Significant Voter Bloc for Party Amending Smacking Law

Independent polling of NZ’ers has found a significant voter bloc for a political party that commits to amending the anti-smacking law.

The poll also found that the opposition to the current anti-smacking law remains high at 82% (up from 77% in a similar poll last year), endorsing the result of the 2009 Referendum, and proving that the sales pitch by John Key’s government for the law has failed to reassure NZ’ers.

In the poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Curia Market Research this month, respondents were asked “If a political party promised that amending the law to allow light correctional smacking was a non negotiable policy at the next election, would that make you more likely to vote for them, or less likely, or make no difference to your likely vote?”

32% said they would be more likely (up from 22% in 2010) and 10% said less likely (down from 12% in 2010). Just over half said that it would not affect their vote. The response was strongest from men, but also from younger people (18-30 age bracket – 48% more likely to vote for a party that amends the law).

“That’s a potential gain of 22% for a political party, which is a significant voter bloc. Being an election year, the politicians will be forced to listen to and act on the views of NZ’ers. National benefitted from that significant voter bloc at the last election. This election, other parties may not only promise a law change, but actually deliver on that promise.”

“The government hoped that by ignoring parents, the smacking debate would disappear, but while good parents who are trying to raise law abiding productive members of society are investigated, threatened, and criminalised for simply doing their job, the debate will not be going away – and nor will the level of opposition.”

When asked whether there should be a Commission of Inquiry into child abuse and family violence, which Family First has been calling for, two out of three respondents supported this call.

The poll also found that a third of parents (and especially older parents with young children) have been threatened by their own children that they would report them to the authorities if they smacked them, and almost one in four parents had less confidence dealing with unacceptable behaviour from their children since the law was passed.

The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.2%

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