BIG NEWS

Sunday, May 15, 2011

ACT and Mana votes increase in Horizon poll

Last week a Horizon Poll asked respondents
If a New Zealand general election were held tomorrow, which party would you vote for, or which do you have a preference towards at the moment?
Despite ACT’s recent difficulties, it’s polling has gone up every poll since February, now polling 5.3 per cent, up from 3.7 per cent last month.

The Mana Party is polling 2.3 per cent which is quite high for a party that is not even registered with the Electoral Commission. Horizon says that a third of these votes are coming off the Maori Party - a party which was on 2.4 per cent last month but has not lost a third of its vote.

Horizon also says that more than a sixth of the Mana Party vote is coming off the United Future vote, which has dropped from 1.1 per cent to 0.9 per cent.

But the Maori Party vote only dropped to 2.1 percent, meaning that if a third of the Maori Party vote went to Mana, others must have declared support for the Maori Party that did not vote Maori Party in 2008.

Those others must have come from either the undecided vote, or from other parties. My view is that some came from NZ First, whose vote went from 7.4 per cent to 6.8 per cent .

More than 11 per cent support parties that are not currently, or won’t be, in parliament after the election. Additionally, the “don’t knows” went from 8.4 per cent to 4.9 per cent – a big drop. Some former “don’t knows” are now propping up National and Labour’s support –compensating National for some votes it lost to Act. Labour’s vote increased and National’s slightly reduced.

Additionally the margin of error is 2.3 per cent – the same as the Mana Party.

So what does all this mean? Nothing much, really; ACT’s supporters prefer Don Brash and, along with Mana and the Maori Party, have gained some supporters at the expense of NZ First - and the undecided voters will decide the election. If a significant number of the undecided were to support minor parties they`ll have more influence on which of the minor parties decides who governs.

With an undecided vote slashed in half, but not greatly affecting the Left/Right support, NZ First on 6.8 per cent is starting to look rather troubling.

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