Labour, Wellington Mayoralty, and Bogus polling 101

via RNZ

Justin Lester – via RNZ

Last week, days after Little’s bogus poll rant, Labour released a survey that had their besieged candidate Justin Lester on 34 with Nick Leggett and Jo Coughlan tied on 17. This was, to say the least, a total outlier — but the Dominion Post breathlessly went with it anyway.

I’ve seen several actual polls of the Wellington Mayoralty race, including one from Curia last week, that has Nick Leggett and Justin Lester effectively tied (Leggett ahead, but within margin of error) with Coughlan way back and falling further behind.

So given Labour is so unforgiving about the rigour and validity of polling companies, we wondered who on earth could have come up with such an outlier result — one that, coincidentally, served Labour’s interests so neatly.

It turned out the polling “company” is called Community Engagement Ltd. A companies search identified two principals, Ella Hardy and Eric Goddard, who are two well known Young Labour identities. Ella Hardy was once President of Young Labour and Goddard calls himself a “Labour volunteer”. The company is registered on a boat at Berth Y33 at Westhaven Marina in Auckland. It is not accredited with the Research Association. They have no website. There is no record of them ever having conducted a political opinion poll ever before.

The Dom was duped.

Amazing they covered Lester’s self-serving leak it as if it were an actual poll. More amazing still they put it alongside a Curia poll as if they are comparable and not legit apples versus bogus oranges. Moreover, incredible that Labour got away with releasing the textbook definition of a bogus poll in order to skew media coverage — only a matter of days after Little’s attacks on Colmar Brunton. Labour won’t get any better if the media keep enabling them with such appallingly weak journalism.

  • Seriously?

    Leaking false information on the eve of an election? Labour? Surely not! They of the dirty disgust? Mr, Mrs, and Mx “vote positive”?

    I’m sure we can expect Labour to make a full and hansom apology for this as it can only have been an error and one they will be gravely concerned about righting.

    • Rick H

      No, No, No – -the “left” will not be wanting to “right” anything.

  • Jude

    I am hopeful that Jo polls better than what is being shown here. The STV system can throw interesting results. I just hope everyone casts a vote here in Wellington.

  • Monty

    I would not have voted for Justin Lester in any instance, but given he is Labour and worse endorsed by the worst mayor Wellington has suffered and not the greens are endorsing him, I will ensure on my voting form and also that of other family members he is last on the voting paper behind any crackpot candidate

  • Sally

    Not sure where you got Coughlan fading idea from! Cant you read? Over the two polls Coughlan came second and Leggett third. With STV, Coughlan is the odds on favourite to win. And the Suff online poll of 16,000 had Coughlan 35%, Leggett 28% and Lester 24%. But hey Leggett got some big coverage in the Dom about a Chamber poll recently – the Dom got sucked in, just like you it appears. Turns out only 19 people voted for him out of 155 in the room. Hes managed to spin a lot but his campaign is actually fading very fast. The reality is Leggett supporters should vote Coughlan first preference if they don’t want Lester as the Mayor. Young’s second preferences should be for Coughlan if they don’t want Lester. Use your brains Whale Oil!

    • Auto_Immune

      With respect Sally, your ideas on how to prevent Lester becoming Mayor doesn’t make sense, but you’re a shill for Coughlan so I get it.

      If you really don’t want Lester as Mayor then the way to vote is to either rank him last (ranking everybody else ahead) or not rank him at all. That’s it. Obviously you should rank according to your preferences, but what number you give Coughlan is irrelevant to Lester’s chances if he is ranked last, or not at all.