web analytics

Polity: The ENV debate: Some more data

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, July 11th, 2014 - 14 comments
Categories: David Farrar, election 2011, election 2014, elections, john key, national, same old national, Steven Joyce - Tags: ,

Reposted from Polity.polity_square_for_lynn

As fellow anoraks will know, there is a bit of debate around about the political leanings of the people who voted in 2008 but not in 2011.

Are they right-leaning sympathisers, kept at home in 2011 by complacency? Or are they ex-Labour supporters, driven home in 2011 by despondency instead? The right andwer, of course, is “some of each.” But how many? And, most importantly, which group is bigger?

This matters because it helps us understand which bloc has more to gain from voter mobilization efforts in 2014.

In this post I present the David Farrar / Steven Joyce / John Key argument that 2011 non voters are a National-leaning bunch. I then show that a better look at the data undermines their claim.

The argument

National’s case is based on work done by “an anonymous reader of Kiwiblog” (read: National’s boffins). It has since been repeated by Joyce and Key at National’s conference.

They looked at the drop in turnout across all electorates from 2008 to 2011, and compared it to voting percentages in those electorates. Their idea is that if the biggest turnout drops happen in National-friendly areas, then probably it was National-friendly people doing the not-turning-out.

After excluding Christchurch electorates1 and Maori seats2, they come to discover that eight of the top ten electorates, ranked by turnout decline, are safe National seats. The top ten seats they identify are:

  • Pakuranga
  • Invercargill
  • Botany
  • Whanganui
  • Northcote
  • East Coast
  • Rangitata
  • Rangitikei

The two Labour-leaning seats rounding out this “top 10” list are Dunedins North and South. I’ll ignore them from, here on, to avoid clouding things up.

The evidence

As I have pointed out before, this analysis is often subject to the ecological inference fallacy. So it is here.

Turnout Nat Lab Grn Left(net)
Pakuranga -2747 -628 -1804 +751 -1053
Invercargill -2697 -523 -3631 1231 -2400
Botany -2568 -1606 -847 +521 -326
Whanganui -2414 -718 -3437 +1046 -2391
Northcote -2332 -564 -2253 +1246 -1007
East Coast -2089 -356 -2974 +1129 -1845
Rangitata -2037 +841 -3543 +1297 -2246
Rangitikei -2037 -596 -2575 +1827 -1417
Average -2365 -519 -2633 +1047 -1586

The table above shows the average 2008-2011 change in turnout, National vote, Labour vote, and Green vote across the National-leaning seats inside National’s top 103. The pattern is pretty clear, with turnout down a lot, National’s vote moving a little, Labour’s vote down by even more than the turnout, and the Greens making moderate gains.

On average, the net left-leaning losses in these National-leaning seats is about three times the National loss. That is telling you something.

Looking at the electorate-level party vote totals suggests a very different finding than the National hierarchy’s. Intuitively, it seems that Labour’s vote in its non-traditional areas collapsed in 2011, leaving it more dependent than ever on its safe havens in liberal suburbs and working class cities.

In this group, there are only two seats that fit National’s theory of “a big drop in a seat that votes National implies a big drop in the National vote.” One is Rangitata. The other, interestingly, Botany, where turnout dropped by 2,600, with National losing 1600 of them. This is pretty understandable when we remember that during the 2008-2011 term the local National member, Pansy Wong, resigned from parliament in disgrace. That kind of thing always drives voters away.

Overall, these disaggregated figures again show – even using National’s own logic that the new non-voters in 2011 are more likely to be left-leaning voters than right-leaning voters. This means the left has a lot more to gain than the right from mobilization in 2014.


 

  1. Because of earthquakes, and because Christchurch does not fit their theory
  2. Because Maoris are inexpicable to National boffins, and because the Maori seats also do fit their theory.
  3. Including the two Dunedin seats makes the trend even more pronounced

 

Also look at puddleglum’s long post on the same subject “National’s problem – more ‘glass ceiling’ than ‘complacency’”

14 comments on “Polity: The ENV debate: Some more data ”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    My fear is that in 2011 the public had an issue that defined both parties and was extremely divisive. That being asset sales.

