How the flag referendum got hit by partisan voting


Thomas Simpson blogs:

However interestingly enough there seems to be another factor which acts as an even stronger predictor of support for the fern – namely the proportion of the party vote received in the 2014 election by the National Party.

The coefficient on NAT is statistically significant at a 1% level but neither of the other two factors are. As a result it may be the case that the apparent association of young people with the old flag is an artifact of a correlation between youth and not supporting National. Obviously there are many more uncontrolled for factors which could be correlated with supporting National and voting for the new flag – but the strength of the correlation and the apparently weak explanatory power of the other factors has me wondering whether New Zealand missed a chance to have a proper discussion on a change to how we present our identity as a result of party politics.

It was meant to be about the flag, but some chose to campaign against their own election policy and make it a partisan issue.

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