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Mt Albert results – Shearer in a landslide

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 pm, June 13th, 2009 - 66 comments
Categories: mt albert - Tags:

David Shearer has won a bigger share of the vote in Mt Albert than even the great Helen Clark did just 7 months ago. That’s a great win for him and a huge victory for Labour over National. It shows, incontrovertibly, that the salad days are over for this Key government. It’s all downhill from here.

  • Shearer: 63.1% – 12,613 votes a majority of 9,187. That’s just 1,200 less than Clark’s majority with 13,000 fewer votes cast.
  • Lee: 17.1% – 3,426. Ravi Musuku got 9,806 just 7 months ago.

Shearer won 46% more of the vote than Lee. Clark got 30.45% more of the vote than Musuku.

  • Norman:12.1% – 2,418, only 400 up on Jon Carapiet in November but twice as good in %.

Jackson James Woods is surprising pundits with a better than expected 0.045%

For comparison, at the general election last year Helen Clark, sitting PM and MP for the past 27 years won 59.29%. National’s Ravi Musuku won 28.84%. The Green candidate, Jon Carapiet, won 5.94%.

Looks like National would have been better sticking with Ravi but style won over substance in November for Key, hardly surprising they tried the same tactic with Lee.

But let’s not take away from David Shearer here. Beating the performance of Clark just blows expectations out of the water. At the start of this campaign, everyone (rightly) attributed a lot of Clark’s vote to personal support and pointed out that the party vote in the seat had been much closer. Key genuinely expected his golden girl to win. For Shearer to not only win but absolutely thump Lee speaks to his quality as a candidate as well as the competent, dedicated team around him.

It also speaks to the growing disquiet in Auckland over the direction this government is taking on a range of issues from local issues like Waterview and the supercity to national issues like education, ACC, and their lack of action on the economy. As much as this is a win for Shearer and Labour, it is a vote against Key and his government.

Norman has done OK but not as well as might have been hoped. I would say his misstep was right at the beginning of this campaign when he attacked Shearer, in quite personal terms, rather than Lee. It was a brash, and ill-judged move. That hurt Labour supporters, who genuinely consider the Greens the closest of allies. It caused Labour to react with a message that a vote for Norman could see Lee slip through the middle. It’s probably the first time the Greens have seen the Labour campaign organisation turned against them and they’ll have to go away and lick their wounds, and perhaps reflect that their real opponents are the ones in blue.

Turn out is well down on the general election. 33,000 votes were cast then, 21,000 votes today (of which 1100 are specials still to be counted). It’s not unexpected for turn-out to be low in a by-election. But perhaps a lot of National base voters simply stayed home rather than vote for Lee, perhaps the worst electorate candidate for a major party in recent history.

Oh and John Boscawen got 943 votes, 4.7%. Oops, forgot to look at him until now.

Update: Lee and her campaign are refusing to talk to the media. Key hasn’t even shown up. Word is Lee won’t bother with a concession phone call, she made that to Radio New Zealand three weeks ago 😛

66 comments on “Mt Albert results – Shearer in a landslide ”

  1. gobsmacked 1

    To see how incredibly bad this result is for National, we can compare it with the horror year of 2002:

    Mt Albert Party Vote 2002

    Labour 52.09%

    National 13.10%

    Greens 10.68%

  2. Great effort from Shearer. Hopefully Russel Norman can really push Melissa Lee for 2nd place.

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    A nice objective bunch of numbers to use as a baseline for comparing performance to expectation…



  4. Simon 4

    he’s just spinning again trying to hide the fact that the national party candidate vote has crashed in Mt Albert, possibly indicative of Aucklanders extreme displeasure over being force fed the Supercity by their tame bulldog rodney.

  5. Outofbed 5

    Bloody Russel splitting the vote

  6. Anita 6

    Well done to the Labour Party machine 🙂 That’s a damned impressive turnout under the circumstances.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    I don’t know why we’re wasting time with an actual election, asking the voters, doing this “democracy” thing.

