Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Cannabis Referendum Remains Tight, With Many Still Undecided

With early voting now open, an independent survey of nearly 1,500 Kiwis shows the referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis is incredibly tight when respondents are forced to take a yes or no position.

When asked to make a choice between supporting or opposing the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, 52% of all respondents said they would vote in support, while 47% were against. This result would mean a small majority of around 139,300 votes for the bill, with 53% of females in support and 51% of males.

Commissioned by New Zealand’s largest medicinal cannabis company, Helius Therapeutics, the latest Horizon Research survey marks the eighth in a series of comprehensive surveys tracking nationwide opinion on cannabis law reform.

The same survey, conducted in late August, produced a dead heat with 49.5% in support and 49.5% opposed. In fact, the ultimate referendum result, due two weeks after election day, is still too close to call. The survey’s two-year trend lines for both ‘for’ and ‘against’ have now effectively converged.

“The ‘yes’ vote has firmed up slightly, but it’s still looking very close, with public opinion set to keep shifting right up until voting closes on the evening of Saturday, 17 October,” says Paul Manning, Chief Executive of Helius Therapeutics.

“The quality of debate and the strength of arguments for or against legalisation in the next two weeks are now critical. Turn-out of 18 to 34-year-olds will also be key. Young adults are the strongest supporters of the bill, but they also have the lowest registration and intention to vote,” says Mr Manning.

By ethnicity, support levels were Māori 64%; Indian 55%; Pasifika 53%; NZ European 52%; Other European’ 50%; and Asian 41%.

For the fourth time running, survey respondents were forced to take a position to better emulate the stark yes/no choice voters have. Other publicised polls on the referendum are still giving respondents a ‘don’t know’ option. The referendum options and the information provided to respondents were the Electoral Commission’s.

When all respondents were initially given an ‘I’m not sure’ option, 9% chose it, 46% supported the bill, 42% opposed it, and 2% said they would not vote in the referendum. Support was up from 44% in August, and those not sure was down from 12%, with females (12%) now twice as more likely to be unsure than males (6%) on how they would vote

Over 83% of all respondents said they were both registered and 100% likely to vote. When forced to take a yes or no position, the headline result for definite voters was also recorded at 52% for, 47% against. Initially, 9.2% of definite voters said they were unsure how they would vote, 46.5% said they would vote in support, and 44% would vote against.

“Nearly one in 10 New Zealanders remain uncertain about how they’re going to vote on cannabis legalisation, and that includes totally committed election voters. Again, both camps’ ability to reach and connect to the public in the coming days will be absolutely critical to the referendum result. It’s staggering that nearly 300,000 Kiwis have yet to make up their minds, which makes it quite exciting but also somewhat unpredictable,” says Mr Manning.

In the previous August survey, legalising the personal use of cannabis had achieved majority support among all respondents aged 18 to 44 years old. The latest survey, however, showed there is now overall support from those under 55 years of age, with the majority of 45 to 54-year-olds now backing the bill.

Support peaks at 69% among 25 to 34-year-olds. Opposition peaks at 73% among those aged 75 years or over, and has hardened the most among those aged 55 to 64 years with 58% now against, compared to 49% in August.

What’s more, the youngest voters, 18 to 24-year olds, now seem to have made up their minds on how they will vote, with those unsure down from 19% in August to now 5%.

Intending Green Party voters for Election 2020 are the strongest supporters at 97% for, 2% against. They are followed by Labour voters at 65% for, 35% against; Act voters at 42% for, 57% against; New Zealand First voters at 36% for, 64% against; with intending National voters the strongest opposers at 22% for and 78% against.

“Kiwis look set to vote along partisan lines. However, past surveys have shown that even those against legalisation overwhelmingly agree that prohibition of personal use cannabis has been an abject failure in this country. And most Kiwis accept that the continuation of the status quo won’t improve anything,” says Paul Manning

“The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill is not about liberating cannabis. It’s already well entrenched across society. Rather, this vote is about harm reduction and strict regulation, with the state in control, not the gangs. Voters now have a lot to weigh up,” he says.

Commissioned by Helius Therapeutics and carried out independently by Horizon Research, the results are from a nationwide online survey of 1,481 respondents conducted between 24 and 28 September 2020.

This report tracks the results of a series of nationwide online surveys of adults representing the 18+ population of New Zealand. Respondents were members of Horizon Research’s HorizonPoll panel and a third-party nationwide research panel, both of which represent the adult population at the 2018 Census. Results are weighted by age, gender, highest education, personal income, employment status and party vote at the 2017 election. At a 95% confidence level, the maximum margin of error is ±2.6%.

Helius and Horizon’s tracking of public opinion on the referendum over the past 23 months makes it the most significant series of surveys on the issue. Support was first recorded at 60% in November 2018. Last year support was at 52% in April; 39% in August; and 48% in November. This year it was at 54% in February; 56% in June; 49.5% in August; 52% in September.

Key results for all respondents:

Referendum options: Yes, I support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. No, I do not support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.

All respondents:

  • 52% - for
  • 47% - against
  • 1% - no response

Age Group:

  • 18 – 24 years: 63% for / 35% against
  • 25 – 34 years: 69% for / 31% against
  • 35 – 44 years: 60% for / 40% against
  • 45 – 54 years: 57% for / 43% against
  • 55 – 64 years: 41% for / 58% against
  • 65 – 74 years: 33% for / 66% against
  • 75yrs or over: 27% for / 73% against

Note: some results may not total 100% owing to rounding

Intended Party Vote 2020:

  • ACT: 42% for 57% against
  • Green: 97% for 2% against
  • Labour: 65% for / 35% against
  • National: 22% for / 78% against
  • NZ First: 36% for / 64% against

www.helius.co.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On What Lessons The Greens Should Take From The Demise Of Winston Peters

Wondering about “if only" is one of those political games we all indulge in from time to time. For example: episode one of the latest season of The Good Fight TV series dropped us into a world where Hillary Clinton is the US President and Elizabeth Warren and Merrick Garland are Supreme Court justices, where rain forests are being saved and polar bears are coming back from extinction. Yet alarmingly, people keep on having these bad dreams about Donald Trump being the President... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>

ALSO:


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>

ALSO:


Election: ParityBOT_NZ Processed Nearly 200,000 Tweets To Find And Fight Online Abuse Over The NZ Election

Auckland, New Zealand: Of the almost 200,000 tweets directed at women candidates that Areto Labs’ proprietary election Twitter bot, ParityBOT_NZ, processed over the New Zealand election period, nearly 4,000 were classified as toxic and triggered ... More>>

Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>

ALSO:

Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels