Election Forecast updated

One News have released the latest Colmar Brunton poll, to be frank it’s a terrible result for Labour. Astonishingly, Andrew Little has even admitted that he has considered resigning as leader. Funnily enough, we’re now 54 days until the election, one day longer than Mike Moore served as Prime Minister.

Anyway, I’ve updated my election forecast and it holds an important lesson – don’t loose your marbles over one poll result. Despite Labour’s 24% result in today’s Colmar Brunton, they’re still holding at over 28% in the forecast. True, if the previous Roy Morgan poll was in fact a rogue, then the future results will be very different. We’ve got 54 days to wait and see.

National list released – calculator updated

The National Party have released their list for 2017. It’s a boring affair, with virtually no new blood. The party leadership has, unsurprisingly, taken a conservative approach and kept their MPs largely where they are, avoding frightening the horses.

I’ve updated my National Caucus Calculator so you can figure out what their new caucus would look like at various levels of party vote support, and depending on which electorate seats they win.

If you use my current 2017 Election Forecast and the assumtion no electorate seats change hands, then National will only get two new list MPs: Nicola Willis and Paulo Garcia.

It’s an interesting contrast to Labour’s third term list in 2008 – where despite them losing government and a significant number of seats they gained eight brand new list MPs, including now deputy leader, Jacinda Ardern.

In the next few days I’ll try and get the gender calculator working again for both the Labour and National caucus calculators. I have a sneaking suspicion which party it will look better for…

 

Photo: RNZ / Demelza Leslie

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.