Beware the undecideds

Polls show a reducing number of undecided or unknown voting preferences there is still a significant number. I think that there may be quite a number of voters who have indicated a preference may also be susceptible to changing their minds.

Colmar Brunton had 20% ‘Don’t know’ or ;refused’ in July, that had halved last week to 10%.

The Listener had 18% ‘Don’t know’ in May, down to 10% last week.

It’s impossible to know whether undecided voters will vote, or if they do which way they will vote. They could vote in similar proportions to the current decided voters, or they could swing one way.

This has been an eventful campaign, with some major swings in support. there could yet be more changes as voters make up their minds about whether to jump on or stay on the Ardern bandwagon, or revert to the relative known of what English and National offer.

Greens could bounce back a bit, which would be more at Labour’s expense. And Anything could happen with Winston Peters and NZ First support.

Likely vote ranges at this stage:

Labour 40-46% – their momentum seems to have peaked, for now. They could pick up a late swing but a rescue swing for the Greens would work against that.

National 36-46% – they could slide some more as voters give up on the same old who are running a poor campaign aside from steady English, or they could pick up some support if voters decide the alternative looks too risky.

NZ First 6-12% – it’s hard to know with Winston. He looks grumpy and struggling a bit, but he is adept at benefiting from any opportunities that might arise during a campaign. I think that the ‘NZ First always improve late in campaigns’ is dubious historically and means little in a very different campaign this time round.

Greens 4-8% – Greens have had a Turei shock, but seem to have recovered enough as voters realised the risk of them missing the threshold. I would be surprised if the miss 5%, they could get back a bit more support, but are likely to be still well short of their last two election results.

Maori Party 1-3% – a lot is riding on the party vote for the Maori Party, especially for Marama Fox. They have a good chance of repeating their two MP level, especially if support for Labour softens, and have an outside chance of getting a third.

TOP 1-3% – In some ways TOP and especially Gareth Morgan have looked a very good prospect, but Morgan has also been controversial in negative ways so there seems no chance of them getting near the threshold.

ACT Party 0.2-1% – they seem to be making no headway in their aim of getting over 1% and getting a second MP.

No other party looks like getting anything useful out of the party vote.

However there is quite a margin for error in these estimates. It has been a volatile election with significant party and leadership changes, and more voters seem to be ‘floating’, looking for who to vote for. Tactical voting is also a significant factor under MMP.

Swing voters look to the polls to give them some idea of who to vote for. Polls are only an approximate indication, and there is often a reaction to polls by voters, so polls and ‘poll of polls’, being backward looking, can only give a rough idea and can’t be election result predictions.

There are a likely to be a sizeable number of undecided voters that could decide this election. We will know in two weeks what the result is. All we can do before then is guess.

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  1. Pete Kane

     /  September 10, 2017

    Agree Mr Editor, hard to gage. What numbers, of what were the no/unlikely voters, will now decide to make the ‘pilgrimage’ Pete?

    • An unanswerable question, as is how many of those who indicated a preference will end up voting.

      • Pete Kane

         /  September 10, 2017

        Trite, but it’s the ‘game breaker’. I’ll be interested in early voting reports that indicate young voters. And I don’t just mean the Varsity polling stations but also the Tech Institutes like Manakau, West Auckland, Hawkes Bay etc.

  2. David

     /  September 10, 2017

    In some perverse way I hope she wins with the greens and the reality of her as PM will be a Macron outcome of plummeting popularity and general despondence.
    For me I could do with a couple of years off from long hours and might travel, I certainly wont be investing in her hostile environment.

  3. lurcher1948

     /  September 10, 2017

    its the end of times for the right but will open new fields for the bile and hatred from the right,
    PS the undecideds might not want rich yanks stepping on the tarmac and becoming instant kiwis,here looking for boltholes

  1. Beware the undecideds — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition