69% ‘NO’ Voters Want Law Change Not Discretion – Poll

60% of National supporters want the law changed
Family First NZ says that a poll on the response to the anti-smacking Referendum shows huge support for a law change with National and NZ First supporters most in favour, and a political party set to gain up to 12% if they make it a bottom line policy at the next general election.

The poll conducted by Curia Market Research on behalf of Family First NZ surveyed 990 people. 69% of people who voted No in the Referendum said they wanted the law amended to allow light smacking of children by parents for correctional purposes. Only 13% of the entire sample did not want any change to the law.

“The poll shows that NZ’ers are rejecting the ‘comfort’ and reviews being offered by the Prime Minister and simply want a law change so that parents can parent within the law and with certainty,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “That has been our plea throughout this debate.”

Other findings were:
60% of National supporters want the law changed, but only 43% of Labour supporters
The lower the income of the household, the more likely they wanted a law change
Of those who voted yes, 50% want more discretion to be instructed
A party changing the law would have no vote gain in Auckland and a 7% vote loss in Wellington. However, in Christchurch, provincial and rural NZ they could potentially gain between 5% and 12%.
Current National supporters are a net 8% more likely to vote for a party that changes the law. Current Labour supporters are a net 2% less likely
Most significantly, a net 13% of undecided voters are more likely to support a party that changes the law.

“Political parties should take notice of this poll and understand that in a ‘representative democracy’, when a party represents the views of an overwhelming number of voters, they will benefit at the polling booth.”

“John Key was correct when he labeled the law ‘a dog’s breakfast’ – a view echoed by most legal opinion – and said that the (Chester) Borrows amendment was the answer. National should now support the John Boscawen amendment under urgency, give legal certainty to law-abiding and great NZ parents, and then start to seriously tackle the real causes of child abuse such as drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown and dysfunction, and mental illness,” says Mr McCoskrie.

The poll was conducted between 21 September and 6 October 2009 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.

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