Vote smart: Progressives and Wigram

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, October 17th, 2008 - 51 comments
Categories: election 2008, progressives, vote smart - Tags: ,

Vote smart is a series of posts on tactical voting for people who support certain parties or live in certain electorates to help you maximise your vote. Today, the Progressives and Wigram:

Since the last election, the Progressives have failed to register in half the Roy Morgan polls and never broken 1%. For a party to get more than one seat in Parliament, it needs to win around 1.6% of the vote as well as an electorate seat. The Progressives show no signs of reaching 1.6%. On the other hand, Jim Anderton’s seat of Wigram seems safe. So, no realistic outcome has the Progressives getting more or fewer than one seat in Parliament.

That means that if you’re a Progressive voter the smart thing to do is to give your party vote to a different left-wing party, one that can benefit from it. Giving it to the Progressives is not going to help change the outcome for the Progressives.  But you can help the Greens or Labour get another seat. Assuming Jim wins Wigram, it’s a far better result for the Left if the Progs get 0.2% if they get 1.4%. Both scenarios see one Progressive MP but the second sees 1.2% of the vote wasted that could have won more seats for other Left parties.

On the flipside, if you are a Green or Labour supporter living in Wigram, give your candidate vote to Jim to ensure he wins the seat. He effectively becomes a ‘free’ seat fo the Left if he wins Wigram while not taking a proportionate number of party votes. You are doing your party a favour if you help him win.

51 comments on “Vote smart: Progressives and Wigram”

  1. burt 1

    No. It’s too ticks labour everywhere.

  2. burt 2

    Dooh – TWO ticks Labour everywhere…

  3. yl 3

    this is the sort of advise that we need to be spreading around.

    It makes a lot of sense in relation to the way MMP works.

    Maybe some targeted mail around these areas are in order. A poster maybe? Leaflet perhaps? Why not a radio ad?

  4. Vanilla Eis 4

    I have a brother in Epsom. He’ll be swallowing his pride and voting National for the Electorate, and whoever else he feels for party – knowing him probably Green or Labour.

    I’m hoping there are enough smart Labour supporters in the electorate to do the same, and push Rodders out!

  5. Nick 5

    The problem with that Vanilla Eis is that there a lot of Labour voters who will vote for Rodney too. He is a good across-the-board MP.

  6. yl 6

    does anyone have polling figures on the epsom race?

    again, i think that voting national to get rid of rodderrs is a great idea

  7. Felix 7

    No burt haven’t you heard?

    This year only Labour supporters get 2 votes – everyone else just gets one because of the corrupt retrospective nanny state.

    And it’s all cos of Jim Muppet Henson.

  8. Paul 8

    It makes a lot of sense (this also applies to Winston in Tauranga – it’s in Labour’s interest if voters hold their noses and vote for him)

    On the other hand Labour have put up candidates for those seats and it’s going to be quite demoralising iof the party undercuts their work

  9. Rocket Boy 9

    I’ll pass your advice on to my parents who live in Wigram.

    I think my father has probably worked this out already and is something of a life long Jim/Labour supporter.

    However I think my mother will use her party vote for ‘that nice Mr Peters’ and when I said he was nothing but a lying bastard she said ‘there is something fishy going on there and people out to get him’.

  10. higherstandard 10

    Paul

    It makes a lot of sense (this also applies to Winston in Tauranga – it’s in Labour’s interest if voters hold their noses and vote for him)”

    I hope you are joking there is a great chance of getting rid of him once and for all.

  11. Rich 11

    I don’t want Jim to win in Wigram. I don’t want him in parliament at all because I believe that I have the right to decide what substances I can put in my body.

    If I lived there I’d vote for whoever was most likely to defeat him.

  12. milo 12

    If this tactical voting frustrates the will of the people, it’ll be the end of MMP.

  13. Shouldn’t you vote for the best person? and not be manipulative in your voting?

  14. Also, if you are unfortunate enough to live in Epsom give your candidate vote to National (assuming they’re still running one).

  15. randal 15

    No MMP is here to stay. There will be no more national party ideologues runing roughshod over the people to vibraTINGLY FULFILL their positive destiny while they push down the proletariat ( beneficiarys, P.I.’s, Maoris) so they can gorge themselves on other peoples efforts.

  16. Vanilla Eis 16

    Milo: wouldn’t the outcome necessarily be the “will of the people” on account of them being the ones deciding the outcome?

