Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Spring Timing

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  • Richard Aston, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Maybe Grant Robertson will have a role to play there too. He seems capable of collegiality in this area.

    Agreed, but what influence do you think Matt McCarten will have on the Labour/Green relationship.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Shane Jones should give it up and go and be CEO of his slave-fishing operation again.

    Well, you know what - I think Cunliffe needs a plausibly deniable Winston Peters analog to do all that icky populist stuff that wouldn't look at all nice coming from a rich white prick. Shame that didn't get a few people people outraged.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    And of course, disheartened Labour voters.

    David keeps sending me mail, and I feel so mean for being unable to tell him that he's got my vote. I just don't trust Labour not to try to screw me if Russel and Metiria aren't around to keep them honest.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Stephen R,

    Agreed, but what influence do you think Matt McCarten will have on the Labour/Green relationship.

    He and Liala Harre, I thought, had a good history? Also, in reply to Russel's earlier point, I understand that Grant had a lead role working with the Greens in the last Labour Government (as a senior adviser to Clark).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    1. We are dooooooooooomed.

    Or people will awake from their apathetic slumber realise we need a new direction and way of dealing with problems way into the future that johnkey$(sorry) & co will never deliver because of their limited view of the world and vote a Labour/Greens coalition in.... Hmmmmm... Nah
    We're doomed!

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

    "I've now been told by two people that the timing has been influenced by a sharp dip in National's (and Key's) internal polling. It's sure not showing in the public polls."

    I can't see the connection with a September poll date. They'll lose by less than if they wait for November?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Tinakori,

    I can’t see the connection with a September poll date. They’ll lose by less than if they wait for November?

    Um, yeah... I'm not seeing the logic in that either. Clark went seriously early in 2002, because the Opposition was such an almighty mess it would have been churlish not to take full advantage and the Alliance melting-down was a very convenient pretext. (Even Clark wasn't pushing with much conviction the party line that the Alliance/Greens split rendered the country ungovernable. At no point were the Greens talking about denying confidence.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Isaac Freeman, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    Fortunately for both parties, there are at least 2 groups the Greens can reach that Labour can’t.

    National voters

    This definitely happens more often than many outside the Greens realise. There's a significant constituency of small-c conservative voters who are no longer served by the National Party, but couldn't imagine voting Labour. They're especially motivated against asset sales, and at least some of them vote Green.

    There may also be Māori voters who've become disillusioned with the Māori Party, but don't trust Labour. Metiria Turei's role as the first female MP to Waitangi was significant, especially following her declining an invitation to speak last year.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 134 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    It may be National's to lose, but the margin is really quite small, and National don't have any positive policy left. They're riding on Labour's mistakes now, and that's not a secure place to be. It might only take a couple of really popular policy announcements by Labour, and some shitstorm of their own, and we'll be calling this Labour/Green's race to lose. It was like that only a couple of months ago.

    As for how Labour should deal with the Green tainting: They should own it. It's nearly certain that they will need the Greens as a coalition partner. They can sell it as that they will "keep each other honest". Any time the question of the crazy things the Greens want comes up, they just answer "So vote for us - we'll keep them honest". Green voters who despise the neoliberal wing of Labour can be told that the Green party can effectively veto anything excessive.

    Of course it would help even more if they can give us insight as to what points they actually agree on. If they actually had mature policy that they'd already largely OKed with the other group, it might sound like a team with a plan.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to BenWilson,

    Of course it would help even more if they can give us insight as to what points they actually agree on. If they actually had mature policy that they’d already largely OKed with the other group, it might sound like a team with a plan.

    +1

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Ben, I think both parties need to manage their respective strategies to maximise their unique vote while being aware of the vote that shifts between the respective parties.

    I am interested in the various comments here that the Greens can attract votes from National. I assumed that's why they've selected candidates like James Shaw at the last election to replace Sue Kedgley.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to BenWilson,

    As for how Labour should deal with the Green tainting: They should own it. It’s nearly certain that they will need the Greens as a coalition partner. They can sell it as that they will “keep each other honest”.

    Or how about stop treating duly electred representatives in a parliamentary democracy as impertinent interlopers? Oh, and stop treating citizens like they're utter fuckwits. If I can get that Labour and the Greens have substantive policy differences, you go into an election campaign to maximize your vote, and you require a majority to pass legislation, anyone can figure it out.

