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At least 225,000 Nats said “No” to asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, December 14th, 2013 - 90 comments
Categories: democratic participation, national, referendum - Tags: , ,

polity_square_for_lynnRob Salmond  is currently running a business selling data based political advice. But he also runs the Polity blog and has given us permission to syndicate his posts when we find something interesting to repeat. Long time readers will remember him from the brilliant posts on 08wire.org during bthe 2008 campaign, so expect us to often find something of interest. Like this post looking at who voted No on the referendum. That number of previously National voters must be scaring the National party at present.  

The results are in on asset sales, with an overwhelming rejection of National’s programme. I estimate at least 225,000 of the No votes came from National voters.

Among the very strong rejection of National’s asset sales programme is another problem for the government – about a third of the votes against them likely came from their own 2011 supporters. In this post I outline an evidence-based estimate about what kind of people voted in the referendum, and how their asset sales position lines up against their 2011 ballots.

Which people voted?

Turnout in the referendum was 44%, which is very good for a postal ballot just before Christmas in conjunction with no other election. But who are they? You have to be something of a political animal to vote in a referendum like this one. A good working assumption is that these were the 44% of people who are the most interested in politics.1

Who did those people support in 2011?

The New Zealand Election Study can give us a good idea who the likely referendum voters supported in 2011. 44% of the population represents all the people in the NZES who said they were “very interested” in politics, along with a little under two thirds of the people who said they were “fairly interested.” That group of the population has a partisan preference broadly the same as the rest of the population, as you can see in the Table below.

Party in 2011 Estimated Support across… Estimated referendum voters
Likely referendum voters New Zealand
National 48.5% 47.3% 646,000
Labour 26.0% 27.5% 347,000
Greens 13.4% 11.1% 178,000
NZ First 7.5% 6.6% 100,000
ACT 1.3% 1.1% 17,000
United 0.5% 0.6% 7,000
Maori Pty 1.7% 1.4% 23,000
Mana 1.1% 1.1% 15,000

How did each party’s former supporters vote?

We know for sure that 895,000 of these people voted “No” to asset sales, while 433,000 voted “Yes.” So what is the minimum number of National supported who must have voted no? Let’s start by assuming that absolutely all the 2011 Labour, Greens, NZ First, United, Maori Party, and Mana voters voted “No.” That is probably an overstatement. Then assume all the ACT voters voted yes.

That adds up to 17,000 Yes votes and 670,000 No votes, leaving only National voters unassigned. As the Table below shows2, at least 225,000 National voters – over a third of all the National supporters who likely voted, said No.

Party in 2011 Likely referendum votes
Yes No Total
Labour 0 347,000 347,000
Greens 0 178,000 178,000
NZ First 0 100,000 100,000
ACT 17,000 0 17,000
United 0 7,000 7,000
Maori Pty 0 23,000 23,000
Mana 0 15,000 15,000
National 416,000 227,000 646,000

This has to be enormously concerning for National. The people who voted for National then rejected National’s flagship policy are very much at risk come 2014. Many are likely centrists, part of the “squeezed middle”who National hasn’t delivered for so far this term. They’ve now already rejected National at the ballot box once.

If National loses these same people to the left again in 2014, it is curtains for John Key.

UPDATE: There are also good clues from the detailed results that the turnout was not just leftie strongholds lining up to say no. Cases in point: National strongholds Clutha-Southland, Taranaki-King Country and Wairarapa had above average turnout, while Labour fortresses Mangere, manukau East, and Manurewa all came in with less than 30% turnout.

1. I know Labour’s turnout targeting was focused on people who we thought had high political interest, so Labour’s campaign didn’t expand the turnout universe into low interest people
2. Some numbers in the table below do not sum properly, due to rounding

90 comments on “At least 225,000 Nats said “No” to asset sales ”

  1. Disraeli Gladstone 1

    I don’t think the original assumptions quite hold up to scrutiny. I consider myself very interested in politics. I didn’t vote. Honestly, I have no ideological position against asset sales. If they’re done correctly. However, I’m against how and why the government has undertaken the sales. Also, throw in a poorly worded question (obviously Solid Energy can’t be sold; Air NZ should perhaps be over 49% and the energy companies done in smaller parcels) and I just shrugged my shoulder and decided that either a yes or no wasn’t enough to accurately state my position. I know a few others are thinking like me.

