Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Poll Soup

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  • Mr Mark, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

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    Here is 05-08,

    What this isn't showing, because I am just focusing on the L,H<G<NZF vote and non-vote is the Labour/Maori Party/No Vote movements.

    Yes, there was a one off (not in 11) big move from Labour to National. There was also a big move of Greens to Labour of about the same order as a percentage, but the Green donor size was smaller.

    Still a lot larger proportion going to no vote from Labour than National, which adds up over time.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’m curious if you know how many, and how you know. Longitudinal studies aren’t that common. It’s common to say “Labour lost voters to National”, but actually proving this based on opinion polls of total support is not very compelling.

    I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been polled over the years… +5 at least… (including UMR, Curia, Colmar)

    Most of them ask who you voted for at the last election before asking about current topics and intentions… if you say undecided, then most ask which way you are leaning… most ask if you intend to vote at all if an election is imminent…

    So while that wont* give multi-election sequential longitudinality (is that a word? :) it will at least cover change from last time…

    * I’m assuming that the results are randomised, and so they are only collecting 7% voted Oasis last election but will now vote Blur… as opposed to “survey respondee xy23a5" voted Oasis last election, intends to vote Blur in the coming one, and has previously voted Blur, Blur, Oasis and Maroon5 ?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 887 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    Oh yes, these POLLS, here we go again, the same all over again, and again, and yet again. When I hear and read about them, I do not pay that much attention to what the media presenters tell us, but I look at what was NOT mentioned. That is often much more important to take note of than what my appear at the surface.

    What we do not get is how many of the people contacted by the pollsters did have no view, chose not to bother to comment, had no idea about the political environment and events we have. How many were the undecided, I wonder, how many could simply not bother to respond to the many questions. Now that may be a significant percentage of the whole population, but these never really seem to be mentioned, as the polls only show how many persons of a sample group expressed a clear view or preference.

    We are back to the missing million, I say, those are the ones that are apparently not even included in the polls, as they cannot bother participating, have no clear view or preference, or are so disconnected, they do not even follow politics anymore.

    And how are these polls conducted, are they only asking political questions, or do they include these in a wider spread of questions that are put to the phoned up persons? Some persons I know have been contacted by polling companies, and they told me that they were asked at least two to three dozen questions, of which only some were political. There were questions about consumer preferences, about certain businesses, about a number of topics, and it seems that some companies combine polls and ask lots of questions, to which some will not bother answering as it may take them too long to answer.

    Counting just the ones who have clear preferences seems to just confirm the already known, that the National supporters tend to be the more conservative, asset owning, business friendly, entrepreneurial, laissez faire lot, who will make more of a commitment to vote, as they seek to protect their vested interests. Those that have no such interests, they feel less inclined to vote, as they already often feel rather powerless, and may see no point in voting.

    With the vanishing influence of unions (since around 1990) Labour has lost much clout, which is also evident in it lacking financial support, so they do depend mostly on their hard core traditional supporters (not getting any younger) and perhaps swing voters that may gain from what they can offer in attractive policy.

    The Greens are stuck with those often middle class professionals, and some student supporters in urban centres, who genuinely care for the environment and social fairness, but they do not appeal to the larger part of the population, given the fact that consumerism and commercialism has taken hold of much of our society (just look at the media). Re NZ First we know what support they get, which also is limited to the elderly, the nationalists and perhaps now disillusioned dairy farmers.

    These days elections can be decided by the large number of undecided or swing voters, who may influence the end result. As they tend to not express clear views and preferences, this makes it damned hard to get any realistic "polls" on what may be liked or preferred by the population as a whole.

    It is time Labour and Greens get cracking on getting that missing million a bit interested in what they do and wish to do when back in government. This navel-gazing and ongoing negative self analysis will hardly get us anywhere. A clear direction and inspiring, honest policy is the start, so internal arguing or confusion are the worst that can happen.

    Perhaps an inspiring, exciting movement is needed, a mission of sorts, nation building and stuff like that, as long as that does not happen, the voters may just stick to what they know, that devil called JK and his lot.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Marc C,

    It is time Labour and Greens get cracking on getting that missing million a bit interested in what they do and wish to do when back in government. This navel-gazing and ongoing negative self analysis will hardly get us anywhere. A clear direction and inspiring, honest policy is the start, so internal arguing or confusion are the worst that can happen

    Thank you Marc C.

