Polls are a 'work of fiction', says Winston Peters - except when they're his own

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters.
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters. Photo credit: Mitchell Alexander/Newshub.

If you listen to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, you'll already know polls are "rubbish", "invariably wrong", and a "work of fiction".

But apparently they're not all rubbish - he's got one that's not only "accurate", it has the Government looking good.

No, sorry, he won't share the poll results - it's not even worth asking. You'll just have to trust his word on this one poll, which he's certain is definitely a good poll.

"Our poll information has the governing parties raising further in the polls," he said at his post-Cabinet press conference.

The New Zealand First leader said the poll has Labour above National.

"We all have inside polls, and I've told you what your poll's worth and a few others over the years," he said.

"We like poll information somewhat more accurate than that. You want us to believe yours, which are a work in fiction."

Mr Peters likes being asked what he thinks of a poll result about as much as he likes people mentioning his whiskey-drinking. One might be tempted to think he's a little sensitive about both.

"My experience has long taught me not to have any regard for these polls which are always, invariably wrong," he told RNZ in September.

"The only poll we follow is the one on the 23rd," he told Newshub in September, before accidentally sending a text to a reporter with a message to Shane Jones. In the message, he told Mr Jones to "relax and don't swear."

Again in September, he brought up his favourite rodent body part, saying "I couldn't give a rat's derriere about your poll". That final pre-election Newshub-Reid Research poll had Peters on 7.1 percent. The party polled 7.2 percent on election night. A Google search for rat's derriere Winston Peters brings up 24,500 results.

Earlier, in May, Mr Peters told RNZ the media's polls are fake and he was polling at 20 percent. 

"I've got the statistical evidence to prove it. I don't know why the media carry on with their mindset and keep on boring people witless with scenarios that are not going to happen," he said.

Back in September, Mr Peters told TVNZ their polls were "rubbish", before even being told what the poll found. 

Which is all to say, it's clear what Mr Peters thinks of polls, except when they're this poll - a secret poll that apparently has the Government sitting pretty.