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Wellington party vote breakdown

Written By: - Date published: 10:01 am, November 19th, 2008 - 30 comments
Categories: election 2008 - Tags: ,

The Wellingtonista has a cool post up with a breakdown of Left vs Right voting patterns in Wellington this election.

The map above shows party vote on a booth by booth level. The blue bloc represents National, Act and United Future, and the red bloc is Labour, Green and Progressive. NZ First and the Maori Party have been excluded. As for the breakdown:

It certainly seems that the Wellington CBD, Aro Valley and inner suburbs voted left, but it’s not all about hippies and the trendy urban liberal elite. The traditional Labour heartland of working class, Maori and immigrant neighbourhoods also stayed staunch, with several booths in Cannons Creek voting for the left by over 90%. The affluent neighbourhoods (Oriental Bay, Khandallah and Seatoun) kept to their blue-blood roots, but there’s also plenty of blue in the Hutt Valley and parts of Tawa: is that the “Joe the Plumber” vote? The only booth to vote more than 75% for the right was in Whitby.

It’s also interesting to see that while National is bragging about winning the party vote in Wellington Central, when you add the Greens’ 20% to Labour’s tally it’s solid red.

You can click on the image to see the full Google Map including Porirua.

30 comments on “Wellington party vote breakdown ”

  1. Chris G 1

    A very interesting post Tane

  2. Byron 2

    “It’s also interesting to see that while National is bragging about winning the party vote in Wellington Central, when you add the Greens’ 20% to Labour’s tally it’s solid red.”

    This was the case in many electorates where National “won” the party vote but not the seat, in the mid-west Auckland seats of Te Atatu, Mt Roskill and New Lynn National got the highest party vote but if you add the Labour and Green party vote the centre-left parties preformed much better, I wrote about this here with a breakdown of the stats. Even in some of the seats where National took the seat off Labour, it was because the centre-left candidate vote was split between Labour and the Greens, I haven’t looked at all the seats where this happened but I know it was the case in some West Auckland seats and in West Coast-Tasman.

    This election was hardly a massive shift to the right, National increased their party votes from 2005 by about 61,000 but Labour decreased theirs by over 200,000. Labour lost this election by disillusioned Labour voters staying home or voting Green (or possibly even the smaller left parties) these factors are far more significant in Labours low vote than the small number of centrist voters swinging to National.

  3. Tane 3

    Chris, cheers. Would be keen to see something on Auckland too, though I guess that relies on someone taking the time.

    Byron, that’s a very interesting breakdown. Really shows the flaw in the media’s simplistic National vs Labour horserace analysis.

  4. Daveski 4

    No disagreements from me regarding the analysis or the conclusions.

    I’d suggest that this is also part of why Key has deliberately attempted to push a more inclusive strategy even if the left don’t believe it.

    The fascinating aspect of this is the left collectively have three options longer term.

    1. To motivate those who stayed at home.
    2. Labour to centralise to take on the NewNational head on.
    3. Labour to accommodate the MP.

    Motivating people is a difficult strategy, particularly if National doesn’t lurch to the right.

    If Labour attempts to move left (as some here would no doubt want to see) it will simply lead to a death match with the Greens. The alternative is to bulk up the centrist policies to take back the middle ground.

    Finally, Labour is paying for not accommodating the MP. It’s in Key and the Nats interests to make the MP successful in their role to provide longer term support and take away some of Labour’s potential voting bloc.

  5. Anita 5


    4. A two (or more) party approach with one fighting National for the centre and the other comprising the genuine left.

    5. Focusing on the discourse war and making left concepts, theories and discussions central to our national conversations.

  6. Camryn 6

    4 seems logical, and the left is further down that path than the right where Act is seen as extreme and has never really cracked double figures. It’s interesting to watch the MMP landscape evolve away from the FPP legacy over time.

