Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Election 2017: the Special Votes

100 Responses

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  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Ian Tinkler,

    Does appear to be a low voter turn out.

    "Voter turnout for the 2017 General Election is estimated to be 78.8% of those enrolled as at 6pm Friday 22 September. This compares with a final 77.9% turnout of those enrolled in 2014. "

    So up by only 1% despite a record early voter turnout. I think we have to be looking hard at why a hard core of 10% (give or take) of the population doesn't vote.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 349 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    So the youthquake came in at 0.9%.

    May be much more. Many of those votes were likely to be specials. And with specials at 15% of the vote total there could well be a few surprises.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 349 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    The more I think about it the more 15% of the vote total in specials looks to be the real story of this election. Of course it will take 2 weeks to find out but that is a large block .

    It was 300,000 special votes in 2014 and 384,000 this time so having a larger sample size could offer more of a variance.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 349 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    As previously noted, up to 10% of the population officially counted as eligible voters may actually know themselves not to be eligible, or truly not be involved enough in NZ society (yet/currently) to want to vote. So 90% may be the effective maximum possible.
    Recent immigrants (within last 3 years): over 100,000.
    Long-term expats (adults, over 3 years abroad) who are registered and therefore officially eligible: about 300,000. Votes from overseas are included in specials, but they’re a very small proportion of them, so nowhere near that number are voting.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Roberts, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    I think that you have a point, Jason, but roughly repeating Graeme's calculations with just 300k specials and then piling the remaining 84k all onto Labour only moves one more seat across from National.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 93 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment Attachment

    An interesting analysis from Jonathan Marshall on Twitter.

    First, which electorate candidates outperformed their party’s party vote. Then the same, with Labour + Greens combined, to try and winkle out the proportion that was simple vote-splitting on the left. Still pretty stark.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • dave stewart,

    Curveball possibilties?:

    1) TOP reach 5%? They'd need about 80k of specials to get there. Which is about 21% of all specials. A big chunk of specials are thought to be first time voters who enrolled when they voted, and TOP did appear to be popular with youngsters ..... Unlikely, but not totally beyond the realms of possibility?

    2) NZ First chooses to remain in opposition, resulting in Nat's returning as a minority government? Forcing greater cross party accord in order to avoid a lame duck situation.

    3) A grand coalition? Nat & Lab agree to focus on policy they can agree on and kick the rest down the road for 3 years.

    4) Prolonged stalemate requiring a re-run election?

    It was great to see Corin Dann suggesting that the 5% threshold should be lowered. Haven't heard that opinion expressed much by MSM or either major parties previously. But it absolutely needs to happen. One seat = 21k votes in 2017, and I think it is perfectly reasonable for any party which can collect that many votes to be in parliament. From preliminary count (i.e. excluding specials) in 2017 we have around 4.3% wasted votes. We lament people not voting, yet we effectively flush 5 MP's worth of votes!

    Since Aug 2014 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    First, which electorate candidates outperformed their party’s party vote.

    So I've really noticed this in Chch, including counting votes for East, Central and Port Hills where people have voted National for party and Labour for candidate. My first reaction was that maybe National should be standing less waste-of-space candidates.

    Also, the number of people who didn't know the name of their electorate, but knew their MP was Ruth Dyson.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4620 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to steven crawford,

    Just working up some magic words ideas. Housing crisis – housing market- realestate bubble- um, snakes and ladders?

    Bubble economics. Very few NZers are aware of it, including politicians from all parties.

    View from across the ditch:

    "Assuming National earn a fourth term, watch on as housing, infrastructure and living standards continue to get crush-loaded."

    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/09/nz-votes-yes-housing-ponzi/

    Since Nov 2006 • 225 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I don't think that the electoral vote is a big deal. National voters will vote for a local Labour electorate candidate, and Labour voters will vote for a local National electorate candidate, because you can.

    If the Labour party had 46% to National's 36%, the blue bars would be grouped a long way above the line too. The electorate votes simply don't swing as far as the Party votes do.

    Since Nov 2006 • 587 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to tussock,

    I don’t think that the electoral vote is a big deal.

    I think it might be in certain seats where there is a list candidate from another party who doesn't need the electorate vote. Not sure how the calculations work in that case but suspect an overhang might be the result. Does anyone know.

    In Maungakiekie for example RADHAKRISHNAN, Priyanca could have won if Chloe Swarbrick who is on the Green list had asked voters to give their electorate vote to Labour. Would it have made an overall difference to the total of electorate + party vote - I'm not sure.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 349 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Martin Roberts,

    Thanks Martin. I don't think they would all go to Labour but significant that an extra 5% in the specials this time around.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 349 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to dave stewart,

    It was great to see Corin Dann suggesting that the 5% threshold should be lowered.

    In 2012 that was one of 5 key recommendations “The one electorate seat threshold should be abolished (and if it is, the provision for overhang seats should also be abolished);
    The party vote threshold should be lowered from 5% to 4% (with the Commission required by law to review how the 4% threshold is working);”

    As I understand it both were ignored by the Nats who controlled that committee.

