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Mike's Minute: The accuracy of polls in election year

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 30 Aug 2023, 10:24AM

Mike's Minute: The accuracy of polls in election year

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 30 Aug 2023, 10:24AM

Once again, we have an interesting insight into polling.  

Yesterday we told you about the poll results from TOP and their numbers in Ilam.  

Ilam is a blue seat in Christchurch. It was held for years by Gerry Brownlee until the Covid upheaval three years ago when Sarah Pallett, who never thought in a million years she would win it, won it.  

Raf Manji, who is TOP's leader, did what Gareth Morgan should have done previously and is standing in a local seat with the outside chance of winning it, thus avoiding the 5% threshold of MMP, which they were never going to get to.  

The reality is, despite that, they aren't going to get to it this time. If I was giving advice, I would genuinely look at how they present themselves.  

I watched an interview with Raf a week or so back and was bewildered by what he was saying as regards teal visas. At the end of the interview I could not work out who they were, what they stood for and who they would align to by way of a major party.  

Yesterday, according to his Raf Manji's own party's polling, which to be fair polled a seriously larger number of punters than this morning's Taxpayers Union Curia poll, was behind the National candidate Hamish Campbell. But not by much.  

And the Curia poll confirms it. Or does it?  

That is the problem we are starting to see already this campaign - are the polls even slightly accurate? Has polling become too hard?  

Are there too many people, allegedly, undecided?  

In the Taxpayers' poll Manji, who was a close second in his own poll, is a distant third in this one, behind even the Labour candidate.  

If you take out the undecided's he is an even more of a distant third.  

In other words, who's poll do you believe?  

The margin of so-called era is out the door, out the window and it’s a picture of two completely separate races.  

As I say, I don’t think TOP have a chance, either in Ilam or at 5%. But what they wanted from their poll is the sense they were genuine contenders.  

And that is the danger of  polls - who do you believe? How much do they affect the narrative and are they actually accurate, or just a vehicle for spin?

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