    Oh wait, you just mean if National get more votes than Labour but don’t get to form a Government, right?

  17. insider 17

    I love the irony of the comment about Labour people holding their noses and voting for Winston. C’mn Helen’s been doing that for years. He is part of the Labour led govt after all…

  18. Tim Ellis 18

    I think Labour voters are most likely to vote for Anderton. He is effectively a Labour MP in everything but name, and has been for the last three years. The addition he gives to Labour is another party spend in an election, allowing Labour to outspend other parties.

    There is a real risk with these overhang seats: occasional overhangs will occur under MMP, and that’s inevitable, but deliberately creating overhang seats will severely undermine the one big advantage MMP has over FPP: it is a proportional system, designed to deliver parliaments that are proportional to their party votes. If you try to interfere with that, there will be a big backlash against MMP.

    I think this is the big problem that the Maori Party will have to deal with: if they win all seven Maori seats, and decide to support a government that excludes the majority of voters, they will harm themselves as well as the electoral system that allowed it.

  19. Joshua 19

    I don’t like this suggestion.

    Personally, I think that the Progressives make up a really important part of the government. Why? Because they often support more left things than Labour. Fact: without the Progressives, there would be no four week holiday, weaker maternity leave laws and most importantly- no Kiwibank.

    So I think that more people should be convinced to Progressive both in Wigram and in the Party vote. The only reason they’re polling badly is because of a lack of exposure due to the Leaders’ Debate being smaller this year. More publicity for this party could really strengthen workers rights and all the things we want from government.

    That doesn’t mean that I don’t support Labour first and foremost, but I don’t think it is a good call to ask people not to vote for him.

  20. Bren 20

    I don’t think you should be so quick to dismiss the Progressive’s chances of getting two seats. If they received an additional 1660 votes last time they would have got Matt Robson in. I agree its unlikely that they’ll be able to get as many votes as last time on account of the immense focus on just Labour and National – but you never really know.

  21. Joshua. Agreed that the Progs are a good influence but they are only ever going to get one seat this election, so why waste party votes on them? It’s not even as if we need to look out for the long-term health of the party, the next term will almost certianly be Jim’s last and with him goes the party.

    Tim Ellis. The disproportionality arising from overhangs is minor… try creating some large possible overhangs in the elections.org.nz calculator, even in severe cases there is little effect n the ogverall proportionality of Parliament – the major parties still get very close to the proportionate number of seats.

    Brett Dale. Don’t kid yourself – we don’t vote for the best party, we vote for the best party with a realistic chance of getting into parliament, or the major party that closest matches our ideals. Voters vote to try to get their beleifs represented in Parliament, they’re trying to maximise the power of their vote… tactical voting is just an extension of that.

  22. Ianmac 22

    Strategic voting is the benefit of MMP. though Single Transferable Vote might be better STV.
    Don’t know where else to put this but did anyone notice that John’s claim in the L Debate that “one in five households can’t pay their power bills.” (Thats 20%) This according to this mornings PRESS is wrong. It is actually only 2% or 1 in 50 households. Deliberate or slip of the tongue?

  23. Ianmac. Actually, Key was talking about 1 in 5 households being in default of a bill, not just power bills.. not sure if he’s correct. It was jsut the media misquoting him..

    interestingly, to find that I looked at my recoridng of the debate and discovered something. You know how the media has been saying Key started interrupting Clark in reaction to her interrupting him? Wrong – he interrupted first. He does it the frist time she speaks on a quesiton, he does it the second time she speak on a question, he does it the fifth time,. It is the fifth time that Key addresses a quesiton that Clark interrupts him.

  24. sorry if a little off-topic, but it occurs to me that interesting would be to have epsom voters put in a true split-manager called Winston.. after all he’d be – one way or another(aka partyvote up) a genuine conservative for the folks 🙂

  25. randal 25

    SP so the meedia are lying again. Any ideas why they are colluding and conspiring to put this man at the head of our democracy?

  26. I think it’s more incompetence, group-think, and boredom than anything

  27. randal 27

    sp you are too kind. that the meedia are incompetent is beyond a doubt but I beleive that they are trying to compensate for that with an overweening arrogance and usurping a position in our society that is not rightfully theirs. There is too much meedia in New Zealand and too many manques with no real world experience trying to prove something.

  28. Ianmac 28

    OOps. Sorry Steve re 1in 5 story. I don’t have the Press. Just had an e-mail about it. Got to be accurate don’t I.
    Would have been interesting had the shouting not taken place because John did it every time there was an issue damaging to him. Next time?

