Political polls for 2018

Political polls for the year haven’t shown any drastic changes, with Labour and National swapping the lead a few times after Labour had risen to be competitive late last year after the election.

I presume there will be no more political polls for 2018. Colmar Brunton (for 1 News) are the only ones left doing polls, and they have just published what will be their last one for the year.

Reid Research (Newshub) did just two polls this year, in January and May. Roy Morgan have up given doing New Zealand polls. Their last poll was in November 2017.

Labour looked dire mid 2017 but Jacinda Ardern’s leadership turned things around for them enough for them to  be able to form a government, thanks to NZ First.

NZ First have remained in the MMP danger zone, peaking on the 5% threshold but dropping as low as 2.4% (in May).

After polling mostly in the 10-15% range in the first half of last year Greens dropped drastically after the Turei fallout, and through this year holding their support just over the threshold in the 5-7% range. So their support has halved from the support they got for most of last term.

It seems normal for coalition support parties to struggle to maintain support.

After the latest poll Ardern was criticised for claiming that Labour “finishing the year stronger than we started it”, but she is correct, sort of, by a small margin and she is comparing two different polling companies.

Reid Research did an unusually early poll in the political holiday period 18-28 January, and had Labour on 42.3%. In May they had Labour on 42.6%.

Colmar Brunton’s last poll (24-28 November) had Labour on 43% (rounded so could have been as low as 42.51% or as high as 43.49%). However Colmar’s first poll of the year (10-14 February) had Labour at 48% so Labour have dropped back from that Colmar high.

Ardern also said “polls do move around a bit these are all still within the margin of error” –

We can only see trends from Colmar – here are Labour’s results for the year.

  • 10-14 February 48%
  • 7-11 April 43%
  • 19-23 May 43%
  • 28 Jul – 1 Aug  42%
  • 15-19 October 45%
  • 24-28 November 43%

The 48% for Labour looks to be a polling outlier – it could have been accurate at the time, but Labour settled in and remained in the low forties for the rest of the year. While they will be disappointed to be trailing National this is a fairly solid result for them, considering their pre-Ardern polling had them dropping in the twenties. Colmar had them trending down to 24% in July 2017.

National’s results from Colmar this year:

  • 10-14 February 43%
  • 7-11 April 44%
  • 19-23 May 45%
  • 28 Jul – 1 Aug  45%
  • 15-19 October 43%
  • 24-28 November 46%

They were behind Labour in February and in October (affected by the Jami-Lee Ross mess) but this is remarkably consistent for a party in Opposition, and with new leader Simon Bridges (since 27 February) who is struggling to make a mark.

Looking at the Labour and National polling for the year there is little in it, and little significant change in most polls.

Media have tried to make big stories out of their polls, but the reality is quite mundane.

I think we have a real problem with how polls are reported. Obviously media try to get bang for their bucks – polling can be expensive – but they usually make mountains out of mole polls, often blatantly misrepresenting what individual polls mean.

Media try to make each of their polls look like some sort of mini election, which is nonsense. They can only be approximate indicators of support, and the year after an election most of the people care little about politics most of the time.

If media were doing proper journalism they would report on the political polling without sensation and misrepresentation. And mostly that would be (and should be) quite boring.

How should the media get value for the money spent on polls? Perhaps they should also poll on things of real public interest at the same time, and make their big stories about that.

1 News blew that opportunity in the last poll. They did ask a one-off question – Should Simon Bridges boot Jami-Lee Ross from Parliament using waka jumping law?

The results of that mean nothing (and were inconclusive, with 31% saying they didn’t know). Most people have moved on from one MP self-destructing – actually most people probably took little notice when the media were going hard out with headlines.

1 News would probably like to encourage National to chuck Ross out of the waka (that would be out of parliament, they have already chucked him out of the party) because that could be headlined as a sensational political somersault or something.

Rather than aiming for short term headlines 1 News could do a really public service (they are a public media company after all) doing a series of meaningful polls on issues that really matter to people, but it would take months if not years to get a return on their investment. They seem too obsessed with short term ratings and clicks.

