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A late run succeeds

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 pm, November 18th, 2014 - 46 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, david parker, grant robertson, labour, Nanaia Mahuta - Tags: , , ,

On October 4th Andrew Little was looking to see if he was even going to be in Parliament because he hadn’t won the provincial seat of New Plymouth. He was at the bottom of the possible MPs coming in off the list and only got back into parliament on special votes. But given the scale of Labour’s loss in 2014 and the progression of losses going back to 2005 in provincial seats, I’d have been surprised if he could have ever had that much of a chance in New Plymouth.

I’m sure that political idiots will be waffling about that loss in the weeks to come. I saw that someone writing under Cameron Slater’s name has been pushing that line for weeks at Whaleoil. But really the media needs to think about why they are still listening to the National Research unit propaganda from there after Dirty Politics.

Apart from the Maori electorates, Labour only won one new ‘provincial’ seat in 2014. That of Napier and only after the Conservative party split the right vote and caused the new National candidate to narrowly lose to Stuart Nash. This map of the election electorate results for 2014 and 2005 says it all.

Election results by electorate seat 2014

Election results in 2005

 

But Andrew Little has a well deserved reputation is a organiser and a campaigner.

About 4 weeks ago he threw his hat in the ring against a well organised campaign from Grant Robertson and a well resourced one from David Parker. His campaign was well under resourced and didn’t have a crowd of enthusiastic volunteers. He didn’t have wide name recognition even amongst Labour party members apart from the small group of us who obsessively watch the people in caucus.

But he managed to pull off a close upset victory in a STV style election based on transferred votes. The numbers tell the story (borrowed from Occasionally Erudite and reordered by numbers of voters).

Unlike Occasionally Erudite, I don’t think these are terrible numbers. They are exactly what I’d expect a party in the labour movement to show in a STV election. LIke it or not from people on the right, the Labour party is anchored in the broad labour movement that we on this site support. The unions are also an expression of that movement (and I’ve never been in a union).

Amongst members, Little was more peoples second and third choice than was the leader Robertson. The same happened in Caucus. And unsurprisingly for the former union leader he was a favourite amongst unionists.

Members:

Round 1: Robertson – 38%, Little – 26%, Parker – 22%, Mahuta – 14%
Round 2: Robertson – 41%, Little – 34%, Parker – 25%
Round 3: Robertson – 55%, Little – 45%

Affiliates:

Round 1: Little – 64%, Robertson – 19%, Mahuta – 10%, Parker – 7%
Round 2: Little – 71%, Robertson 20%, Parker – 9%
Round 3: Little – 76%, Robertson – 24%

Caucus:

Round 1: Robertson – 14, Parker – 7, Mahuta – 6, Little – 5
Round 2: Robertson – 14, Little – 11, Parker – 7
Round 3: Robertson – 18, Little – 14

But hey, I can see how an right authoritarian would have problem with this.

But for me, it is a hell of result after 4 weeks of campaigning with a starting position of low name recognition. I must say that I am particularly impressed with the level of second and third vote of support in caucus. I wasn’t expecting that Little would have gotten that degree of support in caucus where he started last in the first round and gained a lot of second and third vote.

The other thing to consider, which we don’t have figures for, was the timing of the membership vote. I finally did my vote late this weekend. I received my voting login when I wrote my post “I have the form – but none to vote for“, 26 days earlier. It was a damn hard set of votes to make, but he was (eventually) my first choice.

Anecdotally, there were a lot of people who voted before looking closely at the candidates. That there was a heavy early vote was pretty clear from those I talked about it. Most of the early vote that I heard about wasn’t for Andrew Little. I expect that if we could have looked at the votes then his votes amongst members improved considerably during the campaign

It was a hell of a well run and quite low key campaign to secure the leadership, and with good solid results across all of the electoral colleges, he has a good solid base and three years to build a campaign from.

It is pretty damn heartening.

46 comments on “A late run succeeds”

  1. Dorothy 1

    I think that it is a good vote for NZ, and that people will grow to like his straight talking and honesty.
    I would like to see Nanaia as deputy.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 1.1

      Nanaia has built up seriously tremendous store of goodwill and confidence that will put her in good stead to connect Labour’s party and parliamentary people.

