Dishonest polling in Waiariki | The Jackal

12 Sept 2017

Dishonest polling in Waiariki

The Waiariki electorate will be one to watch this coming election. The Māori party, with co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell, is in a tight race with Labour candidate Tamati Coffey for a seat the incumbent has held since 2005.

Despite that long tenure, a previously released poll had Flavell only just ahead of the popular Coffey, and if the Māori party loses Waiariki it will likely mean they're no longer in parliament.

Current polling has the Māori party well below the 5% threshold, on just 1%.

Here's the relevant tweet where Bryce Edwards claims the dishonest poll is the most recent:

On Sunday, Māori Television reported:

Flavell runs the polls

Te Ururoa Flavell is staving off Labour’s assault on the Māori seats with a clear lead in his home electorate of Waiariki.

Māori Television’s latest Reid Research poll reveals Flavell is running in the right direction while former broadcaster Tamati Coffey chases to stay in sight.

Flavell scored 60.1% of voter support as the preferred candidate among 400 voters with Labour’s Coffey behind on 39.9%.

A bit of a strange headline there.

Unfortunately neither the article nor Reid Research actually informs us about when the polling was undertaken. However somebody in the know has set the record straight.

On Sunday, Tamati Coffey responded:

Maori TV announced their poll last night. Had me behind by 20%. But it was based on asking just 343 people. It was also conducted when Andrew Little was the leader. In their wisdom, Maori TV also took liberty to take out the undecided of the 343 polled - making out that everyone's decided who they are voting for. Not true. They chose not to reveal the undecideds. I'll put it at the bottom of the pile, under our internal independent polls which have me at 1-2% behind my opponent. Regardless, it's definitely GAME ON.

So the dishonest polling released by Māori Television doesn't take into account any of the Jacinda Ardern effect or an entire month of campaigning by Labour candidate Tamati Coffey and his team in Waiariki.

Perhaps some of the National party's dirty political tacticians are also trying to help their coalition partner survive? If that's the case then they also deserve to be punished at the polls this coming election.