It’s the stuff of nightmares – Winston and his mob have risen from the dead

Or rather, that's where we thought they were - but the awful truth is we were wrong.

Alf was sure we had buried Winston Peters and the NZ First mob at the last election.

Alas, not so. A media release from an outfit called Horizonpolls is headlined New Zealand First May Decide Which Main Party Governs

The online polling firm has found that New Zealand First now has enough support to decide which of the main two parties will govern after next year’s general election.

The Winston Peters-led party now has 6% support among people who say they will vote, according to the latest nationwide HorizonPoll, covering 1,833 intending voters.

What’s wrong with Kiwi voters?

Do they not forget all that stuff about the funding of NZ First and the obstinate Peters’ belligerent responses whenever he was asked for a bit of good old accountability?

For those who want the technical stuff, the survey was conducted between November 16 and 22. It is weighted by age, gender, personal income, employment status, ethnicity and party vote 2008 to provide a representative population sample.

The survey has 1,981 respondents, and 1,833 after excluding those who say they are not intending to vote.

The margin of error is ± 2.2%.

People were asked how they would vote. Those who said they did not know were then asked their preference, which reduced the undecided group by about half. Those who said they would not vote were also removed.

As a result, HorizonPoll finds parties have the following vote shares among the population aged 18 or older:

• National 34.7%
• Labour 28.3%
• Green 7.9%
• New Zealand First 6%
• ACT 2.6%
• Maori Party 1.2%
• Jim Anderton’s Progressives 1.2%
• United Future 0.2%
• Other parties 1.6%

Some 8.1% remain undecided and 8.2% prefer not to say.

Obviously, if this is not some awful joke and if that’s how people were to vote next year, National and Labour would need New Zealand First support to lead the next coalition Government.

A Labour-Green-New Zealand First coalition would have 42.2%.

A National-New Zealand First-Maori Party coalition (assuming the Maori party wins electorate seats) would have 41.4%.

A National-ACT-Maori Party coalition would have 35.9% and 36.1% if United Future wins one seat.

A Labour-Green coalition would muster about the same level of support: 36.2%.

At the 2008 election, we are reminded, National won support of 32.9% of the 18 plus population, Labour 25%. Some 26.7% did not vote.

Some 70.9% of New Zealand First’s 2008 voters remain loyal. Among those who say they will now vote for it, are the following from other parties:

• 6.2% ACT
• 2.4% Green
• 5.6% Labour
• 3% Maori Party
• 3.1% National
• 9.3% Anderton’s Progressives
• 13.2% other parties

National has the support of 78.5% of its 2008 voters and has attracted 9.3% from Labour. Labour has 68.2% voter loyalty and has attracted 6.1% from National.

The Green Party has 65.2% voter loyalty; Anderton’s Progressives 59.5%; ACT 45.2%; Maori Party 54.8%.

The number of undecided voters overall is 18.9%, falling to 7.8% when they are asked to express a preference.

So it seems National must count on ACT leader Rodney Hide keeping his Epsom electorate seat if ACT is to become one of its partners in forming the next government, along with New Zealand First.

As for the pathetic United Future, its support (0.2%) is too small to affect the deal-making, if party leader Peter Dunne retains his seat.

Personally, Alf reckons it’s outfits like United Future – the pitiful Progressive Party, too – that give MMP a bad name.

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