Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Gower Speaks

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  • bmk, in reply to BenWilson,

    On the question of "What will Winston do?", the data I think would be most relevant that could be collected is "What do NZF voters want him to do?". If a strong and clear majority want him to go with National, that makes it very much more likely. Because he'd lose a lot of support if he didn't do it.

    In a normal world - yes. But with Winston I don't see it. Before the '96 election he railed strongly against National - he made it seem quite clear that a vote for NZF was a vote to boot National out. After the election everyone assumed he would go with Labour including all the media. People close to him said that he partly went with National because he was so annoyed with all the media assuming he would go with Labour (which was a perfectly valid assumption considering his preëlection statements). Another factor was apparently that National simply offered a lot more than Labour - I think this could happen again.

    Anyway what I'm trying to say is I think Winston will do whatever he wants - he won't do what his supporters want(in fact he especially may not care about them since it's quite likely to be his last term) unless it coincides with his own interests.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to bmk,

    Anyway what I’m trying to say is I think Winston will do whatever he wants –

    He says he is not the Party. He is the leader of NZFirst and would like others to treat him as that rather than the only one in the Party. He stressed that he is in a Party the last time I heard him. If that seems to be different from before perhaps that can be seen as different altogether.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Australopithecus,

    Here is my nightmare scenario. Winston decides to go with National

    So get on ya horse and tell him. Or, by your lovely gravatar, maybe not the horse. Their Website is easy to find and email is even easier. Power to the peoples. We are not sheeples!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    He says he is not the Party. He is the leader of NZFirst and would like others to treat him as that rather than the only one in the Party. He stressed that he is in a Party the last time I heard him. If that seems to be different from before perhaps that can be seen as different altogether.

    I simply don't believe him. Based on past experience and the history of New Zealand First. He can say what he likes but again he's a proven liar.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • steve black, in reply to bmk,

    In reality what might be happening is Labour is taking 2% off National while Greens are taking 2% off Labour. Unless you had a panel you regularly poll and track the changes there would be no way of knowing.

    Bingo. I’d call it a longitudinal study, market research companies call them panels. Basically you have to track the same individuals to see who moves in and out of being undecided vs party support for a particular party. Otherwise we’re just interpreting “ecological correlations” (that’s what I call them, but they will have other names in other disciplines) which is a good example of why you hear “correlation doesn’t imply causation”. Don’t get me wrong, you can use all sorts of techniques for prediction quite successfully, but that doesn’t get you strong evidence for the “why” questions we talk about in our narratives.

    I seem to remember that in the studies of the 1999 and 2002 elections Vowels, et al. followed a panel (among other data sources). I’ve just gone and grabbed them off my shelf. I’ll have to have re-read them and get back up to speed.

    On another note, I always bridle upon hearing "in a democracy people get the government they deserve". Well, I don't think so. I usually end up getting the government other people deserve. I deserve better. And under current scenarios I may end up getting the government Winston deserves.

    sunny mt albert • Since Jan 2007 • 116 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to bmk,

    Ok, but Mike Williams did offer this as a way of explaining what I presume you mean.
    It's politics as we know it.

    As I facilitated the donation in question, I can report - for the first time - that Peters was in fact telling the strict truth.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Henry Barnard, in reply to BenWilson,

    On the question of “What will Winston do?”, the data I think would be most relevant that could be collected is “What do NZF voters want him to do?”. If a strong and clear majority want him to go with National, that makes it very much more likely. Because he’d lose a lot of support if he didn’t do it.

    Isn't that, sort of, what the Horizon poll does with its question "If there is a coalition government after the next general election, which main party would you prefer to lead it?" The answers from those who gave their party vote to NZF in 2011 (n=230): Labour 73%, National 27%.

    However, as we have been reminded, Peters went with National in 1996 - and was booted out in 1999. But if this is his last fling, would he care about repeating that history? Especially as NZF and Green are, as Ben puts it, `positively correlated'?

    Palmerston North • Since Aug 2013 • 65 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I can't see much to support his claim that the polls are way too kind on the Greens. I can only think he's talking about reasonably long time ago. But he's right about his own support being consistently underestimated by polls, and National's being overestimated.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • JonathanM, in reply to BenWilson,

    The average house-effect for the Greens from Peter Green's poll of polls is 0.46%, so not as high as other parties, but around 1/2 of a seat. Roy Morgan is at 1.2% and Fairfax Media Ipsos at -0.2%.