    There’s already been a Herald online poll.

  8. Lew 8

    The real winner in all this is Shonky Productions, whose B&B party candidate Ben Boyce got nearly as many votes as the terribly earnest Judy Turner of UF and the ALCP candidate Dakta Green, who gave out free joints, combined.

    The real loser: Libertarianz candidate Julian Pistorius, whose 35 supporters wouldn’t justify booking out a venue for the after-party. I guess they’ll have to go build a Seastead or something.


    • RedLogix 8.1

      Cripes, maybe Kevin Costner’s Waterworld was not so naff after all.

      • felix 8.1.1

        Even Kevin Costner wouldn’t have planted the gardens under the buildings, surely.

    • The Baron 8.2

      Sigh, the Libs will never be more than an interesting thought experiment, rather than a political party. hell, this sort of result puts them down with the really lunatic parties

      I find it interesting that their fringe doesn’t seem to register outside of 3rd year economics tutorials… what did they poll in the last general election?

    • George.com 8.3

      Aren’t the Libz having their election party is a phone box on Mt Albert road? Head down there, still heaps of room.

  9. RedLogix 9

    Well done Labour and especially to all those party workers who worked so hard for this result.

    Let’s hope the left can in a few years time look back on this evening as a turning point.

    Norman has done OK but not as well as might have been hoped. I would say his misstep was right at the beginning of this campaign when he attacked Shearer, in quite personal terms, rather than Lee.

    Couldn’t agree more. As a Green Party member myself I thought this was not the brightest move on Russel’s part. Hopefully a saluatory lesson will be learnt at not too high a cost, and some minor flesh wounds given time to heal. Byelections are good like this.

  10. gobsmacked 10

    There is now a long list of so-called pundits whose Sunday brunch should be a large helping of Egg on Face.

    Check out this comedy gold from Bill Ralston:


    Oh dear, you couldn’t make it up. (But Bill usually does).

    • Quoth the Raven 10.1

      Engaging in paleo-mediaology – examining fossilised pundits. Ralston surely is a dinosaur – with an advanced terminal case of conservative mental retardation.

  11. coolas 11

    How will National spin this?
    Sympathy vote for Helen?
    Many thanks to the people of Mt Albert for sending a clear message to the Government – your policies in Auckland suck!

  12. doc whose asking 12

    The Shearer result just grew and grew as the count came on it, which to me says a very solid Labour teamwork performance took place for today.

    Because I’d assumed a party vote, too, I had to wait for Eddie to put those GE results up. Maybe a wee stretch yet an anti-government policies vote appears in the comparisons, albeit a lower overall vote.

    Well done! All around.

    ps: I feel for the Ravi guy who was tipped out needlessly. This brings the continuing need for scrutiny in relation to judgement and real managerial skills of the coalition of the willing known as NAct.

  13. Zaphod Beeblebrox 13

    What happens when you have an out of touch nanny state telling us what is good for us.

  14. Ms X 14

    Well done Labour; good to see that hard work does pay off sometimes. Perhaps the people are realising that ‘time for change’ doesn’t always work.

    Bit worried about the ‘style over substance’ remark re Key. Don’t you have to have taste to have style? He’s more like an air guitarist.

  15. Ag 15

    Can you say “one term government”?

    I never thought Phil Goff had it, especially the common touch, but after hearing him on Willie and JT this week I think he can win and win well.

    captcha: 60 creamers (!)

  16. As a Green supporter I think Russel was quite right to consider his real opponants to the be ones in both red and blue. There is very little to choose between them. Labour could have shown some compassion over the recent revelations regarding factory farming in pigs, but have been deafening in their silence. They were in power for 9 years and showed they did not give a toss about animals. John Key has actually so far shown more concern over animal welfare than Labour.

    Labour shafted the Greens in 2005, preferring to go with United Future and Winston than with their supposedly more natural allies.