So I expect more of the same form polling next year, another non-election year. It’s a shame we are so poorly served by media who do polling, but I don’t see that changing.

Something worse has become prevalent – online polls run by media. They are cheap, and nasty, very unreliable so they are of no useful purpose.

1 News Colmar poll – November 2018

National have bounced back in the latest Colmar Brunton poll, seemingly having survived the Jami-Lee Ross saga.

  • National 46% (up from 43)
  • Labour 43% (down from 45)
  • Greens 5% (down from 7)
  • NZ First 4% (down from 5)
  • ACT 1% (up from 0)
  • Maori Party 1% (no change)

Refuse to answer 3%, undecided 10%. Fieldwork conducted 24-28 November

So it seems to be settling into a two horse race, with Greens and NZ First in the threshold danger zone.

Preferred Prime Minister:

  • Jacinda Ardern 39% (down from 42)
  • Simon Bridges 7% (no change)
  • Judith Collins 6% (up from 5)
  • Winston Peters 4%  (no change)

That will get some dumping on bridges and talking up Colins, but with National on 46% it’s unlikely there will be a change of leader in the near future.

I wonder what Simon Lusk thinks of these results. Just last Wednesday he was trying to push a mid-thirties poll result for National – with no evidence provided of course.

Journalist detained after breaching visa conditions in Nauru

Yesterday 1 News journalist Barbara Dreaver reported from Nauru that her visa stated she could only report on things related to the Pacific Islands Forum.

Today she was detained when she reported on things not related to the Forum.

1 News (3 September):  Leaders begin arriving at contentious Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru

Leaders have started arriving in Nauru for what’s expected to be one of the most challenging Pacific Islands Forum’s in its 49-year history.

Nauru is home to an Australian detention centre with more than 900 refugees and asylum seekers on the island – about 100 of them children.

The increasingly authoritarian Government has targeted opposition MPs, the judiciary and freedom of speech.

Most countries have only been able to send three journalists and the visa states the journalist can only report on the Pacific Islands forum and related events.

1 News (4 September):  Respected 1 NEWS Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver detained by police on Nauru, stripped of accreditation

Dreaver was interviewing a refugee in a café when authorities took exception.

Also: 1 NEWS Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver released after being detained by police in Nauru

1 NEWS Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver has been released, after being detained by authorities in Nauru while covering the Pacific Islands Forum.

She has been stripped of her media accreditation for the forum.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade told 1 NEWS it’s understood Dreaver may be accused of breaching the conditions of her visa.

Most countries have only been able to send three journalists and the visa states the journalist can only report on the Pacific Islands forum and related events.

Head of News and Current Affairs John Gillespie said it was highly concerning a journalist doing their job had been detained.

Her cameraman says he and Dreaver had visited a refugee camp to speak with a refugee.

Within a minute of starting an interview in the cabin of the refugee’s mother, security knocked and asked if they had permission to film.

I guess Dreaver and 1 News got what they wanted – attention and headlines.

But they can hardly grizzle about Dreaver being detained when it appears she deliberately, blatantly breached the conditions of her visa. She must have known she risked being detained and discredited and deported.

The Australians treat refugees poorly on Nauru, and Nauru authorities have draconian restrictions on journalists, but rules are rules when you visit countries.

This looks like a deliberate stunt by Dreaver.

It may risk limiting what other journalists are able to report on while in Nauru.

 

 

Poll shows public support of police pursuits

Public opinion probably shouldn’t be a factor in deciding whether the police pursue fleeing drivers or not, but a poll shows large support for the police.

“Do you think police pursuits in New Zealand should be banned?”

  • Yes – 12%
  • No – 82%

1 News: Most Kiwis want police to continue chasing fleeing drivers – 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll

A record 13 people were killed in police pursuits last year, with at least eight deaths so far this year.

Police Minister Stuart Nash said he thinks pursuits are “a pragmatic approach to policing”.

“When 59 per cent of pursuits are abandoned I do think that is the police taking a very responsible attitude towards this”.

National’s police spokesperson Chris Bishop said, “Obviously your heart goes out to them and their families, but you do have to send a message.”

But critics say the risk of pursuits outweighs the reason and far too many people are being killed.

The number of police pursuits have shot up by 64 per cent in the last six years, and the Independent Police Conduct Authority is reviewing current policy, despite there having been six reviews and 12 new versions of the policy in recent years.

I don’t think that pursuits should be banned altogether, but it is difficult getting the balance right between apprehending criminals or suspected offenders and public safety.

Police have to make quick decisions on whether to pursue or not, trying to assess the possible reaction of the driver and the risks involved.

There have been many re-examinations of police pursuit policy.

Policy review from 2010:New Zealand Police Pursuits Policy Review (PDF, 588KB)

There is a lot of information in response to an OIA here: Police pursuit policy and statistics

Stuff (March 2018) – Police chases: Fleeing drivers must ‘take more responsibility’, police say

A car fleeing police on Sunday morning crashed head-on into an oncoming vehicle near Nelson, leaving both occupants of the fleeing vehicle and the sole occupant of another car – uninvolved in the chase – dead.

Such incidents have increased in number from fewer than 2500 a year in 2012 to 3797 in 2017, according to a police report. The number of deaths during fleeing driver events have increased from two in 2014 to 10 (from nine events) in 2017.

Police assistant commissioner for road policing Sandra Venables said fleeing drivers needed to take more responsibility.

“He or she has to take more responsibility and make better decisions. We would hope people would just realise it’s better to stop and talk to the police officer,” she said.

“We [police] have to strike a balance between the responsibility to protect life and the duty to enforce the law, but it’s really up to the driver in these pursuits.”

Police never took pursuits with fleeing drivers lightly, Venables said.

“It’s one of those quick judgement calls police make every day to keep the public safe and uphold the law,” she said.

“On a number of occasions in the pursuits, we’ve found many of them can be stolen vehicles . . . there’s many reasons, and its always a constant balancing act.”

A difficult balancing act for the police.

 

1 News Colmar Brunton poll

Polls are relatively rare these days. here’s the latest from Colmar Brunton (1 News):

  • National 45% (no change)
  • Labour 42% (down 1)
  • Greens 6% (up 1)
  • NZ First 5% (up 1)
  • ACT 1% (no change)
  • Maori party 1% (no change)

Refuse too answer 4%, undecided 12%.

So not much movement there. National still maintaining a small lead over Labour, so the Ardern/baby effect and the Bridges effect seem to be making little difference for now.

Preferred Prime Minister:

  • Jacinda Ardern 40% (down 1)
  • Simon Bridges 10% (down 2)
  • Winston Peters 5% (up 1)

Bridges still failing to impress, that’s no surprise.

No significant lift for NZ First despite Peters getting a lot more exposure.

Field work (polling) 28 July – 1 August.

Colmar Brunton poll – little movement

A day after the Newshub/Reid Research poll another poll with largely similar results, this one from 1 News/Colmar Brunton:

  • National 45% (up 1)
  • Labour 43% (no change)
  • Greens 5% (down 1)
  • NZ First 4.2% (down 0.8)
  • Maori Party 0.9% (down 0.3)

Nothing much new there. The changes are insignificant.

Preferred Prime Minister:

  • Jacinda Ardern 41% (up 1)
  • Simon Bridges 12% (up 2)
  • Winston Peters 4% (down 1)
  • Judith Collins 2% (no change)

So no boost (or loss) for Labour after the budget, and National support remains high despite a lack of traction for Bridges.

Political coverage upheaval at 1 News

Political journalists at 1 News are deserting faster than National MPs after a change of leadership.

NZH: TVNZ reporter quits as new leader steps in

1 NEWS reporter Jessica Mutch has been in her role as TVNZ political editor for just over a month and it seems her Wellington colleagues, Katie Bradford and Andrea Vance are a little miffed they did not get the job.

Vance has quit the national broadcaster while Bradford has asked for reassignment to Auckland after they both missed out.

