Polls show regret for not voting Green
I have looked at election polling for the last four elections and have noticed a concerning pattern. The Green Party's polling leading up to each election is stronger than what they actually achieve, then the poll immediately afterwards is always considerably higher. For most parties the opposite is generally the case. For New Zealand First and Act this is especially true.
In 2008 the Green Party's vote was 6.72% and the post election poll showed 9.5% support, almost 3 points higher. However, NZ First lost 1.2% in the after-match poll.
In 2011 the Green vote was 11.06 and post election it jumped to 14.5. NZ First dropped 1.59 points and Act dropped by 1.4.
In 2014 The Green vote was 10.7 but post election it leaped to 17.5. NZ First dropped 1.66 points and Act dropped .19 after not even getting 1% support.
In 2017 The Green Party vote was 6.3 and post election it jumped to 11. NZ First dropped .7 and Act remained the same at .5%.
I remember in 2014 that Labour was doing particularly badly in the polls, having even recorded a 22.5 result in a Fairfax Media poll. While the Greens were performing particularly well in opposition, and had a number of high performing MPs, there was a general concern that a weak Labour Party would create too much of a parliamentary imbalance. Sadly a number of Green supporters switched to Labour at the last minute and denied the election of many strong Green Party candidates who would have provided excellent value in parliament.
New Zealand First and Act rely heavily on the personality and media grabbing stunts of their leaders to get them over the line. The fact that both parties dip in support after each election could be because once voters are able to see the teams they manage to pull into parliament and their actual capability, they are underwhelmed. I wonder how many NZ First MPs people can name compared to Green MPs despite the fact that NZ First has more.
The Act Party looks as though it won't need National's support in Epsom this election as conservative voters look for alternatives to a struggling National Party. However, David Seymour will have his work cut out supporting a number of new MPs as they get to grips with their roles. It also appears that a number of Act's higher ranking candidates are driven by a single issue.
I cannot claim to know definitively why the Green support dips for the election and jumps up immediately after. I surmise that because good news and general competency doesn't grab headlines, that the hard work of Green MPs often flies under the radar. However, a good number of voters do recognise the value that the Green MPs bring to parliament and when our representation is lower than expected, the disappointment shows in the following poll.
Aotearoa New Zealand has some major challenges ahead, regardless of Covid-19: climate change, child poverty, housing shortages, struggling health and education systems, polluted waterways, species and biodiversity loss, degraded marine environments, food security... If we imagine a parliament, or government, without a strong Green presence it is clear that the innovative, progressive ideas and capability needed to address the challenges will be much reduced.
In many surveys from groups representing workers, health and the environment the Green Party's costed policies top the lists.
For those who have yet to vote, don't have regrets...party vote GREEN