    But respect is a two way street, Ben. Yes, clearly articulate those differences. But you can't tacitly send out Shane Jones to brown-neck the Maori Party and Greens before the election, then clutch your pearls in horror when that doesn't exactly leave them well-disposed afterwards.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    I certainly know National supporters that would like to imagine a Green national coalition "if they would just jettison the social justice stuff and concentrate on the environment", so I'm not sure how real that interest is in the actual Green Party rather than the imaginary one.
    There should also be an element of Green support from the more libertarian right in a "keeping the government honest" kind of way, but normally being pro-corporate seems to trump being anti-authoritarian.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark, in reply to George Darroch,

    National won the last election and the one previous on the back of a lot of soft support, with a high concentration of votes from young women

    I find that difficult to believe, George. Over the last decade, poll breakdowns have consistently suggested both (1) Women and (2) the Under-35s disproportionately vote for the Left (and hence, of course, are under-represented among Right Bloc support).

    (My only caveat is that I haven't seen the NZ Election Study Statistics for the last 2 Elections, but I assume they confirm poll breakdowns)

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The problem may be that less engaged voters still don't seem to like him (Cunliffe)

    Far too much has been made of this putative trust and likeability gap between Key and Cunliffe. A lot of the comment over recent weeks seems to be grounded in a fairly dodgy reading of the February Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll.

    Not entirely surprising given Tracy Watkins' less-than-accurate analysis. Under the headline Poll: Key most liked, trusted , she tells us that the poll reveals Key is "by far our most liked and trusted politician" And that "the bad news for Mr Cunliffe" is that only Craig, Harawira and Dotcom are more disliked. (Note: She's wrong - Peters also has a higher dislike % than Cunliffe).

    That's led various Tory trolls on The Standard and elsewhere over recent weeks to talk of Key being amazingly popular and Cunliffe being roundly hated.

    It's a bit of a surprise, then, to see from the actual poll results that Key is distrusted and disliked by 39% and 37% respectively, while Cunliffe's corresponding figures are only slightly higher: 43% and 45%.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    1. We are dooooooooooomed.

    Yeah, probably.

    The UK Labour Party has a lead on the Conservatives at the moment despite the gradual improvement in the economy here. One of Ed Miliband's more effective lines of attack has been the UK's "cost of living crisis", particularly the steadily increasing cost of energy.

    I would have thought this would resonate in New Zealand, where everything from housing to electricity seems to have become more expensive - in part because of reforms introduced by successive National governments. The idea would be to increase the disposable income of the average worker by lowering the costs they face (rather than by increasing wages or changing the tax system) whilst lowering the costs of production for firms.

    I suppose I just miss Helen and Michael.

    Lastly, given that it's the only thing I'm likely to be able to influence this election, I'd like to throw my support behing a green fern on a white flag, rather than the silver fern on a black flag.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Russell Brown But even after a string of bad polls for the Opposition, the actual numbers will end up closer than that

    Deep Red Another thing to consider is that most of the major pollsters predicted an outright Nats majority, and all of those predictions proved off the mark

    I’ll outline my own analysis (based on more detailed statistics over a broader time-span) below. But first, I’ll point to Gavin White…. http://sayit.co.nz/blog/what-political-polls-tell-us , Rob Salmond… http://polity.co.nz/content/x-more-thoughts-poll-bias and Danyl…http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/tracking-poll-update/ for arguments (based on the final 2 weeks of polls during previous Election campaigns) that Polling companies seem to consistently overstate National support.

    What I’ve done is to calculate National’s monthly poll average for the 08 and 11 Election years and then compare it (in parentheses) with National’s actual Party-Vote Election result later that year: (so, for example, the Nats averaged 52% in the opinion polls of March 2011 and that was 5 percentage points higher than the proportion they in fact received at the 2011 election):

    National 2011

    March 52% (+5), April 54% (+7), May 52% (+5), June 53% (+6), July 53% (+6), August 54% (+7), September 55% (+8), October 54% (+7), Early November 52% (+5), Late November 51% (+4), 2011 Election: 47%

    National 2008

    March 49% (+4), April 51% (+6), May 52% (+7), June 54% (+9), July 51% (+6), August 49% (+4), September 49% (+4), Early/Mid October 48% (+3), Late October/Early November 46% (+1), 2008 Election: 45%

    So, all things being equal, I suspect you can probably subtract 4-7 points off National’s current polling (averaging roughly 49% at the moment). But, it’s important not to assume that this can simply be added on to the Left Bloc vote. Some of it goes to National’s minor support parties on the Right (which tend to receive a slight boost after Key’s teacup luncheons – in which he often accompanies Peter Dunne on the hammond organ).

