/ Inequality Between Maori and Other Ethnic Groups 1 (unchanged)
  • Health System/ Shortage of Doctors/ Health Services 1% (up 1)
  • Immigration/ Refugees 1% (down 1)

A breakdown of the most important Social issues facing New Zealand:

  • Child Abuse/ Lack of Care of Children/ Bringing up Children Wrongly 3% (up 1)
  • Social Apathy/ Lack of Values/ Lack of Empathy Toward Others/ Intolerance 3% (down 1)
  • Breakdown of Family Unit/ Family Violence 2 (unchanged)
  • Crime/ Law & Order 2% (unchanged)
  • Drugs/ Alcohol Issues/ Drink Driving 1% (unchanged)
  • Greed/ Materialism 1% (unchanged)
  • Racism/ Racial Tension 1% (unchanged)
  • Social Welfare System 1% (unchanged)
  • Violence/ Gangs 1% (unchanged)

The problem with this is people may have varying levels of concern about different issues but can only choose one.

These findings come from a special New Zealand Roy Morgan survey conducted with New Zealanders aged 14+ asked what are the most important issues facing New Zealand and the World today.

In New Zealand, a cross-section of 1,002 men and women aged 14 or over were interviewed by telephone in March 2015. Respondents were asked: “Firstly, what do you think is the most important problem facing the World today?” and“What do you think is the most important problem facing New Zealand today?” The research conducted was bothqualitative (in that people were asked to use their own words) and quantitative (in that the ‘open-ended’ responses were analysed and ‘coded’ so that the results could be counted and reported as percentages).

Another ominous Northland poll for National

A day after a 3 News poll had Winston Peters nearly 20% ahead of National candidate Mark Osborne One News has published a poll with a similar result.

In a telephone poll of 501 eligible Northland voters:

  • Winston Peters (NZ First) 53%
  • Mark Osborne (National) 36%
  • Willow-Jean Prime (Labour) 9%
  • Don’t know/refused 7%

That’s a huge lead that will be difficult for National’s get-out-the-vote campaign to overcome.

The maximum sampling error for the poll is about plus or minus 4.4 percetage points at a 95% confidence level.

‘National Party voters’ support :

  • Peters 15%
  • Osborne 80%
  • Prime 3%

– that’s on a subset of the respondents, presumably about half, so the sampling error (often called margin of error) will be higher

…nearly 70% of Labour voters polled in the region now saying they will vote for Mr Peters.

That’s two thirds who say they will switch their vote to Peters.

Northland Poll: Peters 54%, Osborne 34%

3 News have just announced a new poll for the Northland by-election (although some of the numbers don’t add up).

  • Winston Peters (NZ First) 54%
  • Mark Osborne (National) 34%
  • Willow-Jean Prime (Labour) 10%
  • Other 2%

That’s a significant lead. But some of the numbers are a bit weird.

Can you trust Winston Peters?

  • Yes 43%
  • No 48%
  • Don’t know 9%

So 11% more say they will vote for Peters than trust him. It’s possible that voters on the left don’t trust him but put more priority on scoring a hit on National.

But more curious is the number who say which party they have switched from to support Peters:

  • 75% of Labour voters
  • 25% of National voters

In last year’s election:

  • National got 49% – 25% of that is about 12%.
  • Labour got about 17% – 75% of that is 13%.
  • NZ First got 13%.

That adds up to 38%, well short of 54%. Greens got about 11% and Conservatives got 6% which if all voted for Winston gets up to his poll support.

And if you take 25% off National’s 49% you get about 37%, a bit above 34%. This suggests that the poll isn’t particularly accurate.

500 Northland voters were polled.

The margin of error on a poll that size:

  • 40%-60% ±4.5
  • 25% or 75% ±3.9
  • 10% or 90% ±2.7

That allows for quite a bit of variation.

Regardless, Peters is well out in front. National will have much more organisation and help to get their supporters out the vote than NZ First who haven’t stood a candidate in Northland for about a decade, but it still looks ominous for National.

There has already been a much higher than normal number of people who have early voted.

Other poll results:

Are the bridge upgrades a bribe?

  • Yes 74 – percent
  • No 22 – percent
  • Don’t know – 4 percent

Do you agree with the bridge upgrades?