  29. If you want a socially progressive Government, vote Anderton out. He’s one of the major reasons why our young people are criminalised and locked up for a health issue, and we have some of the highest imprisonment rates for cannabis anywhere in the world.

    He has also been one of the biggest obstacles to animal welfare and ending the horrific conditions that close to 100 million chickens and pigs endure in NZ every year. Those conditions happen to be illegal under current law, but he continues to allow an exemption, for ‘more research’ – as if NZ chickens and pigs happen to be different to European ones.

    He’s also been very hostile to the Greens, and is a reason why we’ve been shackled with United Future and New Zealand First for the last six years. If you want a Labour-Green Government, you should vote against Jim Anderton.

    I would vote for almost anyone who stood against him and had a good chance of winning.

  30. TE 30

    urgh most labour supporters here in the tauranga know too well about having to vote winston for the electorate. happened last time as well. what a shame huh.

  31. Tim Ellis 31

    SP said:

    Tim Ellis. The disproportionality arising from overhangs is minor try creating some large possible overhangs in the elections.org.nz calculator, even in severe cases there is little effect n the ogverall proportionality of Parliament – the major parties still get very close to the proportionate number of seats.

    I disagree on your definition of minor, SP. MMP is supposed to be proportionate. It is highly likely, if the Maori Party win all Maori seats, that we have a Parliament of 125 this election. That would effectively mean that the Labour Party could put together a Labour-Progressive-Greens-Maori coalition with as little as 48% of the effective vote, while National-Act-UF is kept out of government with 52% of the vote. It is not just theoretically possible: it is a distinct possibility.

    That is not a minor distortion. It is not just as bad as what happened in 1981, when Labour received more votes than National, but fewer seats, because FPP was never designed to be a proportional system. MMP is a proportional system. Use of the overhang to defeat the proportionality will damage MMP.

    Encouraging people to create an overhang to benefit one bloc of parties and defeat proportionality, will have one of two effects: either it will be successful, and achieve a distortion, in which case it will damage the credibility of MMP and the parties that engage in it very quickly; or else it will be seen for what it is in the short-term: a deliberate attempt to manipulate MMP by the parties that engage in it, and face a backlash.

    Pretty much any attempt to defeat proportionality through this kind of manipulation under MMP will have political consequences.

  32. gobsmacked 32

    Manipulation? Tactical voting?

    Hello?

    The leader of the National party is not even going to vote for the candidate from the National party. He is voting for another party’s candidate, in the hope that this party will get seats in Parliament, ahead of other parties that will get more votes.

    He has said so privately to the candidate in question, but doesn’t want to tell the voters the truth.

    Now THAT’s cynical.

  33. Nick C 33

    I have a serious problem with tactical voting if it leads to a n unproportional result. Lets say that National and Act get 51% of the party vote, but because of a whole lot of tactical voting around Wigram and the Maori seats a Labour/Progresive/Green/Maori Party gets into power. It would kind of defy the whole point of proportional representation.

    Farrar actually did quite a good post on it today.

  34. Sorry guys, but this is cynical stuff and you’re much better than this.

    PB.

  35. Nick C 35

    Gobsmacked

    I agree, that is cynical as well. But do you have any proof?

    I would go futher than Tim. If a govt which wins the minority of party votes governs it will destroy MMP. Helen Clark could no longer be considered a legitimate Prime Minister, she would be for all purposes a dictator who governed without any sort of public mandate to do so.

    The same goes if National does it of course.

    [lprent: Huh? What you are describing has been the norm for most of the time that MMP has been operating. Most of the coalitions have depended on confidence and supply agreements with other parties. Tell me do you understand any history?

    Other points.
    There are always about 5% votes that are wasted even under MMP (parties that don’t get in). Since every government is about 50% or just under, technically there has never been a government that got a majority.
    The last time a single party got the majority of votes was about 50 years ago from memory.

    I’d suggest that you clarify what you’re suggesting because at present you’re saying that every government for 50 years or so has been illegitimate.]

  36. randal 36

    god I’m tired of reading this crap from supposedly intelligent adults. If this or that happens then someone will be a dictator and the world is going to hell in a handbasket and will end tomorrow and mmp will be destroyed and everybody will cry in their beer. What about some policy talk you eggs. Whats going to happen if National sells off Kiwibank and ACC and abolishes the Maori seats. Lets hear some real stuff instead of this endless hootonpiffle.

