The MMP Referendum

As the result was obvious since election night, I’ve left posting until now. First the results of Part A:

  • Keep MMP 57.8%
  • Change 42.2%

A very clear decision, and as far as I am concerned MMP is here to stay and any future referendum on our basic electoral system should not occur for several decades. The focus should now go on how to improve MMP, and other electoral and constitutional issues.

Part B saw:

  • Informal 33.1%
  • FPP 31.2%
  • SM 16.1%
  • STV 11.2%
  • PV 8.3%

The fact that so few were able to vote in Part B suggest strongly that the educational campaign and associated debate was inadequate. This is not a criticism of the Electoral Commission who had a limited budget, but more the media who failed to broadcast any serious debates on the competing systems. The best debate was on Sky News ironically.

There were other factors such as the RWC and the general election also. Plus the general satisfaction with the Government meant MMP was less of an issue as say in 1999 or 2008. I just think it is a pity we never had a decent debate about the merits of MMP vs STV.

Voters in the Maori seats were the biggest supporters of MMP (which is slightly ironic as under FPP there would be 12, not seven, Maori seats) followed by South Auckland. While not a perfect match, the pattern I see is the more left the electorate the more it supported MMP. Wellington was the next strongest area of support for MMP. Overall only 14 out of 70 electorates voted to change from MMP.

Of the four options, the highest and lowest support for each was:

  • FPP – 58.1% in Clutha-Southland and Invercargill, 24.5% Wellington Central
  • PV – 23.4% Waiariki, 8.4% Selwyn
  • STV – 37.9% Wellington Central, 10.25 Clutha-Southland
  • SM – 35.9% Epsom, 12.6% Ikaroa-Rawhiti

As a keen student of electoral and constitutional law, there are three major opportunities coming up to engage:

  • The review of the 2011 election by the Justice & Electoral Select Committee
  • The review of MMP by the Electoral Commission
  • The constitutional review by the independent panel established as part of the National and Maori Party agreement in 2008

I’ll blog more on my thoughts re the MMP review next year.

Comments (36)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment