Monday, September 12, 2005

Poll Driven Fruitcakes

Well, it’s the final week of the Election Campaign and both the pollsters and the politicians are frantically running around completing their final tasks in the lead up to Saturday’s election.

I hate to have to paraphrase this well-used comment from David Lange; however, I feel that his phrase about “poll driven fruitcakes” is becoming exceedingly relevant in the final week of this election campaign. In the past two days, there have been two new polls both of which show a different result. The first, a Sunday Star Poll shows National with a 7 percentage points lead over Labour. This poll purports to show that the policy mix-ups and the Exclusive Brethren fiasco have not had a negative effect on National, and have improved the party’s poll rating.

The second poll, TV 1’s Colmar-Brunton poll shows National slipping 5 points in light of the Brethren allegations and now has only a two point lead over Labour. This comes after a TV3 poll last week showed Labour with a 9 point lead over National and a Herald-Digi Poll which showed them virtually level. So who, which, what poll is right?

The answer is probably none. Polls are not dependable in terms of the information given and there are a number of variables – Who did they poll? What is the sample size of the poll? Did they poll face to face or by phone? What are the numbers of undecided voters? What the polls do show is a volatile electorate. Though, I suspect that some of it could be voter fatigue.

What appears to be occurring though, is that both of the major parties appear to be driven by polls to a far larger extent that before. In all likelihood due to what they perceive as voter volatility. Each new poll appears to bring a rash of new promises from Labour and National. (Full kudos to the Greens for sticking to their policy). To quote Jim Bolger, it would appear that the only true poll may very well be the one on the night.

(I have since learnt that the Herald on Sunday had a poll which showed Labour in front 42 to 38 percent).

I was watching TV the other night when there was a small segment on “Generation Jones.” Apparently, it is the ‘new thing’ in terms of election voting and "Generation Jones" have been the focus of election campaigns in the US and in Britain. Apparently, the people who made up “Generation Jones” were born in the very late 1950s and early to mid 1960s. They tend to have good disposal incomes and aspirations to reach the top of their professions. Hmmm…they remind me of a similar demographic of twenty years ago. Young people who tended to be born in the late 1950s and early to mid 1960s, who aspired to have high incomes and be at the top of their professions.

It could just be me, but “Generation Jones” sounds suspiciously like grown up “Yuppies”.


At Sunday, September 11, 2005, Blogger Rich said...

Take a look at publicaddress - the whole Generation Jones thing looks like it was made up by a hoaxer.

(It's a traditional form of bollox really - choose an arbitrary range of birth years and assign some vaguely observed characteristics to that 'generation'. For instance I could invent Generation S - born between 2002 and 2005, members tend to yell a lot and crawl on the floor).

At Sunday, September 11, 2005, Blogger Comrade_Tweek said...

I think that the entire Generation thing is a hoax. The worrying thing is the extent to which these people are fetted, particularly by the media.

At Sunday, September 11, 2005, Blogger Rich said...

If there's space to fill and a press release that makes "interesting" copy, then most journos will print it - it beats going outside in the rain.

At Sunday, September 11, 2005, Blogger Joe Hendren said...

The 'Generation Jones' guy was on National Radio this morning, threatening to sue the Nats and the Press for saying that he was a hoaxer.

But he also continues to refuse to say who he was working for, - Linda Clark asked the parties - and the only ones without a denial of his involvement were National and Act


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