  37. gobsmacked 37

    Nick

    (sorry, no link because of the moderation trap)

    On pundit.co.nz, from an article by experienced journalist Tim Watkin (so not just usual blog bullshit), on Epsom:

    “In a startling admission, Hide says that over the course of several meetings with John Key earlier this year, the pair came to an understanding. Key had seen some Epsom poll results from just before Christmas and spoke to Hide “over the summer’. Hide says Key told him that National “was not going to go all out to try to get Rodney Hide out of Epsom and that they would be standing Richard Worth’. Hide dismisses Worth’s insistence that National is running a two-ticks campaign, saying simply, “these were leader-to-leader discussions’.

    And in another article on Epsom (same website, pundit.co.nz), Hide says that John Key votes for him.

    Feel free to check the source.

  38. Tim Ellis 38

    Gobsmacked, I really don’t think that Tim Watkin saying something about what Rodney Hide has said on John Key is very much of an authority.

    On the main point, if I were Jim Anderton I would be pretty furious with Labour for trying to steal his votes. Anderton came within a couple of thousand party votes of getting another seat in 2005. Jim Anderton has loyally supported Labour for the last nine years, to the point that it is difficult to see the difference between them. The strategy that SP is advocating is to stomp on Anderton’s efforts, in order to distort the proportionality of MMP.

    For what good? For possibly five thousand party votes, and a reputation for manipulating proportionality.

    It seems to me that if Labour wants to win legitimately, it should be targetting Winston’s vote. Winston’s on three percent now. As time progresses it looks less and less likely that he will be back in Parliament. Labour can’t afford to see that vote wasted. There are sixty thousand party votes right there: achieving them wouldn’t manipulate proportionality, and Labour owes Winston no favours.

    Unless SP is saying that Labour should act more aggressively towards Jim Anderton than they should towards Winston Peters.

  39. gobsmacked 39

    Pathetic, Tim.

    Watkin, an experienced journalist, interviewed Rodney Hide. On the record.

    If you want to challenge his professional integrity, feel free to do so on the pundit.co.nz website. I’m sure he’ll be happy to have your feedback.

  40. bradluen 40

    Hello! Sorry to return to the original topic, but a correction is necessary. The Progressives need about 1.2% for two seats, not 1.6%. Please brush up on your Sainte-Laguë!

  41. Ari 41

    Actually, I’d recommend if you have a progressive candidate in your electorate at all to give your electorate vote to them if you feel you can do so, and are a fan of tactical voting.

    Tim- we voted for an electoral system with an overhang. While I’d like to see the overhand eliminated and overhang party seats treated like independents’ seats, that’s a matter of electoral reform, not strategic voting.

  42. Shannon 42

    Hey guys,

    I would just like to say that his article has one glaring piece of misinformation in it.

    The Progressives do not need to win 1.6% of the party vote to get a second seat, assuming Anderton wins Wigram. They need to win exactly 1.25% of the party vote to do so, which would earn them 1.6% of the seats in parliament (given that there are 120 seats not taking into account overhang), and that’s where the 1.6% figure comes from. One could say the best thing strategically for Labour’s interest would be to promote giving Progressives the party vote, given they missed out by a narrow margin of earning the left an extra seat.

  43. c*mmie mutant traitor 43

    “Fact: without the Progressives, there would be no four week holiday, weaker maternity leave laws and most importantly- no Kiwibank.”

    BZZZZT! Wrong! The Alliance are responsible for Kiwibank, and the Alliance are responsible for the introduction of paid parental leave, and the campaign for four weeks of annual leave was also started by the Alliance. The “Progressive” is a complete waste of space.

  44. Bren 44

    Actually, the exact percentage required to get two seats is dependent on the amount of “wasted vote” – 1.25% is pretty close though. I can manufacture situations where 1.25% wouldn’t be enough for the Progressives to get two seats (just though).

  45. Caleb 45

    Just popped on to this website, did I miss something or is this website run by labour supporters?

    I was trying to find out who to “smart-vote” for so Jim doesn’t get back in, but then George Darroch’s post almost convinced me to vote for him.

    I guess the National candidate is the only option eh.

  46. nosam 46

    I really resent the cynical tactical voting scheme that some of you have suggested. Moreover, the arrogance that the progressives shouldn’t get our vote because the likelihood of them getting a second MP is unlikely. I thought his was a left-wing forum?; if so, we usually hear such clap-trap from the right. Furthermore, being the underdog is a part of our background and we fight a good fight.

