Saturday, October 25, 2008

Opinion Polls Come Thick & Fast But Unclear Predictors of New Zealand Election Outcome

Political opinion polls released at the end of this week show varying results creating difficulties for interpreting post-election outcomes.

Results of the various polls can be seen here, though the latest Morgan poll data doesn't seem to have been added yet (at time of this posting).

Following on from a TV3 poll that showed National gaining 59 seats, short of a majority in the next parliament, requiring National to gain the Maori Party's support to govern, came a NZ Herald Digipoll and a Morgan poll.

The Herald poll showed National dropping a percent to 50.4 percent of voter support, but still sufficient for National to govern alone. Labour support was recorded by the pollsters as up 1.3 percent to 37 percent with the Greens at 5.5 percent support.

The Morgan poll shows National with an 11 percent lead over Labour: National, 43 percent - up 2.5 points, with Labour dropping5.5 points to 32 percent.

Despite the 11 point gap, the Morgan poll suggests that the gap between a National coalition or grouping and a Labour-led one was much narrower thanks to a surge of support for the Greens rising to 11.5 percent as Labour supporters seemed to abandon Labour for the Greens.

Thus, a National plus ACT grouping would have 46.5 percent support with 43.5 percent for Labour and the Greens, a gap of only 3 percent.

On these polls, it's going to be a close finish with the Maori Party likely to be the pivotal factor in determining which of the two major parties will form a new government - or maybe not!

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