  • Yes – 58 percent
  • No – 39 percent
  • Don’t know – 3 percent

Read more:

Amnesty International spy poll slanted to support anti-spying campaign

David Fisher, spy reporter at NZ Herald, writes about an Amnesty International New Zealand and global survey on spying – Most Kiwis reject Govt spying – survey:

Kiwis have rejected government surveillance of their own communications – and that of people in other countries, according to new survey.

An Amnesty International survey of about 1000 people shows 63 per cent of Kiwis surveyed are opposed to the government monitoring and storing their own internet and mobile phone use.

It’s not surprising that most people don’t want their communications monitored and stored.But they weren’t asked if they supported the monitoring of communications of possible criminals and terrorists.

Prime Minister John Key has rejected the claims, saying there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders here or abroad.

Key also keeps emphasising that New Zealand law forbids mass surveillance of New Zealanders.

And it’s also not surprising to see Amnesty International do a global survey that shows opposition to spying. They publicised the poll in a press release yesterday – NZers part of global opposition to mass surveillance (Scoop).

New Zealanders part of global opposition to USA big brother mass surveillance

“Big brother mass surveillance” is a fairly loaded statement indicative of Amnesty International’s feelings.

The United States’ mass surveillance of internet and phone use flies in the face of global public opinion, said Amnesty International as it published a major poll to launch its worldwide #UnfollowMe campaign.

So the poll is part of a worldwide anti-spying campaign. That doesn’t give confidence of an impartial approach.

The poll, which questioned 15,000 people from 13 countries across every continent, including New Zealand, found that 71% of respondents were strongly opposed to the United States monitoring their internet use.

That’s not surprising, apart from it being only 71%. But it depends on what is meant by ‘monitoring their internet use’.

I don’t want a spy in the US monitoring everything I do on the Internet. But I don’t have a problem with the scanning of data looking for potentially dangerous intent.

“Today’s technology gives governments unprecedented power to watch what we do on the internet. We need independent scrutiny to watch the watchers so that power is not abused. Yet today there is little or no legislation in any country that really protects our human right to privacy against indiscriminate mass surveillance. Indeed, more countries are actually considering laws granting wider surveillance powers, at the expense of people’s rights.”

That’s blatantly misleading in a New Zealand context. We have laws that prohibits surveillance without having a specific warrant for a specific target, so it prohibits mass surveillance.

And we have an independent scrutiny via the Inspector General who’s job is specifically to “watch the watchers so that power is not abused.”

“Yet today there is little or no legislation in any country that really protects our human right to privacy against indiscriminate mass surveillance” is false. We have legislation for this in New Zealand.

Here’s some of the YouGov / Amnesty Survey Results.

Sample Size: 1008 New Zealand Adults
Fieldwork: 4th – 13th February 2015

Do you think the New Zealand Government should or should not intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile phone communications of…
…all New Zealand citizens living in New Zealand
Should intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile communications 22
Should not intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile communications 63
Don’t know 15
…all foreign nationals in New Zealand
Should intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile communications 43
Should not intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile communications 40
Don’t know 17
…people living in other countries
Should intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile communications 22
Should not intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile communications 53
Don’t know 25

According to our law the New Zealand Government is forbidden from intercepting or storing communications of all New Zealanders. So our law is supported by the first question.

Thinking about the United States government, do you think the US government should or should not intercept, store and analyse internet use in New Zealand?
Should intercept, store and analyse internet use in New Zealand 13
Should not intercept, store and analyse internet use in New Zealand 75
Don’t know 12

I’d prefer not, but it’s a risk of communicating on a public Internet. However we can’t do anything about what other countries monitor on the Internet – not just the United States government. Why just target one country?

Some people think that any surveillance of internet use should have to be subjected to transparent and independent judicial and parliamentary oversight, whereas others say some surveillance such as that conducted by government intelligence agencies is too sensitive for such oversight.
Which of the following comes closest to your view?
Any surveillance of internet use should have to be subject to transparent and independent oversight 49
In some cases, it is acceptable for internet surveillance to take place without oversight 40
Don’t know 11

That’s a fairly vague question with a split response. It depends on what level of oversight is involved. There’s insufficient oversight of what Google and Facebook and Twitter et al monitor. They have more impact on most individuals than Government surveillance.