    Furthermore, you have some very right-wing people who are very interested in politics who simply didn’t vote. Heck, apparently Farrar himself didn’t send in a ballot. You look at some of the right-wing votes, a lot of them said they weren’t voting or spoiling them.

    I think what you’ll find is that National voters simply didn’t turnout as much as Labour voters. Obviously, some National voters did vote ‘No’. In fact, I suspect a lot of them did. But I think we’re probably overestimating how many exactly.

    As much as it pains me to say it, oh it pains me to say, but Bomber probably has a pretty good analysis. It’s a good win for the left. It sends out a message. But overall, the turnout wasn’t that great, a lot of people ignored it… don’t get too excited.

    • lprent 1.1

      Umm you might be very interested in politics. However you’re not very good at it.

      The process towards a referendum is long and tortuous. First you have to get signatures to get a referendum… So the question was pretty well established before that could happen.

      Therefore it was also established before Solid Energy imploded

      I think what you’ll find is that National voters simply didn’t turnout as much as Labour voters.

      I guess that you’ve never looked at the results from any postal vote (or for that matter the charts above). The conservative and elderly voters are just about the only ones who do turn out in postal votes. Trying to get Labour and Green voters to send in their forms is bloody hard both in local body elections, and even on an issue like this.

      Whereas National voters turn out even if they disagree (a few high profile publicity stunts like Farrar aside). I suspect that Rob Salmond has actually under estimated the National voters turnout. Based on studies like the long running NZES series, it wouldn’t surprise me if the percentage of turnout in this election for previously National voters was far higher than it is in a general election when it is a lot easier to get lower income voters out.

      Sounds to me like you’re very uninterested in politics. Otherwise you’d know some basics.

      • Indeed, Lprent.

        The few National voters I’ve spoken to were unequivocal in their opposition to asset sales. Not for ideological reasons, but because they understood commercial reality; these are cash cows and it made no financial sense to lose them (or part of them).

        This is something that Key, English, Brownlee, et al, have conveniently decided to ignore. And National voters cannot fathom why supposedly “prudent fiscal managers” are behaving in such an unwise, irrational manner.

        This was a real dent in National’s (undeserved) reputation for “prudent fiscal management”.

        • Wayne 1.1.1.1

          The Nat voters who voted “no” may not like asset sales, but based on recent polls they are not shifting their votes to Labour in an overall sense. May people support parties without agreeing with everything they do.

          In fact I thought the number who supported assets sales was quite respectable at 34%. The Nats will not be that unhappy with the result.

          A huge effort was put in to get a No vote, and no effort to get a Yes vote. I was anticipating the No vote would exceed 70% in the circumstances.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            In fact I thought the number who supported assets sales was quite respectable at 34%. The Nats will not be that unhappy with the result.

            What, even though it shows that their mandate is non-existent?

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I wonder what National voters in very blue districts like Waitaki and Clutha Southland feel about their anti-asset sales sentiment being ignored by the Key Government.

              • Linz

                Probably a bit miffed. Some interesting stats from the Waitaki electorate:
                Percentage voted in general election 78.66% = 38, 879 with 338 informals – so make that 38, 541.
                Votes of pro-asset sales parties: National, Act, United Future, Libertarianz
                = 22,084 = 57%
                Votes of anti-asset parties – Green, Conservative, Labour, Democrats for Social Credit, Alliance, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis, Mana, Maori, NZ First
                = 16,795 = 44%
                In the referendum: Pro-assets (yes): 8,837 = 34.3%
                Anti- assets (no): 16, 864 = 65.4%

                Two possibilities:
                Only 40% of the National, Act, United Future, Libertarianz general election voters bothered to vote in the referendum i.e. 8837 out of the 22,084.