    A huge majority of the public (according to opinion polls, that I concede most people don’t actually accept as being accurate) were opposed to National’s policy to sell our assets. That was the defining issue in the election. Everyone knew that they had to turn out and vote Greens/Labour to stop the assets being sold.

    And notwithstanding that issue, people stayed at home therefore allowing National to sell everything.

    If they stayed home in 2011 when our assets were on the line, what is going to get them out of bed on wet September morning in 2014?

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      And notwithstanding that issue, people stayed at home therefore allowing National to sell everything.

      If they stayed home in 2011 when our assets were on the line, what is going to get them out of bed on wet September morning in 2014?

      They stayed home because Labour didn’t present themselves as a credible government, and by-and-large the public were still in love with National.

      Also National won the 2011 election because of the right-ward swing in Christchurch as a result of the earthquakes. National would not have gotten 61 votes in favour of asset sales if that hadn’t happened (they still may have formed the government, eg with MP or NZFirst, but they oppose asset sales).

      So the key differences this time:
      1. CHCH is by and large fucked off with National.
      2. The public by and large are realising National are liars and only in it for their rich mates.
      3. Labour is more organised. Still not roaring on all cylinders or where I’d like them to be, but ahead of where they were in 2011.

      • Enough is Enough 1.1.1

        I agree with you on point 1 (albeit from sitting in the North Island),

        However re point 2 & 3 I can’t really see National being seen in any worse light than they were in 2011, and as for Labour being more organised I am far from convinced.

        In 2011 Labour had a central message that resonated with the public. In 2014 there has been nothing more than a series of underwhelming and often bungled policy releases from an unpopular leader who spends most of his time defending himself.

        Compare that with the Greens coherent consistent message.

        I am not saying its too late and praying it is not. But Labour is in desperate need of central plank to their election campaign that stay at home voters will connect with and motivate them to vote.

        • swordfish 1.1.1.1

          In 2011 Labour had a central message that resonated with the public

          If they stayed home in 2011 when our assets were on the line, what is going to get them out of bed on wet September morning in 2014

          I think it’s important to understand that, although a significant majority of New Zealanders opposed asset sales (including over 40% of National supporters), quite a large minority of those opposing were – according to polls – mildly, rather than strongly against.

          More than one poll measured the degree or strength of opposition, but (after a very brief search) I can only find one at the moment. The Herald-DigiPoll of July 2011 found 35% strongly against asset sales and another 22% moderately against. A mere 27% favoured asset sales (either strongly or moderately) and the remainder were either undecided or had no opinion. So, the thing is, although opposition massively outnumbered support, far less than half the population felt strongly about the issue. Certainly not strongly enough to change their vote. As much as I wish it were otherwise, it wasn’t quite the (potentially) decisive, game-changing issue you suggest.

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10741727

          • Enough is Enough 1.1.1.1.1

            The election result quite clearly demonstrates its was not the decisive issue. That is kind of my point.

            In 2011 New Zealand was in a slump with next to no growth. Unemployment was very high. National was proposing very unpopular policy. There were political scandals (pansy Wong) showing how corrupt the government was.

            This was the kind of backdrop that would ordinarily see a government booted out, or at the very least loose support. The exact opposite occurred.

            The background is more favourable for National now (even though it is due to events they can not take credit for Chch) and Labour is floundering more than they ever have.

  2. red blooded 2

    I have to admit that I agree.

