Hottest April on record ‘scary’

It’s not just New Zealand that has been enjoying unusually warm weather. The climate keeps trending warmer to record levels.

The latest NASA data shows that last month was the hottest April on record. The last six months have been significantly warmer.

It’s been nice, but it is seen as scary.

Independent (UK): NASA temperature data shows last month was hottest April on record

The information released by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Saturday showed that April 2016 was the sixth month in a row to be more than one per cent above the 1951-1980 average.

Eric Holthaus is a meteorologist who writes for Slate, told The Independent: “It’s scary. I’m at the point where I don’t know what will happen next. We knew an El Nino would impact things, but I don’t think anyone expected this jump.”

NASA data since 1981:

NASATempTabletoApril2016

Full data table (since 1880)

National slump, NZ First surge in RM poll

NZ First is the main benefactor from large party slumps in the April Roy Morgan poll, rising to a term high of 12.5%.

National have dropped to 42.5%, their lowest poll result since the 2014 election (they were 43% in July last year).

Despite this Labour have also dropped a bit more, to 26%.

Is this a sign that New Zealand sentiment is following international dissatisfaction with establishment politics? Or is it just due to poor performances from National and Labour?

  • National 42.5% (down from 46)
  • Labour 26% (down from 28)
  • Greens 14.5% (up from 14)
  • NZ First 12.5% (up from 9)
  • Maori Party 1.5% (up from 1.0)
  • ACT Party 1.5% (up from 1.0)
  • Conservatives 1.0% (up from 0.5)
  • Other 0.5% (up from 0)

United Future, Mana Party and the Internet Party were all on zero.

7% didn’t name a party (down 1).

Winston Peters and NZ First will be celebrating this result. It’s difficult to know how much their rise is reward for their efforts, and how much is a protest vote against the two big parties.

This result should have John Key and National worried, if not alarmed. This may just be a temporary bump downwards – the jumped from 43 in July back to 50.5 last August – but if their downer persists third termitis troughs can be difficult to get out of.

Labour hopes of waiting for National to fade and picking up the spoils automatically must be wavering by now.

In Roy Morgan polls since the 2014 election Labour have made it into the thirties four times only, peaking at 32% last July and making 31% in September but since then their polling has been:

  • September 31%
  • October 29%
  • November 29.5%
  • December 28.5%
  •  January 27.5%
  • February 27%
  • March 28%
  • April 26%

It’s hard to avoid the message from that.

Polling was done from 4-17 April 2016.

RoyMorgan2016AprilChart

Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile telephone, with a NZ wide cross-section of 843 electors in April 2016. Of all electors surveyed 7% (down 1%) didn’t name a party.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. The following table gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. The figures are approximate and for general guidance only, and assume a simple random sample. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Margin of error for a sample size of 1000 (this poll was 843 so will be slightly higher):

  • 40%-60% ±3.2
  • 25% or 75% ±2.7
  • 10% or 90% ±1.9
  • 5% or 95% ±1.4

Source: National vote lowest since 2014 Election as NZ First vote surges to 20 year high of 12.5%

Preferred Prime Minister

As a predictor of party prospects in elections the preferred Prime Minister is of limited use but gives a bit of an idea about which politicians the public think about or know.

From the Colmar Brunton poll published last Sunday:

“Now thinking about all the current MPs of any party, which one would you personally prefer to be Prime Minister?”

IF NONE: “Is there anyone who is not a current MP who you would prefer to be Prime Minister?”

PreferredPMApril2016

Helen Clark, Shane Jones, Turiana Turia are all ex MPs and Kim Dotcom has never been an MP but there are not many choosing them, Dotcom has only had one person choose him once.

0.1% in a sample size of a thousand is just one response.

Many voters could name few MPs. Even leaders like Andrew Little aren’t well known, so the Prime Minister usually scores well above the rest.

So ‘Don’t know’ is not surprisingly quite high, with over a third of respondents not choosing anyone.

SAMPLING ERROR: The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level. This is the sampling error for a result around 50%. Results higher and lower than 50% have a smaller sampling error. For example, results around 10% and 5% have sampling errors of approximately ±1.9%-points and ±1.4%-points, respectively, at the 95% confidence level. These sampling errors assume a simple random sample of 1,000 eligible voters.

Poll results less than a percent or two can be quite fickle.

Poll source (PDF)

High support for medical cannabis

The latest One News/Colmar Brunton poll included a question on medical cannabis.

“Do you support or oppose the use of marijuana for medical purposes?”

  • Yes 73%
  • No 21%
  • Not sure 6%

ONE News poll: Kiwis overwhelmingly support use of medical marijuana

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says he’s not surprised by the results.

“I think that’s about where I think public opinion is and in fact I would’ve voted ‘yes’ in the poll too,” he says.

Mr Dunne says the government hopes to make more medical marijuana products available to Kiwis and is watching for the results of Australian research.

“I would expect the results of those [tests] would be available in a year or two and that’s the point at which we can see if they’ve been approved in Australia and look to do likewise here.”

It doesn’t surprise me either. As long as there’s suitable checks on safety of products available it seems a no brainer to me.

One News/Colmar Brunton April 2016

The April 2016 One News/Colmar Brunton poll result:

  • National 50% (up from 47 in February)
  • Labour 28% (down from 32)
  • Greens 10% (up from 8)
  • NZ First 9% (down from 10)
  • Maori Party 1.1% (no change)
  • ACT Party 0.7% (up from 0.3)
  • Conservative Party 0.3% (down from 0.6)
  • Mana Party 0% (down from 0.3)

Don’t know/refused 13%

ColmarBruntonApril2016

Preferred Prime Minister:

  • John Key 39% (down from 40)
  • Winston Peters 10% (up from 9)
  • Andrew Little 7% (down from 9)
  • Jacinda Ardern 2% (no change)

Polling 2-6 April 2016

Details (PDF)

The last Roy Morgan (29 February – 13 March 2016)

  • National 46%
  • Labour 28%
  • Greens 14%
  • NZ First 9%
  • Maori Party 1%
  • ACT Party 1%
  • Conservative Party 0.5%
  • Internet-Mana 0.5%
  • United Future 0%