Archive for the ‘Election 2005’ Category

Herald on Electoral Finance Bill

August 11th, 2007 at 11:12 am by David Farrar

I had been concerned at the lack of coverage in the NZ Herald on the Electoral Finance Bill.  Aucklanders I know, including a former party president, had told me they would have had no idea of what was in the Bill and how bad it was, if they hadn’t heard me on NewstalkZB discussing it with Larry Williams.

Anyway today the  Herald comes to the party big time with no less than three articles on it.

First of all this article by Audrey Young which labels it an “electoral bill no one wants”.  Yes the bill is so appallingly bad that even the Government has stopped trying to defend it. Not that they don’t want it passed, they just realise there would be a public revolution if it got passed unchanged.

The Herald uses my phrase (well I’ve not seen it elsewhere) of “regulated criticism” and that is exactly what it is.  A bill which defines how one can criticise the Government, and by how much.

They quote Forest & Bird who say having the restrictions stretch out for a whole year is “absolutely unreasonable”. The Sensible Sentencing Trust label it “a corrupt piece of legislation”.

Forest & Bird is also upset that if anyone gives them over $500 anonymously, they have to hand it over to the Government.  Yes Dr Cullen will confiscate your donations.

Even Jeanette Fitzsimons concedes “that while she did not agree with Roger Dickie of the Kyoto Forestry Association on the allocation of forest Kyoto credits, I will stand up for their right to put that view publicly.”

I even get a mention as having “lampooned in Stalinist style by David Farrar on Kiwiblog”.  This is technically incorrect as I was lampooning it in Maoist style, but the differences aren’t great 🙂

In a second article Audrey Young reports that National is alerting about 500 interest groups to make submission on the bills.  Good. I’m half tempted to try and form a “Free Speech  Coalition” of interested groups to co-ordinate opposition to these provisions.

And finally John Armstrong lets loose:

Wake up to what Labour is doing with its shabby, self-serving Electoral Finance Bill. Or let it be on your conscience that you stood back and watched your right to free speech being flushed down the drain.

While not being quite that direct, National’s Bill English has effectively thrown down that challenge to trade unions, left-of-centre lobby groups, and politicians and individuals of the same ideological ilk.

I have absolutely no doubt that if this bill was passed into law, and National still won the next election, then the Electoral Finance Act would become the most hated and despised law amongst the left. The advantages it gives to an incumbent Government is massive.  A National Government could arrange for all state sector pay rounds to be in election year.  This would muzzle the unions from doing a public campaign is support of their claims.

If National was totally unprincipled and very cunning it would let this bill pass, betting on the probability their poll lead is great enough that even the taxpayer funded  Govt advertising campaigns next year won’t save the Govt.  And then in Govt this bill would be their best protection, and Labour and the Greens having forced it through wouldn’t be able to complaining about it.

Armstrong covers this in his article also, that National in 2011 could be hugely advantaged by this bill.Luckily for us all National is putting principle first:

English says standing back is not an option. The legislation is so draconian, so pernicious, so unsatisfactory and so unworkable, National is morally obliged to fight it, even though the bill’s failure to ban anonymous donations is very much to National’s advantage.

One has to give kudos to the Herald for covering this issue, because it is against their own self-interest also.  By shutting down almost all paid advocacy in election year, the media are made incredibly more powerful.  If lobby groups and parties can’t spend much money on promoting their issues, then editorial discretion as to what gets covered becomes massively more powerful.

This aspect gets noticed by Michelle Boag, who on her blog labels the bill as great news for the PR or public relations industry. Because if one can’t pay to advertise your view, you then need PR people to try and influence editorial coverage.

So in summary the bill is great for the incumbent Government, the media and the PR industry and bad for everyone else!

No tag for this post.

Essay on 2005 election campaign

October 19th, 2006 at 12:08 pm by David Farrar

Pamzie has blogged a copy of her essay/assignment on National’s 2005 election campaign.

While parts of it are certainly debatable, it’s a pretty fair review all up.

One small error is the statement Saatchi and Saatchi had a hand in the billboards. They had no part in them (or in any part of the campaign).

