Herald poll: Willie Apiata greatest living NZer

The Herald has had a poll for the greatest living New Zealander – and it apparently showed Helen Clark to be the greatest. Now that doesn’t really make much sense, sure she’s been PM for a while but that hardly earns her the title. On further analysis, it would actually have been nearly mathematically impossible for anyone else to come out on top, regardless of who really is the greatest.

My reasoning is: Out of the top 6, who got over 1000 votes each, the average voter would be familiar enough with 3 names to consider voting for them (they may recognise others but not be familiar with what they have done). But every single voter would be familiar with Helen Clark, as her name has been all over the media for 9 years.

So what would happen if everyone voted at random for someone they were familiar with, assuming everyone is familiar with Helen Clark and 2 other names?

Person                    Random   Actual
Helen Clark              3559        3163
Willie Apiata             1424        2645
Sir Murray Halberg    1424        1467
Peter Jackson            1424        1340
Peter Snell                1424        1041
Colin Meads              1424        1021

Note that:

  • The random values are remarkably close to the actual votes – maybe people just did pick a name at random…
  • Helen Clark actually did worse than would be expected if people had just voted randomly.
  • Willie Apiata stands out as the only person who gained far more votes than would be expected if votes were randomised – he is therefore the winner of this poll in my mind.
  • Even if you assume people are familiar with 4 rather than 3 names you get a similar result.

The fact is that the true “greatest living New Zealander” is probably someone none of us have ever heard of, and probably will never hear of.

Hat tip: New Zealand Conservative

EDIT: I am very encouraged by Apiata’s excellent result in this poll, as it shows that despite the fascination with sportspeople in our culture, people still recognise that courage under fire is of far greater worth than an ability to throw a ball well.

Poll puts The Family Party above United Future

The Herald One Man Poll was published today, and is great for The Family Party. This poll is of 600 people, interviewed on the streets around the country. The results aren’t online, so I’ll put the full results here:

  • National                         43.8%
  • Labour                           35%
  • Green                            8.4%
  • Maori                             4.8%
  • NZ First                         2.7%
  • Act                                 1.7%
  • Progressive                    1.4%
  • The Family Party       0.8%
  • Kiwi Party                       0.4%
  • United Future                 0.4%
  • Alliance                           0.2%
  • Pacific Party                   0.2%
  • Socialist Party                0.2%

This is pretty impressive. The Family Party is polling twice as high as United Future.

There is a lot of error of course, and the Progressive party is polling unusually high, maybe he spent a bit of time in Wigram on his way through? But it is still a good result for us this early in the campaign.

Colmar Brunton Poll Sep 08

I have been reporting the Colmar Brunton poll for the last couple of months, as it is the only poll that actually reports the minor party results, other polls sticking them all into an “other” category. For the last two months the Family Party has been sitting above the Progressives, at a similar level to or just below United Future, and Kiwi has hardly been registering at all. But there is a massive amount of error at these low percentages, and this latest poll shows how things can jump around at this end of the poll!

Colmar Brunton Poll Sep 08 Minor Parties

  • Christian Heritage                 0.5%
  • ALCP                                     0.2%
  • Kiwi Party                               0.1%
  • One NZ Party                         0.1%
  • Alliance                                  0.1%
  • Democrats for Social Credit  0.1%

United Future, Family Party, Progressive, Libertarianz and Destiny, all of whom have been registering in the poll over the last two months, got no votes at all. This is a massive turnaround, showing that you can’t place too much faith in these polls! As a 1000 person poll, 0.1% means just 1 person picked that party, so you can see where the error comes from.

However, in previous polls I have been summing the Christian Heritage + Destiny + Family Party votes to get an indication of where we might stand. This is because Christian Heritage and Destiny don’t exist any more (although some voters haven’t realised yet), but we are the closest replacement for these voters to move to. This comes to 0.5% this poll, holding rock steady – it was 0.5% in both August and July. Once again, this is higher than United Future, Kiwi and  Progressives – three parties with current MPs. So although the poll result looks odd compared to previous polls, on closer analysis it isn’t bad at all for the Family Party.

I am keeping a running tally of poll results here.

Tauranga poll Bay of Plenty Times

David Farrar has posted the results of a Tauranga poll published in the Bay of Plenty Times. They only asked 100 people in a reasonably unscientific manner (who they saw on the streets) but the results are very telling:

  1. Simon Bridges (Nat) 53%
  2. Undecided 18%
  3. Anne Pankhurst (Lab) 16%
  4. Winston Peters (NZF) 12%
  5. Larry Baldock (Kiwi) 1%

The Kiwi Party is relying on this seat to get into parliament. As I have said previously, this will be a battle between Simon Bridges (National) and Winston Peters (NZFirst), as Mr Peters will be relying on this seat to bring his party back into parliament. There will be heavy media coverage of these two candidates.

In this situation it will be impossible for Mr Baldock, however good a candidate he is, to make any inroads. The Winston Peters scandal is just too well favoured by the media, and if voters wish him out they will most likely vote for Simon Bridges to ensure this.

