The Wellington election results

October 13th, 2013 at 2:24 pm by David Farrar

wccvote

 

This is how the vote went for the WCC Mayoral election, on the provisional results.

  1. won 38% of the first preferences to 34% for John Morrison
  2. Jack Yan picked up the biggest slice of Karuna Muthu’s first preferences
  3. John Morrison picked up the biggest slice of Rob Goulden’s preferences
  4. Nicola Young’s support split three ways – 30% to Wade-Brown and Yan and 40% to Morrison.
  5. At this point there is only 3% in it and Yan has 18%.
  6. But Yan’s votes go 55% Wade-Brown and 45% Morrison giving her a 4.4% margin

Of interest 4,363 voters did not fully rank all preferences and hence did not get a say in the final decision between Morrison and Wade-Brown. This is a larger number that the margin of 2,284. Now they presumably made a conscious decision that they thought both candidates were equally undesirable (which is a perfectly appropriate view to have), but it does show the importance of ranking all preferences if you do want as full a say as possible.

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34 Responses to “The Wellington election results”

  1. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    the good people of Wgtn voted for the Gweenie so good luck with that

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  2. skyblue (212 comments) says:

    Jaba – practise for the 2014 general election.
    NZ is not going left it is going green.

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  3. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @skyblue – “NZ is not going left it is going green.”

    There’s a difference?
    The Greens are just Labour with an organic hemp jersey.

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  4. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    skybue/thor .. we need a green and indeed Liabour presence in local Govt to show the people of NZ what is in store for us if this bunch get in next year .. my rates in the Akl “super” city are about to skyrocket for services I will never use or need

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  5. Dennis Horne (2,403 comments) says:

    Is Whellington at the bottom of Te Ika-a-Māui, south of the Bombay Hills? Anyway, the voting system seems to be working … for those who vote.

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  6. Steve Todd (13 comments) says:

    Extract from Comment No. 14 at “The Wellington Mayoralty”, Thursday 3 October.

    >>> The point is, the voters on the Right *will* have a candidate they prefer to Wade-Brown, in there at the end. That candidate will benefit from votes transferred to him or her upon the exclusion of the other. Whether that candidate then ends up with sufficient votes to defeat Wade-Brown is quite another matter – ultimately depending both on the extent of voter participation (on both the Left and the Right) and, equally importantly, on voter *cohesion*.

    >>> In that latter regard, if Right-leaning voters vote in significant numbers for Morrison/Wade-Brown/Young, or for Young/Wade-Brown/Morrison, instead of for Morrison/Young/Wade-Brown, or for Young/Morrison/Wade-Brown, then they have only themselves to blame if Wade-Brown is re-elected. <<<

    Not only did Wade-Brown and Yan together poll 29,048 votes, compared to the total of 23,304 votes polled by Morrison and Young, but Right-leaning voters were insufficiently cohesive in their candidate-orderings. If 3,000+ of the 4,483 voters who gave Young their first preference, had given Morrison their second preference (instead of dropping out of the count, or splitting their preferences three ways), Morrison would now be the Mayor-elect.

    By not participating in this election in sufficient numbers (compared to Left-leaning voters), and by displaying a lack of discipline in their preference orderings, the Right have only themselves to blame for Wade-Brown's re-election.

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  7. mikenmild (11,684 comments) says:

    I wonder if ‘left leaning’ and ‘right leaning’ are of that much relevance in local body elections. I think perhaps voters are more likely to consider candidates as individuals rather than perceive them as party representatives.

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  8. Steve Todd (13 comments) says:

    You might be right, mike, in respect of elections outside the urban centres, but you only have to read DPF (here), Stephen Franks, et al, to know that sorting out the Left from the Right, particularly in mayoral elections in the main centres, is indeed rather relevant – and, to be fair, not just to the Right.

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  9. Manolo (14,044 comments) says:

    Living wage, higher rates, incompetence galore and other gems are to be expected from the nutter Wade Brown and her Green supporters. Wellington appears to be doomed.

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  10. Ross12 (1,454 comments) says:

    Steve Todd

    I agree with your comments. But I cannot understand why anyone voting for Morrison or Young would put Wade-Brown in the top three. They had polar opposite policies in most areas. So it would seem personalities ( or simply male/female preference) played a significant role in choices, for some.

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  11. mikenmild (11,684 comments) says:

    Steve
    Expanding on my point, sorting out left from right in local body elections can be a bit difficult. I seem to recall DPF had difficulty in ranking the Wellington DHB candidates and he, although hopelessly partisan, should be a relatvely well-informed voter. Without the convenient party labels, which of course play up differences when candidates may actually have similar outlooks, voters tend to get a bit confused.

