Thursday, 8 September 2005

Is Rodney really going to win Epsom?

There is a new poll for Epsom announced tonight on TV One which might help resolve a problem.

We all know that politicians are economical with the truth, but doesn't it set your teeth on edge edge when a party runs a radio ad saying "It's safe to vote for us, because we're going to win electorate seat X" when not one independent poll shows anything remotely like that being the case. Tonight's poll might resolve that problem.

The only independent poll taken in Epsom to date is that performed by the Herald, which shows National's Richard Worthless on 55.6 per cent support, Labour candidate Stuart (call me Walter) Nash on 23.1 per cent and Rodney Hide on just 14.8 per cent. National and Labour internal polling in the electorate concurs with the Herald's numbers, as confirmed just yesterday on Radio Live. Not a good result if you're an ACT supporter or an ACT MP, because if you don't have Epsom on September 18th then you don't have a party.

But despite this abysmal poll result for them ACT now have a nationwide radio and on-campus campaign telling voters that it's now safe to vote for ACT because 'we know ACT are going to win Epsom.' Really?

Based on what exactly? Based wholly, solely and entirely on two internal tracking polls conducted by the ACT Party themselves, not exactly the expected sources of saintly independence and honesty one would like to rely on. The "Capitol Research Polling" that ACT cite is not independent polling, but as Mike Collins carefully said when first announcing it, "it has been controlled and verified by Capitol Research." So this is not polling run by Capitol Research or even "Capitol Research Polling" but polling "controlled and verified by Capitol Research." [Emphasis mine.]

Those are very different things, aren't they, and as Aaron commented at the time, "my pick is that the poll was run by ACT volunteers from a script that was authorised by the Australian company." Mine too, especially as that was not denied.

And when those same volunteers can so easily morph 362 respondents into "approximately 400" or even 500 as they do when talking about their poll, then I think there is a right to reasonably wonder just how relaxed those volunteers are about the truth, particularly when the actual question asked of respondents has not even been released.

That this dodgy internal polling run seemingly by ACT's own paid volunteers has within the space of eight days become the basis for calls of 'ACT is Back!', 'You can vote for us now!' and a national radio campaign trumpeting their results--calls and ads which are wildly at odds with both the Herald poll and the Labour and National internal polling--then this all gives a clue to ACT's desperation, and to their fickle hold on the truth.

So how about you: do you think it is dishonest to run nationwide radio ads saying 'Vote ACT because Hide is winning in Epsom' if the only independent poll in the electorate shows that he isn't? I do.

The Colmar-Brunton poll conducted for TV One and aired tonight will give the first independent clue since the Herald poll a fortnight ago just who might win Epsom. Might. The reaction to that poll will be demonstrative.

Keith Locke has already committed himself to running naked through Epsom if Hide wins. I think it only fair and honest that if tonight's TV One poll shows that Hide is not in the lead that he commits to pulling his party's somewhat duplicitous radio ads and on-campus campaign saying that he is?

If this poll tonight shows otherwise, then fine. But if not, then he would have a radio ad peddling a lie, despite what his 'internal polling' purports to show.

Would you be happy about that?





    Who on earth told you that. :-)

  3. PC - I hear Locke might be running naked after all. Little birdies have suggested Hide is slightly ahead on TV1

  4. Yes. A chance to have Don dissembling clearly trumped the poll in Close Up's producer's mind.

  5. PC, you live in Epsom, right? So, if Keith Locke *does* end up running through naked, can you get down to see him do it with a camera and post it on your blog? Personally, I doubt it'll happen, but I've been wrong before. And yes, I agree with your sentiments about the dishonesty of the ACT ad campaign *if* there isn't an independent poll suggesting same (though Aaron seems to be fairly sure above that there might be one after all). But then, we're not exactly being inundated with an overload of honesty from *any* of the parties in this campaign are we?

  6. The key is really the media- if there ISN'T a close poll for Hide in the next few days ACT is finished - so much about voting is not judging your own vote, but the prisoner's dilemma. Most people vote only for parties that they are certain will get into Parliament or candidates who will win or come second. In theory everyone could vote on their conscience and it could all change, but nobody actually BELIEVES others will do that. That is why National is the centre of opposition to Labour, and NOT any other party.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.