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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

So just who is sitting on the internet? 

I'm often curious as to who makes up the masses of folk sitting there at work or home surfing the net or on a laptop in Swaziland or wherever and have long had suspicions (or rather it's been pretty damn obvious) that conservatives and right-wingers (same thing more often than not) make up a decent chunk of those online.

On the 10th of December the latest NZ political poll came out (National Business Review-Phillips Fox poll) giving Labour a healthy lead over National, even factoring in the margin of error. It's worth noting that other polls have come out in the last few weeks with larger survey groups and they suggest support for Labour in the 46-50% range.

Here are the NBR-PF poll figures:
Labour 43%
National 36%
New Zealand First 8%
Greens 5%
United Future 3.8%
ACT 1.9%
Other 2.3%

The poll of 750 voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 per cent.

Now flash to a few days later to the poll conducted online at and look at their results:
National (3245 votes, 41%)
Labour (2595 votes, 33%)
Greens (552 votes, 7%)
ACT (378 votes, 4%)
NZ First (375 votes, 4%)
United Future (327 votes, 4%)
Maori Party (213 votes, 2%)
Progressive Party (83 votes, 1%)

Of course it's worth mentioning that probably attracts a slightly dis-proportionately rightish type crowd but as there is a reasonably small selection of NZ media I think most of us surf all of the NZ news sites rather than just the extreme left wing sites like the.... um.... well fuck?!

Now in some ways that makes many of their polls rather useless. Or at least it shows how 'unreflective' they can be of NZ society. Though everybody knows that anyway, it's just nice to have it as plainly spelt out as all that at least. Now at least I have confirmation that I'm not completely out of touch when I go voting liberal in one of their polls and am stunned to find out I'm in the minority ;)

In conclusion, and to get back to my 'research point' that really inspired this effort in the first place, I guess you could say that the internet is populated by office workers, the wealthy, activists, uni students and expats. I'll let you guess who they are voting. Let's just thank god that the retired haven't worked out how to use it yet. Then polls would start showing mass support for Winston Peters and free walking frames and heavily discounted sherry :(

Regarding other polls, this one seems pretty damn clear what the masses think.

Does TVNZ newsreader Judy Bailey deserve a salary of $800,000?
Yes (1441 votes, 19%)
No (6017 votes, 80%)

According to my calculator she will now be getting 769 dollars a minute if you take the apparent 4 minutes she is reported to have on air each night and at 5 nights a week for the entire year. And I take it she works less than 5 nights a week on average and goes for the odd holiday or two.

Not bad for scary storytime to the masses.


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