Last Herald poll of the year

The NZ Herald has published their last poll of the year and it shows National where it has always been and Labour slipping back as David Cunliffe fails to fire.

Audrey Young reports:

Labour’s poll support has slipped after an initial surge following David Cunliffe’s election as leader, the latest Herald-DigiPoll survey shows.

The Maori Party would hold the balance of power if the figures were translated to an election result.

With the left and right blocs fairly evenly split, it could be a close election next year.

Neither National nor Labour would be able to form a government without the Maori Party.

Labour has fallen 2.3 points in the survey to 35.4 per cent. In the September poll, it had a surge in support and could have formed a government with just the Greens and Mana. 

National has risen 3.1 points and Prime Minister John Key has somewhat recovered in the preferred Prime Minister stakes, after taking a 9.4 point dive in the last poll.

He has jumped 6.1 points to 61.9 per cent, well ahead of Mr Cunliffe on 16.5 per cent.

Herald Poll

Party vote
• National – 46.8% (+3.1%)
• Labour – 35.4% (-2.3%)
• Greens – 10.8% (-0.5%)
• NZ First – 3.9% (-0.5%)
• Maori Party – 1.3% (+0.5%)
• Mana – 0.9% (+0.2%)
• Act – 0% (-0.1%)
• United Future – 0% (Same)
• Conservatives – 0.7% (-0.3%)
• Legalise Cannabis – 0.1% (Same)

Preferred Prime Minister
• John Key – 61.9% (+6.1%)
• David Cunliffe – 16.5% (-0.3%)
• Winston Peters – 7.3% (+1.1%)
• Russel Norman – 3.4% (-0.3%)
• Helen Clark – 3.2% (-0.3%)

Seats in the House
(Assumes Maori Party, Mana, Act and United Future retain electorate seats)
• National – 59
• Labour – 44
• Greens – 14
• Maori Party – 3
• Mana – 1
• Act – 1
• United Future – 1


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  • Euan Ross-Taylor

    This is going to make the political discussion around the Christmas table more ‘palatable’.

  • GregM

    Still too close to call again. National needs to come up with some real bold policy early next year to really catch the middle voters, and wipe the smarmy grin off Thumbheads face at the same time.
    I still think that if the first $10k of income was made tax free, that would win wide support, and would be hard to find a down side to it.

    • Pissedoffyouth

      AngryTory will come in screaming about it being unfair

      • stephen2d

        AngryTory might feel a bit better when he takes the calculator in his hand and checks his pay packet.

    • Euan Ross-Taylor

      Not at all unlikely I think. English made sure everyone ‘knows’ that we are just scraping through, but I feel sure that his intention is to try and hold back Labour from announcing free stuff before the election. National will announce their freebies just before the election to try and trump Labour.

    • James Howlett

      Agree on your first 10k suggestion Greg. I’m not sure how bold National really needs to be – the more exposure Cunliffe has the worse he comes across so perhaps that in itself will be enough. But something like your suggestion above would certainly be a positive both economically and politically.

    • rockape

      That would be a real winner for pensioners and low paid. There fore a hit on Labour and NZ first a good but unlikely move.

      • GregM

        It is also a good definer between right and left. The right will let you keep more of your money and spend as you see fit, while the left wants to tax everyone more, then re distribute it to those that they see fit.
        My back of the envelope calculations say it would remove about $1.3b from the tax take per year, but that would be partially offset by the increase in GST take, and company tax take.
        It’s definitely affordable, and as you say would help out pensioners and the low paid, and I think would also encourage people to save the extra 20 bucks a week in their pay.

  • Pete

    But But but..we’re told constantly on the telly that Cunny will be next Pm!

  • Kimbo

    From the same article: –

    “The poll of 750 was conducted December 9-17”

    So much for the CIR. A waste of time and money.

  • Apolonia

    Pundit have a poll of polls which average the major polls
    National 45.1
    Labour 33.1
    Greens 12.1
    NZ First 4.3
    Conservatives 1.9
    Maori 1.2
    Mana 0.8
    Act 0.4
    United 0.0

  • Dan

    The new iPredict party will hold the balance of probability at the next election

  • middleagedwhiteguy

    I note that Shearer’s best Preferred PM Rating was 18.5% in March of this year, a number that Cunliffe has yet to reach, and he’s dropping……

    • cows4me

      Has Cunny joined a monastery? Maybe it’s just me but he has seemed to disappeared .

      • GazzW

        Holidaying at a flash beach house? You can bet he’s not camping out with the proletariat.