Also citing Wikipedia will generally lose you a mark. Great resource, but not one academics like people to cite.

No tag for this post.

Late candidate returns

January 18th, 2006 at 9:14 am by David Farrar

Surprised to see that 82 out of 597 candidates have not filed their election returns.

Rather than having to refer such things to an over worked Police, I’d favour some sort of automatic fine which is incurred for late returns.

No tag for this post.

Campaign Reviews

December 3rd, 2005 at 7:01 am by David Farrar

I was really pissed off when I realised I would be overseas on the day of Victoria University’s campiagn review conference. They hold one after every election and they are superb forums at which each party speaks surprisngly bluntly about what they did, what worked, what didn’t etc, plus contributions from some journalists and academics.

I should have asked Vic to web-cast it! They do publish a booklet of the day’s main speeches, so I will buy that at least.

In the best traditions of the conference, the NZ First contribution was very blunt and honest according to NZ Herald reports. Peters is seriously criticised for going dirty and negative on Bob Clarkson, as they beleive it hurt their nation-wide vote. MP Brian Donnelly also is quoted as saying “Winston has to find a way of sorting out a truce with the media, simply because we can’t go on with a Minister of Foreign Affairs in constant battle with the media.” Hope Brian doesn’t get charged with treason also!

Rodney Hide’s contribution is online, as is Colin James.

No tag for this post.

Party Vote Map

November 10th, 2005 at 10:21 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald has done this nice map showing party vote results. It does show the city/rural divide.


Hat Tip: Kiwi Jew Pundit

No tag for this post.

Electorate Split Voting Statistics

November 7th, 2005 at 9:45 am by David Farrar

I’m not going to review all 69 electorates, but interesting to look at a few of them.

In Tauranga Bob Clarkson got 19% of Labour voters and 69% of National voters. Peters got 40% of Labour voters, 26% of National voters and 93% of NZ First voters. Only 31% of Labour voters voted for the Labour candidate. So if there is a by-election, what will those voters do?

In Epsom, Rodney get 80% of ACT voters, 10% of Green voters, 10% of Labour voters, 60% of Libertarianz voters but most importantly 59% of National voters. Richard Worth got 38% of National voters and 24% of Labour voters. Rodney points out both National and Labour voters disobeyed their hierarchies.

In Wellington Central Hobbs got 77% of Labour voters voting for her, while Blumsky got 82% of National voters? So why did he lose? Well Labour’s party vote was a lot higher than National’s but also Marian got 69% of Green voters, in the Greens strongest seat.

In Nelson Nick Smith gets not only 94% of National voters, but also 14% of Green voters and 27% of Labour voters.

Peter Dunne gets support from both National and Labour. 34% of Labour voters voted for him, as did 52% of National voters. Ironically even 21% of Green voters voted for Dunne.

Anderton in Wigram has 22% of Nats vote for him but 57% of Labour voters.

In Pakuranga Williamson gets not just 84% of National voters but also 11% of Labour voters.

Taking the seven Maori seats collectively, we see 62% of Labour voters voted for Labour candidates but 30% voted for Maori Party candidates. While 85% of Maori Party voters also voted for Maori Party candidates.

And just in Tamaki-Makaurau we see Sharples got 87% of Maori Party voters but also 36% of Labour voters.

No tag for this post.

Split Voting Statistics

November 7th, 2005 at 9:21 am by David Farrar

The CHief Electoral Office has now published the split voting statistics for the election.

Overall 28.7% of voters split their votes, down from 39.0% in 2002. National voters were the most ‘loyal’ with 84% of national party voters also giving National the electorate vote. Labour was at 78%.

Looking at party voters for each party, we have:

ACT: 23% also voted for ACT candidate and (sensibly) 59% for National candidates.

Green: 25% also vote for Green candidate, 57% for Labour candidates.

Maori: 73% also voted for MP candidates, 14% for Labour candidates

NZ First: Only 31% voted for NZF candidates, 32% for National cands and 20% for Labour cands – suggesting NZF voters are more centre-right.

UFNZ: 34% voted for UFNZ candidates, 16% for Labour cands and 40% for National cands.

No tag for this post.