                An unlikely 100% of those who voted Green, Conservative, Labour, Democrats for Social Credit, Alliance, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis, Mana, Maori, NZ First in the general election voted in the referendum and voted No, plus an additional 69 new voters.

                Or some National supporters voted no in the referendum. But how many?

                Total votes in referendum: 25701
                If the same proportion of pro-asset general election voters had voted yes in the referendum, i.e. 57% of 25701, there would have been 14,649 yes votes.
                Instead there were 8837, a reduction of 34%.
                Will it make a difference in the next election? It could do. People in the rural Deep South don’t like being ignored by smart-arsed Aucklanders.

                http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2011/electorate-58.html
                http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/2013_citizens_referendum/2013_preliminary_referendum_results.html

                • Colonial Viper

                  And Waitaki is home to a shit load of hydro generation – part of the local electorate furniture.

                • Tracey

                  Epsom also makes interesting reading. turnout approx 40% and about 50/50 on yes/no

                  As fr smart-arsed aucklanders, Mr Key is a south islander.

          • newz 1.1.1.1.2

            Bang on. No effort made to mobilise a 1/3 pro-privatization vote, 2 years of very hard work to get a 2/3 anti vote. Shows it’s not a voting issue, even if it’s one that matters to people.

          • Tracey 1.1.1.1.3

            “May people support parties without agreeing with everything they do.”

            Yet John Key says they voted for National for asset sales Wayne.

          • Tracey 1.1.1.1.4

            selling the air new zealand assets right when referendum papers went out was quite an effort to influence the vote wayne, making it all but a foregone conclusion…

            how did you reach “exceed 70%” Wayne?

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          And National voters cannot fathom why supposedly “prudent fiscal managers” are behaving in such an unwise, irrational manner.

          I know exactly why and the reason is the same reason for the Enclosure Acts in Britain – it shifts wealth from the commons to the few which then allows those few control over those resources giving them power and wealth.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 1.1.2

        Well, first of all, the referendum process is irrelevant to how I answer the referendum question. I know the question was established before hand, but that doesn’t change the question that I was faced with answering. Also, that’s only the issue in regard to Solid Energy. There’s other issue with the question as well (position of Air NZ, etc). But anyway, the issue of the referendum question was only brought up by me to explain my own (and some others) apathy toward the whole vote. Yes, the referendum process makes it hard to get the perfect question, but that doesn’t change the fact that it wasn’t a great question.

        As I said to Frank below, I’m happy to stand corrected. I was applying my own experience to a nationwide viewpoint and really, that’s not the most intelligent thing to do. I stand by the fact that the National vote turnout was lower than what it could have been. I also think that you can’t just take past trends and apply them straight onto a new result. I agree conservative and the elderly are generally the highest turnout in postal voters. Also, the conservative and the elderly are the exact type of National voter who are going to vote ‘No’. So the percentage is internally leaning within the National Party. As I even acknowledged in my original post, I don’t question the fact that a lot of National voters voted ‘No’. They did. Actually, I think my own post was worded poorly and that’s entirely my fault. I stand corrected. I think a stronger line of reasoning is that the National vote is skewed because those who did support the asset sales didn’t vote, and those who opposed did. So it seems like a higher percentage.

        But I didn’t say that, so fair call. I said I doubt that 225,000 Nats voted and I may/probably be wrong on that.

        I also appreciate the snide remarks, because you know, it’s not politics unless we get snippy at each other!

        • lprent 1.1.2.1

          I also appreciate the snide remarks, because you know, it’s not politics unless we get snippy at each other!

          😈 It is also how we all learn.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.1.2.2

          @ Disraeli

          I am unsure whether I am understanding you correctly or not but it appears that you are putting forward the view that there are more people supporting the asset sales than this referendum indicates but these supporters didn’t vote. This just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

          What stands up to scrutiny is that any poll that I’ve come across came out with similar results – around 70% of the population are against the selling of our assets.

