The Rise of the Maori Party?
Marae has published the results of a poll done by Digipoll between 18 October and 3 November 2009. It is of 1,002 voters of Maori descent – 700 on the Maori roll, and 302 on the General roll. It is an endorsement of the Maori Party arrangement with National, although Maori voters would have preferred Cabinet posts for Maori Party ministers.
The poll reveals some pretty interesting stuff. I asked for and received a breakdown of the roll split,as this was not published, although I haven't got an electorate split in the Maori electorates. I was sure there would be an increase in support for the Maori Party in the Maori electorate at the expense of Labour. I was right; 62% of those on the Maori roll would vote the Maori Party, up from 27.4% at the election. That's a huge increase.
Furthermore, of Maori in the general electorates, 10.8% will vote National, up from 7.6% at the election - but take that with a grain of salt as there are only 23 votes in it, due to the 302 sample.
But look at Labour - it is way behind on 23.3%. On election night Labour got more than 50% of the vote in the Maori electorates. Labour's vote in the Maori electorates has reduced by more than half since the election. That's a staggering drop. For the first time in living memory Labour is not topping one question in a poll in the Maori electorates.
On election night nearly 55,980 voted the Maori Party, nearly 33,000 of those were in the Maori electorate. Now it looks more like 74,500 in the Maori electorate support the Maori Party. It is possible that the Maori Party could get more than 85,000 votes in an election - but they`ll still only have 5 MPs in Parliament, as all it will do is wipe the overhang by lowering the number of Labour MPs, while giving at least one extra list seat to National.
But while the deck chairs would not have changed in the Maori Party, this poll is also encouraging for the Maori Party. Why would National ditch the Maori seats on these figures?
In the general electorate, 42% of Maori indicated they'd vote National; just 33% would vote Labour, with 15% voting the Maori Party. Low numbers were polled, but it certainly shows a trend.
No wonder Hone Harawira's constituents want him to be within the Maori Party as a current MP.