Euthanasia and cannabis polls

Research NZ has bing doing polls related to the referendums on euthanasia and cannabis.

Asked whether they were in favour or not in favour of the legislation which allows terminally ill adults to request a medically assisted death:

  • 64% in favour
  • 18% not in favour
  • 7% don’t know

Research NZ managing partner Emanuel Kalafatelis said 52 percent of survey respondents said they had recently seen or heard information about legalising euthanasia, while 55 percent said they had thought about the issue and about a third had discussed it with their friends and family.

…the figure shows a softening in the level of support and when the same question was asked in December last year approximately 70 percent of respondents were in favour of the legislation, while the number of those strongly in favour of the legislation dropped from 50 percent six months ago to 33 percent today.

Kalafatelis said there is a relatively higher level of support among older age groups, but the level of support across all age groups is well over 50 percent.

“Are you in favour or not in favour of a government controlling by law how cannabis is grown, manufactured and sold in New Zealand for recreational use.”

  • 43% in favour
  • 39% against

These results do not show any major difference with the results from the cannabis poll taken six months ago, he said.

Kalafatelis said there is quite significant support for legalising cannabis among younger age groups, with the level of support at 57 percent amongst the 18 to 24 year olds.

Report: Kiwis back euthanasia, split on legalising cannabis – poll

Official information:

Cannabis legalisation and control referendum

End of Life Choice referendum

Roy Morgan poll – June 2020

The June poll from Roy Morgan has just been released – polling was done during June so before the Covid information leak, Walker resignation  and aftermath, and well before Todd Muller stepping down from the leadership, but it is still bd news for National.

  • Labour 54.5% (down 2)
  • National 27% (up 0.5)
  • Greens 9% (up 2)
  • ACT 5% (up 1.5)
  • NZ First 1.5% (down 1)
  • The Opportunities Party 1.5% (up 0.5)
  • Maori Party 1% (down 0.5%)

Labour are looking very comfortable, and Greens and Act will be very happy with their rises.

NZ First remain in a precarious position with it seems little interest in keeping Winston Peters in Parliament.

It is looking very grim for National, and that’s before the really bad week and a half began.

This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile – with a NZ wide cross-section of 879 electors during June. Of all electors surveyed 6% (up 0.5%) didn’t name a party. Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?”

 

Horizon poll: Small majority support cannabis legislation

A Horizon Research poll of 1593 respondents asked if they would vote yes for the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill in a non-binding referendum, which will be held alongside the general election.

  • Yes 56%

There is small change in favour of the legislation since a previous poll in February where 54% said Yes, but both are up a lot from an August 2019 poll that had just 39% in support.

I can’t find the results on the Horizon website, this is from an NZ herald report – Growing majority of Kiwis support legalising cannabis, new poll finds – that doesn’t give numbers for No or Don’t Know/Undecided.

Gender in favour:

  • Female 59%
  • Male 52%

By party supporters in favour:

  • Greens 81%
  • Labour 72%
  • ACT 70%
  • NZ First 53%
  • National 38%

The age group most in favour of legalising cannabis was 25-34 years: 72%.
Least in favour were those over 75 years:  27%.

There’s no real surprises in these results.

Respondents to the latest survey came from Horizon’s nationwide research panels and represent the adult population of the 2018 Census with results weighted by factors including age, gender, income and party voted for at the last election. The maximum margin of error is 2.9 per cent.

This poll suggests a leaning towards support of the cannabis legislation but it isn’t a big majority.

 


About the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill

The proposed Bill sets out a way for the Government to control and regulate cannabis. This regulatory model covers how people can produce, supply, or consume cannabis.

The Bill’s main purpose is to reduce cannabis-related harm to individuals, families/whānau and communities.The Bill legalises restricted access to cannabis

The Bill would allow people to possess and consume cannabis in limited circumstances.

A person aged 20 or over would be able to:

  • buy up to 14 grams of dried cannabis (or its equivalent) per day only from licensed outlets
  • enter licensed premises where cannabis is sold or consumed
  • consume cannabis on private property or at a licensed premise
  • grow up to 2 plants, with a maximum of 4 plants per household
  • share up to 14 grams of dried cannabis (or its equivalent) with another person aged 20 or over.The Bill’s purpose is to reduce harm to people and communities

The Bill intends to reduce cannabis-related harm to individuals, families/whānau and communities by:

  • providing access to legal cannabis that meets quality and potency requirements
  • eliminating the illegal supply of cannabis
  • raising awareness of the health risks associated with cannabis use
  • restricting young people’s access to cannabis
  • limiting the public visibility of cannabis
  • requiring health warnings on packaging and at the time of purchase
  • improving access to health and social services, and other kinds of support for families/whānau
  • making sure the response to any breach of the law is fair.