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  12. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    She doesn’t know how much her office renovations cost and what’s the first thing she wants? A super city! Because that’s worked out so well for Auckland…

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  13. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    The cycling mayor, who has made transport a key plank of her campaign, is now joined by three other Green councillors – making Wellington the greenest council in the county.

    This is the problem, people like the idea of “green” and when it’s “only” a vote for council, its a feel good vote, as is the voting itself… What will a “green” council mean for Wellington? Well if the last three years are anything to go by, nothing but dilly-dallying, flip-flopping and time wasting but with a focus on a “super city”. No doubt the office will need renovating with the new super logo. I look forward to seeing the cycle lanes from Wellington to Masterton.

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  14. mikenmild (11,684 comments) says:

    Yes labrator, proper cycle lanes would be good.

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  15. Paulus (2,660 comments) says:

    No wonder John Key was right – Wellington is running faster backwards.

    Into Green do nothing oblivion. Except spend Ratepayers and borrowed Banker’s money.

    One debt to another…………….

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  16. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Cycle lanes in Karori, Khandallah, Newlands and Johnsonville would be my first priority.

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  17. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    Yes labrator, proper cycle lanes would be good.

    In the last 3 years did she get rid of the “put cyclists alongside motorway traffic to Petone because technically it’s a highway”. Will she in the next 3 years?

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  18. mikenmild (11,684 comments) says:

    PEB
    I understand a new study is will look at reinforcing the rail line protection between Ngauranga and Petone and that this will include the cycleway option that is badly needed. It’s more a matter for Greater Wellington, NZTA and Kiwirail than it is for Wellington City Council, but there is some hope.

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  19. Steve Todd (13 comments) says:

    Ross12 at 4.22 pm.

    My comment from 10 days ago was in the context of DPF saying he was voting Young 1, Morrison 2, and knowing that voters (in STV elections, e.g. Wellington 2010) do rank the candidates R-L-R, L-R-L, etc.

    But, to vote R-R-L…, or L-L-R…, is not necessarily irrational. In STV elections, a vote (or part thereof) is never transferred until the fate of the candidate the vote currently points to is decided, as either elected, or excluded.

    Therefore, it is perfectly rational for Right-leaning voters (in Wellington), should it be that both Morrison and Young are excluded from the count (in which case there is nothing more that can be done for them), to ask themselves, “Of the (say), two (or perhaps three), remaining candidates, whom do I prefer?” and to answer (by giving their third preference to) Wade-Brown. (Goulden has gone too, and the remaining candidates are Wade-Brown and Yan. In such a situation, a Right-leaning voter might well prefer Wade-Brown to Yan, thereby making the best of a bad lot.)

    The opposite scenario is also true, of course. A Left-leaning voter, with Wade-Brown and Yan both gone, might well decide that Morrison is the best of the rest, and give him their third preference (again, making the best of a bad situation).

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  20. Steve Todd (13 comments) says:

    mikenmild at 4.43 pm.

    Accepted, mike, which is why I always say, rank-order as many, or as few, candidates as you are able. If you don’t know any given candidate(s) from a bar of soap, don’t rank them. Your vote is valid, regardless, and you have had the exact impact on the outcome of the election that you, personally, wish to have – no more, no less.

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  21. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    This study Milky

    How many real people actually cycle in from the Hutt to the City.?

    Not might or would like to if they weren’t in a wheel chair or dead ,- how many serious cyclists?

    Then a quick estimate of the cost per cyclist per kilometer of fencing the rail corridor and you will find it’ll be cheaper to have Corporate cabs pick them up.

    If cyclists want special laning and corridors constructed for them – tolls will pay for it- there are obviously so many that “urgently require” the lanes be constructed, lets see the bucks boys otherwise piss off. Instead spend the money on roading to help business get about the place.

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  22. mikenmild (11,684 comments) says:

    What I understand is that the work required to protect the rail line may also allow space for the constructon of a cycleway, so the marginal cost of providing a safer route may be more modest that building a cycleway from scratch.I have no idea of how the BCR might work out.

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  23. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Its always a marginal cost when someone else is paying for little groups who feel they are special. Its actually a capital cost for either Transit or KiwiRail or someone.

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  24. mikenmild (11,684 comments) says:

    Well, Greater Wellington will be asked to stump up some – who knows how the costs would be broken down? Maybe that’s why do some study of the options. Some separation of cyclists and motorists is of benefit for all, but very big brains can crunch the numbers to see what stacks up as affordable.

