By 2 pm today the Electoral Commission is expected to announce the final results in the 2014 election. The announcement could be interesting. There are potentially 330,000 special votes to be counted and if they break the same way special votes did last time then a few interesting things could happen:
The estimated number of special votes cast is considerably higher than last time, 330,000 as against 240,000. This probably and hopefully represents the concerted last minute effort activists put in to getting people enrolled to vote.
Something that has struck me as I poured over previous results is how poorly Labour is performing when its its electorate vote tally is compared to its party vote tally.
This is an issue that goes to the core of MMP campaigning. In 2008 I was David Cunliffe’s New Lynn campaign manager. We ran a strictly two tick campaign and put out a lot (five pamphlet drops) of party vote material. David won the electorate vote by 4,000 and New Lynn was one of the few electorates in the country where Labour won the party vote. Last time (2011) David won the electorate vote by about 5,000 votes but Labour lost the party vote. Net effect, Labour went backwards in the electorate.
The following table sets out what has been happening over the last few years at a national level. I am pretty sure the result this time is going to be even worse for Labour. The figures are the percentages of the total vote the major parties achieved in the party vote and the percentages major party candidates achieved of the total electorate vote.
|Election||National candidate %||National party %||National difference %||Labour candidate %||Labour Party %||Labour Difference %|
National are managing their campaigns well. Apart from the blowout in 2002 they get about the same overall party vote as electorate vote.
But for Labour clearly it needs to review things. And when the figures are crunched for this election I suspect the situation will only be getting worse.
There are some big local electorate campaigns being run in marginals where Labour wins or goes close but then fails badly in the party vote campaign. The party’s interests would be much better served by running a party vote campaign and surrendering the electorate seat.
Anyway will check at 2 pm to see if I can claim bragging rights or if I need to eat humble pie.