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to WH,

    Lastly, given that it’s the only thing I’m likely to be able to influence this election, I’d like to throw my support behing a green fern on a white flag, rather than the silver fern on a black flag.

    Thanks for the beginnings of the defeatism Brigade. I would have thought now would be a good time to believe your vote does actually count and that we are worth something other than a smile as he waves.
    Next, the Flag,
    It's not this Election, it's after the Election.
    And the thought of white flag over a blag flag? Are we Pirates or just surrendering ?
    The Flag would be a National redherring and now that it's after, at least we can actually concentrate on the issues leading up to the Election and the appalling record of what we have been served since the last one.

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

  • Craig Young, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Actually, Emma, I hope they do. It is long since time that that facile religious social conservative party with a thin garnishing of mixed fiscal conservative and other Mac-policies was exposed for what it really is, with greater investigative scrutiny than some political commentators have managed.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    So do I.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Nimmo, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    The Roy Morgan numbers look pretty soft when it comes to the small parties. On a 997 person survey, a percentage-point is just ten people. So it’s hard to get much from the bouncing around of Mana, Mäori, Conservative and even NZ First numbers (when you’re on 0-3% you’re always in the margin of error :))

    I know this was a while back in the thread, and this issue came up on a Pundit thread a while back, but I think it’s always worth pointing out that this isn’t quite right. The margin of error on an individual result in a poll basically depends on how far it is from 50% – only at 50% is the MoE equal to the reported MoE, for all other results it is smaller.

    (And this means that if those little results do bounce around wildly then there might be some methodological issues... Or people just can't make up their minds)

    Wellington • Since May 2009 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Mr Mark,

    I don't even know why they ask the question - we elect parties and candidates, not a prime minister? Perhaps because they know National are vulnerable on issues and they want to personalise the campaign as much as possible?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Isaac Freeman,

    There may also be Māori voters who’ve become disillusioned with the Māori Party, but don’t trust Labour. Metiria Turei’s role as the first female MP to Waitangi was significant, especially following her declining an invitation to speak last year.

    I spent part of my school years in a rural primary school during the 1970s, and the school, at that time was classified by the education departments as a “Maori school”. I learned in hindsight that Maori where not part of the academic conversation. That "Maori primary schools" were not preparing its children for university like mainstream primary schools where. Most of the adults in the area worked for the freesing works.

    Moving right along, The Mana party and the Maori party are going the play a part in the next parliament. And it might come down to Mana in the end.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    they want to personalise the campaign

    That's what they did last time, trying to give it a Presidential campaign feel, complete with all the disproportionate clouds of vapid steam and hoopla that creates...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    If I can get that Labour and the Greens have substantive policy differences, you go into an election campaign to maximize your vote, and you require a majority to pass legislation, anyone can figure it out.

    Perhaps so, but that's a weakness National mostly don't have, when their shot at the crown involves ruling outright. You know what you're going to get, or at least what you're aiming to get, when you vote National. The horse trading will happen but will be minimal if they have a commanding bloc, able to pick and choose what minority party support they get.

    Labour is not in this position. There will be no choice at all in going with the Greens, if the scenario occurs that National+ACT+UF+MP doesn't make the numbers. No other party will give them enough numbers to make a viable coalition, although other parties might be needed as well.

    Which means that National has little to lose by tying Labour to the Greens in the public consciousness. It's not something Labour can shake.

    So I say that their strategy at this point should be to own this near-fact. If they try to slither away all the time and speak of policy that the Greens really do not like, National can undermine their credibility as a coalition, point out that Labour will not be able to do what they say.

    Which is not to say, of course, that there should be no difference in their policy. It's just that the major points of agreement could easily be made clear early on. Then the horse trading will be around the margins, as it will be with National, rather than on core policy and direction issues.

    Where they disagree, there can be healthy debate, but it should be clear that such disagreement will likely hamstring those policies for both sides, if the differences are substantial. And there are also areas where only one side even has a strong opinion - those are points of differentiation, that give the apathetic non-voters a reason to pick one over the other, or indeed to show up at all. Greens might have all sorts of plans for energy efficiency, for instance, that Labour doesn't object to, but doesn't really want to put any effort into either. It would be sound for both of them NOT to nick popular policy of the other team just to take their votes, but to leave something in it for the other party so their total team vote is much increased by there actually being a different bunch of policies for voters to choose from.

    TLDR version: Labour needs the Greens. Instead of dodging this fact, they should predicate their campaign on it, to preempt the near certainty that National is going to predicate their attack campaign on exactly the same fact.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

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