The Bill controls the production and supply of cannabis

The Bill would regulate how cannabis is produced and supplied by:

  • limiting the total amount of licensed cannabis for sale
  • controlling the potency and contents of licensed cannabis and cannabis products
  • applying an excise tax when a product is packaged and labelled for sale
  • setting up a licensing system under which all cannabis-related businesses must hold a licence
  • regulating location and trading hours for premises where cannabis is sold or consumed, in consultation with local communities
  • banning people from importing cannabis and allowing only licensed businesses to import cannabis seeds
  • separating businesses that are licensed to grow cannabis and produce cannabis products from businesses that are licensed to operate premises where cannabis can be sold and consumed.

What’s not included in this referendum?

The proposed Bill does not cover medicinal cannabis, hemp, driving while impaired, or workplace health and safety issues. These are covered by existing laws.

Medicinal cannabis is already legal under the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme.

 Learn about medicinal cannabis at health.govt.nz 

UMR poll: National bottomed out

The latest UMR poll suggests that big National’s slide may have ended, getting 30%. They were still polling in the forties in February before Covid struck but slid to 29-30 in three polls, and in the latest (Roy Morgan in late May) they got just 26.5%,

And for now at least, and Todd Muller has at least got higher approval than Simon Bridges had. It’s early days for Muller’s leadership, and his first week was not flash and he was dumped on by media, but he at least has a chance to build on some support.

  • Labour 54% (down marginally from 55% in April)
  • National 30% (up marginally from 29% in April)
  • NZ First 5% (down from 6%)
  • Greens 4% (down from 5%)
  • ACT may be 2.5%

No result reported for ACT or parties not in Parliament (but a social media mention of the ACT result).

Preferred Prime Minister:

  • Jacinda Ardern 65% (no change)
  • Todd Muller 13%

The April UMR poll had Bridges on 7% so Muller and National may feel a bit of vindication for changing the leadership.

The poll of 1211 voters was taken from May 26 to June 1 and has a margin of error of +/-3%.

UMR polls are private polls (paid for by Labour and corporate clients) but have been more often leaked when they have been favourable to Labour and bad for National

Source ODT/NZ Herald (with a stupid headline, the situation now is very different too when).

Roy Morgan poll – Labour 56.5%, National 26.5%

Roy Morgan stopped publishing monthly polls in New Zealand after the 2017 election but they have started again, and the news remains grim for National.

This is the first poll they have published this year but they have previous month comparisons – their detailed results show polling each month this year.

If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?”

  • Labour 56.5% (January 40%, March 42.5%, April 55%)
  • National 26.5% (January 40%, March 37 %, April 30.5%)
  • Greens 7% (January 10.5%, March 11.5%, April 7%)
  • NZ First 2.5% (January 7.2%, March 3%, April 2.5%)
  • ACT Party 3.5% (January 0.5%, March 3.5%, April 2.5%)
  • Maori Party 1.5% (April 1.5%)
  • The Opportunities Party 1% (April 0.5%)

Labour is very similar to recent Colmar Brunton and Reid Research results, but Natiional has trended down a bit more. This is their lowest result for a long time.

The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating is at a very high 158.5 in May, down 4.5pts from the record high of 163 reached in April

76% of New Zealand electors (down 1% since April) say New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to only 17.5% (up 3.5%) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction’.

This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile – with a NZ wide cross-section of 894 electors during April 27 – May 24, 2020. Of all electors surveyed 5.5% (down 0.5%) didn’t name a party.

https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/8429-nz-national%20-voting-intention-may-2020-202006010651


While this result doesn’t look good for new national leader Todd Muller, it is too soon to tell what effect he has had on National’s popularity – the polling period was to 24 May and Muller only took over on 22 May.