    Since Jul 2012 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Australopithecus, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    So get on ya horse and tell him

    Interesting idea Sofie.

    I would never had thought to write to Winston Peters (I’m not what you would call his core constituency).

    He and I might not share many common values, but we do agree on the detrimental influence foreign investment is having. And the threat to our sovereignty the TPPA represents.

    Winston is shaping up to be the most influential person in determining the outcome of this election. This is also likely to be his last term, his thoughts may turn to: What will be my legacy? How will I leave this country a better place?

    What would persuade him a Labour led government would best achieve his goals?

    Power to the peoples. We are not sheeples!

    Heh, whenever I hear that word I think of this.

    Te Pahu • Since Apr 2014 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Henry Barnard,

    Especially as NZF and Green are, as Ben puts it, `positively correlated’?

    They are correlated, but that actually makes their voters different to each other. When the vote of one goes up, so does the vote of the other - that's because their vote reflects either National or Labour weakness, and they tend to gain from their disaffection.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Australopithecus,

    What would persuade him a Labour led government would best achieve his goals?

    Labour and the Greens approaching him and negotiating in good faith, I'd think. It's the only thing that would convince me that it would be a good idea. Essentially they give a blueprint of their bottom line when it comes to Peters, and some indication of what they think his role would be. It's more important for the Greens to do this than Labour, really. Considering that their history is that he deliberately excluded them from a Labour-led govt once before. They're in a position to do the same to him, but of course he could pick a National led government instead.They need to have it on the table exactly what he would absolutely stickle on, and what there's wiggle room for, and give him the same information about them. It would be an extremely productive exercise, a true look at how they might work as a government. If that breaks down totally within a month due to irreconcilable differences, then that's very, very powerful information that NZF voters should know, if they would actually prefer a Labour led government in reality.

    If Winston genuinely is as against asset sales as he claims, as he has always claimed, as he indeed formed his party over when he split from National in disgust, then NZF and Greens have the power between them to finally actually do something real about it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to George Darroch,

    that’s because their vote reflects either National or Labour weakness, and they tend to gain from their disaffection.

    It's hard to be sure if that story is true. Greens are not strongly correlated to Labour, but they are to National, negatively.

    I see a bunch of possible explanations:
    1. The traditional one, popular with the Labour "vote stealing" group. Greens pick up disaffected Labour voters when Labour moves Right, but Labour picks up National voters to cover this.
    2. There is an appreciable fraction of people swinging between National and the Greens
    3. Green voters are more likely to be apathetic. When National is doing well, they feel more inclined not to vote.
    4. There is no causal link, and we are just seeing that the Greens had a substantial upswing simultaneously with a downswing for National. This was around the time of the last election. It's a coincidence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Australopithecus,

    Interesting idea Sofie.

    Not really, I don't have a lot in common with Winston or NZF and I think some of their views are a little extreme, but I'm starting to see how extreme gets one noticed in Politics and that in itself seems to be a strategy.
    What I do know about Winston is he, as a person to have a drink with, is courteous, impeccably dressed and interested in different points of view. Your view is just as valid as his so the fact that NZF has contact details for all in the Party says to me ,you can write. I also agree with you if that helps build confidence in having a go. It would be a nightmare to let NaCtional govern past September.
    So no sheeples eh? ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • JonathanM,

    5. The correlation is partly due to the fact that the party vote is necessarily dependent (they add to 100%).

    Turns out that when you take this into account, the movement of Labour/National is unsurprising, but some of the others are (e.g. Green/National is higher than you'd expect). If the polls were just random variation around the true unchanging value, you'd expect negative correlation between all pairs of parties, with the magnitude increasing with the proportion of the vote that the parties command. That you get positive correlation or no correlation between some pairs suggests that there is some net movement over and above the sampling noise.

    6. All of the above + other stuff?

    Since Jul 2012 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • steve black, in reply to JonathanM,

    The average house-effect for the Greens from Peter Green’s poll of polls is 0.46%, so not as high as other parties, but around 1/2 of a seat. Roy Morgan is at 1.2% and Fairfax Media Ipsos at -0.2%

    I might have missed discussion of this, but are there any references you (or others) can point me to which discuss these house effects in more detail? I'm getting curious.

