Are the shy tories going with Winston?

The other night my missus was rung by UMR. They wanted someone in the 18-35 age bracket…40 something…mumble…mumble is close enough so she answered.

I know other people who flat out lie to pollsters. I just hang up on them because I have better things to do for 15 minutes of inane loaded questions.

The point is people these days are reticent to talk to pollsters, and sharing your political views on Twitter or Facebook ends in tears.

So, is there a protest vote out there who simply don’t answer the pollsters truthfully?

Brexit in Britain and Donald Trump’s election in the United States have revealed the polls can get it wrong, often dramatically. One of the reasons may be that some people feel too ashamed to admit where their allegiance lies – the “shame vote”.

Is a vote for New Zealand First on election day the “shame vote” that could upset the outcome of this country’s general election? Has a “chardonnay-drinking, pinky-finger pointing media”, according to leader Winston Peters, put pressure on polled voters to conceal their intentions?

It isn’t a “shame vote”, it’s a GFY vote, I’m not telling you because you are fake news pollsters.

According to the polls, Peters could become the “kingmaker” – meaning whoever he allies with on election day, Labour or National, could become the next government.

The latest One News Colmar Brunton polls, released on Wednesday, puts National at 46 per cent, Labour at 37 per cent, the Green Party at 8 per cent and New Zealand First at 5 per cent. With National’s existing allies of the Maori Party, ACT and United Future, and Labour’s presumed ally of the Greens, New Zealand First’s support would be required to tip either coalition over the 50 per cent mark to become the government.

When Peters visited Ashburton on Wednesday to announce his intention to replace the country’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) with a carbon budget, he chose the working class town fuming over water rights – a town that has gripes with both parties.

Speaking at Irrigation New Zealand’s conference, Peters slammed Labour’s policy to incorporate farmers into the carbon ETS.

“It’s about owning our problems and meeting our challenges our way – not enriching some carbon trader in New York. Labour’s intention to sting the average farm $30,000 a year to shovel that overseas is in a word, dumb,” he said.

Peters has ruled out taxing water for farmers’ commercial use – one of Labour’s major campaign promises. It threatens to dismantle the possibility of a New Zealand First-Labour coalition after election day.

Good. Labour will need both Winston and the Greens, and that isn’t going to go well for the Greens, and Labour’s water tax plans are in tatters.

Peters is equally critical of National’s record on water in New Zealand, connecting the party with what he says is the Waikato Regional Council’s intention to give the rights to trade water to Waikato iwi Ngati Tuwharetoa, which both the iwi and the regional council deny.

Winston will stop the constant brown-mailing that has gone on with the Maori party.

During his speech, and afterwards with an exclusive one-on-one with Stuff, Peters had a simple explanation for whether some voters were afraid to admit they vote for New Zealand First: “Because from the media we get such a bad rap.

We’re constantly being put down and rubbished by certain . . . chardonnay-drinking, pinky-finger pointing media – all the time bad mouthing us and a lot of people feel scared.

“That’s why those polls are nonsense. They’re going to come out election day and then you’ll see what the results are,” Peters said.

Peters said the “liberal media” put pressure on people to vote a certain way and, when the outcome went against the polls, the media tried to say those who supported the change were less intelligent.

“When the polls came in when they were leaving Brexit they were utterly shocked, they couldn’t believe it. And then they started talking about the intellectual capacity of these people, putting them down so to speak.”

When asked what his best achievement was over his 40 years in politics, Peters promised “the best is yet to come”.

Heh, classic Winston Peters.

National can’t win without him, and neither can Labour. If the vote tracks the way it has in every MMP election then Winston Peters will be the kingmaker.

If not…anything could happen.

 

-Fairfax

 


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