73% want US election inquiry v Russia

A clear majority of Americans want an independent, non-partisan commission instead of Congress to investigate Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

NBC News: 73% Back Independent Probe of Russian Election Interference

Seventy-three percent of respondents prefer the independent investigation, versus 16 percent who pick Congress.

Still, a majority of Americans — 54 percent — believe that Congress should investigate whether there was contact between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, which is essentially unchanged from February’s NBC/WSJ poll.

That’s clear majorities for all but Republicans.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted April 17-20 of 900 adults, including more than 400 who were reached via cell phone. The poll has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.3 percentage points.

Poll: Trump would beat Clinton again

Different poll slants from the US, none of which mean much.

12h12 hours ago

New News/WaPo poll: 56% say Trump has accomplished either not much or nothing in his first 100 days in office

Washington Examiner saw something different of interest: Wash Post poll hides: Trump still beats Clinton, 43%-40%

A new Washington Post poll that declares President Trump as “the least popular president in modern times,” waits until the second to last paragraph to reveal another tidbit: He’d still beat Hillary Rodham Clinton if the election were held today and in the popular vote, not just Electoral College.

It probably wasn’t prominent because it isn’t very important.


Clinton is failed political history so it’s not surprising to see her support waning. It’s more notable that Trump’s support is staying low even though he is now president and getting a lot of attention.

Also unchanged: His base still likes him.

That’s not surprising, he had strong support from his base and hasn’t done much that would lose that support. He hasn’t done much to gain support from people who doubted his abilities either.

The poll found that Trump’s polls continue to be upside down, with a 42 percent approval and 53 percent disapproval.

That’s similar to most other polls. Trump’s approval was diving until his missile strike in Syria and big bomb drop in Afghanistan, after which it recovered a little but that doesn’t seem to have been sustained.


Trump still has a lot to prove – that he can get things done as promised, and that he won’t stuff up the world and provoke Armageddon.

Support may drop off if he keeps failing to deliver on his tough talk and campaign promises, like this winding back the rhetoric.

Suspect phone polling

Some reports of suspect robocall polling,

And from the Standard, Anne:

I have just had an interesting phone call (land-line). It was an automatic call and I was asked a detailed number of politically related questions which ranged from political affiliations (including some which were clearly attempting to ascertain how likely I might be prepared to change my vote) to other assorted issues. All the answers were indicated by way of pushing a button – example, 1 for Green, 2 for Lab, 3 for Nat etc.

When I was asked who I would I be voting for the ‘voice’ expressed the following:

“It is great to hear you are voting for Labour”.

Initially I thought… this sounds like a Labour initiated automatic poll. Where did they get the money from? Now I’m not so sure. I suspect that it wouldn’t have mattered who a person said they voted for… they would get the same response “it’s great to hear you will be voting for [insert party here]” – depending on what button was pushed.

There was no indication who was conducting the poll. I had expected to be told at the end of survey. It strikes me as a bit unethical to conduct such a poll without identifying who you are or what polling company you represent.

I’d have thought that any ethical pollster would identify themselves.

A comment in response to that claimed to have getting a spam call from Labour but gave no indication how they knew who was doing the polling or who it was for.

If any party is behind polling like that they are likely to get very unreliable results.

From High Flying Duck in comments:

I had this very call tonight!
It starts very neutral asking about voting intentions and concerns.
Then it suddenly asks which aspects of National’s
Housing policy worries you the most…
Letting foreigners come in and buy up our country?
Locking first home buyers out of the market? etc…
It then does the same with education and health.
The health one asked “what part of Nationals health cuts worries you the most”…
All very leading.
They give three negative options and the fourth is “I don’t care about health or education” et al.
It came across as teeing to plant a seed rather than elicit an opinion.
All very odd.

Misleading abortion poll results

David Farrar has posted  Poll on abortion which repeats some what I thought were misleading poll results, unless you look carefully.

