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by Stephen Mills Executive Director UMR Research
The twin failures to predict David Cameron’s win in the 2015 UK election and now the Trump triumph have certainly damaged the reputation of political polling.
The world was expecting a Clinton presidency and , even so it seems, were the two candidates. Hillary Clinton barely campaigned in Michigan and Wisconsin two key states she lost, presumably on the back of public and private campaign polling showing those states were solidly in her camp.
There has been some debate among New Zealand political commentators about whether a candidate like Donald Trump could emerge in New Zealand. The underlying circumstances are sufficiently different to make this unlikely, at least in the next few years. New Zealand has not been as badly scarred by the global financial crisis as the United States. A decisive majority of New Zealanders have believed the country is heading in the right direction for almost all of John Key's term as Prime Minister.
There was no significant change in flag preference from the previous survey conducted in Late February.
Younger New Zealanders are the keenest to retain the flag.
Political polarisation is again very evident. A narrow majority of National voters now intend to vote for change but big majorities of other voters are voting for retention.
Two-thirds of New Zealanders are still planning to back the current flag in the upcoming referendum, according to a poll - and just as many say the whole process was a waste of money.
Figures from UMR Research's flag referendum update released on Monday have found of those polled, 65 per cent preferred the union-jack-emblazoned flag to its ferned alternative.
The annual Mood of the Nation report is a summary of a number of polls undertaken by UMR throughout 2015. Some of these polls have been tracked annually for up to 25 years.
NZ appears largely immune from the rise of populism taking hold elsewhere. Or is it? Stephen Mills asks.
All sorts of weird and wonderful things are now happening in Western democracies. The success of new parties and extreme volatility is the order of the day.
New Zealand is almost alone in avoiding any equivalent excitement. Not that much has changed since John Key established his ascendancy in 2007.
Despite the Prime Minister's comments it is unlikely that Malcolm Turnbull would be satisfied with John Key's limited policy ambitions.
Malcolm Turnbull said his New Zealand counterpart John Key was a role model in his first press conference as Prime Minister. He described Key as "achieving very significant economic reforms in New Zealand … by taking on and explaining complex issues and then making the case for them".
Turnbull has got this completely wrong.
On first preferences the red and blue Lockwood fern design (on 35%) is ahead of the blue and black fern (on 33%).
Red Peak sits in third with 17% of respondents giving it their first preference – the proportion similar to the October survey.
Applying the preferential voting system the red and blue fern edges out the blue and black fern, but this result is within the margin of error.
- The red and blue Lockwood fern is ahead of the blue and black fern as first preference.
- Through the single transferable vote system the red and blue fern edges the blue and black fern, but it is within margin of error.
- None of the proposed designs seriously challenge the current flag in a head-to-head choice.
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The core drivers for why top performing farmers operate the way they do is the importance of both family and the ‘way of life’ that farming provides. While profitability is critical, when it is boiled down, profits allow top performers to provide opportunities for their families, and live the farming ‘way of life’ that appeals so deeply to them. These two factors are then followed by a diverse range of drivers that all form the ;fabric of farming’ that drive top performers to get out bed and push for even greater productivity and profits.