    Regards,

    One of the million.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to Nick Russell,

    Bottom line – nobody owns the missing million.

    I agree...

    And their support is worthless anyway because they don’t vote. .

    If they continue to not vote, then sure it's worth nothing... but many suspect it's easier to convert them from not voting to voting, (ie. from not counting to worth something) if you can give them something to vote for... easier than getting previously voted for X to now voting Y...

    So you seem to be suggesting non-voters will always remain so? Self fulfilling if you dont even try to appeal to them...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 887 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark, in reply to David Hood,

    Brilliant, David. Thanks, I really appreciate it.

    So, at the decisive 2008 General Election:

    About 140,000 former Labour voters swing to the Nats
    20,000 Nats swing to Labour
    23,000 Lab voters move to Non-Voting
    10,000 Nats also stay at home on Election Day
    33,000 former NZFers swing to the Nats
    17,000 Greens move to National

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Mr Mark,

    Looking at the stuff.co article and also the Statistics NZ info, it shows that firstly, the non voters preferring Labour AND Greens clearly outnumber the ones preferring the National Party. And those that are on benefits, or poor, and also new migrants, they are more likely not to vote.

    This makes it clear, there is a good reservoir of people that are disengaged or do not bother to vote for other reasons, that would potentially vote for progressive kinds of policies, that is certainly so if they may benefit from this (e.g. low income earners getting better income prospects).

    Those that own homes and have savings and investments may tend to vote National, ACT and some perhaps NZ First or Conservatives. They tend to be more motivated, i.e. to protect their personal privileges and interests.

    The challenge seems clear enough for Labour and Greens, to activate those that may potentially vote for them, but so far those at the bottom, especially those on benefits, seem to largely be ignored, as Labour and also now the Greens tend to look at the middle class voters that vote National. But by going there, they lose potential votes at the other end. The task must be to get enough middle class voters AND more of those that have so fare tended not to vote.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    It has been my impression after the last three general elections Labour have been “frozen” and like a possum staring into the headlight of a car in front of them. Labour and even the Greens should stop falling for this fallacy that they have to win votes off National. Well, there may be some swing voters that voted National, but for the most, they are voting like that, because of their vested interests (caring for number one and their personal gains).

    The most certain destruction of Labour, perhaps even the Greens is, to keep telling and convincing them that they must compete with National for the votes and potential votes of the more selfish people in society. By following that false "advice", Labour and Greens would give up (or at least look like they give up) their principles and would lose all credit.

    Hence the ones like Hooton and Farrar keep going on and tell Labour to do just that, they know it will surely destroy Labour and their chances to even win again. Even the ones like Josie Pagani have fallen for this fallacy. Stay well clear of their so-called “advice”, it is the certain kiss of death that they promise.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    "Labour lost voters to National"

    Just another "Soundbite"

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Hood,

    Yes, there was a one off (not in 11) big move from Labour to National.

    Also looks like quite a big move from NZF to National.

    Just some thoughts, David - it could also be handy to make a net flow tally which has only the upper triangle, because we have to subtract National->Labour from Labour->National to see the total. Also, it would be handy to see No-Vote in the columns, so we can see how many went from not-voting to voting which parties.

    But good stuff nonetheless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to BenWilson,

    it would be handy to see No-Vote in the columns, so we can see how many went from not-voting to voting which parties.

    Wouldn’t “No-Vote” also include those under 18 at the time of the earlier election? If so, those numbers would swamp the signal you're seeking.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman,

    I think there are a few groups of voters that Labour could think about

    1) NZF voters that want to change the government. Think of them as 'Labour leaning NZF', or "anti-National NZF' or whatever.

    2) National party voters who really don't like Winston Peters. There's a lot of them, and some aren't available to Labour, but I wonder how many of that shift from Lab --> National in 08 switched partly because Key ruled Winston out. The people who don't like Winston's race baiting and general antics.

    (The soft National party voters who think a NZF/Lab/Greens govt wouldn't be stable also fit in here somewhere. National hammers the left on this, it was their whole campaign last time aside from 'cuspy sepcial dotcom sux')

    3)The RW National Party voters who might vote for NZF but don't because they hate Labour/Greens and don't want to end up voting for that.

    So, burn down Winston's fence.

