Thursday, 15 September 2005

ACT quiet about 'independence' of Epsom polling

'Hide leading in Epsom!' says Rodney Hide yesterday releasing an 'independent poll.' "The latest independent poll (and yes it actually is!!) puts Rodney around 6pts clear of Worth," trumpets a breathless ACT supporter.

An independent poll. Released yesterday. Wow, that will surely shut up the doubters who questioned the honesty of ACT running radio ads saying Hide was ahead in Epsom polling when the only independent Epsom polling showed him way behind.

But this latest poll is independent, isn't it? Um, no, it isn't. As the press release by polling company Roy Morgan says, "The survey was conducted on behalf of Awesome Kiwi." Who's Awesome Kiwi? Check their site, and you find the Managing Director is one Dr Simon Ewing-Jarvie. Who's he? That's him up there on the right. And look, he's the ACT candidate for Otaki!

Independent poll my arse! So the last truly independent Epsom poll actually shows Hide trailing Worth by 14 points.

[UPDATE 1: NBR have also missed this connection, as Andrew points out below. Aaron points out some others. Says NBR about this poll:
Criticism was leveled at an earlier poll with similar results because of historical ties between the pollster and the Act party. In that case, deference went to other polls that showed Mr Hide well behind..." .]
[UPDATE 2: Deleted.]

[UPDATE 3: It's been pointed out to me that Simon Ewing-Jarvie issued a press release on his own behalf yesterday afternoon under the name of Awesome Kiwi, in which he pointed out he is an ACT list candidate. Kudos to him for that, and thanks to anonymous for the link. I withdraw, amend as necessary, and apologise as appropriate.]


  1. Got 'im, yes!!! That's out.

    'Onya PC.

  2. Oh what a tangled web ... I suggest giving your electorate vote to Worth(less) then.

  3. Ewing-Jarvie was also Franks' campaign manager for the ACT leadership primary, and I think he is also a board member/was a board member.

  4. NBR missed this:

  5. So what Simon commissioned the poll. What's so wrong with that? How does that invalidate its independence? It doesn't.

    Simon simply paid for a poll to be done because he was annoyed that the media were writing ACT off on the basis of a shonky poll done by colmar brunton.

    I am happy for all of you to apologise tomorrow night.

    Oh and BTW, Simon never once made any attempt to hide his links with ACT. He put out a press release under his company's name (which paidd for the poll) which clearly stated his links to ACT and his candidacy.

    But good on you PC for assuming a conspiracy again.

  6. Just cool it a minuite on the whistle blowing dudes. Before you go patting your pious selves on the back for being sharper than the NBR....

    Why assume that Roy Morgan is less reputable and independent than Colmar Brunton? Are these reserach companies in the business of telling their clients whatever result they like in return for piles and piles of cash?

    So then...why assume that becasue an ACT supporter funded the work that the results are corrupt? Is the Colmar Brunton pole so much more pure because One News foot the bill? Since when did you guys start championing the TVNZ innocence of media bias?

    This wasn't one of those phone-outs from beside the Southern Motorway onramp. Rodney Hide has every right to interpret that he is in the lead!

    Tangled web? All Cresswell is really shooting for here is an attempt to stomp on a young University Of Canterbury student's blog remark!

    Getting a bit carried away fellas. Throwing the word 'lie' about with a bit much ease and relish fellas. Getting to generate a bit of that Jehova's Witness-like theme, fellas.

  7. Go on, have your big wank. I hardly think that if Roy Morgan is prepared to put this on their website and stake their reputation on it that it is a shonky poll.

    God, where am I going to start pointing my middle finger when Rodney wins tomorrow night?

  8. The definition of independent is now: not commisioned by an ACT candidate.

    What a sad piece of political correctness by the supposed freedom loving blokes of the Libz. Only a poll commisioned by state television is now accepted. Everyone loves Big Sister. Of course they do. It's in a poll commisioned by TVNZ.

  9. More: when I followed the links on Rodney's site all these stuff you supposedly revealed was clearly available on Awesome Kiwi's site.

  10. From Simon's press release.

    Awesome Kiwi Managing Director, Dr Simon Ewing-Jarvie, an ACT list candidate, says:

    "I have commissioned this poll for two reasons. First, the Colmar Brunton / TVNZ Poll on Epsom conducted a week ago was inconsistent with three consecutive internal polls conducted by ACT over the past month. Second, irrespective of the accuracy or otherwise of the Colmar Brunton Poll, a week is a long time in politics."

  11. Guys, I have no idea whether Rodney will or will not win tomorrow night, and neither do I comment on that, or on whether or not the poll is shonky.

    I'm making the point, as I've made it before, that you're relying on these supposedly independent polls of your own to back up your radio ad, and they're not independent at all. Why not say this one is not independent, rather than suggesting that it is?

    "The definition of independent is now: not commissioned by an ACT candidate."

    Well, that would certainly be one working definition of independence, wouldn't it. If ACT commissioned a poll and you're happy with that, then say so when you release the poll, don't forget to mention it and then call it independent anyway.

    Non-independence changes how a poll can be viewed. For instance: If independent polls aren't available, then why not commission a series of polls that use the same published methodology so we can see accurate trends, and help give your polling credibility. But releasing a single poll on your own behalf like this raises the question how many other polls might you have commissioned that didn't have the result you want. Are there other polls on the shelf? A series of polls would have helped remove any question.

    Don't allow everyone, including the media, to assume what you know they'll assume: to surmise that it's independent because there is information you've forgotten to mention, like the standing within ACT of the person who commissioned it. You're being intentionally economical with the truth, which is precisely what you've been accusing Cullen of over student loans. Be consistent.

    "Only a poll commissioned by state television is now accepted."

    Only a poll commissioned and run by those outside the ACT Party can be said to be independent. That's not PC, Berend; that's reality. I agree with you that Epsom has been poorly served by independent polling when it's such a crucial seat, but that doesn't mean that you make up independence that isn't there.

    "You really are sad Pete."

    Call me sad if you like, David, but I prefer honesty to spin. You really don't have to lie to win.

  12. Thanks Anonymous, that's what I wanted to see.

  13. Peter, I think you are confused about the difference between Commissioning a poll and Conducting a poll. The first indicates who wants the poll conducted, the second indicates who actually conducted that poll. If someone conducts a poll for their own use, you might be able to question the independence of it, but if someone commissions a poll, which is then conducted by an independent polling company - as in this case - then all you are doing is making yourself look silly.

  14. Youcan redeem yourself by voting RH tomorrow...


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