        • cows4me

          How very socialist of him, he’s probably working on his memoirs, should only take the Christmas break to complete.

        • Phar Lap

          Probably looking to buy a run down house in Otara for 2014 election purposes.He has discovered Herne Bay in Auckland where he lives, has the most expensive houses in NZ.Not a good look for a Socialist scum bag like him,and no chance to bury the truth of him being a serial corrupt manifest liar,or his chance to plead, or cry poor mouth,

      • Euan Ross-Taylor

        One has to wonder if he is in the background jumping up and down yelling, “here I am” while NZ is looking at the Auckland debacle of the red faced mayor. No comment on the ‘affair’ from anyone in Labour leadership. Is that wise to be out of the media spotlight. Even support for Len would be good for the party to be at least visible you would think?

      • Bunswalla

        I would love to have a hidden camera when Silent T and PDB arrived at a doorway together. Each believing they were the most important person in the universe and that everyone else would have to wait for them, they would each try and go through first and become wedged tighter than Don Brash’s purse strings when it’s time to shout.

      • Don W

        Keeping his head down, doesn’t want any of Len Browns shit landing on him

      • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

        He’s editing his Harvard poem.

  • cows4me

    The Maori Party are in some disarray, the Conservatives will have to pick up the slack. The left shall be plotting over Christmas, will have to be plenty of free money next year to waste on bribes.

  • GazzW

    I’ll buy that. An excellent result given that the poll was taken right at the peak of CIR activity by the green/labour coalition and just after the Anadarko ‘protest’. The good news is now just starting to roll out about the economy which can only have a positive effect for the Nats.

    • Other_Andy

      “The good news is now just starting to roll out ……”
      With Labour-Green in charge of the MSM?
      They will be too busy rolling out fact-free press releases with political spin from the ‘Greens’ and Labour.
      Child poverty, housing crisis, unemployment, living wage……
      You just wait till the ‘independent’ media starts.

  • Flegin

    Key is the preferred PM of 62%, yet National only get 47%, where does the other 15% come from and why don’t those idiots party vote National if they want JK as PM.

    • BJ

      Leading in to the next election National will have to ‘plug’ the fact to the voters, that they’ll only get their preferred PM of John Key by voting National. Maybe the poll question should be is your preference John Key’s National OR Cunliffe’s Labour – that could help the 15% see sense.

    • In Vino Veritas

      Asked and answered.

  • skyshore

    Typical lefty Herald! 750 people taken where demographically? and what questions and how were they actually asked? Published to counter the current good news on the National Government economy. Not worth considering in my book.

  • Cowgirl

    Wow JK’s lead in popularity is huge

    • Euan Ross-Taylor

      Really funny eh? You would never know it listening to the tripe spouted about him over at the stranded.

      • Kimbo

        …or the regulars who comment ad nauseum at the Herald on the endless regurgitation of articles that are anti-asset sales, anti-oil drilling and anti-anything that will make the country money

      • CheesyEarWax

        And the idiot Hone had the nerve to attack him to defend his trip to SA.

      • Cowgirl

        I can only put the vitriol directed towards him by others on an almost continual basis, down to the fact that he’s nigh on immoveable as PM. I’ve never seen such poison spewed about another PM that I can recall. I have seen comments already today defending Len Brown by claiming that the really corrupt people are JK and the Nats. WTF?

    • CheesyEarWax

      Yeah I am a little surprised too, he comes across as an ordinary kiwi bloke that a lot of people can relate to.

  • Reason1

    Still surprises me that Labour are happy for the Greens to be their support party with 10% of the vote. It seems they have given up on being a major party getting into the 40’s like they used to. They seem unable to grasp the idea that there is 10% in the center who could vote for them if they looked a decent alternative govt. All the better for National, if they fight it out for the loonie left.

    • James Howlett

      It is weird – it’s like they’ve conceded they’re no longer a viable alternative on their own and are happy being associated with the Greens indefinitely. Longer term you’d have to think this is a losing strategy. Even if they win an election, this one or next or whenever, they will be such an obviously dysfunctional Government that they only last 1 term.

  • blokeintakapuna

    With a margin of error at + or – 3.6% – how on earth can they accurately gauge movements of .1% up or down?

    I’m no statistician or expert in these things, but can anyone accurately tell us how these “measurements” are worked? Cheers

    • Kimbo

      The key thing (‘scuse the pun) is the trend of a series of polls.

