- Date published:
1:30 pm, March 25th, 2015 - 28 comments
Categories: by-election, elections, winston peters - Tags: early voting, mark osborne, mike sabin, northland, northland by election
The heavy voting in Northland that we pointed out last week is continuing. Its cumulative total as at yesterday at just under 7809 votes is close to double that in the 2014 election when it was about 4387 at the same time in the lead up to the election. Have a look at this page for details.
In 2014, Northland had 35,707 votes counted. About 9478 of those were early votes. The majority of those (5091) were collected in the last 3 days.
If we just assume that the numbers of early votes just remain the same as those in 2014 for the final 3 days of the campaign (a safe bet based on the graph above), then we’d expect something like 13,000 early votes. If the total vote remains similar to the last election, then we’d expect between 35-40% of the vote to have come from early voting. If the election day turnout is less than normal as one would expect in a by-election, then we may easily see early voting to be more than half of the votes.
Sure there is a lot of interest in this particular by-election. The cloud hanging over the unanswered questions in the resignation of National’s previous candidate and MP Mike Sabin for what John Key described as “personal and family reasons” has lead to a lot of speculation in Northland about what exactly those reasons were. But National’s promotion of Mike Sabin’s treasurer as the hapless and possibly also tainted candidate against Winston Peters and Willow Jean Prime hasn’t exactly been a success either.
Listen to Osbourne making an arse of himself as he parrots Steven Joyce in Morning Report today.[audio:http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20150325-0816-northland_candiates_debate_main_issues_before_vote-048.mp3]
Having this kind of a fight for the vote will push up the turnout, but it is a by-election with those traditionally low turnouts. So I’m picking that we’re likely to see the majority of the vote coming from early voting this time around.
So is this a sign of the future? In 2014 the total early votes across NZ were 630,775 or about 26% of votes. In 2011 it was 287,104 or about 13% of votes. In this by-election are we going to see a continuation of the every increasing power of the early vote?
If we are, what does this mean for the 2017 election? Certainly electioneering strategies are going to have to change when the votes are counted for 2 weeks prior to election day.