Why people didn’t vote

February 1st, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stats NZ has some survey data on why people did not vote in 2008 and 2011. Major reasons are:

  • Disengaged 43% (+4%)
  • Perceived barrier 30% (nc)
  • Not registered 12% (+1%)

The proportions who did not vote are:

  • 21% of men and 19% of women
  • 42% of under 25s and 5% of over 65s
  • 17% of Europeans and 27% of Maori
  • 59% of recent migrants
  • 23% of those earning under $30,000
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20 Responses to “Why people didn’t vote”

  1. kowtow (7,579 comments) says:

    The overall percentage of non voters is also important.
    In 2011 it was (a relatively high) 74 % which is great ,but it was still the lowest %age turnout since 1887 (wiki).

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  2. Rightandleft (627 comments) says:

    I’m surprised by the high rates of recent migrants not voting. I also wonder how they defined ‘recent’ in that calculation. I enrolled to vote the day I got my residency (and I was under 25) so I guess I’m a rarity. NZ is one of only three countries in the world which allows non-citizen permanent residents to vote. I wonder what keeps so many immigrants taking advantage of that privilege.

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  3. thor42 (897 comments) says:

    42% of under-25s
    59% of recent migrants
    23% of those earning under $30K

    IMO this is *great*. Under-25s and recent migrants are both groups who would tend to know naff-all about New Zealand and NZ politics so it is great that so many of those uninformed people didn’t vote.

    As for those earning under $30K per year, it is also good that many of them didn’t vote. The low-paid tend to be either beneficiaries or those with low (or no) education, so that it yet another group of poorly-informed people.
    They are also very likely to not be “net taxpayers” so that too is a strike against them.

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  4. Jaffa (80 comments) says:

    If I was a recent immigrant, I would not feel comfortable to vote, until I had spent a few years in the country.

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  5. kowtow (7,579 comments) says:

    “Disengaged”……pot heads?

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  6. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    Is the new National Party supporter scapegoat to blame West Coast ferals ?

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  7. Rightandleft (627 comments) says:

    Residents do have to live in the country for a full year before they can vote. I’d lived here for 4 years as a student before I finished uni and got residency so I felt fully comfortable voting (also I’d studied NZ history and politics). That’s why I want to know how they classify ‘recent’ in that poll.

    I agree that people who don’t know the history or politics of the issues at hand should not be voting at all. Voting may be a right but I see it more as a privilege that we should earn by being informed voters. Recent migrants and young people have a duty to get themselves informed about the issues and take part in society. That is a reason why I would oppose a law like Australia’s that forces people to vote. Then you get all sorts of idiots voting without having a clue what they’re doing.

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  8. lolitasbrother (467 comments) says:

    thor42 (651 comments) says: February 1st, 2014 at 1:37 pm
    quote
    42% of under-25s
    59% of recent migrants
    23% of those earning under $30K

    IMO this is *great*. Under-25s and recent migrants are both groups who would tend to know naff-all about New Zealand and NZ politics so it is great that so many of those uninformed people didn’t vote.

    As for those earning under $30K per year, it is also good that many of them didn’t vote. The low-paid tend to be either beneficiaries or those with low (or no) education, so that it yet another group of poorly-informed people.
    They are also very likely to not be “net taxpayers” so that too is a strike against them.
    unquote

    I am not an elitist in any way, but the Cunliffe idea of paying people to have babies in this overcrowded world is stupid.
    Cunliffe is stupid and he is ugly to look at.
    We are having John Key NZ Pm PM 2014, I have decided already

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  9. Yoza (1,513 comments) says:

    42% of under 25s …

    Which goes a long way to explaining why the Internet Party has instilled such terror into Labour and National.

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  10. Mobile Michael (410 comments) says:

    Democracy shafts the lazy and the ignorant. Fortunately, these are the two groups who do not complain about it.

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  11. nickb (3,658 comments) says:

    Which goes a long way to explaining why the Internet Party has instilled such terror into Labour and National.

    So you think our politically unaware and apathetic youth are going to flock out in droves to support a fat German criminal? Cool, Yoza.

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  12. Andrew (76 comments) says:

    A couple of months back I was playing with the NZ election study data. They only survey a fairly small number of non-voters. Anyway, I applied the preferences of those non-voters to the results for the last two elections.

    Based on the data available, if all non-voters with a preference had gone out and voted, it wouldn’t have made much difference to the election result in 2011. Would have made a bigger difference in 2008.

    There are pretty huge assumptions here about the sample of non-voters being representative – still, an interesting result I thought.

    If everyone got out to vote in 2011, what difference would it have made? | Grumpollie
    http://grumpollie.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/if-everyone-got-out-to-vote-in-2011-what-difference-would-it-have-made/

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  13. Yoza (1,513 comments) says:

    nickb (3,469 comments) says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    [Yoza]“Which goes a long way to explaining why the Internet Party has instilled such terror into Labour and National.”

    So you think our politically unaware and apathetic youth are going to flock out in droves to support a fat German criminal? Cool, Yoza.

    I think Kim Dotcom’s well publicised stand against the US security arm and giant US media corporations has provided an ideal platform from which to appeal to disaffected youth. If there is an increase in the percentage of people prepared to vote at the next election I would suggest this would be voting in protest. The most obvious avenue through which to send a ‘message’ would through endorsing the ongoing media event that is the Kim Dotcom saga.

    The modern election is a media event and neither major political party has the resources or PR competence to undo the narrative the FBI and New Zealand security apparatus has created for the Internet party through its direct association with Kim Dotcom. I would argue he Internet party offers a more compelling motive to vote for non-voters than any other competing acts.

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  14. big bruv (13,199 comments) says:

    I would say that the number of people not registered to vote is much higher than the figure suggested. I deal with the public on a daily basis and I can say from experience that it is very rare indeed to find anybody of Asian or Middle Eastern decent or anybody from the sub continent who is on the electoral role.
    If these people are first generation immigrants then I can state without question that not one of them will be on the electoral roll.

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  15. Recidivist_offender (19 comments) says:

    I vote greens ! :-)

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  16. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Yoza, I agree and even better Kim Dotcom is a filthy rich capitalist and an ideal role model for our youth. :)

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  17. Tauhei Notts (1,601 comments) says:

    Big Bruv,
    I was surprised by your comments.
    I thought that voter registration was a law; that it is possible to be prosecuted for not enrolling. Is that so?
    If it is so, then don’t tell me that WINZ are handing out dough to wilful lawbreakers It is that kind of information that makes me vomit.

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  18. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    People will be wary of voting after the local body debacle in Auckland with elected Lecher Brown squatting, when shown conclusively, he is not wanted.

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  19. sbk (308 comments) says:

    igm…beg to differ…i think 2minLen has probably given us all a wake up call… come next local-body elections,i expect a stampede of angry Auckland ratepayers…and will vote to chuck this useless lot out.

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  20. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    sbk: The goofy nosed lecher was out in the pubic arena again, only getting a few boos. Come on Auckland you can do much better . . . a piss poor effort. He must get a rousing reception of discontent every time he makes public appearances, this will, in the end, knock the creep over.

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