          Please realise that there are also a lot of people who would have been against asset sales but thought there was no point in voting because the government sent a clear message they weren’t going to heed the results.

          You mention ‘conviction’ in one of your comments to someone else – what one can say pretty confidently about this referendum is those that voted were the NZers that had conviction on the issue and those that didn’t vote had a lack of conviction on the matter whatever stance they held. And out of the numbers that had conviction – a lot less people supported asset sales than voted in this government in 201.

          This outcome supports the consistent argument and statistics that have been presented that there were many people who voted this government in whilst not agreeing with asset sales.

          Would have been excellent if this government could have been responsive to public opinion on this matter which they have known all along despite the sophistry they have employed.

    • Furthermore, you have some very right-wing people who are very interested in politics who simply didn’t vote. Heck, apparently Farrar himself didn’t send in a ballot. You look at some of the right-wing votes, a lot of them said they weren’t voting or spoiling them.

      But, Disraeli, aren’t you using the same argument that Key and other National Ministers have used to dismiss anti-asset sales critics? That if you don’t vote, you can’t expect to have an opinion or voice?

      Key has used that mantra so often that it’s ingrained in our collective consciousness.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 1.2.1

        Oh, no. I’m not trying to silence anything.

        The ‘No’ vote won. It won clearly. It won big. And the people who didn’t vote (like myself) can’t go “oh, well sure it won because only the people voting in favour voted”. If Labour and Greens want to use this as a stepping board to buying back the shares, good on them. It won’t stop me voting for them. New Zealand has spoken.

        My post was mainly just looking at the assertion here that at least 225,000 Nats voted ‘No’. Heck, I have zero doubts that there aren’t 225,000 Nats who would vote no. Asset sales is not popular across the political spectrum in New Zealand. It was more a very practical point that I just don’t think they turned out to vote. I’m willing to say that perhaps I was wrong on that and they did.

        That’s the problem with basing politics nationwide on what you know in your community! So I stand corrected.

        • Frank Macskasy 1.2.1.1

          @ Disraeli,

          Thanks for clarifying. I take your point.

        • Yeah, I’d say that “don’t generalise based purely on your local communities” is almost the golden rule of national-level politics, to be honest, so I can understand why that would lead you astray- that said it’s also very hard to completely avoid, because your communities are where you get your social context from in the first place…

          • Rogue Trooper 1.2.1.2.1

            bracketing-out comes in helpful, not reading too much of the local parochial press also.

    • swordfish 1.3

      @ Dis Glads: “I think what you’ll find is that National voters simply didn’t turnout as much as Labour voters. Obviously, some National voters did vote ‘No’. In fact, I suspect a lot of them did. But I think we’re probably overestimating how many exactly.”

      Nyet, Comrade, Nyet.

      Rob* estimates that over a third of 2011 Nat supporters voted ‘No’. You suggest this is an overestimate. Problem is: Rob’s Nat-No estimate (as well as the overall ‘No’ figure from the referendum itself) dovetail very closely with opinion poll figures on this issue.

      Polls from 2011-early 2012, for instance, suggested about a third of Nats opposed, rising to 37% in more recent polls. Similarly, 60-62% of New Zealanders opposed National’s partial privatisation plans in 2010-early 2012, rising to almost 70% in 2013.

      The result simply confirms poll after poll after poll…

      *(I’m honoured to inform you that I was in many of the same Vic Uni Pol Sci papers as the both the said Rob and Hone Johannson)

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.4

      Actually I consider what SPC said on the No Asset Sales thread to be most telling.

      Only 432 950 of the 1 058 363 Nat voters voted in support of the Asset sales. (Of course some of the Yes votes may have voted for Act or other parties) This spells a big fail for National and shows their spin re partial asset sales being supported by the majority of voters up for what it is – utter rubbish

    • Pascal's bookie 1.5

      I give pretty much zero credence to DPF saying he didn’t vote, and likewise to partisan RWers on the internet saying they spoiled their votes yada yada yada. “They would say that”.

      The result came in pretty much in line with all the polling on the issue. You have to stretch a bloody sight further than Salmond has to make the numbers work in a way that doesn’t show there being a couple of 100k Nat voters voting no on this.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 1.5.1

        Oh no, they definitely voted no. It’s a sizable amount of people who voted ‘No’ or would have potentially voted ‘No’ but didn’t that voted for National in 2011.

        I think the real question is how strong is that opposition in centrist votes. How many people voted ‘No’ but not with too much conviction. That’s something which Labour needs to start looking at when deciding if they need to go after those voters or if they need to go after the 800,000 missing voters.

        I don’t think Shearer (or indeed, more relevant, Phil Goff during the actual campaign) ever really considered that question. The centre doesn’t support asset sales. But they don’t seem to oppose it by enough for them to leave National. So what is a sensible approach (and what Cunliffe is doing) is to consider: well, what else do those voters care about, while also looking at what caused the 800,000 to stay at home.

        Goff just went “well, if they oppose asset sales, they won’t vote National.”

        They do.

        And they still voted for them.

        • Pascal's bookie 1.5.1.1

          Yeah i agree with that.

          I think the potential messaging win is less about the asset sales per se than about the government’s attitude to its voters.

          The more the government says, ‘if you don’t like it you shouldn’t have voted for us’, the better. Obviously that’s not the words they use, but it’s the message.

          • gobsmacked 1.5.1.1.1

            PB +1

            John Key’s Radio Live soundbite, just now:

            “Three in four voters agreed with us”.. Yes, he really said that.

            That’s beyond even the fantasies of right-wing bloggers. So it seems a referendum is a good stick to poke Key with, it exposes his nasty, arrogant side, dismissive of the pesky people, and that’s not the nice Mr Key who won in 2008.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.5.1.1.1.1

              The coward’s way out.

              A leader would say “We know this is an unpopular policy but we’re doing it anyway because it’s the right thing to do”, instead of hiding behind some mythical silent majority.

        • There’s also the issue of follow-through to consider. If Labour says they oppose asset sales but don’t have a plan to undo them after Key goes ahead and rams them through anyway, what use is their opposition? It leaves Labour looking ineffective and not like a credible alternative government. NZ Power is a good solution, but it’s clearly not yet respresenting enough of an economic package to swing voters away from National.

          It’s not just a matter of opposing unpopular things. You also have to fire back with popular alternatives, and have enough of them to make the comparison obvious, especially with the hostile treatment that Labour is getting from the news media.

  2. Ad 2

    It’s good for the base. But now that Greens/NZF/Labour have made that many approaches to actual citizens, can they turn them into electoral sales? From the way the actual referendum publicity was done, I’d say they don’t have the capacity to convert. So far there’s no sign even that Labour could convert its new members into activists.

    The more accurate question is whether the National government will corrode in public faster than the economy improves. Asset sales are part of the corrosion of the government, nothing else.

    • Ad 2.1

      Wow. Key’s dismissive tone this afternoon in dismissing that many citizens is the best present Labour and the Greens have had all term. Who needs a Labour party when National converts all the petition voters into National opponents?

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Outstanding by electorate charts on the referendum here.

    Referendum results by electorate

    • lprent 3.1

      Showing big turnouts in affluent National held electorates and poor turnouts in Labour held poorer electorates, right?

      I don’t even need to look to know that is what happened.

      • Matthew Hooton 3.1.1

        No, not really. Turnout fairly even throughout country. It is a good chart. You should look at it.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3.1.1.1

          “turn out is fairly even”

          No its not

        • Paul 3.1.1.2

          29 – 54 % fairly even?
          Do you use stats to form your political propaganda for the Tories?
          Looks like it.

          • gobsmacked 3.1.1.2.1

            Hooton has to pretend the turnout was fairly even, because he’s smart enough to work out the big problem he has, when people see that it wasn’t.

            The “only lefties voted” narrative depends on high turnout in Labour seats, low turnout in National seats.