Please now assume that New Zealand’s intelligence and security agencies are intercepting and storing the data collected from the use of your internet and mobile phone. Please say whether you would be more likely or less likely to…
Criticise the government on social media, email or private messaging applications
More likely 15
Less likely 7
Make no difference – I would do this anyway 34
Make no difference – I wouldn’t do this anyway 34
Don’t know 10

“Please now assume that New Zealand’s intelligence and security agencies are…“...doing something that is illegal and we have had repeated assurances by the Prime Minister and the Inspector General that they can’t and don’t do.

Please now assume that Amnesty International has used this poll for slanted opposition to spying.

I’d be interested in a poll on spying that was impartial and balanced, and genuinely attempts to determine opinion on spying.

This poll isn’t and doesn’t. It is being used as a campaign tool. It seems to have been designed with that in mind.

Amnesty International have been misleading and dishonest.

If the NSA published a poll in the launch of a campaign to promote spying I’d be just as sceptical.

And why is David Fisher (a senior reporter for the NZ Herald) writing an article based on a campaign associated poll without critical analysis?

The GCSB has been operating under a questionable legal basis for more than three years.The GCSB has been operating under a questionable legal basis for more than three years.

That’s an odd statement with a curious timeframe without anything to support it, especially considering the legal basis was changed half way through the last three years.

The report didn’t mention the fact that the poll is being used to promote an anti-spying campaign.

Fisher has been reporting under a questionable agenda basis.

Q & A Colmar Brunton party poll (Northland)

Alongside their Northland poll Colmar Brunton’ first asked a party support question:

If a general election was held today which political party would you vote for?

  • National 49%
  • Labour 22%
  • New Zealand First 17%
  • Green Party 8%
  • Conservative Party 2.9%
  • Focus New Zealand 0.7%
  • Another party 8%

Full poll results:

Link: Q + A Colmar Brunton Northland Poll

New Northland poll 36-36-20

Today Ones News/Colmar Brunton have their Northland by-election poll.

  • New Zealand First candidate Winston Peters – 36%
  • National candidate Mark Osborne – 36%
  • Labour candidate Willow-Jean Prime –  20%
  • Focus New Zealand candidate Joe Carr – 5%
  • Another of the named confirmed candidates – 3%

Polling period Tuesday-Friday 3-6 March, 500 Northland voters (about +/-4% at 36%)

Asked who they would vote for if the Labour candidate stood aside:

  • Winston Peters 51%
  • Mark Osborne 37%
  • Joe Carr 7%
  • Other candidate 5%

But Prime can’t stand aside, she is officially on the ballot.

Link: Q + A Colmar Brunton Northland Poll

3 News published an earlier Reid Research poll mid-week on the Northland by-election – amongst a rush of publicity for Peters and virtually ignoring the other candidates.

  • Winston Peters (NZ First) – 35%
  • Mark Osborne (National) – 30%
  • Willow-Jean Prime (Labour) – 16%

Margin of error at 30-35% polling 500 people is about +/-4%

Labour, National up in One News poll

In the first One News/Colmar Brunton poll of the year Labour are up six to 31% and National are up four to 49% – this is a similar result to they recent Roy Morganl.

  • National 49% (up 4)
  • Labour 31% (up 6)
  • Greens 10% (down 2)
  • NZ First 6 (6% (down 2)
  • Maori Party 2% (no change)
  • Conservatives 1% (down 3)
  • Refused to answer 3% (down 2)
  • Undecided 7% (up 2)

Those results are round to the nearest percent so aren’t very accurate for the smaller parties.

Polling was done over 14-18 February so covers only a small part of the difficult week for Andrew Little.

Poll link.

This week’s Roy Morgan results were very similar:

  • National 49%
  • Labour Party 30%
  • Greens 12%
  • NZ First 6%
  • Conservative Party1.5%
  • Maori Party 1.0%

Colmar Brunton Preferred Prime Minister:

  • John Key 41% (down 2)
  • Andrew Little 12% (first result)
  • Winston Peters 7% (up 2)

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