Voters may well be saying one thing to the pollster but their votes are telling a different story.
It was an entertaining couple of weeks in politics with the unexpected re-election of the governing conservative coalition in the Australian Federal Election and a couple of attempted launches of new political parties on this side of the Tasman.
An Australian friend, successfully involved in Labour Party politics on both sides of the Tasman for years, described the federal election outcome as "a massive defeat for the polling industry", pointing out that not one single poll over at least the past three years had predicted anything other than a Labor victory.
It wasn't just that a portion of the voting population changed their minds at the last minute. A large exit poll taken on election day (which would be illegal in New Zealand) indicated that Bill Shorten's Australian Labor Party would win handily.
This can only mean that as much as a 10th of voters lied about who they'd supported with their vote a very short time before.
It's worth reminding ourselves that it was exactly those polls that were found to be so inaccurate that caused the Liberal Party – the senior partner in the Coalition Government - to dump Party Leaders (and Prime Ministers) Tony Abbott in 2015 and Malcolm Turnbull in 2018.
This polling failure will be seen as the third in a succession of major market research misfires which include the "Brexit" vote in Britain in June 2016 and Donald Trump's win in the United States presidential race in November 2016.
Neither of these results were widely predicted by polling.
Although huge changes in the telecommunications industry, particularly the replacement of landlines with cellphones, has greatly disrupted the gathering of polling data, my suspicion is that a much simpler and more human factor is at play.
It seems likely to me that there is a group of people who won't admit to an attitude generally held to be politically incorrect to pollsters but follow their own personal interests when they cast their vote in secret.
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Polling showed that climate change was a significant issue in the federal election.
It seemed to be a vote winner for the Labor Party and was used by an independent to unseat former PM Tony Abbott – a climate change denier - in his formerly safe Liberal electorate of Warringah in Sydney.
However, in some of Labor's seats, especially in Queensland, the climate change issue clearly went against that party.
In that state a proposal to build an enormous new coal mine at Adani meant thousands of new well-paid jobs and Labor was comprehensively defeated, holding onto just six seats out of the 30 in the state.
Labor equivocated on the mine and paid the price. The folks may have told the pollsters they wanted action on climate change, but privately they wanted job opportunities more and voted that way.
My belief is that this also happened with issues around negative gearing (similar to a capital gains tax) and some changes to the treatment of retirement income promoted by Labor.
In New Zealand we saw the birth of a new right-wing party called "Coalition" that may or may not be Christian in character and the on-again off-again attempt to launch an explicitly Christian Party by National list MP Alfred Ngaro.
The Coalition Party leader is the wife of Destiny Church Bishop Brian Tamaki, so this party looks like a reprise of the Destiny Party which flopped badly in the 2005 general election scoring fewer than 15,000 votes.
I'd be surprised if the name "Coalition" passes muster with the Electoral Commission. The name, in my view, is intended to benefit from confusion amongst voters looking for a coalition partner for the friendless National Party.
I was sorry to see MP Alfred Ngaro's proposed new Christian Party come to naught after just over a week of speculation encouraged by National Party leader Simon Bridges.
The whole exercise promised to be highly entertaining given Mr Ngaro's tenuous grasp of reality.
It's well worth accessing the excellent Radio New Zealand website to hear him on the Checkpoint programme of May 21.
It's clear that the major issue driving Mr Ngaro's plan for a new party is the proposed reform of abortion law.
On air he repeatedly voices his opposition to allowing women to have abortions at "40 weeks".
Just in case you think that your ears are deluding you, he makes this point no fewer than three times during the press conference played on RNZ.
Only Mr Ngaro seems to have been aware of such a proposal and given that human pregnancies last 36 weeks or nine months he's talking nonsense.
However, it looks like Alfred Ngaro will blithely carry on as a National MP.
Sadly, we've just seen proof of Napoleon Bonaparte's cynical declaration "In politics, stupidity is not a handicap".
*Mike Williams grew up in Hawke's Bay. He is CEO of the NZ Howard League and a former Labour Party president. All opinions are his and not those of Hawke's Bay Today.