TVNZ called out for 'weird' poll graphics mixing up Labour and National

TVNZ's poll graphics have raised eyebrows.
TVNZ's poll graphics have raised eyebrows. Photo credit: TVNZ

TVNZ has been called out for some political poll graphics that seem to contradict the results of the poll itself.

The results from the first poll since the Christchurch terror attack have been released, and they indicate Jacinda Ardern has reached her highest ever rating as preferred Prime Minister with 51 percent.

The poll, conducted by TVNZ News and Colmar Brunton, had bad news for Simon Bridges - he's slipped down to five percent, the lowest he's ever polled as National leader.

However during its coverage on Monday evening, TVNZ News included a graphic of the two leaders that seemed to close the gap between their drastically different popularity. Despite polling at a tenth of Ardern, Bridges was displayed on a podium only slightly lower than hers.

The odd visualisation raised eyebrows on Twitter, where it was called "bizarre".

One user even edited the graphic to more accurately reflect Bridges' polling.

That wasn't the only questionable graphic TVNZ News showed in its coverage. The poll showed Labour up three percentage points to 48 percent, while National was down two to 40 percent.

The Greens were steady at six percent, while NZ First climbed up to four percent which is still below the parliamentary threshold.  

The result would give Labour 60 seats and the Greens eight for a combined majority of 68. But in a visualisation of Parliament, there were more blue seats than red.

Newshub counted 59 blue seats, 52 red seats, eight green seats and one yellow seat.

One Twitter user wondered if TVNZ had mixed up the red and blue seats in its graphic. However that would only make sense if it included the sole ACT seat in a coalition with Labour and the Greens, which is an unlikely partnership.

One remarked the National Party would be "pretty happy" to get those poll results, while another account called them "graphics of the week" - sarcastically, it can fairly be assumed.

An economist described the graphics as "really weird", and worked in a Star Trek reference to boot.

TVNZ has been approached for comment.