            Since that didn’t happen, the logical conclusion that is that there are still many more Lab/Grn/Mana voters out there. People who didn’t turn out to vote in the referendum, but could vote in an election. And a lot of them are brown – just look at the electorates.

            This scares Matthew so much he needs to shut it down.

        • Unlike your articles we do actually have the ability to instantly point out how wrong you are on this site, Hooton, so it’s not exactly tenable to do your usual dryer impression and spin things as hard as you possibly can.

          There’s a clear dip of turnout in the electorates with the highest “No” vote, and a lot of noise in turnout in the rest of the electorates, so we can fairly say that National voters were likely over-represented (as usually happens in postal votes due to the older and more rural demographic of the right-wing) compared to a general election given the voting tendancies of the electorates that had high “No” votes and low turnout. It’s rather clear from this that, as the Opposition argued, a lot of people supported the government but not their asset sales policies. Quelle surprise.

          • Rogue Trooper 3.1.1.3.1

            lol

          • Francis 3.1.1.3.2

            Those with the highest “No” vote portion were the Maori electorates. These electorates also often get a lower turnout in general elections (around 50-60% last election, compared to 70-80% in the general electorates).

            • Matthew Whitehead 3.1.1.3.2.1

              That would matter if the lowest turnout electorates were all Maori electorates, and there was a gap between them and the other electorates, however this is not the case. Also, you have to count past ten strong left-leaning electorates to find the first National electorate with low turnout. It’s very clear what’s going on here- the rural National Party does not like this policy, it’s only the Auckland wing of the National Party that thinks it’s a good idea. It’s even deeply unpopular in conservative areas of Wellington like Ohariu, so it’s really hard to argue that National voters support the sales.

    • Ad 3.2

      Serious electoral gold, for all those campaign managers and E9 evaluators out there.
      Great find.

  4. deemac 4

    well the MSM have had no problem calling the result as a blow to the government. Not a killer blow, but part of the steady erosion of support that you can’t afford when you have a wafer thin majority.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    I think the real value of the referendum is that it’s our version of the ‘mid-terms’.

    In most (and larger) democracies, there are votes between the general elections. If it’s a federal system (Aus, Ger, USA) then there are state elections with the same national parties competing. If it’s the UK, there are Euro-elections, and the annual local elections, both seen (to some extent) as a giant opinion poll. Or there’s a second chamber (Senate etc) which has off-year elections.

    NZ is unusual, in having no ballot box tests between the general elections – apart from parliamentary by-elections, which are too infrequent and local to be more than a very rough guide. So in the absence of real evidence of public opinion, the media are reduced to citing meaningless text polls, talkback, taxi drivers and the like.

    When there are “mid terms”, then the government doesn’t fall, but the parties have to take stock, and adapt their policy platforms for the next election. The voters can “send a warning shot across the bows” (a cliche every commentator is contractually obliged to use).

    That is what has happened here. It is not just about the last election, it is about the next one. As a result of this referendum, National will not go into the next campaign promising more asset sales. In fact, Key will probably have to explicitly rule them out, as he did in 2008 (in order to win his first term).

    So that is a good outcome, not just for opponents of the sales, but for democracy. It’s a blunt instrument, but in our system, it’s all we’ve got.

    • Will@Welly 5.1

      Remember, in 1951 the Nats did away with our second chamber. It may not have been perfect, but it was there for a reason. That’s what is missing with our Parliamentary process. The select committees today are a joke. Key has said he will push ahead with the sale of Genesis next year.
      Holland, Muldoon, Douglas, Prebble, Bolger & Richardson, even Clark, now Key, have all proven how vital it is to have checks and balances in place.
      A 4 yearly electoral cycle with elections alternating between the two houses every 2 years would keep the bastards honest. Lose power in one house, and alot of contentious bills wouldn’t pass.
      And as much as we all hate Colin Craig, he has one valid point – it ain’t the “moon landings – but all referendums should be binding – screw the bastards.

