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Good Xmas news for Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 am, December 21st, 2009 - 11 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, local body elections - Tags: , ,

The UMR poll for the Auckland super-city mayoral race is interesting reading. The headline difference (PDF) of 11% towards Len Brown over John Banks has been extensively reported.  The poll of 482 people, while small, is even more interesting when you see the breakdown of figures – and a lot worse for John Banks. The samples are small and therefore should be treated with considerable caution.

From the basis of the polling I’ve helped with over the last 20 years, and in particular with a knowledge of groups that vote in local body elections, some things stand out to me.

Predictably the best area results for John Banks are around Central Auckland,  West Auckland, and on the North Shore where he trails Len Brown by only a few percentage points. However there are wide margins to Len Brown in the South, East, and the Rodney/Franklin edge areas.

The under-30’s, who aren’t great voters in local elections, favour John Banks by a few percent. However in all older age groups who do tend to vote in local elections considerably favour Len Brown.

As usual, males tend to have earlier decisions. However there is a very similar separation between the genders. John Banks is not favoured by either gender.

Occupational groups (with really small sample sizes) show a distinct preference to John Banks in service and sales workers and equal in blue collar. Neither group are strong local body voters. In the groups that do tend to vote, Len Brown has a solid lead.

The income sample appears to be over sampled at the higher and lower income levels. However, the best result for John Banks is in the lower economic groups and that is marginal below Len Brown. This is the income level least likely to vote in local body elections.

In the end, there is only one poll that actually counts. That is the vote late next year. However John Banks must be worried that he his best support is amongst the groups least likely to post their votes. That probably explains this observation by Brian Rudman :-

Mr Banks has tried to brush this setback aside, calling it a “shonky” survey by Labour Party pollsters and arguing that “no one really believes that a Labour candidate for the Auckland mayoralty can be that far ahead, with the National Party in Auckland 30 points ahead of Labour in every poll across Greater Auckland.”

But if that is so, why has he refused to reveal the results of his own polling “of 1500 people over two to three nights”. A survey conducted by the presumably non-shonky National Party pollster David Farrar.


The problem for John Banks is that he has strong name recognition. But he also has a very strong detestation ranking amongst people like myself. This is because, in my opinion, he is a do-nothing mayor who appears more concerned with where his mayoral car is parked than tackling the serious issues that Auckland has.

John Banks tenures in office have been marked more by a divide and rule approach to factionalism in the council and less by an ability to get the council working together. The extensive powers of the mayor under the super-city will mean that approach will grid-lock the decision making process in the city. This is a common perception across people who follow Auckland City local politics.

It appears that Len Browns decision to declare early is paying dividends. He is obviously picking up name recognition across the city. In April he was only on 6% to John Banks 17% amongst a wider group of possible candidates for Auckland mayor.

John Banks has usually won by encouraging people more liberal than himself to throw their hat into the ring and therefore splitting the vote to allow him to win. But so far this shows all the signs of being a two horse race. He must be praying that there is a split on the left/moderate vote. That appears to be one of the more stupid things that the left can do at present – but it has happened in the past.

There is a lot of work for the left to do between now and October 9th. There is 28% in the unsure, neither, and don’t know groups (not to mention the people who didn’t answer at all).

11 comments on “Good Xmas news for Auckland ”

  1. Bright Red 1

    interesting how Farrar had a piece on the UMR poll and the worst he could say about it was:

    “A UMR poll showed Len Brown ahead of John Banks in response to the question of who would be the better Mayor (which is not the same as asking who would you vote for). This has pushed his MAYOR.BROWN prices from the 30c average of recent months to a leading 45c. I think this is a bit optimistic at this stage. I purchased some Brown stocks early on for 15c as they were under valued at that price. At 45c I am very close to selling them.”

    which makes me think his polling data isn’t much different from UMR’s. If he had Banks in front, he would be selling Brown at 45c.

  2. tc 2

    Banks looks desperate already (on top of his general demeanor of buffoon) and fluff pieces like Holmes declaring his undying affection for the man and declaring he’s not running just enhance that ‘it’s all about me’ vibe coming from the banks camp.

    All that on top of some downright foolish initiatives like restricting drinking hours, extended parking times etc where he tries to shaft his subordinates if it all goes pear shaped.

    Dare I say it but at last the taxpayer/ratepayer gravy train that banks has ridden most of his life is at an end…….still with his full parliamentary pension intact.

    I find it all rather entertaining…….wait for the debates and folk will see how dim the man really is…..if he shows up which he mostly never does.

  3. Armchair Critic 3

    The elimination of democracy in Auckland continues unabated.
    The task of working out the roles of the community boards can not be scrutinised by the public through the select committee process, for example. Why? Because, according to Rodney, it is not his job.
    So he has delegated the responsibility to the ATA, a bunch of faceless technocrats with no real accountability to the public and no process for asking for or receiving feedback from the public. Undoubtedly the RC findings, which were roundly ignored elsewhere, will be sufficient for the ATA. Can’t wait to hear the “we don’t have enough time to consult on this” excuse rolled out.
    Oh, and coincidentally, the ATA just happens to be stacked with NACT appointees.
    Not a good outcome for democracy.

    • zelda 3.1

      “Democracy Under Attack” thundered the Herald

      • Armchair Critic 3.1.1

        LOL – the forecast is quite good, I haven’t found any source suggesting thunder anywhere.

        On a more serious note, at least Matt McCarten has had a go.
        It is a shame that so many people write him off, I can’t help but agree with him on this one. Is it just that people are too busy looking for xmas presents and preparing for a few weeks off, or does no one give a damn?
        Democracy in Auckland is not just under attack, it is being reduced to a faint shadow.

        • Robert Winter

          Matt McCarten indeed ‘has had a go’. He correctly identifies the problem, but no differently from most people with any involvement in the Left in Auckland, and then suggests that the Greens are taking the lead in the opposition, which is one of the grander flights of fantasy.Mr Twyford must be quietly amused by this one-eyed view.

  4. tc 4

    Agree with AC….now can Goff and Co make enough mileage out of the shambles to unseat some Nat MP’s in 2011 to effect a change…..I think Hide’s gone for all money in Epsom if this unecessary and expensive running with scissors exercise is fully understood by the electorate.

    Or will the media assisted wool be pulled over the eyes as this could have been done without the massive extra cost the consulting/systems gravy train is causing

    When business centralises back office and reduces systems it saves money. Wodney’s managed to make it cost money….heaps of money…..genius !

  5. Alethios 5

    I think you’re being a bit unfair to banks when you call him a ‘do nothing’ mayor.

    He’s done plenty of things. Cutting funding for park services for instance, and wait for it… sewage. With luck we’ll be throwing our garbage out onto the street, paving the way for Banksies pet roading projects.

    He (amongst other things) is like the transport minister from Ben Elton’s ‘Gridlock’.

  6. starboard 6

    pfft..yeah rite…brown and bradford..imagine it…aucklanders arent that stupid…

  7. randal 7

    from down here south of Bombya it looks like Len is the one.
    Banks is too keen on selling everything off to his mates and erecting enclaves for the rich where he can direct spending to curry favour.

  8. BLiP 8

    Lets hope Bhatshitnagar keeps up his good work.

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