Curia did polling in January for ALRANZ to ascertain views of New Zealanders on whether abortion should be legal in different circumstances.  I thought the results were very interesting with the net level of support (those saying legal less those saying illegal) for each situation being:

  • Pregnant woman likely to die +72%
  • Foetus has no chance of survival +70%
  • Pregnant woman likely to be permanently harmed +70%
  • Pregnancy is a result of rape +65%
  • Pregnancy is a result of birth control failure +31%
  • Pregnant mother can’t afford to have another child +27%
  • Pregnant woman doesn’t want to be a mother +22%

Note that those percentages are “the net level of support (those saying legal less those saying illegal)”, not the actual percentages of responses.

This repeats how the results are displayed on the Abortion Rights Aotearoa in 2017 National Abortion Poll Results. If you click through to the Full Poll Results and Data  you get a different set of numbers:

The level of support for abortion being legal in each situation is:
1. Pregnant woman likely to die 77%
2. Foetus has no chance of survival 76%
3. Pregnant woman likely to be permanently harmed 76%
4. Pregnancy is a result of rape 73%
5. Pregnancy is a result of birth control failure 55%
6. Pregnant mother can’t afford to have another child 54%
7. Pregnant woman doesn’t want to be a mother 51%

The level of support for abortion being illegal in each situation is:
1. Pregnant woman likely to die 5%
2. Foetus has no chance of survival 6%
3. Pregnant woman likely to be permanently harmed 6%
4. Pregnancy is a result of rape 8%
5. Pregnancy is a result of birth control failure 24%
6. Pregnant mother can’t afford to have another child 27%
7. Pregnant woman doesn’t want to be a mother 29%

They follow that with the net results as posted in their Executive Summary and on Kiwiblog, but I think that is not how most people expect to see results and in fact I think appears to understate support for abortion rights.

This seems odd given that the poll was commissioned and published by Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand.

They have a table that gives better clarity.


Poll details:

CLIENT: Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand
POLL DATES: Sun 22 to Mon 30 January 2017. The median response was
collected on Thu 26 January 2017.
TARGET POPULATION: Eligible New Zealand voters.
SAMPLE POPULATION: Eligible New Zealand voters who are contactable on a landline.
SAMPLE SIZE: 1,000 respondents agreed to participate.
SAMPLE SELECTION: A random selection of 15,000 nationwide phone numbers.
WEIGHTING: The results are weighted to reflect the overall voting adult
population in terms of gender, age, and area.
SAMPLE ERROR: Based on this sample of 1,000 respondents, the maximum
sampling error (for a result of 50%) is +/- 3.1%, at the 95% confidence level.


Labour-Green down in Roy Morgan

In the first poll since Bill English took over from John Key National have barely changed (up 1 to 46%) and Labour+Greens are down 3.5 to 39.5%.

It’s early days yet for time post-Key but the change of Prime Minister is showing no sign of being the game changer that some on the left had hoped.

And the campaign since late last year on Whale Oil to attack National and Bill English hasn’t nudged things down at all let alone by the 10% Cameron Slater has suggested might happen.

  • National 46% (up from 45)
  • Labour 27% (down from 28.5)
  • Greens 12.5% (down from 14.5)
  • NZ First 9% (up from 7.5)
  • Maori Party 2% (up from 1)
  • ACT 0.5% (no change)
  • United Future 0.5% (no change)
  • Conservative Party 0.5% (no change)
  • Mana Party 0% (no change)
  • Internet Party 0% (down from 0.5)
  • Other 2% (up from 1.5)

Polling was done from a very quiet time, from 3-16 January 2017.

The movements for Labour wouldn’t look so bad if quoted separately, but some on the left are very keen to combine the two.


It’s very early in election year but this will have disappointed a few on the far right and many on the left.


The poll has been mentioned at The Standard but no post as yet. No mention that I can see at Whale Oil but they are often slow with fresh news there, unless it is favourable to one of their agendas.

Last RM poll of the year

The last Roy Morgan poll of the year and probably the last political poll of the year is typically bouncy but is probably a relief for both National and Labour without being great for either.

The polling was done while a lot was happening, following the Mt Roskill by-election and covering John Key’s resignation and the selection of Bill English as Prime Minister. Nothing much can be read into the poll from any of that.

  • National 45% (down from 49.5)
  • Labour 28.5% (up from 23)
  • Greens 14.5% (no change)
  • NZ First 7.5% (down 0.5)
  • Maori Party 1.0% (down from 1.5)
  • ACT Party 0.5% (down from 1.0)
  • Conservative Party 0.5% (no change)
  • Internet party 0.5% (up from 0)
  • United Future 0% (down from 0.5)
  • Independent/Other 1.5% (no change)

Those are rounded to the nearest 0.5.

