Live Polls And non-Live Polls yield different results

With a backdrop of companies struggling to get both consistent and credible polling, it is interesting to analyse how different polling methods can skew the answers.

FiveThirtyEight generally takes an inclusive attitude towards polls. Our forecast models include polls from pollsters who use traditional methods, i.e., live interviewers. And we include surveys conducted with less tested techniques, such as interactive voice response (or “robopolls”) and online panels. We don’t treat all polls equally — our models account for the methodological quality and past accuracy of each pollster — but we’ll take all the data we can get.

This split, however, between live-interview polls and everything else, is something we keep our eye on. When we launched our general election forecasts in late June, there wasn’t a big difference in the results we were getting from polls using traditional methodologies and polls using newer techniques. Now, it’s pretty clear that Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump is wider in live-telephone surveys than it is in nonlive surveys.

We don’t know exactly why live-interview polls are getting different results than other types of surveys; there are a lot of potential causes and it’s something we’ll be digging into.

Online polling will become preferred due to the relatively low cost.  But unless the results are of a reasonable quality, live interview polls will remain the more credible.  We saw this recently when some rag commissioned a poll by a never-before-heard-of US company who had never polled on politics New Zealand previously.  The results were ridiculous.  Read more »



Whaleoil isn’t into predictions, but with Cam away, let’s indulge… the Auckland turnout rate for the local body elections will be the lowest ever.

Most of the mayoral candidates and many of the council aspirants are trotting out the hoary old chestnuts, reduction of rates, for example, or capping rates. Remember those promises any other times? Remember any rates reductions, or “caps” staying in place?

Those who suggest these magical solutions may hope to achieve them by sleight of hand, probably by imposing other charges which are not called rates but, instead, petrol taxes, congestion charges, or tolls, which still hit our pockets.

If you doubt those statements, please look at the website showing press statements of Phil Goff, and others.

Other potential rises in council revenue instead of rates may well include bumping up the costs of other services such as water, sewerage, rubbish collection, transport fees, and similar.

Vic Crone delivers fairly similar, glib statements, including “keeping residential rates low” (but how low, for how long?) She will also “cap rates”. At what level? Haven’t we heard all of this before, and how did those promises turn out?

The whole thing is so bland, you can actually feel your brain shrinking.  Read more »

Another bank drops direct “unethical” investments

An RNZ investigation earlier this month found several default KiwiSaver providers either directly or indirectly invested in tobacco companies and weapons manufacturers that made cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons.

In a statement to RNZ, ANZ said none of its funds had any direct holdings in companies that made cluster bombs.

It said its Investments Board voted on Monday to get rid of any direct holdings in companies that made other “controversial” weapons, including anti-personnel mines and nuclear armaments.

The bank would also be removing direct investments in tobacco companies.

It made the decision to because it felt it was the “right thing to do” and because of the strength of feeling among its customers, it said.

It said it did invest in collective funds that might have money in weapons companies, and it was considering also excluding those investments.

The move would not significantly impact its investment returns, the statement said.

ANZ is the country’s largest KiwiSaver provider, with more than 700,000 people investing over $8 billion in its scheme. Read more »

Photo of the Day

Dennis and Joan Wheatley 1930's.

Dennis and Joan Wheatley 1930’s.

Dennis Wheatley : Churchill’s Storyteller

Few people are aware that Dennis Wheatley spent the Second World War as a member of Winston Churchill’s Joint Planning Staff, dedicating his talents to the formation of ideas and plausible scenarios to assist the war effort.

Before Ian Fleming there was Dennis Wheatley. A best-selling spy novelist at the outset of World War II, Wheatley became a master of deception for Great Britain, turning pulp fiction fantasies into real-life espionage. This is the amazing true story of one man who applied the plots of his own novels to the battlefield—and changed the course of history.

Dennis Wheatley was born in London in January 1897, the son and grandson of Mayfair wine merchants. From 1908 – 1912 he was a cadet on HMS Worcester, then spent a year in Germany learning about wine making.  In September 1914, at the age of seventeen, he received his commission and later fought at Cambrai, St. Quentin and Passchendaele.

Gassed, he was subsequently invalided from the army and entered the family wine business, and following the death of his father in 1926, became its sole owner. During this period he began to write short stories, a number of which were later published or expanded into full-length novels.  Following the failure of his first marriage, in 1931 he married Joan Younger.

Wheatley’s business was badly affected by the slump of the early thirties and by 1932 he was forced to sell up and came close to bankruptcy.  As a diversion from his financial worries and with the encouragement of his wife, Wheatley set about writing a full-length murder mystery that he called ‘Three Inquisitive People’. His agent’s reader considered the book to be weak, commenting:

“This story shows considerable promise but does not conform to the accepted formula for murder stories. We do not see enough of the murderer, and the construction is poor in that the heroine is not brought in early enough and plays no essential part, and that after the point at which the book should normally be concluded there is a long epilogue tacked on which is unduly loaded with bathos.”

However, this book introduced the characters of the Duc de Richleau and his friends who were to become Wheatley’s most popular inventions.  Whilst ‘Three Inquisitive People’ was in the hands of his agent he set about writing a second book featuring the same characters, ‘The Forbidden Territory’, which was immediately snapped up by Hutchinson. This adventure story won immediate acclaim from both the press and public alike. It was reprinted seven times in as many weeks, was translated into many languages and the film rights were bought by Alfred Hitchcock.

This book was followed by a string of thrillers that, throughout the 1930s, propelled Wheatley into the category of best selling author.  As an avid reader himself, and fanatical collector of modern first editions, he was familiar with the work of authors such as H. Rider Haggard, Conan Doyle, William Hope Hodgson, John Buchan and his particular favourite Alexandre Dumas, and was influenced in varying degrees by each.  His work in the thirties seemed to be perfectly in tune with the spirit of the age, enforcing the virtues of imperialism in which he totally believed, and countering the rising threat of communism.

In 1939 he became the editor of the ‘Personality Pages’ of the Sunday Graphic and a volunteer speaker on behalf of the war effort. In the early days of the war, despite his best efforts, Wheatley was unable to find suitable war-work and so continued to write his novels, being one of the first writers to use the real life events of the day as the backdrop to his stories.

Then in May 1940, following a chance conversation between his wife and her passenger while she was a driver for MI5, Wheatley was commissioned to write a series of papers on various strategic aspects of the War. These ‘War Papers’ were read by the King and the highest levels of the General Staff, and as a result in December 1941 he was re-commissioned, becoming the only civilian to be directly recruited onto the Joint Planning Staff. With the final rank of Wing Commander, for the rest of the War, Wheatley worked in Churchill’s basement fortress as one of the country’s small handful of ‘Deception Planners’ who were charged with developing ways to deceive the enemy of the Allies real strategic intentions. Their top-secret operations, which included the plans to deceive the enemy about the true site of the Normandy landings, were highly successful and saved countless lives.

Read more »

Successful Partnership schools have a serious challenge ahead of them

Partnership schools haven’t been around for very long  but a number of them are already facing the challenge of demand exceeding supply due to their outstanding results and popularity. Yesterday I chatted on the phone to David Seymour  about the challenge that these successful schools are facing.

One of the things we discussed reminded me of a choice I was given as a child.  I wanted two things but was told I could only have one.  I had to ask myself which of the two was the most valuable.

Imagine that a rich relative has given you two choices:

1.The ownership of a house valued at $500,000 for the rest of your life that is built on land belonging to your relative that you are never allowed to sell. If your family grows and needs more space the relative will either rebuild the house to suit you or build a second house on the section.

2. A weekly income from a Trust fund equivalent to the average rent charged on a $500,000 house in the same area that will be adjusted annually to reflect inflation.

Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Andy Watch

cockup 8 13

Another safe day for Andrew Little yesterday.  No original Facebook posting, but he did repost a media piece on the Housing Crisis which got one loyal follower all hot an bothered.  (caution: unedited)  Read more »

The mysterious case of the ” Asian man ” and the never seen ” Arab man”

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 11.36.26 AM

Many years ago when I read the description,  “Asian man,” I immediately imagined a Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese or Korean man.I was aware that Indian men could also be described as Asian but their faces were never the first image that sprang to mind.

The MSM regularly use the description “Asian man ” instead of saying Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese or Indian. The media’s reluctance to be more specific is strange. Have you noticed that when they cover certain stories they consistently hide the offender’s actual race or ethnic identity behind this very general and non-specific description?

Here are a few examples where the man’s  actual race or ethnic identity is obscured by this broad description.

A British teenager who took her own life was afraid she would be branded a racist for posting a joke photo showing her with dark skin and a headscarf, a coroner’s inquest heard.

Phoebe Connop, 16, edited a photograph she posted during an online relationship with an Asian man.

..”From speaking to her friends in the weeks following her death, we discovered that the image had circulated further than she wanted it to.

“There had been some negative reaction and she confided in her friend, who did take the image down at her request, that she was scared of what the reaction might be from the Asian community in her area.”