  7. Janet 7

    Whitby is particularly aspirational in the Key style, and has rows of tacky faux riche houses. They built a poor quality private school campus there as the Whtby children are apparently too good for the local state schools. On the other hand it also has some staunch left activists. And some spectacularly decorated houses at Christmas time.

  8. Daveski 8


    4. Yep, I think it’s a potential scenario if National tries to remain centrist. The part of the scenario that I don’t have any handle on is what the Greens should or will do. Are they able to retain an environmental focus and develop a comprehensive set of complementary policies that don’t detract from their core reason for being.

    5. I think that’s where we would agree to disagree. I suspect much of that conversation has already been held and the size of our economy and the geographical issues we face lead to a significant public sector role already. I think it is more practical for Labour to try to retake the centre than attempt to move the country further to the left. But that’s what blogs are for!

  9. Tane 9

    Anita, agree entirely on point 5. As for point 4, I think Labour’s economic policies have become the centre – any move to the right by them would be a mistake.

    You’ve got remember the vast majority of people who voted National had no idea what their policies were outside of giving bigger tax cuts (to some).

    The important thing will be to make sure that as National moves to the right of the NZ public the Left makes sure people are aware of what’s happening. Because somehow I don’t expect the media to do its job in that regard.

  10. bill brown 10

    “You’ve got remember the vast majority of people who voted National had no idea what their policies were outside of giving bigger tax cuts (to some).”

    It’ll be interesting to see what the reaction is in April ’09 when the vast majority find that their pay packet doesn’t grow…

  11. Mike Collins 11

    Janet – “They built a poor quality private school campus there as the Whtby children are apparently too good for the local state schools.”

    Efforts were made to get a public school in Whitby, by Mayor Jenny Brash and council, which were knocked down by MOE. However your comment says more about your arrogance and elitism than those you are trying to ridicule. Public schools in Porirua are suffering from falling rolls (in general) and have a negative stigma to them perpetuating that.

    But to attribute this flight to out of area schools to communities such as Whitby alone is misguided. The reality is many parents in Porirua will send their children elsewhere if they can – irrespective of community or background. The key is not where they are from but their ability to send their child elsewhere. People in Whitby have more ability to do this, but they are by no means alone. Some parents struggle with extra jobs to send their kids to school in Wellington.

    I have spoken with local educators from whom I gained the impression the answer to this flight was making it compulsory for children to attend their local school. It is not! It is for the schools to shrug off the stigmas attached to them (obviously not a simple task).

    BTW I say this as someone who is happy to sing the praises of Mana College.

  12. Janet 12

    A large number of Wellingtonians of the Labour left turned up this morning in the sunshine to cheer Helen Clark as she went off to resign as Prime Minister. The parliamentary steps and forecourt were crowded. National Radio reported it as MPs and staff but it was a huge diversity of activists, all ages, all backgrounds. I spotted MPs past such as David Caygill and Prime Ministers of the future such as Grant Robertson and Jacinda Adern. It really felt like a passing of the torch. Ken, who had brought his young grandson to witness this historic event, summed it up with his banner – Thank you Helen. Then Michael Cullen said ‘Right, back to work’ and sprinted up the parliamentary steps, setting the pace for the fight back.

  13. Daveski 14


    An interesting topic and set up perfectly to look ahead.

    We live in interesting times. National IMO has finally understood MMP.

    What if National doesn’t move too far to the right? All that would achieve is to cannibalise the ACT vote and risk the relationship with the MP. As you point out, there is not an overwhelming mandate to move right.

    Perhaps what we are seeing is a redefining of the political landscape lead by Key reinventing National?

  14. Tane 15

    Daveski, I honestly can’t see National not moving to the right of the centrist facade they put up during the election campaign. In fact, their confidence and supply agreements with Act and UF shows they already have, as do their stalling tactics on the ETS.

    If, by some miracle, National don’t move right? Then Labour should tack to the left and open up a point of difference between themselves and National. I’m not suggesting they nationalise the means of production, but with their legacy safe they could offer a new progressive direction. But somehow I don’t see that happening.

