Nats targeting overseas voters

Today an interesting thing happened to me. I visited the Otago Daily Times’ website to take a look at their coverage of Labour MP Clare Curran’s homelessness protest in Dunedin. She’s doing a great job, check it out.

However, one thing jumped out at me on the ODT’s website: a display ad from the NZ National Party asking me to enroll to vote.

Sure enough, I clicked on it and it took me to a National website with lots of information for overseas voting. (You can view a full screenshot of their overseas voting page here)

There are 518,466 people born in New Zealand now living in Australia (including one former Greens senator), so the potential untapped base of voters is large. However, it’s a pretty significant barrier to enroll and then vote from overseas, so it will be interesting to see how many follow through.

I’d assume the Nats have now cookie’d me as a potential overseas voter – it will be interesting to see what re-targeted ads follow.

Some good news for Labour

I’ve updated my polling forecast with yesterday’s Roy Morgan poll, which offers significant respite for Labour. The poll has Labour and the Greens combined on 44%, one point ahead of National who are on 43%.

This works well for Labour in my forecast. As the most recent poll it is weighted pretty heavily, keeping them very close to the 30% mark. They’d have 35 MPs and assuming no electorates changed hands then Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Jan Tanetti, Willow-Jean Prime, Kiri Allan and Willie Jackson would make it into Parliament off the list.

If Labour’s substantial field effort continues it’s not hard to see how they could chip another couple of percent off National – which could mean game over for Bill English. If you want to see a change of government in NZ: go out and knock on some doors.

I’ve also toyed with the possibility of including yesterday’s leaked UMR poll into my forecast. I’m keen to do so, it being a reliable poll, but the sticking point is the way they don’t have numbers for the minor parties. This means I need to change my code to ensure that they are not included as zero values thus bringing down the weighted averages for those parties. Watch this space.