    Target his current voters (1) by telling them a vote for NZF is probably a vote for National. The more it gets said the more 1's might shift to Labour and 3's from National to NZF.

    If a NZF National govt starts to look likely, those 2's might shift.

    the centre isn't sitting there, you have to create one. The centre is just 'those voters who swung' and you have to give them reasons to swing. And not all of them about policy eh.

    Obviously you need an issue to get them moving, to make the distancing from NZF seem real enough to convince those voters that they will need to change their vote to get what they want. Look at what NZF and the right wing of National agree on, that the liberal Nat voters don't like. Iwi water rights are coming up and the Nat back bench is starting to squark.

    And Labour owes the Maori seats some love. Winston's fence delenda est.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Robertson, in reply to Mr Mark,

    Thanks for the re-cap Mark.

    For the record, the Andrew R posting here is not the Andrew R from Colmar Brunton :)

    When posting here I use my full name.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2014 • 65 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Robertson,

    Reply to Sacha.

    No it’s not him (he seems like a very reasonable fellow though)

    Wellington • Since Apr 2014 • 65 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to linger,

    Wouldn’t “No-Vote” also include those under 18 at the time of the earlier

    My first thought as well, but it would tell you where people entering the political process were placing themselves.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to linger,

    Wouldn’t “No-Vote” also include those under 18 at the time of the earlier election? If so, those numbers would swamp the signal you’re seeking.

    I'd have to look a bit harder to see if they're No-Vote or just NA (R-style), but yes, they should be accounted for. They could be excluded reasonably easily, as the survey has their birth year and month (jyear and jmonth variables). I get a rough count of 100 of the respondents being in this age range out of the 3101 respondents.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

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    Sorry for late reply to questions about 'the missing million'. Here's the 2011 NZES data on non-voters and how they responded to the question about whether they liked the National Party. They like Labour/the Greens quite a lot less.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Attachment

    Danyl, I'm seeing them as liking Labour more- Mainly because Labour has many fewer non-voters despising it than National has. Excluding the Don't Knows and Didn't Answers, the median Labour liking is 6 while the median National liking is 5.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Attachment

    For completeness, here are the Greens and NZF as well (both with median of 5, making Labour the most liked of the big 4 among non-voters)

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Reinforcing this, if we go to the "I would never vote for" questions, among non-voters in 2011:
    23.4% would never vote National
    9.5% would never vote Labour
    15.4% would never vote Green
    27.0% would never vote NZF

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Mainly because Labour has many fewer non-voters despising it than National has. Excluding the Don't Knows and Didn't Answers, the median Labour liking is 6 while the median National liking is 5.

    Just checked this and you're right. Thanks. It does still, I think, point to the complexity of the 'missing million' as a panacea for the left.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Attachment

    Here is another way of visualising it- comparing the results between liking National and Labour, for those non-voters that expressed a liking rating for both National and Labour.

    There are 2 big clusters-

    A bunch (42/367) of non-voters feel the same about National and Labour, neither liking nor disliking them.

    A smaller bunch (20/367) of non-voters despise National and love Labour

    Then, smaller again come a closely matched bunch of neither like nor dislike National while loving Labour (11/367), despise Labour and love National (10/367), despise National and like Labour (8/367) and despise National and neither like nor dislike Labour (7/367). Then we get a whole bunch of mild feelings nearish the middle.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Note that you can link NZES surveys together to create a time series of sorts.

    What struck me was the frailty of human memory- the people who gave different answers to the question "who did you vote for in 2008?" between when they were asked the question in 2008, and when they were looking back on 2008 from 2011.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Hood,

    What struck me was the frailty of human memory-

    Yes, an actual study that asked them closer to the time is more reliable than getting them to dredge back. How much more reliable? One to look into, considering that a longitudinal study is more expensive and also the opportunity has simply passed to collect information that you didn't think you might want at the time. I guess it would be possible to model the memory curve (particularly in light of having an actual longitudinal study as a reference point) and thus put some kind of confidence numbers around a study done right now which asks the candidates to please think back and state who they voted for as far back as they can remember.

    If they're given as much time as they like to answer (and I think they mostly are, it being a paper and internet form based survey) it could still be very useful for insights into how people change their voting. Quite aside from being an interesting study into political memory.

    Not that we're designing the NZES.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

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