Mt Roskill poll v. political claims

There seems to have been a non-public poll done for the Mt Roskill by-election for Labour, but there are mixed messages.

A week ago in NZ’s feeblest John Key parrot is on the brink of a shellacking in Mt Roskill  Simon Wilson wrote:

Labour has a poll that puts their candidate, Michael Wood, 30 points ahead, at 58 to 28. That’s a spectacular fail in an electorate where National won the party vote in 2014 by 2000.

That would be a spectacular result, but without any details about the poll, when it was taken, what the questions were, and what the sample size and method were, it’s worth being very wary – especially when a party with a vested interest promotes the results.

This came up again today, started by a tweet from Labour MP Phil Twyford.

Never mind Key’s spin, the Herald has the numbers on why Roskill is no slam dunk for Michael Wood

Even post-Trump, NZ spin is parties vying to claim that they will in fact suffer the most humiliating defeat

Unlike Key we are not predicting defeat, just that Roskill may be close run and that we have to work hard for it.

Thought your internal polling was supposed to be putting you 30 points ahead?

Don’t believe every bit of unsourced speculation you hear.

I didn’t say I believed it. But @simonbwilson was on NatRad this morning saying Labour had told him this. So either Simon’s bullshitting (which I very much doubt) or someone’s bullshitting Simon.

No reason to doubt my sources. Plural. Both parties have reason to argue it’s close. Both bullshitting? Oh dear, agony for another 28 hours!

Theoretically, that poll *should* be accurate [safe seat; 3rd term Nat govt, etc]. But things are weird right now.

@simonbwilson  Strong Lab cand + strong campaign. Weak Nat cand. Greens X. 3rd party votes off Parmar. By-elect. Crime. House $. Key says nah.

Most things point to a comfortable win to Labour’s Wood, but it may close up, that poll is over a week old.

But why did Twyford emphasise “Roskill is no slam dunk” and “Roskill may be close run”?

Mt Roskill by-election

The Mt Roskill by-election is tomorrow, but the campaign has failed to raise much interest. It’s expected that Labour’s Michael Wood, anointed and promoted by Phil Goff who has left the electorate to become mayor of Auckland, will win, and probably comfortably.

For Labour’s sake Wood has to win well. They have put a lot of effort into campaigning.

National’s candidate Parmjeet Parmar stood in Mt Roskill in the 2014 general election but lost to Goff by 8,091 votes. National got over 2,000 more party votes, but a Government candidate has never won an election off an opposition party before. John Key has been playing down his candidate’s chances.

Roshan Nauhria is standing for the recently formed New Zealand People’s Party, mainly on immigration and law and order issues. He was cold shouldered by media in some debates as they often do. It will at least give an indication of whether Nauhria’s party has much chance of competing in next year’s general election.

The other candidates have been virtually ignored by media coverage outside the area so I have no idea whether any have made any impression. They are:

  • Richard Goode (NAP)
  • Andrew Leitch (Democrats for Social Credit)
  • Tua Schuster (Independent)
  • Brandon Stronge (The Cannabis Party)

I haven’t seen media murmuring about a surprise result. There was one claimed poll which gave Wood a huge lead but without any details that should be ignored.

Yesterday the Herald suggested Mt Roskill: closer than you think but that is largely based on past voting and electorate demographics.

Voter turnout could be important. Parties will be working hard to ensure their supporters actually bother to vote.

Early voting up to Wednesday was tracking well below that in the last general election. By-elections usually have lower turnouts.


Updated with Thursday’s numbers showing no sign of a late surge.

So it’s up to the Mt Roskill voters tomorrow to decide who they have for an MP for the next 9-11 months.

The New Zealand politics task force is prepared for what looks to be the likely outcome:

Horse shoe flying in Mt Roskill

That isn’t a typo, it is shoe with an oe.

This is a bizarre story out of the Mt Roskill by-election. If what is claimed is correct a group of people happened to be in the possession of a horse shoe. I don’t think it has got anything to do with transport policy, it is closer to law and order.

1 News: Auckland man alleges horseshoe thrown at him by men who claim links to National election candidate

Kriti Yatri says that after a dispute with three men at a pedestrian crossing in the Auckland electorate, he was threatened.

“He got out of the car and he said do you know who I am? – I said who? He said I’m the right hand man of Parmjeet Parmar,” Mr Yatri said.

The men then allegedly followed Mr Yatri home and threw an unusual – and dangerous object at him – a horse shoe.


The horse shoe reportedly missed Mr Yatri, and the men fled the scene.

Mr Yatri has laid a complaint with police and supplied the horse shoe as evidence, but when he asked for an update this week, he was reportedly told the horse shoe had been destroyed.

The police blacksmith must have melted it down.