    • Atiawa 1.2

      He needs the hardest working deputy leader available. Someone prepared to work harder then himself.
      Is there such a person??

  2. Thanks for a sensible analysis Lynn – I’ve got indigestion after reading some of the blether on the ‘net.

    What I find interesting is that the party vote turnout was 70% – up by 7% over the last leadership election and party membership increased by over 48% since the General Election.

    That’s a large number of people who joined / rejoined in order to participate in the leadership election. A breakdown of how that 48% voted would be interesting, as will how many of them renew their membership next year. And why did 30% of the party not vote?

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Anecdotally, there were a lot of people who voted before looking closely at the candidates.

    IMO, when you have such a long early voting capability you need to have the ability for people to change their vote right up to the time that voting closes. This can be done easily with online voting which, from what you wrote, is what Labour used but that they didn’t have the capability to change a person’s vote after it was cast.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Ahhhh that’s a clever idea…although it’s the kind of thing which also opens further the possibilities of manipulation.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        although it’s the kind of thing which also opens further the possibilities of manipulation.

        Can’t see how. Nobody gets any more votes and only the owner can see how they’ve voted.

  4. Luka MP 4

    Hi there, I am very happy that Andrew won, I think he’ll steer the ship well with integrity, hard work and determination. Nothing phases him. What I am not happy is Darrien Fenton’s ungracious comments today. Three weeks ago she was staunchly defending Grant but said to me on Facebook that no matter who won, we’ll get behind them, we have to be united and supportive of the new leader. And what do we hear from her today? Nothing but toxic sore loser comments. AS far as I am concerned, she Grant and the ABC brigade can piss off and leave Labour for true Labour supporters. Not power hungry backstabbing detractors.

    • Ron 4.1

      Interesting comment, I also detected toxic comments from Darien about the win and made a comment on her facebook to that effect. She tossed her toys out of cot and replied that my comment had been deleted. So much for democracy. Then I heard on RNZ about Darien’s tweet on Little winning which showing absolutely no support for the new leader and with Little being a former union man I find that troubling. What the hell do they think Labour means???

      • Atiawa 4.1.1

        She would have hated losing the Industrial Relations spokesperson role to Little. Do you think she might have enjoyed the occasional early afternoon glass of good cheer?

  5. b waghorn 5

    Rightly or not The way the greens are perceived in rural nz I think does a lot of damage to the left as the nats can use them as the boggy man that’s going to send farming in nz broke. There is a lot of workers in rural towns and farms that to my mind could be sympathetic to labour i.

    • karol 5.1

      Kind of strange that people who are dependent on the environment for a living, don’t get how important it is to have strongly sustainable methods and policies.

      • b waghorn 5.1.1

        Like most problems education and other options are the answer not attacks that causes fortress mentality and arms the nats with fuel.

        • karol 5.1.1.1

          What attacks are you talking about?

          You mean like Norman wanting to work with farmers to change the direction?

          It’s more an attack on past government policies, and looking realistically about enabling a strong agriculture industry for the future.

          • b waghorn 5.1.1.1.1

            I see plenty of anti farm rhetoric in papers and have seen it on this site It may not have the green logo . I will admit I’ve probably been tainted buy the amount of anti green articles appeared in farm mags around election time .
            On a slightly different note in your link they mention targeting high end markets for our product people already squeal about milk and cheese now how would the greens counter that problem because high prices off shore mean high prices here,

            • karol 5.1.1.1.1.1

              My understanding is that there majority of farmers will vote National, even if they approve of many Labour/Greens policies.

              Sounds like there’s some influential farmers leading attacks on the Greens rather than vice versa. And they will react strongly against any left wing Labour policies. I think pandering tot such attitudes is pointless. I don’t see the Green Party as attacking farmers, but looking for a positive way to work with them.

              People on TS are not spokespeople for the Greens.

              I don’t know the answer to your question about The Greens.

