Votes for List MPs

December 11th, 2011 at 2:55 pm by David Farrar

We have 51 , 44 of whom also contested an electorate. I’ve compiled a quick table of how many people actually voted for them, given the opportunity to do so, on the electorate vote.

List MP Party  Votes
Cosgrove, Clayton LAB   16,145
Ardern, Jacinda LAB   14,321
Parata, Hekia NAT   14,093
Goldsmith, Paul NAT   13,574
Bennett, Paula NAT   13,457
Little, Andrew LAB   13,374
Auchinvole, Chris NAT   13,214
Chauvel, Charles LAB   12,965
Carter, David NAT   12,640
Moroney, Sue LAB   12,169
Groser, Tim NAT   11,809
Street, Maryan LAB   11,272
Blue, Jackie NAT   10,635
Henare, Tau NAT   10,444
Woodhouse, Michael NAT     9,487
Mackey, Moana LAB     9,229
Finlayson, Christopher NAT     9,132
Lee, Melissa NAT     8,695
Norman, Russel GRE     7,262
Shanks, Katrina NAT     6,907
Calder, Cam NAT     6,351
Jones, Shane LAB     6,184
Turei, Metiria GRE     5,721
Delahunty, Catherine GRE     5,660
Graham, Kennedy GRE     5,099
Horan, Brendan NZF     4,611
Browning, Steffan GRE     3,784
Parker, David LAB     3,751
Walker, Holly GRE     3,693
Sage, Eugenie GRE     3,674
Bakshi, Kanwaljit Singh NAT     3,561
Clendon, David GRE     3,000
Roche, Denise GRE     2,903
Logie, Jan GRE     2,652
Hughes, Gareth GRE     2,160
Hague, Kevin GRE     2,102
Stewart, Barbara NZF     1,571
Martin, Tracey NZF     1,476
Mathers, Mojo GRE     1,347
Genter, Julie Anne GRE     1,258
Taylor, Asenati NZF        999
Williams, Andrew NZF        900
O’Rourke, Denis NZF        697
Prosser, Richard NZF        588
Fenton, Darien LAB
Prasad, Rajen LAB
Smith, Lockwood NAT
Joyce, Steven NAT
Ngaro, Alfred NAT
Yang, Jian NAT
Peters, Winston NZF

The MPs who had the most electorate votes by party were:

  1. Clayton Cosgrove, Labour  – 16,145
  2. Hekia Parata, National – 14,093
  3. Russel Norman, Green – 7,262
  4. Brendan Horan, NZF – 4,611

The MPs who had the least electorate votes by party were:

  1. Richard Prosser, NZF – 588
  2. Julie Anne Genter, Greens – 1,258
  3. David Parker, Labour – 3,751
  4. Kanwaljit Bakshi Singh – 3,561

In total:

  • 14 List MPs got over 10,000 votes
  • 11 List MPs got from 5,000 to 10,000 votes
  • 9 List MPs got from 2,500 to 5,000 votes
  • 10 List MPs got under 2,500 votes
  • 7 List MPs did not stand in an electorate

13 Responses to “Votes for List MPs”

  1. Psycho Milt (3,371 comments) says:

    Which tells us nothing beyond how many voters in a particular electorate were supporters of the party the MP was standing for – and only to a very, very much lesser extent, of the individual concerned. It’s about as useful as looking at electorate MPs in terms of how much of the party vote their party got.

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  2. earok (3 comments) says:

    What I’m interested to know is how Parliament would look if the lists were made up only of people who contested but failed to win electorates, sorted by the number of votes they got in their electorates in descending order (and, in the case that they won more seats via the party vote than electorates they contested, then the regular list is used)

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  3. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    Ele at Home Paddock blogged today about the difference in status between electorate and list seats amongst other things

    And I am mindful of Cameron Slater’s “scum list MP tag ” but to use the example I made at Home Paddock

    ” Would anyone suggest the Michael Woodhouse has been rejected by the electorate ?. Phil Goff should have had the Dunedin party vote in the bank only to discover Michael had been quietly depositing it in John Keys account.”

    MP’s that are rejected by electorates is a frequent criticism of MMP and list MP’s but those that have delivered good results on the party vote certainly can’t be regarded as scum list MP’s and that comparison might be a better way to judge the electoral success or failure of a list MP.

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  4. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt I can see merit in this that you might have overlooked.

    ” It’s about as useful as looking at electorate MPs in terms of how much of the party vote their party got. ”

    If an MP’s personal vote collapses or they are running in a marginal seat a look at the party vote in their seat might well determin if they remain the selected candidate at the next election. Well useful for National my crowd just leave selections for the unions to do and I haven’t a clue what the Greens do.

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  5. Nichlemn (60 comments) says:

    I mostly agree with Psycho Milt and Home Paddock.

    In spite of the fact that the electorate vote is supposed to be about “voting for the best person”, there’s still a high correlation with the party vote. Yes, some MPs can win electorates that lean to the opposite party (see Nelson, Waimakariri until this election) but there are many seats in which the weaker party’s candidate will never win no matter how weak the incumbent is (see Mangere, 2005).

    And stopping candidates from standing for the List and an electorate (or some variant thereof) will just cause ambitious politicians worried about being defeated in their electorate to hop to the safety of the List before they get a chance to be defeated.

