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Sunday, January 09, 2011

The reason the right wing are freaking out about the Horizon Poll

Poll shows Labour swinging into race
KIWIS EXPECT John Key's National Party to romp to victory in this year's election, but Labour still has a chance of leading a left-leaning coalition government, according to a major new poll.

Two-thirds of voters polled last month by Horizon Research believe National will be able to govern after the election, expected to be held in November.

But when asked to reveal their personal voting intentions, the result makes the election too close to call. National is by far the single most popular party, with 40.4% of the 1718 people polled saying they will give it their party vote, compared to just 28.3% for Labour. But the poll also predicts 8.9% for both the Greens and New Zealand First, 2% for Act, 1.7% for the Maori Party, and 1.2% for United Future.

When those parties are taken into account, a Labour-Greens-New Zealand First alliance (46.1%) would be a whisker ahead of a National-Act-Maori Party-United Future coalition (45.3%).

From the whaleoil to the Kiwiblogh, the right wing blogosphere keeps screaming 'Rogue Poll' so much I thought the Hon Maurice Williamson's erection had escaped.

So what is the beef of the right? That the Horizon Poll is apparently so far out of whack to all the ones they've been relying on to proclaim National will win by over 50% of the vote that it must be a 'rogue poll' and the mere mention of it by a Newspaper is a credibility destroying event on par with publishing an editorial proclaiming a date for the rapture.

Now of course those who sell these cheap brainfart telephone polls that are academically questionable have a very vested interest in denigrating Horizon, if their soothsayer abilities are called into question they don't have much to offer their National Party Masters.

Let's not forget the right wing were proclaiming that Banks/Brown would be neck and neck, it of course turned out to be a Lenslide.

Are opinion polls reflections of public opinion or a manipulation to determine public opinion? We don't know what the call back ratio is, we don't know if only landlines were used, were cell phones used (in a recession where the poor are avoiding debt collectors and can't afford land lines their opinions are simply not registered) and MOST importantly we are never shown the weighting. What is weighting? Each poll has to equate to the percentage make up of the population, so let's say there are 10% Maori, the Poll has to have 10% Maori, problem is that most of the time the Pollsters never get 10% Maori opinion, so what they do is they weight whatever opinions they do get from Maori to fill up the necessary 10%, now if you are only getting conservative opinion when you call during dinner time, then that is the opinion that will get magnified, the danger is these brainfarts become self fulfilling prophecy. The only polls worth real examination are deliberative polls, but because they cost so much money to run we get these cheap brainfart polls.

So what's the beef from the right wing? What the Horizon Poll does is it takes into consideration the undecided votes, what the Polls the right wing all hold up and chorus their praise for do is remove the undecideds and then recalculate the % giving a somewhat inflated perception of National's supposed lead. The reason the right wing are snarling so much is because Horizon has given a glimpse of another NZ who are beneath the radar of the mainstream news media and don't in a recession fall easily into the norms of simplistic consumer culture marketing practices to group divide us as products.

Of course only one poll really matters and that is the Election day poll, but the lie that National will romp home is a lie whose time is over, the election will be much, much closer than the right wing echo chambers are currently bleating.


At 9/1/11 10:21 pm, Blogger Fantail said...

There is no question that polling is political manipulation. John Key was on "preferred PM" polls for how many years beside Brash even before taking over? You don't see Cunliffe or whoever getting any coverage now it's Labour needing a change.

And it was used as the flanking manoeuvre on NZ First last election, backing up the attack on Peters. The perception was given that NZ First was a wasted vote, so it became a wasted vote.

They're all the flimsiest possible facts held up to wrap a story around. Horizon's just don't happen to be a story the Right like.


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