Written By: - Date published: 7:08 pm, November 18th, 2014 - 46 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, david parker, grant robertson, labour, Nanaia Mahuta - Tags: #dirtypolitics, cameron slater, occasionally erudite, stuart nash
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.
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.
Round 1: Robertson – 38%, Little – 26%, Parker – 22%, Mahuta – 14%
Round 2: Robertson – 41%, Little – 34%, Parker – 25%
Round 3: Robertson – 55%, Little – 45%
Round 1: Little – 64%, Robertson – 19%, Mahuta – 10%, Parker – 7%
Round 2: Little – 71%, Robertson 20%, Parker – 9%
Round 3: Little – 76%, Robertson – 24%
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.