There wasn’t a single party or organisation campaigning for a yes vote. On the other side Labour, Greens and the unions spent hundreds of thousands first promoting the petition and collecting the signatures and then campaigning for no votes.
There was little reason for yes voters to vote. I actually never got around to it. You knew what the result would be, and more to the point you knew that the referendum was pointless as three of the five companies have already been sold down to 51%.
On the other side there was a lot of reason for a no voter to vote no – it was a way to punish the Government, and try and stop any further sales.
I honestly thought they’s get over 80%, maybe as high as the anti-smacking vote at 85%. Instead they got 67.2% and turnout was well under 50% at 43.9%.
Sure it is still an official victory for the no vote, but far from the crushing blow they wanted – especially considering that they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on getting this referendum. How can Labour and Greens demand National implement the result of a 67% referendum result when they remain 1000% opposed to implementing the results of the 85% referendum result on smacking law.
But hey, if Labour thinks the referendum result trumps the last election result, I look forward to their clear policy pledge they will buy back every share sold.