Another awful poll for National (and great for Labour)

Today’s 1 News/Colmar Brunton poll is bad news for National, and very similar to the Newshub/Reid Research poll out earlier this week and also a recent leaked UMR poll:

  • Labour 59%
  • National 29%
  • Greens 4.7%
  • NZ First 3 %
  • ACT 2%
  • Maori Party 1%
  • The Opportunities Party 1%

Refused to answer 5%, undecided 11%. Fieldwork conducted 16-20 May.

The ‘preferred Prime Minister was as bad (and exceptional for Ardern):

  • Jacinda Ardern 63% (+21 from last October))
  • Simon Bridges 5% (-6)
  • Judith Collins 3%
  • Winston Peters 1% (-2)
  • Nikki Kaye 0.4%
  • Todd Muller 0.2%

Notable also is that both Greens and NZ First are under the threshold, and Peters is also dropping to negligible ‘preferred’.

So Labour very strong, Act ok (if Seymour can hold Epsom), Greens in the danger zone and NZ First/Peters really struggling.

Of course tomorrow’s National leadership showdown adds importance to this result.

David Farrar very quick off the mark with the poll results but no commentary: Latest poll
(but his Curia poll average hasn’t been updated for three months).

And Greg at The Standard was ready to rumble: The Colmar Brunton poll

91.6% supported Level 4 lockdown

One of the more interesting results from the Newshub/Reid Research poll:

The Government put the country into level 4 lockdown for four weeks. Do you think this was the right call?

  • Yes 91.6%
  • No 6%
  • Don’t know 2.5%

The poll was conducted between 8-16 May with half of the responses taken after the Budget.
The poll has a maximum sample error of +/- 3.1 percent.  

The polling was done after the level 4 lockdown had finished. This suggests near universal support for playing safe health-wise.

High public approval of NZ Government handling of Covid-19 pandemic

Colmar Brunton polling shows strong public support for the Government handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 87% of people saying the approve or strongly approve, with only 9% disapproving.

A poll was done from 3-5 April after the Level 4 lockdown had started, and another has been done from 20-21 April, after the move to Level 3 lockdown was announced on Monday.

The latest poll: How much do you approve or disapprove of how your Government is responding to the Covid-19 pandemic?

  • Strongly approve 68% (up from 55%)
  • Somewhat approve 19% (down from 29%)
  • Total approve 87% (up from 84%)
  • Somewhat disapprove 5% (down from 6%
  • Strongly disapprove 3% (no change)
  • Total disapprove 8% (down from 9%)
  • Neither approve nor disapprove 4% (down from 6%)
  • Don’t know 1% (up from 0)

Colmar Brunton, Margin of error +/- 4%
The poll was conducted via 601 online interviews with New Zealanders over the age of 18 between April 20 and 21.

Stuff: The Government’s Covid-19 lockdown measures have overwhelming public support, according to a poll

Colmar Brunton pollster Edward Langley said New Zealand seemed to be seeing “something special” in the number of new Covid-19 cases each day.

“People feel there’s light there at the end of the tunnel which other nations haven’t seen”.

“I think we are seeing something special. We are setting aside our party political affiliations and we’re getting behind the Government”.

New Zealand support is much higher than G7 countries:

  • Average for G7 countries 50% support their Government (down from 54% two weeks ago)
  • Canada 74% support
  • France 43% (down from 61%)
  • USA 46% support (down from 52%)

France continues with a high death rate currently running at over 500 deaths per day.

USA has the highest total cases (866,148) and deaths (48,868). Deaths increased by 2,341 yesterday. Support there is dropping along with President Trumps approval (and he is publicly arguing with one of his top health officials again today).

How many people actually have Covid-19?

No one knows, but it’s certain that official counts will be under reporting actual cases. By how much?

“2.3% of Americans surveyed said they’ve been diagnosed with the coronavirus, a percentage that could translate to several million people”

The current official total in the US is 75,000 cases (and 1,070 deaths).

Official counts of cases of Covid-19 have been questioned around the world. The limited number of tests done and the narrow criteria for getting a test here in New Zealand naturally raises questions about the true numbers.

The only thing we can be certain of is that actual numbers are greater than official numbers, at least of cases (questions have also been raised about death counts in some countries).

Reuters: How many Americans have coronavirus? New Reuters poll might offer a hint

The official count of coronavirus infections in the United States sits at about 70,000 cases, but a chronic shortage of tests means only a fraction of the people infected are being counted. So how can we know how many Americans actually might have the disease?

