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The Letter: 26 May 2014

The Letter

26 May 2014

What a difference a budget makes

ACT has the best polling. The party did a 2000 nationwide online survey of 2000 likely voters 5-12 May before the Budget 15 May. Comparing ACT’s poll with the TVNZ One poll yesterday it shows National got a big bounce out of the Budget. The spectacular failure of the opposition to deliver any dirt on Judith Collins has also resulted in a blow back on NZ1st, Labour and the Greens.

Right/Center voters unhappy

National producing Labour-lite policies may be electorally successful but ACT’s poll shows Right/center voters are not happy. They know the government is wasting their money in health, education and welfare.

Most popular Right/Center politician

It is Jamie Whyte. Public polls ask the wrong questions. “Who do you want to be PM?” biases the result to the existing PM. Political parties ask a much better question “Do you have a favourable/unfavourable opinion of…” John Key is the most popular in the public polls but right/center voters (18% of the electorate) have an unfavourable view of Key, favourable 39% /unfavourable 52%. Key is competing with David Cunliffe and just 13% of right/center voters have a favourable view of Cunliffe. Jamie Whyte is the most popular leader with the right/center voters with 45% favourable to 22% unfavourable.

We were incredulous too

We said to our pollster “John Key is the most popular PM in the history of polling. Are you sure Jamie Whyte is more popular?” Gene Ulm checked the results. “It is correct. If we had realized Jamie Whyte after only 70 days as leader was so well known we would have asked more questions about him”. As an aside the poll shows why John Key is so electable. If you lead a major party what matters is your cross party appeal. When many of your opponent’s supporters prefer you to their own leader you are hard to beat. When you lead a third party then it is vital your supporters like you. It is why NZ1ST gets votes. ACT was not polling in depth Green supporters but the results show the Greens have a problem. Green voters are gaining an unfavourable view of Russell “Aussie” Norman. Not all Aussie reds are drinkable.

Good guys finish last

But they start first. ACT has picked the right leader. If voters have an unfavourable impression, as they do of David Cunliffe, then he is the wrong person to be carrying the message. (The right message carrier for Labour was Shane Jones. Watch the hidden microphone pick up Hone telling Shane to join NZ1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff_T6IGfjiA). If voters have a favourable impression of the message carrier as they do of Jamie Whyte then they will listen to the message.

ACT is on one percent

Actually that is good news. It shows ACT’s poll is accurate. In this massive survey of voters’ attitudes the voters are told what ACT’s policies are. At the end of the survey voters are asked again how they are voting. It is duplicates what happens in an election campaign. In the post survey question 11% say they are considering voting ACT. That is 12 MPs.

Epsom is crucial

Many of the 11 percent are waiting to see if ACT will win Epsom. ACT is conducting a telephone survey of the whole Epsom electorate. David Seymour is now narrowly in first place. But when National voters are asked if they will vote tactically to ensure John Key is PM a further 40% say they will vote ACT. Even if Labour voters vote tactically they cannot stop David Seymour from winning. This is a better position at this stage than Rodney Hide was polling when he won. David has momentum. ACT will win Epsom.

Oravida is a non-issue

ACT’s big poll was taken at the height of the “cash for access” scandal. It shows the issue has not changed anyone’s vote. The Opposition has wasted a month of parliamentary time. Promising a king hit and delivering hot air has hurt the Opposition’s credibility. Calling your opponent a paedophile has shocked voters. Even the Opposition’s cheer leaders in talk back radio do not want to go down that route.

Wrong issue

We always thought that the Opposition was mistaken in picking election funding. It reminds voters that the Auditor–General said Labour misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund their elections. It reminds voters of the Owen Glenn affair. Why was Russell Norman visiting the Dotcom mansion? It also reminds voters that over the years National has handled election donations far better than any other party.

Here are the three top issues – reform, reform, reform.

A good opposition would be pointing out that in six years National has not reformed any major area government spending. The Right/Center has noticed. As ACT puts out its new ideas to reform education, health and social welfare this poll says ACT will rise in the polls.

License to burgle

The police budget has been frozen for the fifth consecutive year and Government had no immediate plan to increase it again before 2018. National is really out of touch on crime. According to the Treasury there are approximately 120,000 burglaries a year. What the government is saying is that 480,000 burglaries over the next four years are OK. Statistically that is the equivalent of every house in Auckland being burgled. Only ACT says this epidemic of burglary by professional burglars is unacceptable. Cutting the Police budget is not the way to stop it. Jamie Whyte has done an excellent U-tube clip that not only puts ACT’s 3 strikes for burglary but also shows why he is the most popular Right/Center politician. See for yourself www.act.org.nz

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Gordon Campbell: On The Aftermath Of The Greenwald/Snowden Revelations

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