    "The one electorate seat threshold should go. An exception to the party vote threshold, it is not a necessary feature of the MMP system." but it was kept because of Act :)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 349 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    *electorate, not electoral. Hehe.

    Greens in most places were campaigning for Party Vote only, there's not all of the Green party voters would prefer the Labour candidate even when the greens leave out a candidate (as they did against Peter Dunne which saw him give up the contest). From what I saw of Labour candidates, they were also strongly asking for Party vote.

    But really, a lot of people who are National party voters will happily elect a competent and experienced Labour party electorate MP. You can't assume anything about the electorate votes, IMO.

    Since Nov 2006 • 587 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to tussock,

    I was just out in New Lynn. Deborah Russell got that but many first gen voters didn't vote for her while they liked Cunliffe. So yes electorate representation is still a thing. I'm in Mt Albert so I split my vote and if I had been in Maungakiekie or another electorate with a Labour electorate potential winner I would have done that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 349 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    In Maungakiekie for example RADHAKRISHNAN, Priyanca could have won if Chloe Swarbrick who is on the Green list had asked voters to give their electorate vote to Labour. Would it have made an overall difference to the total of electorate + party vote - I'm not sure.

    Priyanca Radhakrishnan was way up the Labour list too though (12th) - she was always getting in. Denise Lee was third from bottom for National, and more people voted for her than voted for National. I wonder if some people thought that having 3 MPs in the electorate was better than having 2. I did see more of Lee's signs, and basically none from Swarbrick so perhaps it was just the amount of campaigning that Lee did that got her home.

    Personally I voted for Radhakrishnan even though I really supported Swarbrick because I didn't want Lee in Parliament. Tried to convince my right-leaning friends that they should vote against Lee too as they'd end up with a better MP off the list, with (I suspect) no success.

    In the end a lot more people voted for Chloe Swarbrick than voted for the Greens which just makes no sense at all to me. That certainly wasn't a tactical choice.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    In Auckland Central I voted for Helen White (Labour), which I suppose was also a vote to put Nikki Kaye back on the list, and deprive somebody else (Nicola Willis?) of their spot.

    In Ohariu I would also have indirectly voted for Helen White of Auckland, by not voting for Greg O'Connor (if he hadn't won the electorate, Helen is above him on the list).

    So yeah, these things can get complicated.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1218 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Why the fascination with electorates?

    I know the "exciting battle for Waikekemukau South" gives pundits something to go on about, but they make as much difference to the end result as who wins Potsdam Süd.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5543 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    That's true in isolation, of course. But there's a wider context: Labour don't want to be confined to a fortress in 4 main cities. They held seats like Rotorua, New Plymouth and Taupo when they were in government. There are longer-term knock-on effects.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1218 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Why the fascination with electorates?

    I think it is a relic of the past. I was thinking besides the 15% of special votes there is the 4% of wasted votes that go back into the pool for seat recalculation. I'm sure that is included in the calculations but easy to overlook.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 349 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    4% of wasted votes […] go back into the pool for seat recalculation

    That seems a potentially misleading way of putting it: aren’t they simply ignored (so it’s the proportions of the “unwasted” votes that determine makeup of Parliament, just scaled by 100/96)?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to dave stewart,

    Curveball possibilties?

    No 1 very interesting. Here's a statistical analysis of TOP voters;

    http://vjmpublishing.nz/?p=4785

    No idea how valid it might be.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 765 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Correlation between age and TOP support is not high enough to support a bias of the size required to get TOP over 5%. Main finding is that half of TOP support came from disaffected Green voters (disproportionally removing the younger, more educated, professional end of that support), which may mean the usual specials bias for Greens could be lower than expected this time ... unless the TOP analysis is missing the specials, in which case their finding itself could be an artefact of a bias in the specials.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Glen Koorey, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    I think it might be in certain seats where there is a list candidate from another party who doesn't need the electorate vote. Not sure how the calculations work in that case but suspect an overhang might be the result. Does anyone know.

    In Maungakiekie for example RADHAKRISHNAN, Priyanca could have won if Chloe Swarbrick who is on the Green list had asked voters to give their electorate vote to Labour. Would it have made an overall difference to the total of electorate + party vote - I'm not sure.

    Sigh, comments like these worry me - the electorate votes for local candidates do NOT affect the total number of seats in parliament that a party gets (let's ignore the case of a low-rating party like ACT only winning an electorate). With the exception of Epsom and the Maori seats, who you voted for as your local MP had no effect on the makeup of parliament; it was your party vote alone that did that.

    I heard from lots of people tactically splitting their vote to "help them both" or protest voting to "kick someone out". If you want to support/change your local MP, great, but understand that only your PARTY vote can support/change the Govt. If a party unexpectedly wins an electorate seat, they don't get a bonus seat in parliament because they then get one less list MP.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2013 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I wonder if this is also because the local Labour electorate MP is often known for doing a good job helping constituents. For example, Grant Robertson has a busy central Wellington office with very helpful staff and it is also easy to get an appointment to see him if you want to. There have been local list MPs who have had electorate offices in this area but their offices never seemed very busy. My friend who lives in an area with a National MP says you can see the MP's secretary if you make an appointment but it is impossible to see the MP himself.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3114 posts Report Reply

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