    ChCh voters were desperate for stability in 2011, and there wasn’t any real contest of ideas about how to handle the ongoing earthquakes and recovery plans, anyway. Many who are frustrated and despondent now still believed then that EQC and CERA would come through for them, over time. The CCC elections showed a swing away from this state of mind. I’m not entirely convinced by the “board of locals” approach that I heard a brief announcement about this morning, but I do know that there’s been a lot of simmering discontent about others imposing their priorities while Cantabrians have been locked out of democratic representation (even prior to the earthquakes, the Nat government’s moves against the regional council were deeply unpopular).

    Having said that, I’m waiting for a coherent, defining message about what it means to vote Labour this time. Education, equity and family, perhaps? The messages need to be more connected and the spokespeople need to be better briefed and more articulate. (Side point – I was very impressed by the leader of Young Labour on Back Benchers last night – as I was last year. She’s a savvy, committed young woman and a good communicator.)

    And the general public’s view of Nat? Despite all the ministerial bungling and gaffes, they are still seen as competent and united behind Team Key. I haven’t really heard a message from them – just “Trust us, we know what we’re doing.” Even the inaccurate claims aren’t challenged – e.g. “out of the red and back into the black” implies Labour ran deficits. If they keep saying it often enough, it starts to become the accepted wisdom…

    I’m not a defeatist, but I’m not as relentless upbeat as some on this site. What’s the core message? How can it be communicated simply, and adapted to fit different circumstances and strands of discussion? Labour is releasing plenty of policy, but it needs to be meshed together better.

    • Enough is Enough 2.1

      I agree entirely. I hope I am wrong but the attitude I get from many commentators is “she’ll be right, Labour is in good shape, a million odd people who don’t vote, will vote for us this time and the left will win”.

      Although I admire the confidence and relaxed attitude of many around here, I personally am shitting myself that we are sleepwalking to another humiliating defeat.

    • Enough is Enough 2.2

      I agree entirely. I hope I am wrong but the attitude I get from many commentators is “she’ll be right, Labour is in good shape, a million odd people who don’t vote, will vote for us this time and the left will win”.

      Although I admire the confidence and relaxed attitude of many around here, I personally am shitting myself that we are sleepwalking to another humiliating defeat.

  3. swordfish 3

    Nice, succinct analysis by Rob.

    But also see Puddleglum’s more detailed and comprehensive demolition of the official National Party position on 2011 non-voters…http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/nationals-problem-more-glass-ceiling-than-complacency/

  4. swordfish 4

    Nice, succinct analysis by Rob.

    But also see Puddleglum’s more detailed and comprehensive demolition of the official National Party position on 2011 non-voters…http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/nationals-problem-more-glass-ceiling-than-complacency/

  5. swordfish 5

    Nice, succinct analysis by Rob.

    But also see Puddleglum’s more detailed and comprehensive demolition of the official National Party position on 2011 non-voters…http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/nationals-problem-more-glass-ceiling-than-complacency/

  6. swordfish 6

    Nice, succinct analysis by Rob.

    But also see Puddleglum’s more detailed and comprehensive demolition of the official National Party position on 2011 non-voters…http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/nationals-problem-more-glass-ceiling-than-complacency/

  7. swordfish 7

    I liked my comment so much that I repeated the fucker 4 times !!!

    I might do the same for this one, too.

    • Enough is Enough 7.1

      The Standard machine must have liked yours better than mine. My comment was only regurgitated twice…

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Update to air border order strengthens crew requirements
    Additional measures coming into effect on Monday will boost our defence against COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the air border, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “As part of our precautionary approach and strategy of constant review, we’re tightening the requirements around international aircrew,” Chris Hipkins said. The COVID-19 Public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • A true picture of Māori business activity
    A better picture of the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy will be possible with changes to the way information is collected about companies and trading enterprises. Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced a new option for Māori enterprises who are part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Taranaki projects
    The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Trades training builds on iwi aspirations
    An investment of $2.025 million from the Māori Trades and Training Fund will support Māori to learn new skills while making a positive difference for their communities, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “K3 Development Limited Partnership will receive $2,025,000 for its Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme, which will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago