Party demographics

party demographics

I’ve analysed the of the caucuses of the four larger parties. Some interesting observations.

Gender

The Greens have the highest proportion of women, and NZ First the lowest. Labour has a higher proportion than National, however Labour’s is lower than in 2011 and National’s is higher.

Labour implemented a rule that 45% of their caucus must be women, and they went backwards – from 42% to 37%. National improved, despite having no rule. Reinforces my view that gender quotas are silly.

Ethnicity

National’s caucus is the most ethnically diverse with European, Maori, Asian and Pasifika MPs. National is slightly over-represented with Maori MPs (it has nine) and European MPs and under-represented with Asian MPs and Pasifika MPs. However doing better than most other parties there.

Labour is over-represented with Maori and Pasifika MPs, and under-represented with European and Asian MPs. They have no Asian MPs at all, which won’t help them with 12% of the adult population.

The Greens are over-represented with Maori MPs, and have no Asian or Pasifika MPs.

NZ First are over-represented with Maori MPs, have their first Asian MP and no Pasifika MPs.

Note that I do not advocate that a caucus should have the exact same proportions of MPs by ethnicity as the NZ adult population. But neither do I think it is a good thing if a caucus consists of MPs from one gender and ethnicity only. A diverse caucus that is more representative of NZ is a stronger caucus – but it doesn’t have to match exact proportions with some sort of quota.

Age

Labour has the largest proportion of under 40s. NZ First the largest proportion of over 60s.

Area

All parties, except National, are under-represented in Auckland.

Labour and Greens are massively over-represented in Wellington.

Greens are massively under-represented in provincial NZ. NZ First has highest provincial representation.

Labour and Greens under-represented in rural NZ and National and NZ First over-represented.

Island

National and Labour spot on for North and South Island. Greens are over-represented in South Island and NZ First over-represented in North Island.

Decade entered

Only NZ First had an MP enter in the 1970s.

3% of National MPs and 9% of Labour MPs entered in the 1980s.

In total 25% of the Labour caucus entered before 2000 compared to 13% of National.

UPDATE: Tracey Martin informs me that NZF MP Darroch Ball is of Tongan and Kiribati descent, so NZ First also have a Pasifika MP.

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