NZ Election Polls

The NZ Election is November 8 which is tomorrow.  Labour needs the Greens and The Maori Party to make the numbers work and even then it probably won’t be enough. Official results from 7pm NZ time on 8th Nov.

Russell Brown has made a partial assessment of Labours very real progress in government over here.

Labour’s real achievements — net government debt reduced from 20 billion to two billion before the current crisis; unemployment down to levels many people didn’t think possible; a huge drop in the number of welfare beneficiaries, especially per capita; real wage growth; GDP growth that outstripped the OECD for years; a historic turnaround of trends in poverty; the repair of a public sector that was in dire straits by the end of the 90s; a serious attempt to address our savings problem via KiwiSaver and the Superannuation Fund; and a degree of stability that we now all take for granted — outweigh any counterfactual.

In 20 years’ time, those achievements will be regarded as prodigious and defining of an era. The fact that Helen Clark signed a painting for charity, or that her car once went really fast with a police escort on an open road; or the absurd mythology constructed around the departure of an under-performing police commissioner; none of these will be thought of as anything important.

It’s a measure of success that a string of key initiatives are now part of the landscape: National has had no choice but to accept and embrace Working for Families and the Super Fund if it wants to be in government. It has been obliged to promise that it will not sell Kiwibank or anything else“.

…I would say that telecommunications reform has been this government’s most impressive legislative achievement.”

Hopefully votes will remember the gains not the lack lustre campaigns from both of the main parties.

I’m personally hoping that the Greens take some votes off National.  At present it looks like the Greens get most of their recent support from former Labour party voters and hopefully they will get to 9-10% (might get them 11 or 12 seats.)  See election % seat calculator here.

Best guess is Nats coalition with 64 seats and Labour with 58. Even if the projected gap is less than 6 seats because the Greens and the Maori Party get a few more seats we are in for a new PM.

The sad thing about a National win is the absolute lack of talent on their front bench. The whole of the National campaign has focussed on John Key and away from the regular bumbles of the old hacks in that party. Lets hope John ignores the dead wood if he wins.

Key has presented a more centrist position than I believe most of his party would like. Odds are if they win the gloves come off and the real policies push more to the right. This is especially true now that the Act Party are in the National mix. (I note that Act are expected to get 3 seats – perhaps they only get 2 ?)

It is a very long shot for Labour unless there is a major last minute change. If the Maori Party wins more seats than expected then the numbers needed to form a coalition go up due to overhangs.

If I am correct the graph image below has been updated almost in real time up to7 Nov.

Polls from Wikipedia

Fuller details are on the Wikipedia page by Mark Payne I’m picking this approach is better than any of the single polls.

Marks notes below.

“Refusals are generally excluded from the party vote percentages, while question wording and the treatment of “don’t know” responses and those not intending to vote may vary between survey firms.”

“Summary of poll results up to 7 November 2008 for all political parties that have exceeded the 5.0% MMP threshold. Lines give the mean estimated by a Loess smoother, with shaded grey areas showing the corresponding 95% confidence interval for the estimate. Figures to the right show the estimate from the smoothing line at the date of the most recent poll, with 95% confidence interval.”

Seats allocation will be close to this calculation from Curia

Update:4:23pm – new Roy Morgan Poll has gaps somewhat closed. NZ First support looks strangely high and the wildcard award goes to the Epsom seat where Labour Party voters are being encouraged to vote for National in order to beat Rodney. Although Rodney is probably safe. Ironically word is that Key who lives in Epsom electorate will be voting for Rodney although he is probably obliged to vote in his actual Helensville seat.

Of course the real question is given that we are over polled how many people will react based on the polls. A kind of Heisenberg effect on polls. The idea of a  social desirability bias or some other counter balancing factor may well influence voters on the actual day. MIght only be relevant for uncool causes like NZFirst.

For example the low showing of NZ First in the polls may actually help them get more votes in Tauranga where Winston could win at electorate level. In uncertain times we may even have voters who go for the status quo as that is more predicatable.

Perhaps the side effect most difficult to measure is the tradeoffs between Labour / Greens and National/Act.  Some voters might think that the Greens polling at a range of 10-11.5% is too high and must be taking too many votes off the main party so they might switch their vote at the last minute.

I’m personally hoping that we have a better idea of how MMP and coalitions work so that the Greens can poll as high as possible and use their influence where they see fit.

Hopefully by next week we will have a new Government elected and we can all get on with our lives.