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  6. Psycho Milt (3,371 comments) says:

    Yes, it’s not rocket science. If Clayton Cosgrove had been standing in Epsom he wouldn’t be at the top of this list, and if Paul Goldsmith had stood in a South Auckland electorate he wouldn’t be looking too flash either. Basically, it tells us jack shit about their “right” to a parliamentary seat.

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  7. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    Yeah but how about Dunedin South ? I am banned at Red Alert so can’t ask the question there. In fact I suspect asking the question there got me banned.

    If a sitting MP takes a huge hit on their majority in the electorate vote and the party vote goes down big time then maybe an assement should be done. Again I go to Ele at Home Paddock.

    Ele pointed it out and I think she is spot on.

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  8. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Funny to think that 20 names on that list – 1 in 6 MPs – contested an electorate and lost their deposits! ha ha When folk were given the opportunity to vote for them nobody actually did.

    It reminds me of one of the hysterical screamers for proportional representation from the past – Neil Morrison, Social Credit MP for Pakuranga between 1984 and 1987.
    Morrison made several speeches in the House on the topic of a proportional voting system, saying how large swathes of electors were disenfranchised by first past the post and lamenting the unfairness of it all.

    What Neil Morrison never pointed out was that Neil Morrison received the smallest percentage of the votes of ANY winning candidate/MP elected between 1854 and 1993. In other words he spent 3 years representing Pakuranga despite virtually no one in Pakuranga having voted for him.

    Because he was not a Labour or National MP the MMP fanatics do not see anything wrong with that (afterall ‘unfair voting systems’ only apply to the National party, and anyway – people in Pakuranga are ‘rich pricks’ exploiting workers and the poor)

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  9. Sonny Blount (2,043 comments) says:

    The biggest distortion to the list is that electorate races don’t matter so no one seriously contests them. Political careers are now made by cosying up to Key and Goff, there is no longer a place for a prospective MP to make a name for themselves by winning or coming close in a tight contest because those contests are now fought at half pace. Why waste the time and the money when the party vote is much more valuable.

    Labour and Nationals front benches are untouchable until the party lists are ranked by the electorate vote rather than the party.

    And preferential voting is required to allow candidates to be seriously challenged by candidates at similar ends of the political spectrum.

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  10. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    James S let me know next time you interact with reality

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  11. PaulL (6,059 comments) says:

    @Sonny Blount: two paths to fame. One is to get hold of a safe-ish electorate seat, and make it safe. Be the best electorate MP they can imagine. Means you don’t have to toe the party line, and therefore get some freedom. Alternative is to be part of the party machine, align yourself to the party’s principles, do what the party wants. This gets you a good list placing.

    To my mind, both have merits. When I vote for a local electorate MP, I expect them to listen to the electorate and to represent the people in it. I’m not all that keen on pork barrelling though, so they shouldn’t do this to a fault. When I vote for a party, and for the platform that party stood on, I expect them to damn well implement it. That means the people who get in on the party vote absolutely toeing the party line. Although we are a representative democracy, the reality is I’m voting for the party and the party platform, not for a bunch of people on the list, most of whom I’ve not heard of, to turn up in parliament and exercise their conscience.

    @JamesS. Didn’t you get banned? Must have been close. When you say virtually noone voted for Neil Morrison, what you really mean is at least one third, right? Assuming here there were three strong candidates, and he came through the middle, he’d have gotten at least a third. Not an absolute majority, no, but very different than virtually nobody. FPP didn’t allow you to be elected with virtually no votes.

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  12. Sonny Blount (2,043 comments) says:


    The primary function of democracy is to remove people from power. MMP gives the core people who will wield that power lifetime access to it, as the front bench cronies of each party do not need to get voted in, they are in reality just waiting for the other lot to get voted out with the assurance of access to that power every 6-9 years.

    A political party is not one policy or one person. How things are conducted with the Ministry of Health can be very different to the Ministry of Education for example. Under the current MMP list situation, MPs are accountable to Key or Goff and not the public. Regardless of what conservatives think, Nick Smith is going nowhere.

    I think we are seeing the inevitable stagnation of talent that Party ranked lists ensure play out into longer terms for each government. Labour’s current problems come from the public not having a direct effect on the introduction or removal of talent at their top. Politics requires an ability to communicate ideas and win electoral runs to earn and defend the power to implement those ideas, we now have a system where MPs haven’t had to win hard fought contests to get by (because they don’t matter, electorate races no longer have a life or death edge to their contest), so I believe we are getting weaker advocates as MPs.

    A party needs competent MPs, electoral ranked lists will give better MPs than party ranked lists.
    The primary function of democracy is to remove people from power.

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  13. leftyliberal (655 comments) says:

    @Sonny Blount: You appear confused – Nick Smith won Nelson with a handsome majority of 7088. Further, of the Labour and National top 10 on the list, 7 from each were elected in electorates. I’m sure there’s plenty of the electorate winners you don’t think should be there, yet you can do nothing about it whatsoever as you don’t live in their electorate.

    Agreed with your point that parties need competent MPs, however electoral ranked lists will simply mean that those the party wishes to keep around will end up in either safe or swing seats (as regardless of which way it swings the top 2 candidates will get in). The greens seem to do reasonably well with their list by allowing their membership to vote on it, whereas Labour seem to be regarded as the worst due to the large union and head office influence. The electorate has highlighted this reasonably effectively though.

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