              I do think it’s a good idea for NZ farmers to produce necessary, low-middle range and moderately-proced products for the domestic market, and target the high end products for export.

            • framu 5.1.1.1.1.2

              “I will admit I’ve probably been tainted buy the amount of anti green articles appeared in farm mags around election time .”

              i think youve found the cause of that which you are concerned about

              • b waghorn

                The whole point I was trying to make is that there plenty of votes outside the cities that could be left . there are many young workers getting mistreated buy bosses or living in shit houses etc but most of them probably parrot there bosses anti green anti left rhetoric or the headlines they read into the farmers weekly at smoko.

  6. Dialey 6

    He might have been a late runner, but he’s certainly hit the ground running. This non-Labourite got an email from Andrew Little just before 6.00pm inviting me to join him in a housing campaign. I am impressed – that’s exactly what is needed, campaigns hitting the country on the issues that really matter.

    • b waghorn 6.1

      I got three different emails very slick although the have no other way of paying and I have no credit card

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 6.1.1

        The campaigns should provide bank details for donors to make internet bank transfers.

        I’d be happier for the whole amount that I donate to go to the campaign rather than being clipped a percentage by credit card interbank charges.

    • Brendon Harre 6.2

      Me too. I am impressed : )

  7. Farming in NZ is doing a pretty good job of going broke on its own by investing in dairy conversions and being way too reliant on expensive imported agri-ichemicals.

    But there certainly is a lot of potential support for Labour in rural towns and among workers on farms and in viticulture and horticulture. It needs a well organised local branch to put in the hard work.

    • Response to b waghorn at 5

    • b waghorn 7.2

      That’s the negative bs I’m talking about, a farm just sold for $90thousand a hectare , hardly a struggling industry.

      • TeWhareWhero 7.2.1

        Negative bs? How many farmers are struggling to stay afloat with the current milk payout? Most of them are mortgaged to the eyeballs so it wouldn’t take much to send them to the wall.

        How many Kiwis could afford to pay $90k a hectare for land? The only ones who can buy land at those values are agribusiness conglomerates.

        And are you claiming NZ agriculture is NOT reliant on imported agrichemicals – and/ or that they are not expensive?

        That aside – there are quite a few farmers who do not see the Greens as the devil incarnate.

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          The nation needs to decide if they are food farms or if they are asset price bubble plays. So far we have been letting the market and the banks treat them like the latter.

        • b waghorn 7.2.1.2

          Most of the problems with farming can be layed at the banks feet I have heard 1st hand they pay loan managers bonuses for how much debt they sell .
          As far as I know theres plenty of phosphate rock still around and if the Chatham island rise gets the go ahead we won’t have to import it far.
          The main thing I was getting at is the left needs to counter the way they are portrayed in rural media .

      • GregJ 7.2.2

        It seems a deep irony that we are driving ourselves into the same situation as the 1880/1890s – large landowners dominating our agricultural base – instead of the “early colonial gentry” though it is large (often overseas) corporate entities. One feels it can’t end well.

    • Ron 7.3

      I love it that beef and lamb farming are on the increase whilst dairy is falling. How soon before all those farmers that abandoned non dairy farming in favour of dairy just to make money start to think of switching back

      • GregJ 7.3.1

        Indeed. However production in beef and lamb farming in NZ is falling and it will take time & money to re-convert by which time the temporary increase in beef prices (mainly due to US shortages through drought) will probably be over. Lamb and mutton prices are not rising much just fairly stable over the next 2-3 years.

  8. karol 8

    Yep. Paddy Gower repeated the WO lines about Little on 3 News tonight. Apart from the editorialising of the news, just sad he doesn’t get how that makes him look so biased towards the Nats’ smear machine.

    • b waghorn 8.1

      He’s a shocker, labour should just black ball him, even hosking s managed a few nice words

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 8.1.1

        Easy. Don’t reward lousy, biased media coverage.

        Put Gower last on media releases and other heads up.

        Stagger things also so that he gets them last or is last in the queue for info, interviews, etc.

