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.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.