    I am giving the progressives my party vote and electorate vote because both Jim and Matt are hard working MPs who get on with it and don’t mix in bad press headlines. I believe that they have a sense of pride, dignity and common sense that many other leftist party are without. Having read their policies I am really prod of what they stand for and I believe you should vote for a party that you support, that you believe in and hopefully that passion rubs off on other people. Being a Labour supporter all my life I have finally realised that my political beliefs are more in line with Jim’s party than Labour: Paid parental leave, a kiwi owned bank and four weeks annual leave are all policies that I believe in and Labour have hijacked them for their own. All I know is that I would rather vote for a party that I believe in than one I don’t; if they don’t get in so be it. Atelast I was true to myself and if enough people believe they will get a second Mp, a hard working and effective one named Matt Robson.

  47. nosam 47

    I really resent the cynical tactical voting scheme that some of you have suggested. Moreover, the arrogance that the progressives shouldn’t get our vote because the likelihood of them getting a second MP is unlikely. I thought this was a left-wing forum? if so, we usually hear such clap-trap from the right. Furthermore, being the underdog is a part of our psyche – we fight a good fight.

    I am giving the progressives my party and electorate vote because both Jim and Matt are hard working MPs who get on with it and don’t mix in bad headlines. I believe that they have a sense of pride, dignity and common sense that many other leftist party don’t. Having read their policies I am really proud of what they stand for and I believe you should vote for a party that you believe in; -hopefully that passion rubs off on other people.

    Being a Labour supporter all my life I have realised that my political beliefs are more in line with Jim’s party: Paid parental leave, a kiwi owned bank and four weeks annual leave are all policies that I believe in and think that Labour have hijacked them. All I know is that I would rather vote for a party that I believe in than one I don’t; if they don’t get in so be it. At least I was true to myself; I believe that we need more hard-working MPs like Matt Robson and hope that they get enough votes to get him back in – I believe that it is possible, but not with the crap advice I have been hearing it is nothing but cynical and cheap betting.

  48. Aqualine 48

    Strangely enough one of my sons was home this evening with a friend and both said they were going to vote Jim Anderton and the Progressive Party with both candidate and party vote. As neither young person has ever shown the slightest interest in politics previously whatever Jim Anderton is saying or doing is appealing to younger people, apparently. I was quite impressed with the assertiveness of their decision making. As both flat in Auckland city I asked them to give their candidate vote to Labour to save waste. 🙂

    [party vote, I’m guessing. good stuff. SP :-)]

  49. gomango 49

    This whole idea of tactical voting is a sad indictment on our democratic system.

    What it really means is that some of us, thru the geography of our residence, have votes which are more valuable than others.

    If i proposed a scheme like, 1 vote for every dollar of tax you paid last year, or maybe 3 votes for heterosexual couples, 1 for every other person or two votes for party members, 1 for every one else you would be outraged. Yet that’s effectively exactly what living in either a maori electorate, tauranga, epsom, rimutaka, wigram or a handful of other electorates confers on its residents.

    I’m for some system of proportional representation but can’t we come up with a system that values every voters vote the same?

    [under FPP it was even more true that some of us had more valuable votes through living in swing seats, whereas those in safe seats had no choice. MMP all but removes that, but there are still some instances of certain electorates allowing tactical voting. I’ve looked deeply at voting systems and, in my opinion, MMP is the best. All systems have some potential for gaming, whether by voters or parties. SP]

  50. RedLogix 50

    It is cheap and easy to get all high and righteous about tactical voting. You are welcome to hold to your idealised versions of how you think MMP works, but come election night the people counting the votes will reject ALL those cast for parties that do not reach a 5% threshold, nor gain an electorate seat.

    Now if perchance say 3% of left wing votes are lost because they were cast for parties with little hope of breaking the MMP threshold, and National suceeds in forming a govt with a 2.9% margin…. then can any of you pure minded, non-cynical types tell me exactly what your vote actually meant and what you achieved by casting it?

    Apart from feeling all warm and fuzzy and all?

  51. nosam 51

    Sorry Red Logix but it is not ‘cheap and easy’ to believe in something strongly; you on the other hand obviously show contempt towards people who don’t agree with you. And that is very sad.

    Furthermore, it is not ridiculous to argue that the Progressives only need a few hundred more part votes than last time to get a second seat. That is the only objective, and I think that is a fight worth fighting for.

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