  9. Patrick Gower needs to work on his spite issues.

    • karol 9.1

      You mean Gower’s reply to my tweet tonight (he wrote “chur”) and a tweet by someone else who referred to my tweet?

  10. KJS0ne 10

    Just looking at these two infographics, what I find most interesting, is just how much National have gerrymandered the districts in their favor. Look at Dunedin North & South for instance between the two infographics.

    We are not making enough of an issue of this.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      It’s the party vote which counts. And DN North and DN South MP votes held reasonably strongly for Labour.

      • KJS0ne 10.1.1

        Yes all considered, at least in Dunedin North they did. That isn’t to say we shouldn’t take issue with the fact that gerrymandering is taking place. A victory in fending off the dogs (analogy, not comparison) is not reason enough to forfeit consideration of why they were nipping at one’s ankles in the first place.

        Parsing some stats for personal interest and reference, here’s Dunedin North’s difference from 2011 – 14:

        Nat: +1595
        Lab: +1020

        With the Nats taking the party vote in both DN and DS. But when you take the Greens into consideration and make it a left bloc v. right bloc the difference is a tad more palatable.

        Dunedin South is a slightly different kettle of fish, though it would be wrong to assume the difference is due to gerrymandering in that district. I’ve also included the change in votes for 08 through 14 for striking comparison.

        2011 – 14:
        Nats: +840
        Labour: +192

        2008 – 14
        Nats: +2261
        Labour: -4890

        (http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/)

  11. Paul 11

    Duncan Garner could have just been reading a script written by wo.
    Honestly, the media no shame.
    And the sheeple sleep on.
    Well, an economic crash is coming…

    • Tracey 11.1

      No one in msm will take lprents post and make an article out of it. They could, but they wont. They will still graze at the kibble Slater and tax payer union creator Farrar toss them. Still, its probably just my imagination…

      Anyone see Hooton (no journalist) get ino metro yexterday /sarc

  12. Ad 12

    His Comms team need to be just as effective and subtle leading to 2017. It will need exceptional staff.

    May he have even more jammy luck over 2 years.

  13. Orthodoxia 13

    Stoked with the result as he was my number 1. However I was surprised how strong Robertson did with the membership. Andrew will grind caucus into submission he has the temperament and skills to do so. If he fails its hard not to think its good night nurse for Labour. A failure to rejuvenate and the ABC’s will be his biggest hurdle not the National machine.

  14. lurgee 14

    But he managed to pull off a close upset victory in a STV style election based on transferred votes.

    An electoral pedant writes: it wasn’t an “STV style election” but Alternative Vote Instant Run Off election. STV doesn’t work when you are only electing one candidate to a position. That’s why by-elections under STV systems are sometimes held under FPTP – one of the little glitches that make this most perfect of voting systems to fascinating.

    AV doesn’t really result in the most popular candidate being elected, but the one that is least unpopular. It was pretty obvious from when he put his name up that Little would be likely to fill that roll.

    Amongst members, Little was more peoples second and third choice than was the leader Robertson.

    That isn’t a ringing endorsement, really. Either of Little or of AV systems.

    I’m not criticising Little here. I think he’ll be an effective leader, given time. Just pointing out how the mechanics work.

  15. Karen 15

    Thanks for the post Lynn. I wasn’t too worried about the Taranaki loss for the resons you have given, as well as the anti-Green sentiment in an electorate with a dairy and fossil fuels economy.

    I was a bit concerned about the level of party support for Little, but feel more reassured now. He did not have long to sell himself as leader (unlike Robertson who has been doing so for well over a year). Robertson’s campaign website was up and running very quickly and he does have a loyal band of supporters to help sell his message. Little had by far the better strategy, however, and hopefully this will become obvious to detractors in due course.

  16. Whateva next? 16

    Great post…calm, considered and makes more sense than the crazy stuff swirling around…already, but then what did we expect.
    I noticed Andrew’s calm authenticity and a need to make NZ a fairer place, not a need to be a leader first. When I saw him at the first hustings, whilst waiting to start, he sat quietly and looked out at the audience, an intact ego, and wisdom is what I saw

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