Peters calls polls ‘gibberish’

Political polls are often contentious, especially when politicians don’t get the results they want.

Winston Peters has often complained about polls. In an interview with Corin Dann on Q&A (on TV1) he said “TV1 reproduces poll after poll which are gibberish”.

But it’s him that seems to be guilty of gibberish.

CORIN Do you– Is everything on the table? Is the so-called crossed benches, where you don’t support any particular government? Everything’s on the table?

WINSTON Everything should be on the table in the same way that in a supporting arrangement or whatever you do in life or whether you’re in business. You need to consider everything before you make a decision, not just half the things on which you should make a decision.

That is in conflict with the ‘bottom lines’ for any coalition agreement that Peters has stated and intimated.

CORIN What about– If, as you say, the polls are wrong and you storm into the high teens–?

WINSTON You know they’re wrong.

CORIN Let’s leave that debate to the next–

WINSTON No, no, no. TV1 reproduces poll after poll which are gibberish.

1 News has been using Colmar Brunton for polling for more than 20 years and they say “Our approach retains an excellent track record for reliability. Over recent New Zealand General Elections the ONE News Colmar Brunton poll has been one of the closest to the final election result.”

CORIN Okay, let’s assume you’re right, Mr Peters.

WINSTON No, don’t–

CORIN Okay, you’re right.

WINSTON Excuse me, let me stop right now. You have a political scientist right here at the minute. You look at all the polls six months out from the election, the last four elections about what New Zealand First got on election day versus what they got six months out.

Peters seems to be suggesting that if a poll six months out from an election is different to the election result, or a poll just before the election, it is gibberish. There seems to be some transference here.

CORIN I agree. You tend to do very well in campaigns.

WINSTON Well, why don’t you say so, rather than put your flaky polls out there and mislead the public?

Polls don’t mislead the public. How they are presented can mislead, and how some politicians try to use polls to their advantage mislead, but polls are an accepted way of showing approximate public views in the recent post (not months in the future).

CORIN Because that’s a snapshot of right now. I agree that you do well in campaigns and that you may well be–

WINSTON Maybe your methodology is wrong. Maybe your polling methodology is wrong. Have you ever thought of that?

It’s hard to know whether Peters has no idea about how polls work – or if he is trying to deliberately mislead the public.

Whichever it is he’s talking gibberish.

He can’t have any accurate knowledge of what percentage of votes NZ First will get in the election more than four months in the future.


  1. Gezza

     /  May 8, 2017

    Just want to add my no comment to the other complete lack of comments from anyone else at this point.

  1. Peters calls polls ‘gibberish’ – NZ Conservative Coalition