The interactive maps of the election results hosted on Scoop are a highly addictive tool to play around with. A map that I found particularly interesting runs a comparison of how Labour & Greens did in 2008 and 2011, with how National & Act did in the last two elections. Blue indicates the electorates in which the party vote shifted towards National & Act (obviously, without exception, predominantly to National) and red indicates electorate where the party vote shifted towards Labour and the Greens: You can see that pretty much the entire country shifted, to a great or lesser extent, towards National/Act. Some places more than others of course. Christchurch in particular seems to be an area where voters have shifted to the right over the past three years.

However, Auckland stands out as quite different to the rest of the country – as particularly the west and south of Auckland shifted back quite a lot to Labour & Greens compared to the 2008 results. There was a 9.8% swing to Labour/Greens in Manukau East, 8.8% in Manurewa, 7.1% in Mt Roskill, 6.7% in Mangere and even 4.4% in the National stronghold of Hunua. I’m not quite sure what’s behind this. Changing demographics? Dissatisfaction with the Super City? Perhaps something to do with transport?

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  1. So there’s a clear description of Labour’s problem. Do they focus on their base in Auckland or move back towards the centre and seek to reach out to those probably more conservative voters in other regions. For example those NZF voters who did want to vote National but who didn’t want to vote Labour or Green either?

    Strategically I think it is time for them to place themselves clearly to the centre of the Greens. Time to fully accept that any future Labour government will be in coalition with them. This would be difficult for many in the party as policy is generally a matter of conviction rather than strategy, what they genuinely believe is best for the country rather than what will get them into power. But then politics is no place for the naive.

    1. Personally I think the Greens may be better off placing themselves in the centre. Many centre right voters may be more likely to give the Greens a go than to shift to Labour. If the Greens get big enough then they could end up always being needed to form a government.

      Just a thought.

      1. I agree, I know a lot of people who traditionally vote National and would like to vote green as they support the environmental aspects of their policies but who refuse to vote for them because of their social policies and they would never vote for Labour. If the greens could push more to the centre than labour then they probably have a good chance of picking up some of those that voted National this time.

        1. Matt L, You mean even National supporters can see through the Nationals environment policy too?

          Ever read the “Blue Greens” manifesto? As an exercise of doublespeak it should be studied in English Lit classes.

      2. Er, do you think EVERYONE should place themselves in the centre? That just narrows the spectrum. The Greens are an alternative and should place themselves as such.

        Although if the Greens did explicitly go blue-green that would leave no-one to their left but the Mana Party, which would probably give Hone, Sue and the team another 5% of the vote.

        1. If the greens place themselves at the centre of the traditional left/right axis they can still be alternative on both the liberal/authoritarian axis, and the environmental/(dont care) axis.

          Just like in science where you shouldnt go changing more than one variable at a time, the greens would be better off with a more pure signal of environmentalism*, that isnt mixed up with hard-left ideology. Alternatively another party could potentially fill that gap in the market, although they would be economically right of centre to counter-balance the greens.

          *Actually at the moment the do have a fairly pure signal to those who arent particularly engaged in politics. The people close to me who voted Green were certainly not interested in (or aware of) their maori sovereignty, foreign relations, command-economy policies (as examples).

        2. If by free-market capitalism you mean a complete absence of regulation, then no it does not assume that at all. That is not the position of the centre of NZ politics, not even the right of NZ politics.

  2. anecdotally it is bc a high proportion of low income pacific island nzers who live in south and west Auckland vote labour. whether that is actually true i don’t know

  3. Maybe south and west Auckland have been hit the hardest by National’s policies like the GST rise. Or maybe, indeed it is as you suppose, it is transport related. The red matches well by which electorates would benefit most from the rail link (see I leaned my lesson there, not calling it a loop)

    Anyway good analysis. I started writing a blog post to support the idea of using STV instead of FPP for electoral seats, and made a similar coloured map where the combined “left” vote outweighed the “right”. There were only 3 or 4 seats that would have changed, so it was a pointless exercise. So thank goodness for MMP. It is the Party Vote that really matters. MMP means fewer people are disenfranchised and politics is like sex where consensus is better than one sided domination.

    As for where the Greens should position themselves – I say the clever ideas part of the progressive side of politics. All that left, centre, right spectrum stuff doesn’t matter. I view them as clever, which is easy to do on transport policy, and it is pretty damn easy to view National as thick on the same. I don’t think that wanting a better PT system is particularly left or right. It’s smart versus dumb.

    As I said on my blog, just by definition 50% of people are below average. That’s also damned close to the combined party vote of National and ACT, and, oh my, that’s a strong correlation between those two 50 percents. 🙂

  4. Speaking of results, I see some plum in her mouth toff from the shore (is that an oxymoron?) has decided she is an expert on transport policy and a bigger mandate the Len Brown to boot…

    1. I see some genuine Kiwi bloke from the West Coast has also decided he is an expert on transport policy…

      “We have seen a huge amount of funding, especially roading, go into the main cities at the expense of the regions. We have to make sure they get their share.”

      Obviously he doesn’t realise that roads and transport infrastructure in regional NZ is fine already, that improvements in the regions would be wasted on tourists, and that Auckland should get most of the money because that is where population growth will be.

      1. If he is talking of his own region he should be mindful of getting what he asks for. West Coast is allocated $110.8m from NZTA’s programme for 2009-2012, while on a population basis it should only get $58.23m.

    2. That’ll be the Minister for Potted Colour, or Herbaceous Borders…. one the two idiot North Shore MPs Maggie Barry, taking the ignorant and unhelpful line that nothing that if it isn’t on the Shore it’s evil….

      Oh and the other genius? New Zealand First’s very own Andrew Williams

    3. The morning after National’s resounding victory she sent a strong message to Auckland mayor Len Brown, saying there would be a CBD rail link before a second harbour crossing “over our dead bodies”.

      Throw herself off a bridge or throw herself in front of a train?

      What an incredibly stupid thing for the silly biddy to say.

    4. Amongst other things I hope she doesn’t hold any role requiring an accurate grasp of figures. Pike River, should it be able to be mined again, predicts output of around 17m tonnes of coal. At current prices that’s somewhere around US$4b. So out by a factor of 5.

  5. Maggie Barry – committed to reviving parochialism in New Zealands largest city so its more like the rest of the country…

  6. Was the Auckland shift really to Labour, or was it more to the Greens? I know quite a few folk who voted strategically, supporting the National candidate, but gaving their party vote to the Greens.

    1. Labour did increase their support in Mangere, Manukau East, Manurewa and Mt Roskill. The only electorates in the whole country where their share of the party vote went up from 2008.

  7. Maggie Barry: “She attacked those who have labelled it the “holiday highway”. “I refuse to use the `H’ word. It will be an umbilical cord for the far north and its economy””

    Maggie, the Holiday Highway goes nowhere near the Far North; it goes to Wellsford, which is halfway to Whangarei. This is pretty elementary.

    1. How about NZ First? Their local Rodney candidate Tracey Martin, who has a reputation locally as being a very capable Local Board member and was a strong supporter of the Puhoi to Wellsford RoN,is now presumably bound to be the voice of reason—‘New Zealand First policy is to scrap the RoNS project and free up massive financial resources for public transport in both metropolitan and provincial areas’ to quote from their own policy. So Winston should certainly be in opposition in this area at least.

  8. Whoops, posted too early. Meant to finish with a sarcastic point about Wellsford (which is in Auckland region) not even being in Northland, let alone the Far North.

    And this woman is an MP now? Heck.

    1. Yes exactly.

      My extended family hails from Whangarei and get infuriated when Whangarei is refered to as the “far north”. Its still a good 300 clicks to Cape Reinga.

      I guess we can conclude the minor celebrities do not make good politicians.

  9. “The North” to a silver spoon Tory means “any million dollar holiday home between Omaha and Mangawhai Heads”. Anywhere further North than that has Maori radicals and poverty written all over their mental maps.

  10. A continuation of the work Labour did enrolling the Pacific community at the last election?

    Did the west and central areas go Green instead of Labour? Can’t get the interactive maps to work, so can’t check that out. 🙁

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