An Asian man accused of killing a 35-year-old woman in Mecca is facing trial in Saudi Arabia.

The defendant reportedly stabbed the woman in her chest and abdomen which caused her death instantly.

Between 1.15 and 1.50am a woman on that street was attacked by a man who submitted her to a terrifying attack.

The suspect was caught on the CCTV above and is described as an Asian man with a beard and curly hair of medium build in his late 20s, wearing a black top with white sleeves and black shorts.

www.deviantart.com600 × 600Search by image Tagged Collections. the invisible man by rodneyskinnerfan
Tagged Collections. the invisible man by rodneyskinnerfan

The mainstream media like to generalise and lump a whole lot of races and ethnicities together under the title” Asian man” but strangely the general term “Arab man” is  rarely if ever used.  “Arab man”  covers a number of different races and ethnicities yet when an Arab man is in an article, his Arabness is rendered invisible. Have a look at these examples. To make my search easier I narrowed it down to articles where the man yelled out something in Arabic, thereby confirming the likelihood that he had an Arab ethnicity.

A French man shouting the Arabic phrase “Allahu akbar” stabbed a British woman to death and wounded two men in an attack at a hostel in northeast Australia, police said Wednesday.

A Jewish man has been stabbed in France by an attacker heard shouting “Allahu Akbar” in the latest attack to shake the country… the 62-year-old victim was wearing a Jewish kippa when he was targeted.

Isn’t it interesting how the religion of the victim was reported but not the religion of the ” attacker.”

A machete-wielding man yelling “Allahu Akbar!” (God is greatest) injured two female police officers before being fatally shot in the Belgian city of Charleroi on Saturday, in what the prime minister said appeared to be a terrorist act.


I must add here that the MSM consistently mistranslate Allahu Akbar which actually means “Allah is greater,” meaning Allah is greater than your God or government.It is a declaration that Allah and Islam are dominant, which is why Islamic jihadists in the midst of killing infidels so often shout it out.

A MAN screamed “Allahu Akbar” as he attacked a couple with their own picnic knife at a German music festival.

Virginia man has been charged with stabbing two people while shouting the Muslim phrase “Allahu akbar,” and the attack is under investigation by the FBI, police said.

The suspect, Wasil Farooqui, 20…

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 3.39.20 PM

The mug shot and police file from this incident states that Wasil’s race is Asian and that his ethnicity is Arab. Now that we understand this distinction it is clear that an ” Asian man ” is an even broader description than I realised. I am half Lebanese but if I was to stab someone and yell, “Allahu Akbar” I suspect I will be described as.. ” a woman,” ” an Auckland woman,  ” or ” An Asian woman with curly hair”

My mug shot will read…

  • Complexion Olive
  • Race Asian
  • Ethnicity Arab.
  • Country of birth New Zealand


Councilors behind Dodgy Dam going ahead anyway… without water

…the Appeals Court upheld the Forest & Bird appeal challenging DoC’s decision to downgrade, and swap to the Regional Council’s holding company (HBRIC), conservation land necessary for the CHB dam .

Without that land, there’s no reservoir for the dam to fill.

This is a huge victory for the environment, with important ramifications beyond Hawke’s Bay, because — without this legal block — DoC otherwise could have used the same shonky process to downgrade and trade conservation land elsewhere in NZ. Forest & Bird deserve great credit for their  vigilance and persistance on the issue.

Where does this leave the dam? Certainly ‘on hold’ through the election window.

HBRIC chairman Andy Pearce told the Regional Council meeting today that he and his team were seeking to meet with the chief executive of DoC as soon as possible to review DoC’s plans. You can see the brief discussion on HBRC video when posted Thursday.

One option for DoC is to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Or, DoC could follow the directive of the Appeals Court and re-consider the proposed swap after a proper due course procedure, which would take time to organise and conduct, and the subsequent decision could also be legally challenged. [Of course, another option, less likely, would be for DoC to abandon the matter.]

DoC and HBRIC will have a few weeks to sort out their next steps, if an appeal is to be taken. Read more »

INCITE:Politics – you can only get it here

Special September Deal 
Use discount code FIRSTMONTH during checkout, and get your first issue for just ONE dollar.


The latest issue has just been emailed to existing subscribers. Once again, exclusive polling and content you can’t find anywhere else.

Both Andrew Little and John Key are losing ground. Are the voters tired of National, but out of alternatives?

INCITE:Politics asked ten questions of Auckland Mayoral candidates and have all their answers. Phil Goff, David Hay, Mark Thomas, Vic Crone and John Palino explain their thoughts for the future of Auckland.

And more… Read more »