Dead even in Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, April 27th, 2010 - 10 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, john banks, len brown, local body elections - Tags: , ,

John ‘Mayor for Remuera’ Banks has put out a statement saying he is 1.4% ahead of Manukau Mayor Len Brown in a head-to-head poll. Ummm. Gosh.

In a realisation that this is no kind of result, weirdly, he tries to trumpet a 5.1% lead in a question on which unprompted Aucklander voters would most like to be mayor. Given Banks’ name recognition over Brown, to be only 5 points ahead on an unprompted question must be given his more thoughtful supporters (Aaron? Anyone?) sweaty sleeps.

This was followed by a prompted head-to-head question, which produced the statistical deadheat (trumpeted as a win by JB). The last poll David Farrar’s Curia Market Research firm did for Banks was weighted so that responses reflect turnout for the 2007 local govt elections. Assuming this poll has the same weighting, it demonstrates how important turn out will be.

Lord Mayor Banks’ campaign has had an odd few months. After employing a highly-paid team of PR spin-doctors to try and convince people he is not himself, he started the year constantly in the media. He then went very quiet, save for occasionally popping up over populist issues such as mining on Great Barrier, CCOs and Queens Wharf. It seems he’s tried to dampen interest in the campaign, while hoping to benefit from the much higher profile the Auckland mayor enjoys over the Manukau mayor due to the CBD-centricity of mainstream media.

But given his much higher profile and name recognition, he can only draw even with Brown.

Len Brown’s campaign has the feeling of a well planned insurgency. He comes across as level-headed, knowledgeable on issues facing the supercity, and offering a different, non-bombastic leadership style. As the campaign rolls on and his profile grows across the region, Banksie’s own sleepless nights will only multiply.

10 comments on “Dead even in Auckland”

  1. Sam Cash – thankyou.

    Look guys it’s also fairly simply; Aucklanders’ love bad publicity.

    It’s like rabbit pie to dogs and carrots to rabbits.
    One just needs to be confrontational and many people think ” See wow a leader”.
    We really need a socially aware and compassionate mayor.

    I may have to blog, but I am a right winger and Nationals policys work best at central government, for a local authority some balance could be useful and a so called left Mayor would get Auckland going.

  2. Cactus Kate 2

    Anthony – you can’t be right wing with that attitude – centre at best.

    The issue is Banks IS campaigning and he is ahead. That means people have met him and STILL like him enough to vote for him. He would be streets ahead if he stayed at home and relied on “name recognition”.

    I predict the more Brown goes and meets the people, the further he will drop. Banksy’s best strategy then would be to stay in front of the fire with his feet up and keep quiet.

  3. the sprout 3

    i really hope Banks heeds your advice CK

  4. Anne 4

    Gosh so do I. Do you think someone should let him know? 😉

  5. umm Cactus

    Please don’ t contend what my political views are.

  6. gingercrush 6

    Honestly, until just before the election I don’t think anyone can determine who will win the mayoralty nor who will win the wards etc. Polls I suspect are going to have rather different trends therefore making them unpredictable. Its going to go down to turnout, turnout, turnout and who actually turns out.

    Sure the left one would think should have an advantage considering the mess that’s been Super City and Banks looking crappy. But they may be overestimating the support there. The activist left might go out and vote but how many left-wing voters will vote? Same for the right. How many of them will actually vote. Will we see a repeat of General Elections where South Aucklanders and some in the West have much lower voter turnout than other areas of Aucklands. Will the likes of Papakura and Rodney that should favour right-leaning candidates actually go that way. Same for the North Shore, will they reflect General Election patterns or will the Super City be like any other local government election. Or will they be activist and vote against the right.

    All-in-all I still think the Super City is wholly unpredictable and while I still give the left the advantage I’m not sure they should count their chickens yet.

  7. Wayne 7

    Cactus Kate – if Banks ‘IS campaigning’ and he is meeting people who ‘STILL like him enough to vote for him’, then how can he actually be more successful by not campaigning, staying home and relying on his name recognition? Would further campaigning not enhance the benefits provided by his name recognition (insinuated as both positive and insuperable)?

    Surely, this implies:
    1. If he meets people and they ‘STILL like him’ then presumably they already liked him. The idea is to meet people who are not convinced by you and then impress them enough to garner their vote.
    2. That Banks must be campaigning rather poorly. If he is meeting people but cannot still get as many votes as if he stayed at home, then he must be turning off many voters.

    You also “predict’ that ‘the more Brown goes and meets the people, the further he will drop’. That is more of a speculation than a prediction.

    Even though this trend of political soothsaying is increasing, there is no conclusive evidence to support you claims. Only ONE poll, conducted by an organisation whose management is, presumably, favourable to both Banks’ political views and his campaign, and with no information on either margin of error or the nature of the question posed.

    On the contrary, taking Banks’ own press release as evidence, Brown, who began the campaign with little name recognition across large parts of Auckland, is now in a position where he is only 1.4 to 5 percentage points (minimal at best) behind his only opposition. One, whom has been in local body politics since the 1970s, is a former Cabinet Minister, radio talkback host, and twice mayor Auckland City. Not a bad effort really – and still a winnable position. Of course, that is supposing that the Curia poll is an accurate reflection of campaign standing.

    • Maynard J 7.1

      I’m afraid you’ve taken CK far too seriously. Easy to do, if you don’t know better.

  8. I cannot understand any decent minded person voting for Banks.
    This is the man who for years screamed his racist and anti working class vomit via his radio talk back show.
    How can anyone forget his disgracefull antics with his mate John Carter over the” Hone” incident.
    If the worst of his radio ramblings were replayed then Banks would have no chance. Instead he’s “doing a Key ” smilling and grinning and as many photo opportunities as he can get.

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