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  25. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    A green council will be a disaster for Wellington. This is good. I’d rather we had a manageable disaster on a local level rather than a total green disaster on a National level.

    Stock the bunker folks…..

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  26. izogi (4 comments) says:

    I’m not a cyclist, but I’d really just like the ability to walk that last 400-odd metres between Wellington and Petone without feeling like I’m about to be crunched between high speed traffic and a crash barrier. My hat goes off to the cyclists for dealing with that set-up day after day. The first time I walked out that way I was quite freaked out to unexpectedly discover that the separated cycle route was dumping me on the edge of such a road.

    It didn’t used to be uncommon for people to walk and cycle between Wellington and Petone, but it’s something that route seems to have lost over the decades as the road’s been beefed up within the limited amount of space. The next best walking route to Petone which doesn’t require crossing private land (according to the Walking Access Mapping System) really requires going out through Grenada Village, via some of the newer sub-divisions which tend to be gradually restricting access even more, and eventually doubling back over Horokiwi and across Belmont Regional Park. It’s so indirect and it makes the distance so much further and hillier, though, as to make it much less practical for anything but a substantial day excursion.

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  27. Mark (1,489 comments) says:

    Without McKinnon running the Council which he did very effectively without Wade Brown quite understanding what was going on we are in for a train wreck in the next three years.

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  28. iMP (2,420 comments) says:

    DPF, I think its too big an assumption to say re the 4,363 non-ranking voters,

    “Now they presumably made a conscious decision that they thought both candidates were equally undesirable (which is a perfectly appropriate view to have).”

    It is perhaps more accurate – or as accurate – to say that they simply FAILED, were confused, or made a mistake, fully ranking the candidates. In which case the complexity of the system, and people’s inability to complete the process accurately, was as much a determinant in the results, as the vote splitting.

    Which is why I can’t support STV. Humans are really simple when it comes to voting, and usually uninformed. We need simple tools.

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  29. RRM (10,008 comments) says:

    3 more years of Incompetent Wade-Fuckwit… evidently asleep at the wheel is what Wellingtonians want.

    Free cycle lanes for cyclists, to go with their free ACC. My pleasure! I don’t mind paying.

    No basin reserve flyover though thanks, motorists who pay their own way can just wait and wait and wait.

    I’m sure we need another inquiry into the noisy dusty concrete jungle “character” of that area as it is now, and how a flyover would be OH! so dweadful…

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  30. izogi (4 comments) says:

    “It is perhaps more accurate – or as accurate – to say that they simply FAILED, were confused, or made a mistake, fully ranking the candidates.”

    Not to me. If a voter showed enough aptitude to rank at least two candidates then I think it’d be hard to argue that they were confused or made a mistake, or generally didn’t understand the ranking thing. Has any info come out regarding how many voters ranked exactly one preference?

    It’s presumptuous to try and say what’s happening inside a voter’s head without an objective study. As long as people understand how to rank candidates then the way in which they rank them is really their own business, but to me the most likely explanation is what DPF suggested. A voter might have simply not cared which of the final two (or more) were elected if their ranked preferences didn’t make it.

    In any case, if a voter didn’t rank the final two, or others, they’re simply joining the 80,000-odd eligible voters who didn’t bother to vote at all, and that’s probably because of apathy more than system-confusion if the anecdotes are to be believed. To me, voter apathy is a much more significant issue.

    My only real issue with STV is that the complexity of counting makes understanding the result less accessible for some, so it risks losing voter trust in the result. If FPP is the alternative then that also has massive trust issues because it’s so easy to arrive at a result who so few people actually voted for, especially if a generally unpopular candidate ends up being elected thanks to a vote-split between several similar candidates. Understanding how to actually vote (rank candidates in order of preference) shouldn’t exactly be complicated, though. It’d be a shame to drop a system that enables voters to signify who they actually want without them having to risk splitting of the vote for a candidate they dislike less than someone else. All that does is encourage the candidates (and sometimes parties) to play political games that ultimately reduce voter choice.

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  31. Prince (109 comments) says:

    Steve Todd:If 3,000+ of the 4,483 voters who gave Young their first preference, had given Morrison their second preference (instead of dropping out of the count, or splitting their preferences three ways), Morrison would now be the Mayor-elect.
    …by displaying a lack of discipline in their preference orderings, the Right have only themselves to blame for Wade-Brown’s re-election.

    I don’t agree with your analysis Steve. It assumes Yan supporters are ‘Right’ – they are not.

