Stuff/YouGov poll: Labour 41%, National 38%

Stuff have started political polling again, this time with YouGov, who are new to New Zealand polling. With no record to give any idea how they compare to other polls analysis of this poll should be even more cautious than normal (not that media or parties treat polls as they should).

  • Labour 41%
  • National 38%
  • Greens 8%
  • NZ First 8%
  • ACT 2%
  • Maori Party 1%
  • TOP 1%
  • Other 1%

The poll was conducted between 7 and 11 November by YouGov so events over the past two weeks are not reflected in these results, of particular note the revelations last week about a secretive foundation that handles party donations.

Labour and National shouldn’t be too worried bout this result. Greens will be happy. Winston Peters usually slams polls and had a major hissy fit against media last week, but should be relieved with the timing of this poll.

There’s a glimmer of hope there for ACT, who may benefit from David Seymour’s hard work and success over the End of Life Choice bill.

Stuff: Labour ahead while National dips below 40 in new Stuff poll

Labour and its coalition partners are riding high while National have dropped below 40 per cent support in a recent Stuff/YouGov poll.

That is a mediocre summary. National are down on other polls but have not dropped under YouGov polling, which is untested in New Zealand. Labour, Greens and NZ First together look strong, but that could have changed last week.

It is the first poll published by Stuff from YouGov, a global polling firm who run regular polls for The Australian, The Times, The Economist, and CBS News.

A spokesperson for National leader Simon Bridges said the poll did not match their own figures and was incorrect.

The poll isn’t incorrect, it is the results YouGov got. There could be a variety of reasons it differs from National’s own polling – and without publishing National’s polling it’s impossible to compare anyway, politicians are notorious for promoting their own polling (when it suits them) without showing any evidence or details.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was “encouraging”, as it showed Labour building on its election result.

“It’s really encouraging to see all of the coalition parties up when we compare the numbers against the last election. We’ve taken on some big challenges but we’re making good progress — I’d like to think this poll reflects that,” Ardern said.

Ardern may like to think that but it’s also nonsense. It shows only what those who were polled thought 2-3 weeks ago.

Labour is widely seen to be making mediocre and disappointing progress. The poll is more likely to reflect the lack of progress Bridges is making with his negative, whiny dog whistle strategy.

Leaders’ favourable/unfavourable rating:

  • Jacinda Ardern +35%
  • Simon Bridges -37%

Winston Peters was about -23% (30% favourable, 53% unfavourable, but that was before last week’s Foundation/donation revelations.

That’s good for Ardern and bad for Bridges, but unsurprising.

The methodology for the YouGov poll is different to other political polls in New Zealand, which rely on phone-calling or a mix of phone calling and online responses. It is conducted entirely online by a panel of respondents, as other YouGov polls around the world are.

Certainly YouGov is untested in New Zealand, but Reid Research (for Newshub) have already been using part “online methods” (along with “Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing”)

We need to see several YouGov poll results alongside the other public polls from Reid Research and Colmar Brunton, and at least one general election, before we can see how close to or distant from reality they are.

Campbell White, YouGov’s head of polling and public affairs for Asia Pacific, said online sampling was the best way to make sure a wide variety of people were polled.

“The reason is over time we are better able to represent the population online. Rather than just the people who answer their phone and don’t use call screening,” White said.

The sample has quotas, so various demographics are represented, and the figures are scientifically weighted to match the voting population.

Phone surveys also screen respondents to try to ensure they poll a representative sample of demographics are obtained.

I don’t know there is any research or evidence to show whether online only polling is any more accurate than other polling or not.

Mrgin of Error stated as +/-3.1% which is standard for 1005 respondents.

It’s good to see another public political poll, there has been a lack of polling over the last few years. YouGov results will add to the mix, but need to be viewed cautiously until they build a track record.

Leave a comment


  1. Gezza

     /  25th November 2019

    Good to see a third published poll. I’ll be interested to see how frequently they publish results. Hopefully monthly. I guess TV1 & TV3 will pretend it doesn’t exist. Shame they missed the NZF donations foundation fuss but that’s a common problem – results being collated & analysed when something major happens that could conceivably change the percentages & positions.

    I like the favourability factor & its breakdown by party supporters.

  2. Corky

     /  25th November 2019

    I think the following polls will paint a completely different picture provided National keep their noses clean. Bridges saying he will revoke prisoners right to vote is an excellent start, simply because he’s not barking..he’s stating policy. But will he follow through if he leads the next government??? If the polls show strong support for National, it’s incumbent on him that he does.

  3. Blazer

     /  25th November 2019

    This looks like it will become the most reliable poll.

  4. duperez

     /  25th November 2019

    Surely the poll can’t be reliable. Over the weekend I’ve read and heard the stuff about some prisoners being given the vote and about how they are all going to vote for Labour. Signs of panic struck some on the other side as the diabolical deed was to apparently to determine the result of the election and that’s why it had been promulgated.

    So, did the pollsters canvass that critical group, prisoners? No? There you go, unreliable.🙃

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  25th November 2019

      How did anyone know that criminals are likely to vote Labour, or did they just take this for granted, which isn’t very flattering to Labour ?

    • Duker

       /  25th November 2019

      Duper , the polling was done 2 weeks ago. Its weird that Stuff have kept the results under their hat…perhaps Bridges had some leaks under ‘no surprises’ policy….hahahaha

  5. david in aus

     /  25th November 2019

    Yougov does not have a great track record of polling in the recent Brexit and UK elections. Reading the entrails of UK elections/Brexit, these UK polling agencies made mistakes in extrapolating turnout data and sampling.

    It’s good that there is another player in the polling space in NZ but time will tell how reliable they are. To me, their results are particularly different from other proceeding polls when were minimal changes to the political scene.

  6. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  25th November 2019

    How does yougov set up its panel?
    is it one of their self-selection surveys where you get paid to answer questions ?

    • Duker

       /  25th November 2019

      All the polling companies have them know, and the main ones use them mixed in with telephone calls for their polls.

  7. Trevors_elbow

     /  25th November 2019

    YouGov… how did their polling in last Aussie election turn out? How about Brexit?

    And most importantly who owns them and who are their big clients…..bias flows from.the leadership to the way surveys are conducted….

    • Duker

       /  25th November 2019

      All the Aussie polls were out, but still within the margin of error. Countries with FPP seats can be difficult to pick as results vary regionally and on other parties running.
      NZ has MMP where the party vote decides the exact number of seats , and the party vote is what polls measure .
      That’s not the problem here, just you don’t like the answer……get over it

  8. Zedd

     /  25th November 2019

    41+8+8= 57% 🙂 rawe

  1. Stuff/YouGov poll: Labour 41%, National 38% — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition
  2. Different poll reactions | Your NZ

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