A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in the past several days could offer what one behavioral health expert called a “fascinating” hint of the possible numbers.

In the nationwide poll, 2.3% of Americans surveyed said they’ve been diagnosed with the coronavirus, a percentage that could translate to several million people.

Diagnosed by whom? That is likely to be various and of varying reliability.

Of course, it’s impossible to know if the answers are a result of misinformed self-diagnoses, untested professional diagnoses or test-confirmed infections. But Carnegie Mellon University professor Baruch Fischhoff, who studies risk perception and analysis, said that the poll results shouldn’t be viewed as merely a collective neurotic reaction to the pandemic.

Given the shortage of coronavirus test kits, it may well be a broadly accurate estimate of the extent of the infection across the United States, he said. “It may be the best available data,” he said.

A further 2.4% of those polled said they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

And in an illustration of the degrees of separation with the deadly virus, a further 2.6% said they knew someone who has been in close contact with a person who has tested positive.

While accuracy of these results can be questioned, there is a rise from a similar poll that at least suggests significant under counting in official numbers.

The poll, which surveyed 4,428 adults between March 18 and 24, shows a dramatic increase in those saying they have tested positive for the virus from a similar poll conducted just a few days earlier.

In the Reuters/Ipsos poll of 1,115 Americans conducted March 16 and 17, about 1% said they were infected.

The second poll was just after the first, but was for a longer period and polled four times as many people.

Still, the poll results may fill some gaps in knowledge in the face of limited testing.

For example, Fischhoff said, on March 15, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine estimated there were about 100,000 infections in his state, which represents about 1% of the state’s population, despite there only being a handful of confirmed cases at the time.

If these suggested infection rates are anywhere near reality there is one positive – the death rate per infected person and per population will be a lot lower.

But the obvious negative is that the virus may be far more widely established and spread in populations, including here in New Zealand.

One thing that needs to be remembered – until an effective vaccine becomes widely available Covid-19 will continue to spread probably everywhere, and more and more people will get it.

Apart from hoping a vaccine will come out in time we have to hope we don’t get it until the demand for health services settles back and treatments improve as they learn what works best to deal with the symptoms and avoid complications.

So for now I’m happy to be in isolation, and I am prepared for this being for closer to four months than four weeks (August has been mentioned as a time we may be getting on top of things by).

Cannabis legalisation polls and trends

Two recent polls suggested majorities opposing cannabis legislation, but one poll has a more supporting change, especially “When New Zealanders Have More Information”.

And data from Canada where cannabis is already legal suggests fewer young people are now using cannabis.

1 News (14 February): New Zealanders likely to vote against cannabis legalisation – 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll

Those polled were asked, ‘At this stage, do you think you will vote for cannabis to be legalised, or for cannabis to remain illegal?’

Remain illegal – 51%
Legalise cannabis – 39%
Will not vote – 1%
Don’t know / refused – 9%

The groups of people who were more likely than average to intend to vote against legalising cannabis were Asian New Zealanders, National Party supports and people aged 55 and over.

Those who were more likely to intend to vote for legalisation were Green Party supporters, women aged 18 to 34, Māori, people with annual household incomes between $30,001 to $70,000 and Labour Party supporters.

Between February 8 to 12, 1004 eligible voters were polled by landline (402) and mobile phone (602). The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level.

November/December 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll saw 49 per cent against legalisation and 43 per cent for, with the June 2019 poll seeing 52 per cent of people against and 39 per cent for legalisation.

In the October 2018 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll, the results were slightly more in favour of legalisation than against, with nearly half wanting the drug to be legal. Forty-six per cent of Kiwis were in favour of legalisation and 41 per cent were against.

In the July 2017 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll, 47 per cent were in favour of cannabis legalisation and 41 per cent were opposed.

Newshub (18 February): New poll shows support for both recreational cannabis and euthanasia dropping

The latest Newshub Reid-Research poll asked the referendum question the public will be asked in the referendum this election: do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?

  • 39.4 percent said ‘yes’
  • 47.7 percent said ‘no ‘
  • 11.6 percent said ‘don’t know’

The Bill would make recreational cannabis legal for over 20s, with restrictions.

Since the last time Newshub polled on this in June, despite additional details released in December, more people have moved from the ‘yes’ camp to the ‘don’t knows’.