      You can try and spruke and roll a turd in glitter like the left was doing when Cunliffe got an initial bounce out of the novelty/honeymoon factor.

      However, the key result of this poll is “normal transmission has resumed”.

      But the two jokers in the pack remain NZ First and the Conservatives…

    • Kimbo

      …although my last answer didn’t actually directly address your question how they calculate the margin of error.

      I always hated maths, so I’ll leave it to you to make sense of the following: –

    • Bunswalla

      In simple terms, the greater the size of the sample, the smaller the margin of error you need to factor in for a marvellous thing called “variance”.

      For example, if you toss a coin 5 times, it’s quite possible that it will be heads all 5 times. Someone will give me the actual odds of that, which will appear quite low, but you can see it happening. If you toss a coin 10 million times, it will come down heads very close to 50% of the time. Now we know there are only two options so the likelihood should be exactly 50%, but you have to factor in a small percentage for variance, and the bigger the sample the more likely the result will be accurate.

      • blokeintakapuna

        Cheers Buns and Kimbo above for the explanation. My Q was more about the actual math’s and how could any poll that has a variance of + or – up to 3.6% actually then be accurate to say that some of those minor parties are currently on .1%?

        They could be on either 0% or up to 3.6% – making their call of .1% a total non-starter/not measurable to any degree of certainty… as the variance is considerably larger than the actual figure by up to 3600%? (Don’t quote my math’s on that)

        • Bunswalla

          The reality is you can’t be sure, which is why the polls are often quite wrong before an election, and also why you see quite big variation between two polls taken just weeks apart, not in an election year.

          For starters, a sample size of 750 is pitifully small so you need a good healthy margin of error. Also, it’s very different giving an answer to a pollster than when the rubber hits the road on election day. The first answer might be to send a message, the second one is cards on the table time.

        • Steve (North Shore)

          Say the Dickbrain Party had 0.1% support and the a poll said the support had increased to 1.0%.
          The increase is 10% and that sounds huge for National or Labour, but it is sweet fuck all for the Dickbrain Party.
          The total support for them of 0.9% came from other fuckhead partys.
          Yeah I know it is not totaly correct, but you get the idea?

  • blokeintakapuna

    The Maori Party will know it’s much much better for them to be considered an equal, but smaller contributor around the table with National, than to be the poor cousin, grudgingly “consulted with” in a L&G coalition.

    Yes, the Maori Party may become “king makers” but they’ll be smart enough to know that keeping with the status quo will be a much better outcome for them than to join up with L&G only to be excluded unless their voice is absolutely essential to a L&G play.

  • Col

    Now that is what I call a great Xmas present.

  • In Vino Veritas

    “an initial surge”. Surge indeed. Dead cat bounce more like.

    • blokeintakapuna

      coordinated MSM “fluffing” that was full of hot air…

  • CheesyEarWax

    “With the left and right blocs fairly evenly split, it could be a close election next year.”

    No, the poll says National should win the election by miles. Forming government, however, will be a bit more difficult. Great impartial journalism from the Horrid as usual.

  • johnbronkhorst

    Seats in the House
    (Assumes Maori Party, Mana, Act and United Future retain electorate seats)
    • National – 58
    • Labour – 43
    • Greens – 13
    • Maori Party – 3
    • Mana – 1
    • Act – 1
    • United Future – 1
    Nat..46.8% = 56 seats + 2 seats over hang
    Lab..35.4% = 42 seats (less than 42.5 seats) + 1 seat over hang
    Greens …10.8% = 13 seats
    • Maori Party – 3
    • Mana – 1
    • Act – 1
    • United Future – 1
    over hang 3 seats
    • National – 58
    • Labour – 43
    • Greens – 13
    • Maori Party – 3
    • Mana – 1
    • Act – 1
    • United Future – 1

    • Euan Ross-Taylor

      Problem is that Act will not win a seat and will therefore disappear altogether. So will the Conservatives be gifted East Coast Bays? I’m picking that will be a given now. But given Nationals strength and Labour’s continued stroll through the doldrums, will voters turn to back a winner? It may be that there are more seats to be won in the marginal electorates. It would be funny if Otaki goes back to National. I don’t think that is a safe seat for Labour.

      • johnbronkhorst

        If the people of Epsom are smart, as they have been, they vote for the ACT candidate again. To get a National govt. again.
        Remember partnership schools is an ACT policy.
        I am NOT an ACT voter.