      • The select committees are actually helpful, and better than our second chamber was. That said, I do think there’s an argument that we could do with a second chamber of parliament again if it were directly elected this time, and on a sensible schedule. Alternatively of course, we could always try to sneak BORA supremacy through in a constitutional reform, but I imagine that Labour and National would not likely leave the door open for that, unfortunately.

  6. Fisiani 6

    Yawn Pass me a sausage and a beer. National are polling as high as ever and no one wants to risk ruining the economy and the brighter future by letting the Greens kill the cows and close the mines.

  7. Food for thought;

    Key has dismissed the referendum,

    “Well, the numbers don’t look like they’re that significant. I mean at the moment it’s sitting at around about 40 per cent.

    That’s not absolutely amazing, it’s not overwhelmingly opposed. But the people who are motivated to vote will be those who are going to vote against.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9515170/PM-playing-down-voter-turnout

    1,297,281 voting papers were returned in the Referendum.

    Contrast that to the 1,058,638 who voted National in 2011.

    So according to Key, 1,058,638 National voters are not “significant”?

    Key’s spin doctors seem to have shot themselves in the foot. Not very bright of Dear Leader to so casually dismiss 1,058,638 voters…

  8. swordfish 8

    @ 1prent “…the long-running NZES series…”

    The buggers used to produce very interesting, detailed books (up to 2002 General Election), but now you need SPSS – which I have nae got. Very, very frustrating.

  9. greywarbler 9

    TS Gets more interesting and useful day by day.

  10. infused 10

    I thought the no vote would be much higher to be honest. I was expecting 80% myself.

    In the end, none of us got around to voting.

  11. Lanthanide 11

    And just like the Green’s poster said he would, Key is lumping non-votes in with the yes-vote:

    “Three-quarters of eligible New Zealanders said no they either weren’t going to engage or voted for them.

    “Three in four New Zealanders said no we don’t agree with Labour and the Greens. I think it will be a dismal failure from their point of view.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9518362/key-is-a-monkeys-uncle-on-asset-sales

  12. Philj 12

    Xox
    Infused. I didn’t think John Key allowed staff time to blog on T. S.

  13. Amazing how many right wingers say they couldn’t be bothered to vote – then feel the urge to complain/comment…

    What’s that old saying; if you don’t vote…

    • Paul 13.1

      And interesting that it was wealthier areas whose vote was the highest.
      I’m sure a statistician could show that those who did not vote, on the whole, came from areas extremely unlikely to support asset sales. Not voting is far more likely to be an act of no support for asset sales than support for them.

    • infused 13.2

      I’m not complaining, why can’t I comment?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.3

      Those who participate in the process must accept the outcome.

      You’re off the hook Infused.

  14. Scott1 14

    Results were in line with the polls. Anyone (like Mathew Hooton) who expected 80:20 or claim/imply the results hide a much better percentage in favour than 67% are just revealing that they are terrible at predicting election results, and that we should take that into account next time they comment.

    Also for what it is worth I know a lot of national voters who would be against asset sales. The thing however, is that those people will mostly still vote national this time around just like they did last time.

  15. cricklewood 15

    If anything this confirms just how piss poor labour were in 2011… a couple of hundred thousand voters swallowed a dead rat and voted John Key and his asset sales rather than vote labour. You can only hope we wont see a repeat next time round…

  16. Philj 16

    Xox
    Labour’s issue is to be seen as a credible alternative. There is a lot of hard work to be done to convince the electorate. The old saying “governments get voted out rather than in” comes to mind.

