Labour’s internal poll differences

Reports on Labour’s internal poll results have been disputed by Labour.

On Thursday Claire Trevett claimed in Collins soap opera gives Labour breathing space:

Last week, things were so fragile he might have been in with a chance. List MPs were doing the numbers as internal polling showed them diving into the low to mid-20s and Cunliffe with stratospherically high negative ratings. One poll was reported to have Labour only five or six points ahead of the Greens.

Labour insider Rob Salmond disputes this in a post on his Polity blog – Trevett wrong on polls:

Not very many people see any party’s internal polling. I am one of those who do within Labour, which is why I know Claire’s sources are wrong. Here’s where our polling says we stand:

  • No poll taken since David Cunliffe became the leader had showed Labour below 30% support.
  • No poll taken since David Cunliffe became the leader had showed Labour support at anything less than double the Greens’ support.
  • Our latest poll, which was taken before the extent of National’s horror period became apparent, shows the combination of Labour and the Greens more or less tied with National. This polling was not quite as positive for the left as the recent Roy Morgan, but I’ll await with interest how the next set of these come out.
  • Our latest poll has New Zealand First comfortably over the 5% threshold, and effectively in a position to choose the Prime Minister. This is consistent with Roy Morgan’s findings.

I don’t think there’s any good reason to doubt this. A couple of polls have dipped Labour just under 30% before coming back into the thirties, including one Roy Morgan poll, but it doesn’t sound as if Labour poll frequently so it would be easy for them to miss those dip periods or have a variation in a poll within normal margins of error.

So where did Trevett get this information? I don’t think she would have made up anything like that, a journalist simple wouldn’t.

I’ve been informed of Labour polling being in the twenties too from supposedly Labour sources. And I’ve been informed that National’s internal polling has Labour “stuck in the twenties”.

Salmond has disputed this and blames his opposition:

Journalists need to be aware that one of National’s strategies for the election is to talk up the Greens’ role in a centre-left government. Evidently, that now involves making up Labour’s internal numbers, in order to seed the false belief that voters’ choice will be between “National” and “Green/Labour.”

That’s possible, but I think that Trevett would have to have been informed by sources with clear Labour links on the polling and on other aspects of her story. Once again I don’t see how a journalist could report on anything as she did by taking the word of opposing party ‘informants’.

A Labour activist makes a bigger claim about dirty tricks collusion between ‘media’ and National. Anne at The Standard:

They are part of the oft mentioned Nat. Party dirty tricks brigade – the media delivery end of it. A quid pro quo kind of situation exists where you print out made up claims as if they’re facts and we’ll see you get the real stuff first.

How I will laugh and laugh if we have a Lab/Green/NZ First govt by year’s end. Their life of journalistic privilege will be over.

And ‘NZJester’ also commented at The Standard:

Claire Trevett’s sources are obviously National Party stooges pretending to be Labour Party insiders.
Either she is very easily tricked or she is putting on blinkers to the truth so she can report what she wants to hear.
The National Party for years now has employed the most highly rated international dirty tricks company in the business that knows how to fudge the truth and lead sympathetic Journalists by the nose.

NZJester is not a regular commenter mixing it at The Standard and seems to have popped up occasionally, this time apparently to push this meme, although they have criticised National working with the media before, and another of their total of eight comments starting a little over a month ago was also on a Polity thread -NZJester: Comment:Polity: Maori Party / Key fundraiser .

Coincidentally ex Labour president Mike Williams made an incorrect claim about a poll in his column in the Herald today – see Mike Williams wrong on Ohariu.

Just about anything is possible in politics but this sounds most likely to be deliberate misinformation coming from within Labour ranks.

Who would do that, and why?

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1 Comment

  1. Pongo

     /  12th May 2014

    I did a Labour Party focus group last week. Collins is not an issue, Cunliffe is desperately unpopular and a liar, mallard should buggar off as he is embarrassing, the rebuild is a christchurch council issue not a government one, everyone loves Key but some a re a bit annoyed that he is such a good guy. Everyone is scared stiff of The Greens and is the single biggest reason they won’t vote labour! I was surprised how forthright everyone in the group was about the Green Party and Russel Norman in particular.
    Be interesting to see if McCarten puts some gap between them now. The Collins thing was it’s a beltway issue and I don’t care to she is a ministers and I expect her to be using every opportunity to push NZ business when she can.


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