    The total votes ‘invalidated’ once Muthu, Goulden and Young dropped out (ie any other preference they had also dropped out), was 1584.
    Even if all those votes had gone to Morrison he still would not have been ahead of W-Brown.
    There were a further 2729 votes for Yan with neither Morrison or W-Brown in their preferences, so were ‘invalidated’ when Yan dropped out. But where a vote for Yan had a preference for either Morrison or W-Brown, the majority went to W-Brown (55% to 45%).
    It is less likely a Yan voter would have preferred Morrison. Yan is actually very ‘progressive’ and not a conservative.

    I believe the problem for the ‘Right’ in Wellington was a lack of a suitable candidate. Morrison, while he can provide some amusing one-liners, is hardly likely to inspire confidence as a mayor. In retrospect the Right would have been better to put Young up as the candidate early (she seemed to be a late entry).

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  32. izogi (4 comments) says:

    If 3,000+ of the 4,483 voters who gave Young their first preference, had given Morrison their second preference (instead of dropping out of the count, or splitting their preferences three ways), Morrison would now be the Mayor-elect. …by displaying a lack of discipline in their preference orderings, the Right have only themselves to blame for Wade-Brown’s re-election.

    An alternative possibility is that they all they knew about her was “she’s young” (even though she isn’t), and if they’d been more familiar with Nicola Young, her history and her policies, they might never have ranked her so high to begin with. In the same boat, other voters might have ranked her higher than they did.

    Jack Yan’s done a massive amount of campaigning online amongst young people, many of whom simply see him as being tech friendly, and many of those people would even remember his similar campaigning three years before. If you watch his campaign videos, he presents himself and comes across as a very business-friendly candidate who speaks 4 languages. How many of those voters would know, or even care, that he’s had Alliance connections in the past, despite some analysts insistence that people who vote for him must be ‘left wing’ voters?

    I don’t think so many voters live in the same binary left-or-right bubbles with which they’re offen associated in the blogosphere. Voters don’t owe the ideaologists anything, and they don’t have to design their votes merely to make sense to a collection of hobbyist and professional analysts who are dissappointed when they can’t understand the result.

    If a person who prioritises Nicola Young then chooses to rank CWB before JM, it might simply be because they live next door to John Morrison and really don’t like his character, or the dinky pink car he used to drive around, or they dislike his cricket commentry—I know some people who live next door to one of the council candidates, and they weren’t going to vote for them no matter what the policies. Maybe a voter only rated Nicola Young high to begin with because she’s a family freind, or maybe—in their own logic—the specific parts of those two candidates’ policies which matter to that voter are actually very similar.

    Still, if voters had more to go on than a two paragraph blurb in a council-distributed leaflet in which each candidate states how awesome they are and how they care about everything and everyone, there’s a chance that there might be some better-defined voting patterns.

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  33. Steve Todd (13 comments) says:

    Prince at 11.53 am.

    I don’t disagree with you, Prince. I realise Yan is not Right (and has formerly stood for the Alliance). His votes transferred to Wade-Brown 2 to 1 in 2010, and 3,899 to Morrison 3,237 this time.

    My comment was in the context of the Right letting this one slip away, when, if they had gotten their act together, Morrison could have won.

    When Young was excluded, 1,651 of her 5,069 votes went to Morrison. Of that figure, about 1,400 would have transferred directly from her to Morrison, the other 250 having come first from Muthu and Goulden. But 2,400 votes transferred to Wade-Brown and Yan, and Morrison lost by 2,284.

    I see now I should have said if *3,700* of Young’s 4,483 supporters had given Morrison their second preference (as did DPF and Stephen Franks) (instead of only about 1,400), instead of splitting their preferences, or dropping out of the count, Morrison would have won. But, I also see that that would have been a lot to ask of the Young’s supporters, so I now modify my comment a little.

    Young and Goulden were never going to win (and both these candidates probably really only wanted to use their mayoral candidacies to raise their profile for the Lambton and Eastern ward contests, respectively). That being the case, their supporters really should have voted far more cohesively for Morrison, the only Right-leaning candidate with a chance of winning, by ranking him ahead of Yan and Wade-Brown.

    Had 3,000 Young voters, and at least 700 of those 1,000 Goulden / Muthu voters who ranked Wade-Brown and Yan ahead of Morrison, had ranked Morrison ahead of them, Morrison would have won.

    As I say, the Right could have propelled Morrison to the mayoralty if they had been more disciplined – and had participated in greater numbers – but they weren’t, so they didn’t.

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  34. Prince (109 comments) says:

    Thanks Steve, I guess I am more disappointed that W-Brown got back in, than that Morrison didn’t.
    I think a better frontline Right candidate would have galvanised support and won, and I suspect we agree on that.

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