    For example, are they consistent for a given research house over some years? How consistent? Could some sort of model incorporating randomness account for them? Presuming not...on to:

    Has anybody put forward some info or ideas on what methodological aspects might give rise to house effects (aka bias in the technical statistical sense) of this magnitude and consistency? Are we looking at questionnaire design? interviewer training? sampling methodology? interview methodology? number of callbacks? weighting scheme? Curiouser and curiouser, cried Alice.

    sunny mt albert • Since Jan 2007 • 116 posts Report Reply

  • steve black, in reply to JonathanM,

    6. All of the above + other stuff

    Just a partially formed thought:

    Could “other stuff” include a different model which postulates that people move in or out of main party support (lumped together – although not in voter’s minds!) versus minor party support (lumped together) depending on what they currently perceive as the “strategic choice” to achieve what they want out of the election? For example, some (what %?) of major party supporters might move to be minor party supporters when polls “tell them” that the Nats can govern alone thus it is "safe" to go minor.

    I haven’t worked through all the consequences of such a model yet. I’ll rely on younger faster brains to work out of the model might or might not be interesting.

    sunny mt albert • Since Jan 2007 • 116 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to steve black,

    weighting scheme?

    that’s what I’ve seen mentioned.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    As an aside, I am signed up to answer those horizon polls. I haven't been asked lately to answer any of them. I still answer a few others but not political ones. Why?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • JonathanM, in reply to steve black,

    I might have missed discussion of this, but are there any references you (or others) can point me to which discuss these house effects in more detail? I’m getting curious.

    For example, are they consistent for a given research house over some years? How consistent? Could some sort of model incorporating randomness account for them?

    Peter has a bit of info on the model underneath the code.

    https://gist.github.com/pitakakariki/2791866

    The model is per-party GAMs with a smooth function of date, and additive fixed effects for polling house. Thus, same shape, different constant levels per polling company. The election is included as a separate polling company and weighted 1000-fold higher than the polls. This is basically equivalent to fitting separate parallel curves through each polling companies results, then moving the curves up or down to pass through the election result.

    I'm not sure what you could do about house effects changing through time. We know they likely will (due to methodological changes) but estimating that might be tricky. An idea off the top of my head would be to assume methodological changes would be some sort of step function that occurs at a sufficiently slow rate? A start might be to just split the data post election into two time periods, and estimate separate house effects for the two periods. The first time period's house effects are found based on the election result, and the second such that the corrected mean 'truth' needs to be continuous?

    Since Jul 2012 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Speaking of good questions…
    Cafca’s Murray Horton is on a nationwide pre-election speaking tour, talking to the vital question:
    Who’s Running The Show? And In Whose Interests?

    Golden Bay – Mon April 14
    Nelson – Tues April 15
    (This is The 2013 Roger Award Presentation Event – not the talk)
    Blenheim – Wed April 16

    Waiheke – Sunday May 4
    Auckland – Monday May 5
    Whangarei – Tues May 6
    Kaitaia – Weds May 7
    Auckland – Thurs May 8
    or Fri May 9 – (?) have to check that one

    Hamilton – Mon May 12
    Te Awamutu – Tues May 13
    Thames – Weds May 14
    Waihi – Thurs May 15
    Te Aroha – Fri May 16
    Whakatane/Opotiki – Mon May 19
    Gisborne – Tue May 20
    Clive – Wed May 21
    Palmerston North – Thu May 22

    Whanganui – Mon May 26
    Paekakariki – Tue May 27
    Wellington – Weds May 28
    Otaki – Thurs May 29

    Christchurch – Weds June 25

    Full Itinerary details here

    Here's an article by Matthew Littlewood on the Timaru talk last week...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Green, in reply to steve black,

    For example, are they consistent for a given research house over some years?

    No, not consistent over a long time period (multiple election cycles). The polling firms are always trying to improve their methods, so we wouldn't expect them to be.

    They look reasonable consistent over shorter periods (an election cycle), although I haven't formally tested this.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2011 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Peter Green,

    They look reasonable consistent over shorter periods (an election cycle), although I haven’t formally tested this.

    That does make sense, since until an election they don't have any information upon which to judge their house bias for any methodological change. I'd hope they'd want to stick to a methodology throughout the cycle, otherwise comparing a result to the previous one becomes suspect. They wouldn't want to report a surge in support that was really just them changing their methodology. I don't know if my hope is the truth though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

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