  15. Tigger 16

    Tane – “The important thing will be to make sure that as National moves to the right of the NZ public the Left makes sure people are aware of what’s happening.”

    I’m going to make a poster of this sentence and put it above my bed as my MUST DO for the next three years!

  16. Ben R 17

    Isn’t Wellington generally Labour voting? It would be strange if it wasn’t given the high proportion of those who either work for or do business with govt dept’s?

  17. Janet 18

    Mike Collins

    It is well known that some of the best teaching is happening in the lower decile schools. Porirua College, the lowest decile school in the Wgtn, is probably the most innovative and effective school in the Wellington region in adding value through education, and treating students holistically. It is having a huge rebuilding programme to acknowledge its leadership in community-centred education. Aotea College is a perfectly good state school on the edge of Whitby. Mana College is fine too, across the water from Whitby, although in my opinion, not a patch on Porirua College, as it is trying to hard to be a bland higher decile school, rather than reflect the strengths of the local community.

    But Whitby parents prefer to send their children to an expensive outpost of an elite corporate school, which is barely accountable to ERO, let alone the local community. Dare I suggest it’s main attraction is it whiteness?

  18. Mike Collins 19

    “Dare I suggest it’s main attraction is it whiteness?”

    Only if you want to open yourself up to justified criticism. Race is not a factor when choosing education. Every parent wishes to have their child attend the best school possible. No matter what colour skin they have. To attribute this behaviour to one section of the community only (Whitby) and suggest it is because of skin colour is in my opinion nasty. Plenty of (brown skinned) people in Porirua East and Porirua more widely, send their children out of area – often somewhere like St Patricks in Silverstream or Kilbirnie. Flight out of area (or indeed away from local state schools), as I said earlier, is not something dominated by one group over another with the exception of ability to fund that choice.

    I agree on the points with Porirua College though. Good work happening there and the reputation is starting to change.

  19. Janet 20

    Maybe there is a corelation between white flight and National voting. In which case the Maori Party MPs are going to be in for a bit of racism from their new chums. This sentiment is already evident in the stuff poll (dominated by white National voting males) showing most responders thought the uppity Maoris got more out of the coalition agreement than born-to-bully Act. When it was actually ACT that got so much power out of the deal.

  20. Mike Collins 21

    Gee you almost sound suprised Janet that a wealthier neighbourhood would vote Right. Corelation between white flight in education and National voting seems tenous at best. Could it be that you are simply annoyed that a community would dare seek to vote opposite to your wishes and as a result you seek to denigrate that community with smears of racism? Classy.

    BTW it would be nice if you addressed my points regarding general educational flight from Porirua and not seek to label it simply as white flight when it is not just white kids fleeing.

  21. Mike Collins 22

    I too was suprised to see that people thought the MP got the most out of that deal on the stuff poll. I agree with you that ACT got the most – something which greatly pleases me. I don’t place the stuff poll result at the feet of racist National Party members/supporters though. I think it had much more to do with the media reporting much more about the MP deal than ACTs. Seems it was more interesting to them.

    Hope it’s not too scary going to bed at night Janet with all those monsters under the bed…

  22. gingercrush 23

    Byron nice work. Just one correction if you’re adding Greens to Labour then its fair to add Act to National.

    That does seem to make a difference with Te Atatu which would have National-Ac in the lead. But everywhere else it wouldn’t except for Mt. Roskill. Which, interesting is a difference of 1 vote between Labour-Green and National-Act.

    Though this is all largely premature since special votes should put Wellington Central and perhaps some of the others for where Labour will have a higher party vote than National.