  17. David Craig 17

    Where the Neoliberals live: As far as I can see, the only 2 electorates in the country where the yes vote in the asset sales referendum was above 50% were Epsom (54%) and Tamaki (53.2%). Electorates with support in the 40%s included Helensville (47.7%), North Shore (48.1%), Rodney (46%), East Coast Bays (44%), Pakuranga (45.9%), Botany (44%) and Hunua (43.7%): all urban and periurban Auckland. Bay of Plenty (42.7%) and Waikato (40.2%) were the only mostly rural electorate in the 40s yes vote. Tauranga (40.9%) is the only provincial city, and Ilam (42.1%)- upper Christchurch is the only South Island or other major NZ city to crack 40%. Most of conservative rural NZ was at least 60% opposed: check out Clutha Southland, where 61.2% voted No. One of the safest Nat seats, and look at that outcome. The winners, however, are the Maori seats: all in the mid 90% for No. Nga Mihi Nui!

    http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/2013_citizens_referendum/2013_preliminary_referendum_results.html

    • Tat Loo (CV) 17.1

      Gotta love the good common sense peeps of Clutha Southland. I wonder how English justifies ignoring his constituents strong opinions against asset sales.

    • Ad 17.2

      The biggest dog-whistle you guys could provide against English in that seat isn’t asset sales, but its wider corollary: land sales.

      Dairy business dominance over the Clutha seat can drive fear into their hearts that they will lose their hills and flats to the Chinese and American food companies. Only New Zealanders should be entitled to $8.10 per kilo 😉

      When Goff’s private members bill hits the select committee, wrap yourself in that patriotic flag and tell them “They shall not pass” the Overseas Investment Office.

      • Rogue Trooper 17.2.1

        hmmm, is there a renewed land grab occurring….We need The Milky Bar Kid. “Nestles Milky Bahhh”

  18. emergency mike 18

    John Key trying to spin this as a loss for Lab/Green.

    A couple of days ago there was a post here with a pic of him with the caption “If you don’t vote no, John Key will claim you voted yes.” On cue:

    John Key: “Three in four New Zealanders said no we don’t agree with Labour and the Greens.”

    Oh but hang on, by that logic 68% of the voting public said they didn’t want National at the last election. So either that logic is crap, or their ‘mandate’ is crap. Or both, which is my pick. Regardless, if you can count to ten then John Key is insulting your intelligence here folks.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1

      That ‘three in four’ comment Key made is laughable, wrong on so many levels and makes him look both incompetent, desperate and like he can’t count… of course I realise he can count, however do think the dude is incompetent and has no understanding let alone appreciation of democratic principles.

      • Yep, it’s really bad spin to try and claim three quarters of people actively support you when you lost a vote where more people participated than voted for your party at the general election. Only the wingnuts will be liking that line.

        • North 18.1.1.1

          That Key as predicted would resort to the risible spin he presently engages proves this:
          Key came here to do a job on New Zealand; to lock-in even more securely the neo-liberal game in this small part of the world; to effect the transfer of wealth upwards. To the Merrill Lynch ideologue that is a noble purpose.

          Key has run into an emerging consensus that he cares not for NZ in its broadness and that he is cynically dishonest. Still he has the present power to march on with it and he will. He will hunker down and go on regardless. Still more or less assisted by an MSM only just emerging from the inertia of some years of pap-piece passing for analysis. “Wheeee……..Mr Key !”

          You’ve got a fight on your hands Mr Now-Not-So-Smiley-Boy. The times are changing. Please do keep on with the bullshit lines. They simply underline the entitled arrogance that was always there. Your tired, peeved little boy face and your idiot assertions on TV are powerful ammunition against you. You are becoming “unlikeable” in a palpable way.

          And this is without Dotcom in April/May next year. Liar Liar !

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1.1.1.1

            Yep well said Mathew Whitehead and North (+ your comment below at 19) I thoroughly agree.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1.1.1.1.1

              [Sorry spelled your name wrong, Matthew, and the edit function failed when I went to correct it!]

  19. North 19

    Latest cover-all advice from Crosby Textor –

    “John – at this stage of the game the best political stunt is to define anything against your own political stunts as a petty political stunt then claim barefaced that you won anyway – this best-practice stunt must be utilised broadly but particularly when it’s dogs’ balls that far from winning you actually lost – please disseminate to all with special emphasis on our safe-hands in the MSM and our tawdriest wannabes and cargo-cultists with extant profile in blogs/social media.”

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