Poll: Women abandoning Key

Less likeable?

The backers of a poll say John Key is losing support among women.

A Fairfax/Ipsos poll has 39% of women supporting National, with females more likely to see the prime minister as a polarising figure following issues such as the class sizes controversy.

It is difficult to quantify a trend, as the Fairfax/Ipos poll is the first of its type.

However, Fairfax points to other polls before the last election that showed 50% of women supported National.

"Women swing voters have become particularly crucial in modern New Zealand elections," Otago University political scientist Bryce Edwards told NBR ONLINE.

"John Key will be well aware of that, and also well aware that his relatively strong performance in winning women over to National in 2008 was absolutely crucial to getting into government," Mr Edwards said.

"His strong appeal to women swing voters, was both ideological – not being too right-wing – and not being too much of a boring traditional politician.

"More recently he's been losing these qualities," said the pol sci lecturer and NZ Politics Daily blogger.

"First, economic austerity has pressured Key to become more hardline in responding the fiscal situation.

"And, second, these days he's been somewhat less of a 'blokey' non-politician," Mr Edwards said.

"Perhaps counterintuitively, it was when he was most 'blokey' – wearing t-shirts, strutting on the catwalk, being highly casual, and generally acting like 'the guy next door' – that John Key probably had the most appeal to female swing voters.

"To appeal again to that demographic, he needs to stop playing at being a statesman on the world stage, and get back to his winning formula of being a 'common man' engaged with the general electorate.

"But perhaps more substantively, he will appeal more to such women voters when and if he's able to cease his association with austerity measures such as government spending cuts."

Fairfax also said Mr Key had become "an increasingly becoming a polarising figure" but again, with the poll being the first in a series, the trend is hard to pin down.

There are limits to the disillusionment. 63% think Key has a clear vision for the country, and was a strong and effective leader, according to Farfax/Ipsos.

In terms of party vote support, the poll of 1000 eligible voters (phoned July 19-23) finds, like other recent surveys, that the combined Labour-Greens block is neck-and-neck with National:

National: 44.9%
Labour: 32.6%
Greens: 11.9
NZ First: 3.6%
Maori: 2.7%
Mana: 1.2%
Conservatives: 0.7%
ACT: 0.6%
United Future: 0.1%
Others: 1.6%

A survey of public polls carried out by Curia's David Farrar had the following standings as of July 3:

National: 47.2% (60 seats)
Labour: 32.2% (41 seats)
Greens: 12.3% (16 seats)
NZ First: 3.9% (0 seats)
Maori: 1.5% (3 seats assuming it holds its 3 electorates)
Mana0.8% (1 seat assuming Hone Harawira holds Te Tai Tokerau)
ACT: 0.5% (0 seats, or 1 if John Banks holds Epsom)
United Future: 0.3% (1 assuming Peter Dunne holds Ohariu

(Conservative Party not listed)

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10 Comments & Questions

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When you "walk over people", this result is expected.


What a load of old twaddle. The only women upset with Key are the ones who are going to have to stop bludging off the state having babies on the DPB.


NZ women having babies whether on the DPB or not are actually helping NZ in future, say over 20 years time.....avoid having to encourage any more young foreign immigrants to work in the hospice centres, because most workimg NZ women are NOT interested in having babies at all!


Another bogus poll from the Sunday Star Times, who used to use the discredited Horizon poll (who can forget their out of whack final pre election poll, last year which had National on low numbers and unable to form a govt)
This latest effort by the left leaning Star Times, and I quote from the Stuff website "asked 100 people", not the 1,000 polled you state in this article, a number so small to make this wildly inaccurate.

[The website actually quotes 1000 people as being interviewed - Ed]


One of the best things to do for women right now would be to repeal the Prostitution Act. Because thats in black and white what we really think about women in our country - as a nation.
And now with the Chow brothers applying to build a mockery next to one of our most significant landmarks this debasement of women is on the brink of being set centrally in concrete.


John Key should take on board just how popular the maori party and mana are 2% and 1% respectively,having stated pre the last election that the Maori seats are an anomaly,,he now seems to be giving credence to the nonsense by openly pandering to that group.This is possibly a reason for his drop in the polls,.I voted for John last election.


So to sum up - women prefer galloping socialists and died in the wool unionists to a very thin dose of capitalism. Dumb is and dumb does and thinks.


I don't imagine that JK will be too worried.
He looked pretty contented with the one woman he has, when I last saw He and Bronnagh together.
David Winefield seems to have summed the article up pretty well


The credibility of that media outlet is anti John Key.That mish mash all over the show survey confirms it. Knew the outlet were going broke,so whats wrong with a chance to get a few more newspaper sales.


I dought there is any credibility that women are leaving JK but between his pandering to maori and his support of gay marriage I certainly am. He has to go.


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