This unfortunately means that the Kiwi Party has virtually no chance of gaining any seats in parliament this election. The Kiwi Party is very well intentioned, and stand for some good things – they are probably the most similar party to the Family Party after all, being formed after the leaders left the Family Party negotiations table. However if they have no chance of getting a seat, any vote to them will be wasted.

These votes could have been used effectively by the Family Party, which has a good chance of taking the Mangere electorate (and has quality candidates in a number of other electorates too). Failing that, they could at least have been used by Act or National. But if these votes are wasted they will increase the proportion of Labour and Green representation in parliament, exactly the opposite of what the Kiwi Party (and the Family Party) would like to achieve.

If you want to vote for a conservative party and have your vote count, vote for the Family Party.

Broadcasting allocations

The Family Party and the Alliance are currently contesting the broadcasting allocations for the election. There has been some discussion of this on Kiwiblog, where David Farrar has rightly pointed out that minor parties already receive a higher allocation per voter than the major parties, according to current polls.

The problem is not that the Family Party wants more free money, as some have suggested. The problem is that you cannot spend more money on broadcasting than your broadcasting allocation, to quote the Elections website:

Registered parties may only use funds allocated by the Electoral Commission to advertise for the party vote, together with any free time allocated for party opening addresses and closing addresses.

This means that the Family Party allocation of $10,000 is also the limit as to what we can spend on broadcast advertising, which is a major impediment in campaigning. By comparison:

  • Act, Progressive and United Future can spend $100,000 each
  • Green, Maori and NZ First can spend $250,000 each
  • National and Labour can spend $1,000,000 each

All of which is paid for by the taxpayer. As you can see this places the Family Party at a major disadvantage to, for example, Progressive, even though we are polling higher than them. And National and Labour’s massive allocations will ensure they have a much better chance of doing well this election than anyone else, regardless of whether their policies are any good. Each of these two parties has a similar allocation to that of EVERY minor party put together.

In a completely fair system no party would receive state funding, and there would be no limit on spending. This would put all parties on a level playing field, rather than subsidising the incumbents. However we must work within the system we have, and so we must seek a higher allocation if we wish to spend more on broadcasting.

Hopefully the judge can see the logic in this position and will favourably consider our application for more funding, comparable to those parties we are currently polling at a similar level to (Progressive, Act and United Future).

Colmar Brunton Poll, August 2008

The minor party results for the Colmar Brunton Poll are as follows:

  • United Future              0.7%
  • ACT                             0.6%
  • The Family Party 0.3%
  • Christian Heritage       0.2%
  • Libertarianz                 0.2%
  • The Kiwi Party              0.1%
  • Progressives               0.1%

Key points: The Family Party is still steady at 0.3%, Kiwi is 0.1%, same as last month. The Family Party plus former Christian party votes (Christian Heritage and Destiny) is 0.5%, same as last month. United Future has picked up a few votes and ACT has dropped. Libertarianz and Progressives are registering now when they didn’t last month. This fluctuation illustrates the extremely high error associated with these low percentages.

The Family Party is the highest polling party outside of parliament, polling higher than Kiwi and Progressives, both of which have current MPs and therefore greater publicity by default. The percentage should pick up a bit before the election, once we start campaigning nationwide.

The other interesting point about this poll is that the Green party is at 3.5%, which if they don’t get an electorate seat (which they haven’t yet), would see them out of parliament. As much of the social policies we are against (such as the smacking law) were championed by the Greens, having them out of parliament would probably be positive for families, and probably wouldn’t be negative for the environment as their environmental policies aren’t always very practical anyway. If their votes continue to decline this could be a very interesting election result.

Poll results

This weekend’s Fairfax and Roy Morgan polls have not published the results for minor parties outside parliament. But I have recorded the poll results for the latest Colmar Brunton poll, which places The Family Party equal to United Future, here. I will keep this page updated as further poll results which mention The Family Party are released.

Current status of minor parties (Colmar Brunton July poll):

  • The Family Party:     0.3%
  • United Future:         0.3%
  • The Kiwi Party:         0.1%

No polls have been released for Mangere or any other key electorate for The Family Party that I am aware of, but I will post them here when they are reported. Unofficial data collected by the party shows we are doing very well in Mangere.

However a Colmar Brunton poll for Tauranga has been released. The Kiwi Party is relying on Larry Baldock to win Tauranga to achieve any seats after the election. Mr Baldock does not even register in this poll, results being:

  • Simon Bridges, National 48%
  • Winston Peters, NZ First 28%
  • Anne Pankhurst, Labour 15%

This seat will be a battle between Simon Bridges and Winston Peters. There will be strong media coverage of both of these candidates, as Winston Peters may need this seat to keep NZ First in parliament. I cannot see how Larry Baldock could make any inroads under these circumstances, which means The Kiwi Party cannot obtain any seats in parliament unless they cross the 5% threshold – which is highly unlikely.

The only conservative party with a chance of actually getting in and making a difference after this election is The Family Party.

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