On polls and polling

The other day I wrote that the Media party and their polling companies had a great deal to answer for with their dodgy polling and commentary based off of the dodgy polling.

David Farrar has added a bit of commentary regarding this:

Grumpollie has prepared this chart. Basically it shows the two TV  were very accurate. The  of  and associated forecasts were less accurate. The Curia poll of (seperate to any internal polling I do) included the earlier Colmar Brunton  showing Labour leading so I expected it to be out.

The Listener poll, Horizon poll, Roy Morgan poll and Newsroom polls were massively out. Newsroom was in a different universe. To be fair to them their polls were done earlier in the campaign, but to be blunt Labour were never 15% ahead of National and any poll saying they were had serious problems.

Grumpollie also notes:

Unfortunately, with only three public polls left in New Zealand, the forecasts and polls-of-polls don’t have much data to inform their models and calculations. It can’t help either that polling methods change, making house effects unstable over multiple elections.

While they don’t perform as well as the actual polls at predicting the election result, the forecasts and polls-of-polls are really useful for reducing the noise, and understanding if voter sentiment is changing over time.

Of note, the worst performing and most dodgy of media organisations, Newroom, seem to have no self awareness of their predicament at all. They’ve run an article about the pollsters and the effect of the polls without even mentioning their own dreadful performance.

Gower’s delight over the result is partly revenge, because TV3 copped it after the 2014 election when it had one of the least accurate final polls.

The winner in 2014 was the rival 1 News Colmar Brunton poll. This time, Colmar was off the pace and in sporting terms “had a shocker” with its second-to-last poll before the election.

The Colmar poll had Labour on 43 percent and National on 41.

Mark Jennings seems about as honest as Tim Murphy when deluding themselves that they are credible when it comes to commenting on polling. If Colmar Brunton was off the pace then what about Newsroom’s own shocker, the worst of the worst and worse even than Roy Morgan.

If I was Selwyn Pellett I’d be having concerns over the integrity of their editorial team….let alone the financial performance of Newsroom.


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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. 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 who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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