The Mood of the Nation in 2020: The Stuff/Massey pre-election online survey
Leading up to the 2017 New Zealand general election, Stuff.co.nz and Massey University collaborated in two online surveys of public opinion to test the mood of the nation and seek opinions about a range of relevant political and social issues. Given their success, two more surveys were conducted in 2020. This article summarises results from the 2020 data, and reflects on the methodological advantages, disadvantages and challenges of conducting people-driven online surveys that need to meet the differing needs of academic researchers, journalists and the public. While the surveys produced very large samples, they were not representative. Moreover, the choices of items were influenced by what happened to be newsworthy at the time. Naturally, Covid-19 was a significant theme during the 2020 surveys. The results reveal predictable left–right polarization of opinions, a minority support for conspiracy theories, some areas of wide agreement across the political spectrum, and some unexpected nuances of opinions within and across ethnic groups.
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