E9 results already online

October 13th, 2005 at 10:56 am by David Farrar

The Chief Electoral Office has done very well, and already has the E9 results of the election online. You used to have to wait months for these.

The polling place info will be of most interest to candidates and MPs. The split vote statistics are not up yet though.

They do have the turnout statistics though. Top was Wellington Central on 86.58% followed by Banks Peninsula on 86.07%. Bottom was Tamaki Makaurau on 65.74%.

No tag for this post.

Party and Electorate Votes

October 11th, 2005 at 5:57 am by David Farrar

An article in the Dominion Post asserts that National lost the election because its local candidates were more popular than the party.

Ir is true that National got 40.4% of the electorate vote and only 39.1% of the party vote, but it is simplistic and wrong (in my opinion) to paint this as a reason they lost.

The party vote is generally a contest between eight parties while most electorate contests are between just two candidates. Thus it is quite normal and ordinary for a large party to have a higher electorate vote than party vote. Now if it is 10% higher as National did in 2002 that is a problem, but a 1.3% difference is not a big deal. You can not assume that those people were potential National party voters – they may be minor party supporters doing the sensible thing and not wasting their electorate vote.

What is unusual is that Labour did have less electorate votes than party votes – 40.4% to 41.1%. In 34 seats they got more electorate votes than party votes, but got less in 35 seats. However if you remove the seven Maori seats and the four party leader seats of Tauranga, Epsom, OB and Wigram you find in fact Labour elsewhere got 10,874 more electorate votes than party votes.

Another factor is exceptional candidates can attract wide cross-party support. Nick Smith in Nelson gets 8,000 or so more candidate votes than party votes. Now most of them are never going to vote National, they just think Nick is a good local MP.

No tag for this post.

Election Analysis

October 11th, 2005 at 12:19 am by David Farrar

After the final results came out, I did a reasonably comprehensive analysis of them, which I sent to the National MPs.

It seems to have circulated reasonably widely as Richard Prebble rang me yesterday to say he had a copy of it and wanted to refer to it in his weekly e-mail as “the best analysis we have seen of the election”.

All the information is based on the public 2002 and 2005 results, so I had no problems with that (while somewhat surprised it had got beyond National), so a copy in pdf form is now on the ACT website.

No tag for this post.

Electorates Contested

October 3rd, 2005 at 12:17 am by David Farrar

Just been looking at the final results and it is interesting to observe that in the seven Maori seats, only one of them had more than two candidates standing from the eight parliamentary parties. In six of them it was simply Maori Party vs Labour with token candidates from Destiny and the odd Independent.

That got me thinking about how many seats, did each party contest. They used to all pretty much contest every seat. This time it was:

Labour 69 (all)
National 62 (all bar Maori)
United Future 62 (all bar Maori)
ACT 56
Progressive 52
Green 52
Maori 42
NZ First 40
Destiny 39

No tag for this post.

Winners and Losers

October 1st, 2005 at 8:48 pm by David Farrar

Okay now we have final results, who are the winners and losers amongst the party leaders.


Helen Clark. Never mind that it will be tougher to govern – that is preferable to not governing. She has her precious third term, and a secure legacy.

Pita Sharples. Beat John Tamihere (for which Labour will be indefinitely grateful) and has become a full co-leader with Tariana. They will both be very happy with where they are, and will be planning to grab the other three Maori seats in 2007. Actually by then there may be nine Maori seats up for grabs!

Major Loser

Winston Peters. He lost half his Caucus and his seat. Even worse he was looking for a while to be capable of getting 15% and becoming the major third party. And all wounds were self inflicted.

Medium Losers

Peter Dunne. Only three MPs was pretty much wose case scenario. He has spent a decade gobbling up minor parties (at last count around nine of them) to become a centrist party like the German Free Democrats. Hard to see how to bounce back well from this.

The Greens. They lost a third of their caucus, including possibly their most identifiable MP. They are unlikely to be in Cabinet and, if not, merely one of four minor supporting parties.

Jim Anderton. Losing Matt Robson means the party dies with Jim. It has no future.

Minor Losers

Don Brash. Lost an election, and will be kicking himself somewhat as it arguably certainly could have been won. Will have to face constant agre-related speculation about his leadership for the next 18 months, but if he rides that out and National takes a lead in the polls no-one will care about his age. Achieving an 18% growth in the party vote and winning ten more electorate seats will keep him as a revered leader for some time.

Rodney Hide. In one sense a electoral disaster as they lost a bigger proportion of Caucus than any other party, but by keeping ACT in Parliament at all, Rodney will be fairly happy. And holding Epsom will give them the security of not worrying every poll about whether they are over 5%.

No tag for this post.

Brash concedes

October 1st, 2005 at 12:45 pm by David Farrar

Heh back on the 20th I blogged in my “What I would do if I was …” post that Don should “concede the election within an hour or so of the final count”.

Don conceded around an hour after the 11 am results 🙂

Now we just need Don to confirm that he will stay on for the next election. There is absolutely no mood for change (well not from Earls Court, London anyway 🙂 and while I think it is silly to predict the Government will collapse after a year etc, it is going to have a very difficult job passing laws, and is already stained by corruption allegations.

The challenge for National is not just to win the next election, but to demolish Labour so that they take several terms to recover.

UPDATE: Don has confirmed he is staying on. Excellent.

No tag for this post.

Analysis of Special Votes

October 1st, 2005 at 12:29 pm by David Farrar

Okay let

No tag for this post.

Final Results

October 1st, 2005 at 11:47 am by David Farrar

The final results are in, and the Maori Party has gained an extra seat at the expense of National. The actual effect is to reduce their overhang, so Parliament reduces from 122 to 121 with National losing a seat.

Commisserations to Katrina Shanks who was an MP-elect for two weeks. It must be gutting to be so close, and a real shame Wellington have a third National MP.

Also commisserations to Nandor who didn’te make it back, as many were picking.

No changes to electorates on specials with small majorities increasing a bit. Clarkson beat Peters by 730 in the end. A great result.

So Parliament is now:

Labour 50
National 48
NZ First 7
Green 6
Maori 3
United Future 3
Progressive 1

Total 121

61 seats is a Government as that would make votes 61 to 60. Even if National could get NZ First and United Future to support them that is only 60/121 so Helen Clark will be forming the Government, and I expect very soon.

Labour/Progressive is 51 seats. Add on chief poodles the Greens on supply and confidence and they have 57 seats.

Now if NZ First do abstain then each s&c vote will have 114 votes and need 58 votes to pass. They are still one short. So they do need Maori Party or United Future to formally pledge support. Helen will not be pleased it was Maori Party instead of Greens or Labour who picked up a seat off National. Either Maori Party will also abstain on s&c votes (meaning one then needs 56 votes out of 110) or either they or United Future will agree to vote for the Government.

Goes without saying that Winston is quite capable of changing his mind on supply and confidence abstentions. Relying on Winston to stay in office is always a bad thing.

Now actually passing legislation is another issue. NZ First will not abstain on that. You need 61 votes so ways Labour can pass votes (on bills National and ACT opposse) is:

Labour/Prog/Green/Maori = 61
Labour/Prog/Green/NZF = 64
Labour/Prog/NZF/Maori = 62
Labour/Prog/NZF/UFNZ = 61

Basically Labour/Prog always need either Greens or NZ First to vote with them. They are stuck if they can’t get ooe of those two. If they can get both they are sweet.

NZ First is slightly mopre valuable than the Greens. With NZF in favour you can make 61 with UFNZ”s three seats. But if you only have the Greens, then you need the Maori Party four seats as the three from UFNZ is not enough.

So what does Clark have to do. Well if I was her I would sign up United Future on supply and confidence and have NZ First and Maori Party abstain.

Then for actual bills, you need to either get Greens and Maori Party to both vote for them (stuff like handing money out) or you need NZ First and United Future (stuff like tougher law & order).

No tag for this post.

Rodney strikes back!

September 24th, 2005 at 8:12 am by David Farrar

Rodney has on his blog an e-mail from John Armstrong agreeing that he/the media should not have discounted the Roy Morgan poll showing Rodney in the lead.

I think it speaks volumes that John is willing to admit when a mistake has been made. I personally regard him as one of the most respected commentators.

Rodney has also been having some fun highlighting Aaron’s predictions.

No tag for this post.

Scoop’s Specials Calculator

September 22nd, 2005 at 7:07 am by David Farrar

Sccop has a nifty specials calculator done by Douglas Bagnall.

Heh if 100% of the specials are valid, and National wins 100% of them (where are Diebold voting machines when you need them) then National has 58 seats 🙂

No tag for this post.

Electoral Map

September 22nd, 2005 at 6:55 am by David Farrar

No Right Turn has a useful map of red and bue electorates. Unlike the US though blue here signifies the good guys.

It shows quite starkly how Labour has been reduced to an urban based party, apart from the geothermal region and the West Coast.

No tag for this post.


September 20th, 2005 at 7:02 pm by David Farrar

Rodney Hide makes the point that the four basically centre right parties won 1,015,689 votes – which is 14,535 more than the four leftwing parties who got 1,001,154.

No tag for this post.

Gay MPs

September 19th, 2005 at 6:38 pm by David Farrar

Someone asked if I would also cover the number of gay MPs, as I had done women, Maori and Muslims. Why not.

First of all this is just the list of openly gay or lesbian (or transgender) MPs. I do not want, and indeed will ban anyone who posts speculation about who they think is secretly gay. I know every rumour there is, and if they were all true 45% of Parliament would be gay it seems.

The numbers have increased from three to five. Joining Chris Carter, Georgina Beyer and Tim Barnett are Maryan Street (L) and Chris Finlayson (N).

Maryan Street is NZ’s first openly Lesbian MP. Marilyn Waring was outed as an MP, but was not widely known.

No tag for this post.

Votes per MP

September 19th, 2005 at 6:00 pm by David Farrar

I’ve done a quick analysis of how many votes each party needed to get an MP. In descending order they are:

Progressive 24,624
United 18,535
Green 17,270
NZ First 17,048
Labour 16,649
National 16,524
ACT 15,537
Maori 10,122

Could almost call it a Maori Party gerrymander as the overhang means their votes count almost twice as much as the other parties.

Now you could claim that is far enough won the electorate vote in four electorates. Well yes they did, but the number of votes cast in each Maori seat is only 16,000 – less than half the average in general seats.

No tag for this post.

Muslim MPs

September 19th, 2005 at 5:51 pm by David Farrar

Technically Parliament now has two Muslim MPs.

No tag for this post.

Getting it so wrong in Epsom

September 19th, 2005 at 4:21 pm by David Farrar

Looking in NZ has a useful summary of all the incorrect predictions in Epsom.

This was not a minor issue as certainly it is logical that ACT would have got more list votes if the media had not universally claimed Hide could not win Epsom.

Considering how volatile the electorate is, I am very surprised that no public polls were done in Epsom in the last week.

No tag for this post.

The Green problem

September 19th, 2005 at 8:27 am by David Farrar

I am surprised that so few media [I am told in fact the NZ Herald has focused on this quite a bit, and National Radio also] have focused on explicit statements from Unite Future and NZ First that they will not support a Government which has the Greens in them. Dunne repeated that yesterday, which got publicity but the NZ First statement has been so unreported that I wondered if I was dreaming it.

But no here on Scoop is the Greens’ response to it on the 7th of September. In words they may regret they said “We’re grateful with Winston Peters for laying down a bottom line that he would not support Labour if in coalition with the Greens”.

The four parties of the left have only 61 out of 122 seats. Unless one of those parties picks up a seat on specials, Labour will not be able to do a coalition with the Greens.

No tag for this post.

Maori MPs

September 18th, 2005 at 3:20 pm by David Farrar

Only increased 20 MPs to 21 MPs as NZ First lost so many MPs, many Maori.

21/122 MPs is 17.2% of Parliament, which compares to 12% of the adult population.

The breakdown by party is:

MAP 4/4 100%
NZF 3/7 43%
LAB 10/50 20%
GRE 1/6 17%
NAT 3/49 6%
ACT 0/2 0%
UNF 0/3 0%
JAP 0/1 0%

Georgina te Heuheu is joined in National by Tau Henare and Paula Bennett.

No tag for this post.