National will be relieved they didn’t drop more than that, they are about average for RM polls this year and had as low as 41.5% in September.

And Labour will be relieved to have recovered from last month’s low.


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 872 electors between November 28-December 11, 2016. Of all electors surveyed 5.5% (down 1%) didn’t name a party.


‘Most important problems’

Roy Morgan have polled on what people think are the most important problems.

“Firstly, what do you think is the most important problem facing the World today?


  • Wars & Conflicts/ Unrest 14% (up from 7)
  • Terrorism 9% (down from 16)
  • Refugee/ Migrant Crisis 3% (no change)
  • Religion/ Religious Conflict 2% (no change)

What do you think is the most important problem facing New Zealand today?”


Not surprising to see housing jump over economic issues.

  • Poverty/inequality is near it’s lowest over last year and this year on 16%.
  • Immigration/ Refugees is barely changed over the last year, on 4% .
  • Climate Change/ Global Warming 1%
  • Environmental Pollution/ Water Pollution
  • Homeless/ Homelessness/ Housing shortage 10% (3% until July 2016)

These findings come from a special New Zealand Roy Morgan survey conducted with New Zealanders aged 14+ asked what are the most important issues facing New Zealand and the World today.

In New Zealand, a cross-section of 1,001 men and women aged 14 or over were interviewed by telephone in October 2016. The research conducted was both qualitative (in that people were asked to use their own words) and quantitative (in that the ‘open-ended’ responses were analysed and ‘coded’ so that the results could be counted and reported as percentages).


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”?

1 News poll

The latest 1 News Colmar Brunton poll:

  • National 50% (up from 48)
  • Labour 28% (up from 26)
  • Greens 11% (down from 13)
  • NZ First 10% (down from 11)
  • Maori Party 1% (down from 1.8)
  • Conservative Party 0.2% (down from 0.3)
  • Act Party 0% (down from 0.5)
  • United Future 0% (no change)

Very good for National. Not so good for Labour because, while they went up 2% Greens dropped 2 so Labour+Greens remain on 39%.

This isn’t a good position for Labour to be in going into the holiday break.


Preferred Prime Minister maybe shows the Brexit/Trump effect, everyone is less preferred:

  • John Key 36% (down from 38)
  • Andrew Little 8% (down from 10)
  • Winston Peters 8% (down from 11)

Polling of 1010 eligible New Zealand voters was split between Saturday 12-Sunday 13 and Monday 21-Wednesday 23 November (fieldwork was disrupted by the earthquakes).


Majority support Muslim & asylum seeker immigration

An interesting Australian immigration poll of  by Roy Morgan.

“Over the last year (2015) about 180,000 immigrants came to Australia. Do you think the number of people coming here to live permanently should be increased, or reduced, or remain about the same?”

  • Remain about the same 40%
  • Increased 21%
  • Reduced 34%
  • Can’t say 5%

“Judging by what you see and hear, do you think immigrants are changing Australia’s culture and way of life – or having little effect.”

Respondents who responded that immigrants are changing us were then asked: “Do you think immigrants are changing Australia’s culture and way of life for better or for worse?”

  • Better 32%
  • Worse 32%
  • Can’t say (better or worse) 10%
  • Having little effect 19%
  • Can’t say (changing us) 3%

This is a similar result for ‘better’ to a poll in 2010 but a slight reduction from a poll last year.

“Australia’s population has increased by 6 million from 18 million to just over 24 million over the last 20 years. What population do you think we should aim to have in Australia in 30 years – that is, by 2046?”

  • Under 30 million 34%
  • 30-under 35 million 24%
  • 35 million or more 24%
  • Can’t say 18%

That’s a fairly even spread, but a big reduction since 2010 in the preference for under 30 million.

“Please say whether you support or oppose (Muslim / Asylum seeker/ Skilled migrant/ Family reunion) immigration?”

  • Support 58% (54% 2010, 65% 2015)
  • Oppose 33% (35% 2010, 28% 2015)
  • Can’t say 9%