TVNZ, Mutch, Bradford and Vance did not want to comment but a spokeswoman for TVNZ confirmed the newsroom had been told of Vance’s and Bradford’s moves.

Vance, from Northern Ireland, has been with 1 NEWS since 2015.

Bradford, daughter of former Green MP Sue Bradford, has been with 1 NEWS since 2013 and Spy understands she made no secret of her desire to return to Auckland if she didn’t land the political editor role.

Mutch, 33, was based in the press gallery for eight years, and was TVNZ’s deputy political editor before moving to London as Europe correspondent.

So it’s not just political parties who have power struggles and departing unsuccessful candidates.

Dann leaving, and now followed by Vance and Bradford leaving, forces major changes to 1 News political coverage.

Dann announced a move to a full time role at Q&A in January.

Vance has been reported to be going back to Stuff. Her Twitter profile:”Northern Irish journalist. Can’t stop moving.” I don’t know if that has been recently revised.

 

A pointless poll on pregnancy and politics

1 News got Colmar Brunton to do a pointless poll on Jacindas Ardern’s performance as PM while being a mother. It is likely to be a month or two before she becomes a mother, so how does anyone know?

1 News: Becoming a mum won’t have an effect on Jacinda Ardern’s performance as PM – 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll

Political commentator Jennifer Lees-Marshment says in an ideal world it would not be a topic for discussion.

Media commissioning polls to create populist ‘news’ is not ideal either, but it has become normal click-bait creating practice.

Experts say that the Prime Minister is a role model for working women.

Global Women board member Felicity Evans says “seeing her adequately and brilliantly doing her job whilst being a mum and being pregnant. It’s perfect.”

That sounds like just one ‘expert’. Using terms like ‘brilliantly ‘ and ‘perfectly’ doesn’t sound like objective expert assessment.

In response to that Ms Ardern says, “I’m no superwoman and I wouldn’t want to give that impression.”

“The fact that I am able to do what I’m doing and be a mother at the same time is because I have a huge amount of support around me.”

Support is very important, and it will be particularly important once Ardern has her baby. It will still be a big challenge for her – she may take it in her political stride, but there is no way of knowing how it will go until it happens.

By then 1 News will have probably moved on the more important polls, like what the baby’s name should be.

Colmar Brunton poll – little change

Polls have been scarce lately. 1 news have their second poll of the year. It doesn’t show anything drastic – a bit of movement from Labour to their Government partners.

  • National 44% (up 1)
  • Labour 43% (down 5)
  • Greens 6% (up 1)
  • NZ First 5% (up 2)
  • Maori Party 1%

So Labour have eased back a bit after a difficult period, and National have held up despite the exit of Bill English and Steven Joyce – it is the first poll since Simon Bridges took over leadership.

Greens and NZ First have both improved marginally (at Labour’s expense).

  • Refuse to answer 4%
  • Undecided 8% (down 1)

Preferred Prime Minister:

  • Jacinda Ardern 37% (down 4)
  • Simon Bridges 10% (up 9)
  • Winston Peters 5% (up 1)

The gloss seems to have worn off Ardern a bit. It’s early for Bridges, he will still hardly be known by most of the electorate.

Peters doesn’t seem to be liked outside NZ First support.

Poll conducted 7-11 April 2018.

What try hard bollocks.

National are likely to be pleased a change of leadership has barely changed their support.

 

Labour jump in Colmar poll

Labour have jumped up to 48% in the latest 1 News/Colmar Brunton poll. National has slipped a bit with Greens and NZ First struggling.

  • Labour 48% (up 9)
  • National 43% (down 3)
  • Greens 5% (down 2)
  • NZ First 3% (down 2)
  • Maori Party 1%
  • TOP 1%

That will shake up the parties and pundits. It’s not a big drop for National but they will be worried about a downward direction with English stepping down, but it’s a major bump for Labour, at the expense of their partner parties in Government.

Ardern is up 4 to 41% in preferred Prime Minister, Bill English dropped but is irrelevant now in polls.