    • r0b 16.1

      There is very little to choose between them.

      That’s comfortably middle class nonsense. The difference between Labour and National is important – especially for low income earners.

      Labour shafted the Greens in 2005

      I wish Labour had been able to go Green too, but the Greens didn’t have the numbers. The Greens at the time though, didn’t talk of being “shafted”, they got on with the job, and racked up an impressive list of achievements. I’ve always admired (most) greenies for that, more interested in results than baubles.

    • RedLogix 16.2

      I’m a little surprised that this idea still persists Michael. The problem was that the Greens by themselves were several seats short of forming a govt with Labour; they needed either NZ1, UF or the Maori Party to make up the numbers for a coalition.

      Unfortunately NZ1 and UF ruled out any such arrangement, and for various reasons neither Labour nor the Maori Party where all that that keen on entering govt together either. With the Brash-Orewa/Seabed and Foreshore debacle still raw, one can quite legitimately argue that a Labour/MP govt was not ever going to be work anyhow. Besides various people have suggested that the MP had in fact quietly committed to National (as they subsequently did in 2008) and were not so much the ‘last cab off the rank’, but in reality, not even parked on it.

      Quite rationally Clark went for the coalition that she believed would be the most workable. In the end, whatever the Greens might have hoped for in 2005, it was the numbers, not Labour that shafted them.

    • lprent 16.3

      Michael. You are wrong. The greens were unable to form a government with labour without a working majority. NZF/Prog/Uf would work together to get it. But neither NZF or Uf would work with the Greens and said so both in private and public. MP and Labour had recent bad blood and that arrangement was unworkable.

      The Greens needed to get seats but failed to do so in 2005. That was despite a lot of sympathetic support from the greens inside Labour, like me. I targeted to help turn out Green supporters in every election in Mt Albert except this last one. Russell made me turn the targeting to negative. Most other greenies in Labour made similar decisions. The Greens will need to learn how to do grassroots campaigning themselves.

      It is normally useful for a green thinker like me to have a Green party around. It helps with moving the large range of Labour supporters in green directions. You have to move the thinking of a large percentage of the population and that is something that takes time, patience, and a lot of effort to do. It isn’t useful if the Greens are tending to just want to play politics in the way that Act has descended to.

      What you appear to forget about the underlying rule of political parties is that they largely follow public opinion rather than forcing it. Labour cannot move faster than public opinion does. Personally I was barely aware of some of the animal welfare medical issues until rocky started arguing with me about it. But that was in the mid-noughts and I’m a *lot* more aware of that type of issue than most people for a number of reasons. It takes a long time before you get enough tacit support and information out to change a lot of peoples opinions. You can persist in informing and moving public opinion, but you damn well can’t force it easily.

      Don’t be too impatient. It isn’t productive. A lesson that Russell probably needs to learn as well.

  17. Pascal's bookie 17

    Redbaiter is having a right wee tantrum. It’s all the leftist 5th column in the media’s fault with their unrelenting and unprovoked vicious attacks on Lee, then it’s Lee’s fault for being an unprincipled out of her depth neophyte TV presenter who has spent all of her so called business life sucking at the tit of the socialist leviathan.

    It’s good stuff.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 17.1

      Not convinced he will be the next PM, but this campaign could be the making of Goff as a leader. His selection of Shearer was a winner, and he has been seen in the news every day for the past two weeks. Good shots of him in the street talking to people. Where has Key been? In press conferences looking defensive.
      Goff has lots of enhanced mana as a result of this- thanks to Rodney Hide and National’s poor management, he will have lots of low hanging fruit to go for the rest of the year.

      • lprent 17.1.1

        Phil Goff was also doing a hell of a job inside and outside the electorate mobilizing resources countrywide to go into Mt Albert. This was an excellent opportunity to do some live training and it was used enthusiastically.

        I think that every Labour MP (including list MP’s) wound up doing door canvassing. They are very good canvassers as well. Similarly there were a lot of activists from all over the country converging into Mt Albert.