  23. Janet 24

    Mike Collins
    It doesn’t just have to be white parents practicing ‘white flight’ away from their local schools. It’s usually misguided aspiration – an illogical and incorrect view that a high decile or private school further away provides a better education than their local one. They might force the kids to do more homework of questionable value and wear a more expensive uniform, and spend more time travelling, but basically it is parents wanting something they themselves do not have and aspire to eg a more desirable social group or friends in posher houses or more qualifications than they themselves have. But the greater risk is that it dislocates their children from their local community.

    It’s similar to the trend to bottle feed in developing countries. Big multinationals push bottle feeding as desirable, aspirational and something that rich white glamorous people do, so it undermines parents’ self-confidence in their own identity and abilities. So parents bottle feed. Unfortunately, it’s more expensive for them, and not so good for the babies.

  24. Mike Collins 25

    “an illogical and incorrect view that a high decile or private school further away provides a better education than their local one.”

    That’s debateable and I disagree with you. On balance results from these institutions are vastly superior to those of public schools or lower decile schools at least. Now of course there are many reasons why this is the case (ie attendance predominantly from kids predisposed to learning or from households not lacking in basics). But in the absence of being able to quantify those reasons it is reasonable to conclude that the quality of education is better at those schools. If not the quality of education, the quality of outcome certainly is better. And it is outcomes that would matter most to parents I should think.

    I find it very elitist that anyone can tell parents they are wrong and thinking illogically. That’s a view I find offensive. Not that I feel I am qualified to tell parents what is right or otherwise. I just think they are in the best position to determine what’s best for their kids. They don’t need do-gooders telling them or worse, regulating the “correct” option – such as forcing kids into local schools. We need more choice in education – not less. And not just for those that can afford to pay twice either.

  25. Janet 26

    You are saying parents are wrong if they think their local low decile school provides a good education. When in fact they are most likely right. The fact is that education in schools throughout NZ are roughly similar. Some schools have more resources, prettier bricks and mortar. But it is the teaching that makes the difference and for education that inspires and makes the difference the low decile schools win hands down. Teachers in some private schools merely have to turn up and the kids and parents and their after school programmes do the rest.

  26. Mike Collins 27

    “You are saying parents are wrong if they think their local low decile school provides a good education.”

    No I said no such thing. You may have thought I did but you’d be wrong. I was actually criticizing you for saying parents were being illogical for choosing private schools over low decile schools.

    “and for education that inspires and makes the difference the low decile schools win hands down.”

    Results matter. Parents choose private schools because results are delivered there. That is not illogical and to suggest otherwise is arrogant elitism. Why else would parents choose to send their kids there? Even allowing for your statement to be correct, which I hesitate with, there are obviously other factors at play which are holding back results. I’ll say it again for emphasis – the end results matter.

    If a parent wishes to send their child to a low decile school in the expectation of higher quality teaching, good on them. I am not convinced that the quality would be higher (across the board that is) but it is their choice to make and I support them making it.

  27. Janet 28

    But if all the parents send their kids out of the local area the local school has to close, removing the choice for others – if indeed they had a choice in the first place as only a very few have real choice.

    Results – what do you mean by results? Do you think that just because a kid crosses town to go to a school which has a high number of NCEA Level 3 passes that kid will automatically get NCEA Level 3 too. What makes the difference is inspiring teaching, high expectations, and education appropriate to the individual learning style. Actually, the more diverse the classroom that better the results.

    My experience is that some of the wealthier schools limit access to their flash resources eg only some elite kids can use the library. The elite schools can cherry pick their out of zone kids so they only take the naturally highly academic. They certainly won’t take the dyslexic kid or one who needs extra work on literacy (unless of course they are also gifted in sport).

    So I’m saying that it is not a level playing field (excuse the pun). Parents are wrong that the school makes the academic results for their own child – it is much more complex than that.

  28. Mr Shankly 29

    Janet – some schools are better than others! I think you are mistaken regarding your views on schools.

    Unfortunately when hte left speaks of diversity as an excuse for poor performance they are merely patronising the very groups they are attempting to embrace!

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