You only need pollsters when you’ve lost your grip

Must have a quiet word with Internal Affairs Minister Nathan Guy. The poor bugger should be getting out and about in his electorate much more – notwithstanding his ministerial workload – instead of paying bloody pollsters to find what people think of him.

Alf has no need for pollsters. He is in close touch with his constituents, and hence knows that the vast bulk of them regard him as hard-working and (for his age) good looking. That’s why electoral support for him is greater than Winston Peters’ ego.

Nathan, alas, doesn’t seem to know how he rates among his constituents.

And so he has organised a telephone poll to gauge Kapiti residents’ preferred expressway option – a highly contentious issue in that neck of the woods – as well as his own popularity.

The Otaki MP has admitted hiring a polling company to get an understanding of which expressway option residents prefer.

This seems to Alf to be a huge waste of money, whether it’s from the public purse or the party.

Taxpayers are already coughing up to find what people think.

Strong opposition to the two Kapiti four-lane expressway options presented to the community by Transport Minister Steven Joyce in August prompted the New Zealand Transport Agency to add a third option and extend the public consultation period from six weeks to the end of this month.

The transport agency must now chew through and digest nearly 3000 submissions.

Nathanial should find out from those submissions what people think.

Alf suspects a poll to tell him what his constituents think about the expressway options was really an unsubtle pretext to find out what they think about him.

Some local residents have been mystified by a telephone poll run in the past couple of weeks asking them which expressway option they approved or disapproved of and how they rated Mr Guy.

The poll also asks respondents to rate the performance of his Labour list MP opponent, Darren Hughes, on a scale of one to 10.

Mr Guy said he had organised the poll to be run by a “reliable professional company”.

Although he would not disclose how much it had cost, he said it was “not much” and had been paid for by the parliamentary support budget and National Party funding.

So what do the locals think of him?

Will they toss him on their bonfire on 5 November? Or find another Guy?

Mr Guy said he had the results of the poll, but he had not analysed the numbers yet, and had not decided whether he would pass the findings on to the transport agency.

“I did the poll as a local MP to gauge the views of the community and to keep in touch with my constituents,” he said.

The poll was carried out in the name of the company, not him, he said.

Hughes – inevitably – is making much of the polls, and reckons that if National needs an opinion poll to find out how deeply unpopular their expressway options are, it has become out of touch with the community.

Alf finds it hard to agree with Labour wankers, unless they are arguing for cheaper booze in Bellamys (which the precious pricks are apt not to do) or more pay for MPs.

He reluctantly says Hughes has a point.

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