        All very useful stuff for improving the party organisation and skills. It is also great to do this so soon after a general election defeat. It gets everyone motivated.

        • Anita

          That’s what struck me about the campaign: Labour and the Greens both saw an opportunity to have a dress rehearsal of an awesome 2011 campaign.

    • felix 17.2

      My, my, I think this sentence might be some of his best work:

      Almost a whole electorate of bludgers, no hopers, tax thieves and other assorted socialist losers voting for a parachute candidate because he had a red rosette and because the Labour voting mainstream media scum gave him a free ride.

      There’s plenty more top quality thinking on that thread though. Apparently the results show a massive swing to the right because, you know, Shearer something or other mumblemubl…..

      They really should wait for DPF to tell them the official line which will be “we were never going to win Mt Albert, it’s a safe Labour seat” (roughly translates as “you didn’t really win because I wasn’t really playing”)

      Some are even saying Labour cheated, notably our friend tsmithfield (known as tknorris over there) suggesting kfc involvement. I’m sure he has some evidence…

    • George.com 17.3

      redbaiter tilting like a windmill in a Wellington southerly. Wonderful stuff. Everything is a socialist conspiracy. Gosh, how interesting it must be living in a fantasy world.

      • Lew 17.3.1

        Well, it must be a socialist conspiracy, because if it wasn’t then the righteous forces of natural justice and market-determined merit would obviously win out, wouldn’t they?

        Wouldn’t they?



        • Phil (not Goff)

          No Lew, you’ve got it all backwards

          “Well, it must be a vast right-wing conspiracy, because if it wasn’t then the righteous centrally planned allocation would obviously win out, wouldn’t they?”

          There you go, it’s now ‘Standard-approved’. You can thank me later

          • Lew


            You’ve neatly illustrated how the one is just as damfoolish as the other. Thanks.


  18. jarbury 18

    So where does Shearer fit in with Labour now?

  19. Irascible 19

    Congratulations to the Labour Team on an impressive win with a credible and principled candidate, a true successor to Helen and a stark contrast to the NACT candidates.
    Opposition to petty dictators like Key & Hide must continue if we don’t wish to see our communities’ core values removed.

  20. Francois 20

    I think what this really goes to show is that the Green Party should not be picking fights with Labour.

    Labour can destroy the Greens as a viable political party by pushing it to under 5% if they get too negative on us. They need to remember that their real enemies are the ones wearing blue, not red.

    They also need to stop crying about 2005. It wasn’t Labour’s fault that you’re unable to develop mass electoral appeal. And remember, it was because Labour signed on to KEY flagship Green policies (banning Junkfood from schools, ETS, EFA, Anti-Smacking Ammendment) which gave Labour a perception of being a Nanny State. In a sense, Labour lost 2011 because it gave the Greens too much political policy power disproportiate to the level of Green Support and the fact that there was no formal coalition.

    • gobsmacked 20.1


      Labour will need the Greens. The Greens will need Labour.

      It really is as simple as that, and both should focus on the real nightmare – A second term for this lot.

  21. Kevin Welsh 21

    Absolutely wetting myself reading the sour grapes on ShitBlog tonight. Gems like:

    “For democracy to function, the people have to be informed. As long as the Labour Party controls the TV One News and Current Affairs Dept, and most of the rest of NZ’s mainstream media is controlled by like thinking socialists, it won’t happen. The media’s assaults on Melissa Lee were an atrocious abuse of the democratic process. We need a media free of the control of the left, and a National party prepared to challenge socialism rather than pander to it, and then things might change.”

    – Dear old Redbaiter, what a divot 🙂

    • Loco Burro 21.1

      Yeah definetly a lot of teeth gnashing over there at the moment. What I want to know is where was the National Party Caucus? Where was Key?