If this story is for real it’s a serious matter but it’s hard to take it seriously.

The stable door closed quite a while ago, the news report said that it happened in May.

They showed a police report sheet, and a photo of a horse shoe.

There was also a security photo of the alleged horse shoe throwers but Parmjeet Parmar said she didn’t recognise any of them.

Fight over Roskill

Fairfax’s (Central Leader) restricted entry Mt Roskill by-election debate seems to have got a bit heated.

Newshub: Labour’s Mt Roskill candidate Michael Wood involved in bust up

Labour’s Mt Roskill candidate Michael Wood has been involved in a bust up with the partner of his National Party rival following a heated by-election debate on Wednesday night.

It’s claimed Mr Wood took exception to comments about his wife, Julie Fairey, from National Party supporters seated in the front row, which included National candidate Parmjeet Parmar’s husband.

“Excuse me, if I hear comments about my wife from the National Party front row, there might be some problems after this meeting,” Mr Wood is heard saying in a video from the event.

That man happens to be his opponent’s husband, Ravinder Parmar. 

It came after Parmjeet referred to the Labour candidate as a “yes man” because of his and his wife’s ties to Auckland Council.

Once the debate was over, Mr Wood allegedly delivered his promise – confronting Ravinder (Parmar, Parmjeet’s husband), as witnessed by National Party member Graham Collins.

“He was manhandling Mr Parmar, threatening him,” Mr Collins says. “He had his arms around Mr Parmar, physically. He definitely had him in some sort of hold,” says Mr Collins.

Mr Collins claims Mr Wood proceeded to threaten Ravinder by saying “you motherf***er if you mention my wife again, I’ll sort you out”.

Police officers intervened and escorted Ravinder away from the premises.

Mr Wood denies physically touching Ravinder, but admits there was an altercation.

“I approached the gentleman after the debate and made my views very clear to him that it was unacceptable. It was a fairly robust exchange.

“I didn’t touch the gentleman at all and I would not condone that kind of behaviour,” says Mr Wood.

Parmjeet agrees the debate was robust, and says it went very well.

“My opposition was a bit rattled. It looks like he couldn’t take the heat of the debate, I wonder how he’s going to take the heat of the debating chamber,” she says.

More from Newstalk ZB in Labour’s Mt Roskill candidate denies assault accusations

“There was absolutely no physical altercation between me and Mr Parmar, none whatsoever, the allegations I held him in a hold are utterly bizarre.”

Mr Wood is calling on Ms Parmar to stop the personal attacks on him and his family and focus on the real issues affecting Mt Roskill.

“Very simple – I just want their campaign to actually focus on debating about the issues. I’ve got no issue whatsoever with this being a very robust campaign if it’s about the issues that affect people here.”

Mr Wood said he is not a robot and if someone attacks his wife in a political environment he will respond to it.

However, Parmjeet Parmar told Larry Williams there was no attack on Mr Wood’s wife.

“If simply saying his wife is on the local board is an attack, then he is under more pressure than it seems,” she said.

Parmar said she didn’t witness the incident, but others did. She said Mr Wood lost it.

“It looks like my opponent is going to attack people that just state facts he doesn’t like, and that was a massive overreaction from him. An unacceptable overreaction from him.”

There could be a bit of tension in the campaign.

Meanwhile another candidate who wasn’t allowed by Fairfax to participate in the debate had a bit of a dig on Twitter:

If there’s going to be any fighting in this By-Election let’s make sure it’s for the people of Mt Roskill.


 UPDATE: Video footage of the confrontation appears to show that what happened was overstated, with no obvious physical contact. If this was the only interaction after the debate then there was no assault.

Stuff: Footage shows altercation between Labour candidate and National rival’s husband

Raw footage of an altercation between Labour candidate Michael Wood and the husband of a National Party rival appears to throw cold water on claims of an assault. 

Wood is seen confronting his rival’s husband after the debate, who he accused of making comments about his wife Julie Fairey, the former chair of the Puketapapa Local Board.

Wood said since the confrontation, “basically I’ve been accused of criminal assault”.

He denies that he “manhandled” Parmar’s husband Ravinder, and didn’t do anything more than have a few stern words. The footage shows a small confrontation that is quickly quelled.

Wood said he was frustrated by the ongoing personal attacks by his rival and her supporters.

Labour leader Andrew Little has become involved.

…Little called a media conference on Saturday and said Wood had the right to defend his wife.

“What we are seeing from the National party seems to be a tactic of disrupting meetings, then lying about it and then trying to swap the story around because they don’t appear to have anything to say about those crucial issues.”

Different footage indicates there may have been minor but insignificant contact.

1 News: Watch: Heated altercation between Labour’s Mt Roskill candidate and husband of National Party rival