Very few voters will know what Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill actually proposes.

(Note that the euthanasia part of the headline is a bit misleading, the result was 61.9% in favour, 23.7% against).

NZ Drug Foundation (21 February): Poll Shows Support For Cannabis Legalisation When New Zealanders Have More Information

Survey results released today by the Helen Clark Foundation and the New Zealand Drug Foundation show that support for cannabis legalisation grows when people know more about the proposed legislation.

When respondents were asked how they would vote in September’s referendum based on what they already know:

  • 46% said they would vote for the legalisation of cannabis
  • 44% said they would vote against it
  • 10% undecided

When people were then told more about the limits and restrictions on cannabis use and sale in the proposed legislation:

  • support for legalisation increased to 50%
  • opposition decreased to 42%
  • 8% undecided

Fieldwork for the survey was conducted between 22 January and 3 February 2020. The maximum sampling error for a sample size of 1000 at the 95% confidence level is ± 3.1%.

That looks promising for those wanting change, but there is likely to be a battle of information and misinformation.

“These results suggest New Zealanders are likely to support a sensible approach to cannabis harm reduction when they have accurate information about what is being proposed,” said Holly Walker, Deputy Director of the Helen Clark Foundation.

“The details matter. Armed with the facts, voters see that putting in place rules and enforcing these is better than the status quo.”

New Zealand Drug Foundation saw similar results in research commissioned in November last year. “When initially asked how they would vote, participants were evenly split, with around 14 percent undecided. Once the participants were given more information on the legislation, we saw stronger support for a yes vote,” said Ross Bell, Executive Director, NZ Drug Foundation.

Over the last two months the proportion of undecided voters has dropped, following the release of the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill in December.

The draft legislation includes an age limit of 20, redistribution of tax into harm reduction, health and education programmes, a ban on all marketing and advertising of cannabis products, strict controls on the potency of cannabis, and other restrictions.

“When people learn about these proposed restrictions, they are more likely to support a law change,” said Ms Walker.

NZ Herald: Legalising cannabis: Supporters, opponents take swipes at each other as polls show knife-edge decision

The foundation said it showed more support for legalisation when voters were more informed, but Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said it was loaded to ask the same question either side of highlighting the proposed legal framework.

McCoskrie attributed the decline of the ‘yes’ vote to the strength of the ‘no’ campaign so far, including a 24-page pamphlet that had been delivered nationwide.

But Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said the downward trend in ‘yes’ support was because of “well-funded and relentless opposition scaremongering”.

He has asked supporters to donate funds to the ‘yes’ campaign, which was putting together a strategy that included billboards, TV advertising and social media.

McCoskrie responded by saying he was giving the public the “facts”, adding that he had little faith in the Prime Minister’s expert advisory panel, headed by her Chief Science Advisor Professor Juliet Gerrard.

The panel is putting together publicly-available information about the impacts of cannabis use, what changes have occurred overseas, and how applicable that might be in New Zealand.

So McCoskrie doesn’t like people being informed when being polled, but is keen to ‘inform’ people against the legislation.

Meanwhile (NZH):

New data from the Youth Insights Survey, published yesterday in the New Zealand Medical Journal, found that between 2012 and 2018, the proportion of Year 10 students who had tried the drug fell by more than a quarter.

“This was predicted, since cannabis trends in this age group are strongly associated with tobacco trends, and it was already known that smoking in Year 10 students had continued to decline since 2012,” said the study’s Otago University authors.

However, the authors note that other research shows cannabis use is increasing among New Zealand adults generally.

Past year use increased from 9 per cent in 2012/13 to 15 per cent in 2018/19 overall – and from 19 per cent to 29 per cent among 15 to 24 year olds, the age group with the highest cannabis usage.

The authors said there were likely two key reasons for the conflicting trends.

“Firstly, the average age at which young people are initiating risk behaviours, including cannabis use, has increased in recent years,” they wrote.

“Secondly, normalisation of cannabis use has been counteracted by decreasing prevalence and frequency of smoking and drinking in this age group.

“The evidence suggests that adolescents’ willingness to try cannabis has increased, but their opportunities for doing so have decreased due to less face to face time with friends and fewer drinking and smoking occasions.”

But statistics from Canada shows the opposite has happened there, with youth use of cannabis dropping significantly since legalisation and regulation.

And: