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National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further.

The last Roy Morgan Poll released on August 20 had National bumping up slightly from the last poll by two percentage points to 48% and support for the Labour Party was 27.5% (down 2.5 points). Only the last few days of the poll covered the release of Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics.

National is adamant that the vast majority of voters will not be swayed by the storm which has dominated political coverage in the last week. However at the very least it has given new heart to its opponents they can chip away at National’s lead to open up the possibility of forming a Government.

The latest Herald poll had National down 4.1 points, but still at 50%. However Labour was down 1.3 points to 25.2% with the Greens up 3.8 points to 13.7%. This was taken as the fallout from “Dirty Politics” unravelled.

Traders on ipredict have been forecasting for some time that the result on election day would be different from current polls.

There is no contradiction in this, polls and ipredict ask different questions and answer them in different ways. Polls are a slice in time put together in such a way as to reach an accurate as possible picture of the current state of play. Traders on ipredict are trying to forecast the outcome of a future event usually for financial gain.

In the last week ipredict traders have been lowering their predictions on National performing better than the 47% vote share gained in 2011. Crucially they have been predicting National will fall below 45% at which points it seems unlikely that National will be able to form a Government without NZ First, unless ACT, United Future and the Maori Party perform very well in the coming weeks.

Months before the book's release, the stock “What share of the party vote will the National Party win at the next General Election?” had been bumping around the 44% to 45% mark. Since the book’s release it has been moving more erratically presumably as traders evaluate National’s reaction and how voters in turn may adjust though it seems be settling into a 42% to 44% region.

Since August 13 the probability of the stock “There will be a National Prime Minister after the 2014 General Election” has trended down from around an 80% probability to around 65%. There has been heavy trading with fluctuations.

Likewise the stock “What share of the party vote will the Labour Party win at the next General Election?” had settled around 27% of the vote before the book’s release and then moved upwards (with large swings) before settling around the 30% mark.

One month out from the last election ipredict had the National vote share at 45% to 46% (It achieved 47%), Labour at 29% to 30% (Labour fell to 27%) and the Greens at 10% to 11% (receiving 11%). Ipredict constantly under picked NZ First in 2011 though interestingly Roy Morgan’s last poll before the 2011 was very close and the latest poll now has NZ First at 6.5%. Traders at ipredict currently have NZ First at 5.7%.

Roy Morgan’s Michelle Levine has put forward the possibility National voters turned off by the “Dirty Politics” affair may well slip to NZ First.

Currently the worst case scenario set out for National in “National – The Worst and Best Case Scenarios” seems to be at its first stage.

However the best case scenario for Labour laid out in “Labour – Worst Case and Best Case Scenarios” still seems some way off.

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