      • Kevin Welsh 21.1.1

        I guess he has now “washed his hands” of Melissa Lee…

      • QoT 21.1.2

        Key was obviously there, and totally supporting his handpicked candidate, it’s just that the evil commie media forces refused to show it. /Redbaiter

  22. gingercrush 22

    Huge lost for us National party supporters. But jesus. WTF is with the Green vote. It is consistently lower than what polls state. Merlissa Lee is down 3/4% from what the polls were saying. But I really think Norman should have been higher. Lee had a horrible campaign. But for the Greens to get just 12% in a by-election is simply embarassing.

    Remember in 1997/1998 labour were third in the King Country by-election. National didn’t seep that low. I just find the Greens result disgusting. 12% is shit. Sure national on 17% is disgusting as well but Lee ran one awful campaign. The Greens though seemingly ran a pretty good campaign but they can only get 12%?

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 22.1

      Especially afetr they had the gift of Waterview. Seriously, Norman started off on totally the wrong foot laying into Shearer before he even knew what he was talking about. When everyone saw he was a credible candidate, he just looked stupid.
      They need to get someone who is a local.

    • felix 22.2

      What was the Green’s % in 2008 in Mt Albert?

      edit: Oh there it is (in the post): 5.94%.

      So the greens doubled their vote in Mt Albert. Gee you’re a weird little creep ginger.

      • gingercrush 22.2.1

        Yes they doubled their vote. If we solely went by that, the result is great I don’t disagree. But a by-election is different to a general election. 3rd parties traditionally do very well in a by-election. For instance the King Country by-election in 1997/1998 had Labour in third place. By-elections also get huge drop-off of turnout. Greens typically should be able to hold that. But they don’t. Greens also tend to poll way too high. When the TV3 and TVNZ polls came out. The Greens were third. The key was National looked absolutely toast. The momentum surely should have been with the Greens. They should have received a healthy protest vote. Something they haven’t seemed to get.

        Russel Norman also set high expectations in saying he expected to come second. That hasn’t happened. Lee of course said a few weeks ago she expected to come second. Hence, National got their expectation. The Greens though had much higher aspirations. I don’t believe that was reached.

        • felix

          National got a whipping, there’s no other way to describe it and saying “we weren’t really trying” is transparent bullshit. National badly wanted to win this and they blew it – they blew it on Waterview, they blew it on the supercity and they blew it by running a talking head instead of a candidate.

          As for Russel Norman, his bluster was never more than fantasy in my humble opinion.

          Hey that didn’t actually take too long to type those last four words. Lol.

          • gingercrush

            Yeah national got a whipping. So OMG we don’t disagree for once.

          • felix

            Don’t feign civility toward me you weird little creep.

          • lprent

            The Nat’s also didn’t make a lot of effort campaigning from what I heard and saw. Mount Albert is an intensely local electorate as I pointed out months ago. That means that you have to work at winning it at ground level. The Nat’s campaign seemed to be focused on message and even in the early stages was completely focused in the wrong directions.

            Perhaps they should have listened to Ravi?

          • doc whose asking


            Your IMHOs are most welcome.. but I’d like to recall a couple of impressions from the RNZ coverage I heard..

            1. The bluster you talk about in relation to Russell Norman made for loud and heard cries about democracy… and who or which parties merely feigned support for it.. In that a good job I’d say..

            2. Morning Report late Friday carried all major party candidates and Mr. Shearer , to my hearing, started out in a rush fumble before locking on to what I’d now say was a very significant song about his being an Aucklander.. on the day the one ID factor to really make for counting..

            Returning to 1 for a moment, the fact of democracy delivering.. was it 76 percent of the vote between them.. still works. Demonstrably.

  23. George D 23

    It’s probably the first time the Greens have seen the Labour campaign organisation turned against them

    It is this; the weakness in both relative and absolute terms of the Green campaign organisation that is probably the largest reason for the gap in votes. There were quite a few things that were obvious even from here. Norman is a wonderful guy, nice, smart, and his heart is in the right place (even with a few missteps). But his campaigning has been patchy so far. I hope the Greens look at their campaign with a very critical eye, rather than congratulating themselves for doing well.

