The Herald reports:
Len Brown will find it tough to be re-elected Mayor of Auckland, according to a newHerald-DigiPoll survey.
Only 22.7 per cent of the people questioned in this month’s poll said they would vote for Mr Brown in the 2016 elections; 57.7 per cent said they would not. The other 20 per cent said they did not know or did not vote in local body elections.
Brown would be an idiot if he stands again. It is very difficult to see how he could be re-elected.
The poll suggests women and the elderly were particularly upset by revelations about his extramarital affair and undeclared hotel stays.
That women probably because of what they saw as a power imbalance, with the mistress being a much younger girl who was a Mayoral appointee.
However, Mr Brown can take some comfort from the survey, which found 51.6 per cent of respondents believed he could still be an effective advocate of Auckland’s interests for the remainder of this three-year term.
When asked if the mayor should have resigned last year after revelations of his misbehaviour, 50.2 per cent said yes and 37.7 per cent said no. A further 12.1 per cent did not know.
This is a reversal of the result of a Herald-DigiPoll survey taken a few days after the affair became public last October.
At the time, 51 per cent of Aucklanders said he should stay and 39.5 per cent said he should resign.
The details in the report about all the hotel stays, is probably why the mood has changed.
Lawyer and feminist commentator Catriona MacLennan said the poll result reflected that women do not believe that Mr Brown’s affair was a private matter and could see he used his powerful position to obtain sex from a young woman.
“Many New Zealand women have encountered this behaviour in their own working lives.
“I and other women wish there was greater condemnation and consequences for such behaviour so that it becomes less prevalent in future,” Ms MacLennan said.
While the affair was consensual, the fact Bevan was a Mayoral appointee and he helped get her a job while trying to start a relationship with her, means it was not a private matter.
The poll of 248 Auckland voters was taken between March 6 and March 16. Of those, only 31.3 per cent voted for Mr Brown last year.
248 is a very small sample size. That’s a 6.2% margin of error. The breakdowns by gender and age are even bigger. The gender data would have a 8.8% margin of error and the age one could be as high as a 12.4% margin of error. So I wouldn’t put too much faith in them.
Also the fact that only 31% of the sample say they voted for Brown could be significant, as more than that actually did vote for him. However we don’t know if that 31% is of all Aucklanders or of Aucklanders who actually voted. Also asking people who they voted for last time doesn’t always get reliable data as people often claim they didn’t vote for someone who has since disgraced themselves, even if they did.