David Farrar

Which pollsters can you trust, and which are bought and paid for?

We should have something like this here.


In the process of being an analyser of polls, Nate Silver has had to figure out which are actually delivering reliable and honest results, and which are essentially fronts that get you the answer you’re paying for.

We know that Colmar Brunton are one of the most variable and have a clear bias towards Labour, for example.

As for Horizon, they had the Conservative party in government as part of the coalition with National right now.

Whenever the Fraser House spy tells me that Labour are polling in the low to mid-thirties, and then paid-for polls come out, you can reliably subtract 4-6 points, every time.


– 538

Labour’s List Problem

David Farrar had a very good post yesterday at Kiwiblog about Labour’s list problem.

In 2014 Labour got only five List MPs. Andrew Little only got in on special votes.

They are polling well below the level they were at three years ago. They normally lose support once an election campaign starts as minor parties get more attention. And already Winston is picking up support at their expense.

So at this stage it would be a brave person to predict they will lift their party vote from 2014, and hence their total number of MPs from 32.

Read more »

Shock for Andrew Little in latest INCITE|Curia poll


In our latest edition of INCITE: Politics which will be released today there is a catastrophic result for Andrew Little in our monthly INCITE|Curia polling.

Exclusive to us Curia looks again at how New Zealanders think our political leaders are doing. This is the only public poll in New Zealand that reports on approval of party leaders.

We asked 1,000 New Zealanders “Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Key/Andrew Little is handling his job as Prime Minister/Leader of the Opposition?”

And the results are devastating. Andrew Little has slumped 12 points while John Key has increased slightly by 1%.

It is clear that last months results were a ‘dead cat’ bounce and Andrew Little is now back under the pump for his lack of performance.

Full details are only available to subscribers.   Read more »

Farrar on the One News Poll

David Farrar has some useful comparisons on the polls at the same stage of the electoral cycle:

It is almost half way through National’s third term, so it is useful to compare it to the same poll halfway through National’s second term.

In April 2013 National was at 43% and Labour 36% – a 7% gap.

In April 2016 National is at 50% and Labour 28% – a 22% gap.   Read more »

As predicted, the flag won’t be changing

As predicted by almost everyone except those who have spent the best part of a year wishful thinking, the flag won’t be changing.

To be fair, I was listening to David Farrar and he knew what his polling was showing. He explains on his Arts, Lifestyle and Travel blog precisely why the vote wasn’t for change.

As I’ve got better things to do at the start of Easter long weekend than wait for the results and write the blog post tonight, I’m doing it in advance. Why do I think the status quo won.

First of all, let me say that it is very possible that regardless of all the factors, it is more than likely the vote would have been for the status quo. There has never been a poll showing a majority for change, and few if any countries have ever ever voted to change their flag. It is normally done by fiat from Government, or as a result of constitutional change such as becoming independent.

I’m proud of the fact we are one of the few countries where we have actually got to have a vote on what our flag will be.

However it may have been a lot closer than what the actual result will be. A number of factors basically doomed any chance there was of a change. Here’s what I think they were:   Read more »

Precious little Kevvy Hague doesn’t like it up him

Kevin Hague likes to talk about transparency, but he also likes to break value 6 of the Green party values, which states:

Engage respectfully, without personal attacks

It is somewhat unbelievable that, given those values, he engages in such an appalling manner on Facebook, attacking Katherine Rich, Carrick Graham, David Farrar and me.

For anyone following the debate on whether or not we should impose a levy on sugary drinks. Something I found noteworthy (and predicted at the start of the day in fact) was that the voices raised in support of the Government position of doing nothing were first Katherine Rich, CEO of the Food and Grocery Council (ie the industry, second Carrick Graham, PR consultant to noxious industries, and thirdly blog posts on Kiwiblog and Whaleoil. Now where have I seen that alignment before? Sounds very familiar. For good measure there was also comment from Eric Crampton, economist for ‘the NZ Initiative’ (or as I prefer to still call it, to ensure transparency, the Business Roundtable)

Clear breaches of value 6. I’m not sure how calling industries noxious is engaging respectfully, without personal attacks.   Read more »

INCITE: Politics March edition due shortly


Simon and I have compiled a bumper INCITE: Politics this month.

We are just completing the final polling andeverything else is edited and ready to go. We await the numbers.

Our focus has been on what it will take for Labour to rebuild. We have columns from both Simon and myself as well as a column from Phil Quin. Formerly one of Labour’s best advisors, Quin has been all but essentially sidelined from the party for daring to have opinions.

We also have columns from Willie Jackson, David Garrett, Jock Anderson and, of course, our exclusive polling on net approval ratings of the leaders. Has Andrew Little improved? What has happened with John Key’s approvals?   Read more »

February INCITE: Politics due shortly


Final edits are underway and our bumper February edition  of INCITE: Politics will shortly be on its way to your inbox.

This month we have some new contributors, plus the first INCITE/Curia poll of the year. Who is up? Who is down? And what are the implications of their numbers for their parties?

We also continue to look at potential leadership candidates across the parties and ask our 10 questions of David Seymour.

Following on from Lynton Crosby’s lecture about political truisms we look at how that applies to Labour, especially with regard to leadership and economic competence.   Read more »

Farrar comes good again

The chill air of Antarctica has obviously done a world of good for arts, lifestyle and travel blogger David Farrar.

He calls out the Media Party for their pimping the poor article on the Blenheim Bludger.

Remember Fairfax stated:

She received $580 a week when she was on benefits looking after her three dependent children aged 10, 15 and 17.

Her new job, which she also juggled with studying for a bachelor in early childhood education, paid $614 a week after her student fees were taken out.

She missed qualifying for a working for family support benefit by one working hour.

Read more »

David Farrar, the arts, travel & lifestyle blogger, is on fire

David Farrar has returned from his state-funded trip to Antarctica to get stuck into some truly stupid comments about the children’s commissioner.

The whole post needs more coverage.

Stacey Kirk writes at Stuff:

The value the Government places in New Zealand’s children will be judged by its appointment of the next Children’s Commissioner. 

Umm, no. Not at all.   Read more »