    Michael Morris has every right to be upset. From the perspective of an animal welfare campaigner, Labour are absolutely indistinguishable from National. I know it’s not something that many people here care about, but the rhetoric is reflective of a reality that on too many damn issues, the parties are not significantly different. I really thought that in opposition Labour would begin to move on some of these issues. I haven’t seen it yet. I have little hope that it will happen.

  24. felix 24

    Redbaiter deserves to have his own comic strip. He reminds me of Viz.

  25. Fergie 25

    Mmmm so where to from here
    Jonathon Coleman – campaign manager for the night seem to lay down a
    challenge “it’s not like it is North Shore or Tamaki” – well Jono baby given the rising opposition to your “Rodney Super City” here don’t be too sure ’bout the Shore ! The heat is rising !

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 25.1

      Don’t you know, there’s an invisible firewall around Mt Albert- outside of which people love Rodeny Hide and hisThatcherite ideas. Then again Mt Albert peole could be pretty normal.

  26. Squirrel 26

    “they’ll have to go away and lick their wounds, and perhaps reflect that their real opponents are the ones in blue.”

    IMHO I disagree, the Labour party and greens are substantially defferent, take the Iraq and Afghan Wars, GE, The Foreshore and Seabed bill etc. The attack on Shearer was petty and ill advised but I think the Greens making an effort to distance themselves from Labour is important if they ever want to go beyond 5 – 7%.

    Anyway, congrats to the Labour Team, I hope you send a box of chocolates to Lee to thank her for the invaluable contribution she made to your campaign as well.

    • RedRocket 26.1

      She’ll be needing them. I’ve never lost an election before but I’m guessing it might feel a bit like a breakup.

    • lprent 26.2

      … you send a box of chocolates to Lee to thank her for the invaluable contribution she made to your campaign as well

      It wouldn’t have made that much of a difference.

      The Labour party operations in Mt Albert are efficient. They also had a major boost in resources as did all of the parties campaigning. Unlike them, we could use the resources efficiently.

      It would have affected the scale of the outcome, but not the outcome.

  27. jcuknz 27

    It just goers to show how gulible the Jaffa’s are.

  28. Ianmac 28

    The downside is that John Key and team will have valuable lessons learnt over Worth and Mt Albert. Next time, their lessons learnt will make them more credible, more convincing. Depends on whether the “Opposition” handle the little chink effectively. Will the slide in Govt support become a landslide, or will the mistakes be forgotten tomorrow?

    • Jake 28.1

      National may well think that this has been caused by matters that can be fixed with better PR. That will be their take but once again marketting theory is not going to provide anyone with all the answers when it comes to the vagaries of the political landscape. I can see all the spin doctors flying to Wellington as I write to navel gaze over the reasons why Mt Alberters didn’t get the subliminal messages and seem to be immune to the spin doctoring that fills our papers and TV coverage.

  29. burt 29

    So red is more popular in Mt Albert now that Clark has gone – could be a good indicator for the country.

  30. Jake 30

    Good to see some comment that is not echoing all the “political commentators” on our major TV channels. Hey! Although David did a fantastic job and Melissa made a few boo-boos I do not think that that was nearly as important as the fact that every day more and more people are seeing through National?s posturing at the last election . They have their agenda and it was just as Nicky Hager pointed out in ?Hollow Men?. A heartening result. Perhaps National?s time in the sun might not be too long after all.

  31. Jake 31

    Anyone who attended an election meeting of the candidates will know that Boscawen’s supporters attended en masse and then preceded to ACT as though they were major players in the political landscape – beligerent, noisy and obstructive – all I can say is, now that your true level of support has been exposed, please crawl away into a hole somewhere. And please please please – hide Rodney! Take him with you! Go to the Snares or somewhere and form your own market forces kingdom there.

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