Media’s faux innocence of their part in Judith Collin’s low polling
Video- maybe NZ First (in 2020) had the right idea (even if a bit rude) on how to interact with Hewshub reporter Tova O’Brien.
NZ’s media’s incessant beating of the race drum has paid off, and Judith Collins has taken the hit in polling they were all hoping for. Last night we witnessed the spectacle of a smug Tova O’Brien barely able to conceal her glee as she reported that Collin’s rating for preferred PM had dropped 13 points from 18 to 5.
However, what would anyone expect after O’Brien and the parliamentary press gallery persistently assailed Collins with allegations of racism over almost the whole period the poll was taken? Are they claiming this assault would have no affect?
The truth is they planned the character assassination of Judith Collins, they carried it out, and now they sit back smugly observing the result of their deliberate sabotage. Dripping with deceit, they act as if they had no hand in it at all.
However, on closer inspection, the polling is not as bad as the obsessive doomsayer Tova O’Brien would make out. Sure, Judith has suffered a fall in popularity, but this can be recovered. Figures for this part of the poll leave 37% of the responses undisclosed, so its not by any means set in concrete.
There is also the issue of the out of politics John Key being listed. How did his name get there and why? Key’s inclusion naturally dilutes Collin’s numbers. Was Helen Clark included?
The remainder of the polling is by no means a complete negative for the National party either. The pollsters asked two questions-
The first question was “Do you think Labour is being separatist?” Naturally most of the 52% who voted for Jacinda would be expected to say “no”, especially when the media have been ramming this message down their throat for a couple of weeks.
The result though was 44 no and 39 yes with the remaining 17% unsure. With a margin of error of 3.5% this is by no means an emphatic win for Jacinda.
The second question was “Do you think National are being divisive”. Once again, the media have spent weeks telling the voters the answer should be “yes”, so it should be no surprise that polling was 45/33 in the affirmative. However that still leaves 22% who are uncertain. So once again, its really not a big win for Labour.
The results when divided into Labour or National voters really don’t mean a lot as they were pretty much identical for each party.
At the end of the polling period, the public had not really heard much push back from the Nats against the media’s incessant hammering on race, so if the Newshub-Reid Research poll shows anything at all it shows the battle is far from lost.
National must marshall their forces and enter the fray with messaging that is effective, clear and that penetrates the group think media’s bigotry and bias. If they do, as time passes and the public hear that message, the Nats have every chance of turning the polls about and making this issue a winner.