        • Euan Ross-Taylor

          So we are unlikely to have Banks as a candidate, who do we have to vote for this time? No Act is unlikely to get propped up by people here yet again. When Rodney was here it was easy. With Banks last year, we had to swallow hard and tick the box. Next year we will not vote for Banks and unless Act can put up a really credible candidate that we believe will be more than just a trougher in Wellington, then National had better get themselves a plan B smartly!

          • Bunswalla

            You definitely won’t vote for Banks next year – he’s declared he’s not standing.

          • Euan Ross-Taylor

            That’s right, so Act really need to get their new Epsom candidate out and into the limelight ASAP. They need to convince us that the person is worthy of a free ticket.

          • rockape

            Or Euan, the conservatives may stand in Epsom with Keys backing, . They may then get 3 to b4% of the vote and bring 3 or 4 MPs to the table.They didnt look good this poll but they are starting to get headlines and you know what they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity. A stupid yellow jacket worked for Rodney.

          • Bunswalla

            If Craig won Epsom, for example, and the Conservatives got 3.5% of the vote, I think that works out to around 5 MPs, possibly more depending on any wasted party votes (<5% and no electorate MP).

            The tragedy would be if the Cons won 4.9% of the vote and had no electorate MP – almost half their party votes (which they almost certainly didn't get from Lab/Greens/Maori/Mana) would go to those parties.

  • johnbronkhorst

    WHAT???Another chance to paste my April 2013 prediction….you guys make it too easy.
    Progressively, over the next year, unemployment will come
    down to perhaps below 6%, our govt. budget will balance, hospital waiting lists
    will continue to shrink and waiting times reduce, crime will continue to fall,
    road toll too, moody’s will upgrade our debt status keeping interest rates low
    and inflation low, economic growth will trend toward 4%pa, real after tax wages
    will grow by about 3-5%. balance of payments will be in surplus, the countries
    endebtedness will fall …all on the positive side of the ledger.
    Labour/greens bribes will be exposed as the ridiculous scam that they are. Showing that even if they had the effect that they say, other parts of the economy will be detrimentally effected as to make the over all impact negative on the lives of NZers.
    It’s a long way to the election!!! All National have to do
    is point out the above as it comes to pass.

  • middleagedwhiteguy

    Of course the big talking point should be that only 16.5% want to see Cunliffe as PM, which is less than HALF of Labour’s total support.

    They remain a party divided.

  • Lux

    Pants Down Len is making labour look bad, it’s no wonder they are dropping in the polls, who wants to associated with that smarmy little fink.

    • johnbronkhorst

      Len is on the list of reasons, however the following applies.
      1…..cunliffe being a liar.
      2. housing policy is a joke
      3. they have no unity.
      4. they still have the incompetent old guard there.
      5. they are the hand puppet of the unions
      6. they have no workable policies
      any more???

    • Cadwallader

      Interesting…how is the relationship between Cunners and Pants Down? Have they openly espoused each other? I don’t mean on the boardroom table though.

  • rightoverlabour

    I believe the most important stat here is the preferred PM. No one is near him, and is unlikely to get anywhere near him. Basically the stats are fairly static over the last 5 years which have included the global financial meltdown. If business confidence and the economy improves, why would the average man in the street want to change government? It will be close, but I can’t see a red/green monster in power any time soon.

    • IntrinsicValue

      You make an excellent point. I would also point to the fact that Nationals potential coalition partners are far more likely to win electorate seats than Labour’s. This makes a huge difference because it gifts minor parties above what their proportionality would otherwise determine if they can’t reach 5%.

  • thor42

    Go the Nats!
    Interesting to see that *both* Labour and the Greens are down in this poll. If that trend continues, it’ll be a great 2014.
    I see the Greens as being the most vulnerable. They haven’t been put under anywhere near enough of the blowtorch.

    • Kimbo

      Quite right- and good analysis.

      Clark won three elections because she distanced Labour from the Greens, such that she didn’t need them to form a government. Cunliffe won’t have that luxury.

      Outside of election years they are good fodder for the MSM, with PR stunts like the CIR, and their other childish politics of protest.

      But the closer it gets to election time, the more the focus goes on, “how are we gonna pay for all this stuff the Watermelons are promising”. Then middle New Zealand gets one hell of a fright.

  • Blue Water Coastie

    Sooo, why don’t people realise that 61% support for John Key as preferred Prime Minister, means that a massive majority want him as umm…Prime Minister. Cunners at 16% is a blip on the radar, yet Liebour are convinced of a win next election. Gotta love MMP.