- Date published:
9:51 am, March 29th, 2015 - 62 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, by-election, labour, national, national/act government, nz first, same old national, winston peters - Tags:
Stephanie Rodgers has covered the implications of the Northland election result well but I thought I would add a few comments.
Firstly I am not aware of such a significant swing ever occurring in a New Zealand election. To go from a 9,300 majority to lose the seat by 4,000 votes is unheard of.
Secondly the turnout was huge. Usually by election turnout figures are well down on general election turnout figures for the seat. I have compared previous by election total vote figures since 2008 and calculated as a percentage the by election total vote compared to the previous general election vote in the seat. The calculations are set out in this table:
|Prev election||By election||%|
|Te Tai Tokerau||20,455||12,339||60.3%|
There are still 1,528 special votes to be counted but as you can see already the turnout as a proportion of the previous general election’s votes is significantly higher than any other recent by election. Locals were clearly motivated to vote.
National looked messy despite all of the resources poured into the seat. Use of multiple Ministers in taxpayer funded limousines may have been a big turnoff.
As for Labour Bomber Bradbury is trying to paint this result as some sort of negative for Andrew Little. He needs to rethink his views. On the back of polling that has improved from 25% last election to the low 30s and with Labour looking more and more united Little has had a dream start to his leadership. His handling of the by election messaging was adept. While at the same time respecting local candidate Willow-Jean Prime he managed to get a significant number of Labour supporters to hold their noses and vote Winston. And he did this in such a way that did not stampede straying National voters back into supporting their usual party.
On the right the blame game and finger pointing is heating up. Cameron Slater reported yesterday that he had been asked by the Electoral Commission to take down some historical posts. I suspect elements associated with National may have been behind the complaints.
As for the future I suspect that New Zealand First will struggle to hold the seat. By elections provide a perfect opportunity for people to express their concern or dissent and clearly this is what happened here. I would expect next time if not the time after for the seat to revert back to National even if the rumours are true and Shane Jones runs next election for New Zealand First.