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Research Results

Dirty Politics voting impact

3 Oct 14

Dirty Politics voting impact
While National won more seats its preliminary vote total fell: a result of dirty politics?

National may have suffered the loss of support over the dirty politics issue which was forecast in an August 18-25 HorizonPoll of 1,752 adults nationwide.

The poll, conducted during in first 12 days of publication of Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics book, found National could lose a nett 3% overall support because of the issue.

Preliminary election results, before counting of 254,630 special votes, show National won 1,010,464 votes compared with 1,058,636 at the 2011 election, a reduction of 48,172 or 4.5%.

Special votes may change this result.

The August 18-25 HorizonPoll found:

  • While voting intention shifts from poll to poll, National’s level of retention this year of those who said they intended to cast their party vote for the National Party at the next election had been particularly strong in polls conducted by Horizon up to the July/August survey (before the Hager book’s release), at around 92%.  In this survey, conducted after the release of the “Dirty Politics” book, National retains only 82% of those who said in July/August they would give their party vote to the National Party.  Note that around 8% of those who said in the July/August poll they would vote for National are now undecided about which party they will give their party vote to.
  • National appears to have at least 3% less support overall from the 18+ population following the book’s publication in comparison with its position prior to the publication.  Analysis poll by poll since March 2014 indicates that the decline is probably greater, around 3.8% less support

The full Horizon report on the impact of issues raised by the Dirty Politics book and management of issues arising from it is here.  The research was conducted independently as part of Horizon's Public Interest Research Series.