Sue Kedgley
Wellington local body cliff-hanger

I could hardly believe it, when the Returning Officer read out the figures—Celia Wade Brown was only 40 votes behind incumbent Mayor Kerry Prendergast!

Kerry looked mortified, Celia looked stunned, and the crowd that had gathered in the Wellington Council foyer looked amazed—because there had been no hint, in the media, that the election was other than a shoo-in for Kerry Prendergast.

The Dompost had largely ignored the election, and left voters with the impression that while Celia was a serious challenger, Kerry was a shoo-in. Clearly, they were unaware of the cliff-hanger right under their noses.

Anyway there were great celebrations on Saturday night, as we looked forward to Wellington having its first green-leaning Mayor—an inclusive, grass roots Mayor with a new transport vision and a commitment to working with small business and clean technology.

We were all buoyed by the Auckland election result as well. While Brown was obviously the favourite candidate, I am sure there was an element, in his overwhelming result, of Aucklanders sending a clear signal to Rodney Hide, John key and the government that they hated the way the government had rammed the super-city legislation through without consultation, and the way the government had wiped out eight perfectly well functioning Councils without even consulting voters first.

Hopefully the government will get the message—that if it interferes in local government, and rams legislation through without consultation—there will be a voter backlash.

22 thoughts on “Wellington local body cliff-hanger

  1. Unfortunately I couldn’t vote for Celia (live in Kapiti, work in Wellington) so best I can do is to have my fingers crossed! Quietly confident. Will be wonderful to have a Green mayor in Wellington.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2 (+2)

  2. The smart money has to be on Celia now.

    In General Elections the Greens always do well on the special votes. I haven’t taken much notice of special votes in local elections until now, but note that in the 2007 Wellington City Council election Kerry Prendergast lost the special votes decisively.

    The likelihood is that the same will happen again. People who are dissatisfied with the current regime are much more likely to make the extra effort to cast a special vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3 (+7)

  3. iPredict puts the odds of Celia winning at 72%, Kerry at around 28%. I’d say she’s a sure in. I’m looking forward to the first Green mayor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 (+3)

  4. Thanks, Josh.

    I don’t go near iPredict because:

    a) I hate gambling; and

    b) Farrar is associated with it.

    But thanks for the info.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3 (0)

  5. Oh, but it will get better if the specials show a lead for Celia; all of Kerry’s 1st pref votes will be awarded to the next preferred candidate, so the lead will prolly jump by maybe (optimistically) a third of those who put Kerry as their #1. :-D

    (*Rubs hands gleefully*)

    I cannot think of anyone who more richly deserves to have her nose rubbed in the fact that she has been dismissive and rude to Wellingtonians over the past term of Council than Kerry P; and I look forward to seeing Celia finally get into a steering role.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2 (+4)

  6. This is better than the Commonwealth Games!

    Celia takes the gold!! Greens partying in the streets!! Wellington awash with elderberry wine

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 (+1)

  7. Seems the right are conceding the Wellington Mayoralty to Celia. Farrar has a post up entitled:

    Why Kerry lost

    The impending loss of Kerry Prendergast has some saying that it was due to a bad campaign…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  8. b) Farrar is associated with it.

    Afraid of catching right-wingness from it? He writes a weekly analysis for them, big deal.

    Odds of Wade-Brown winning boosted up to almost 100% but is now down around 60 – what caused that i wonder?!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  9. @StephenR 8:55 AM

    Odds of Wade-Brown winning boosted up to almost 100% but is now down around 60 – what caused that i wonder?

    Almost 200 special votes issued either not returned or disallowed.

    I wasn’t expecting anyone to take the Farrar reference seriously, BTW.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  10. Almost 200 special votes issued either not returned or disallowed.

    Merci.

    I wasn’t expecting anyone to take the Farrar reference seriously, BTW.

    There’s a lot of bitterness on the internets!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  11. Katie wrote: “Oh, but it will get better if the specials show a lead for Celia; all of Kerry’s 1st pref votes will be awarded to the next preferred candidate, so the lead will prolly jump by maybe (optimistically) a third of those who put Kerry as their #1″

    No they won’t. Votes for the other candidates will be transferred to the two frontrunners based on whichever of the two each voter preferred. Voites for Kerry won’t be redistributed unless Jack or Bryan gets ahead of her, and there aren’t enough special votes for that to happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  12. I’m a bit confused. Are the special votes being considered seperately, instead of being added to the general pool and the iterations being done all over again?

    (Go Ceila, walk to victory!)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  13. They are not considered separately. They go into the pool and the STV formula is reapplied with all the votes considered. STV is a fairer system than FPP, because it means those elected have majority support on preferences. But it does take longer to count the votes, which is why we will be waiting until at least tomorrow to see if Celia has got there.

    It appears there are 775 valid special votes. Celia needs to pick up 41 or more votes more than Kerry from these after allocation of the preferences for candidates already ranked 3 or below (since, on the number of special votes cast, none of those candidates can surpass either Celia or Kerry) in order to to win. So, in this instance, it is somewhat academic as to whether it is a separate count or they go into the pool.

    I still think the odds favour Celia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  14. I just hope that Celia gets it, so fingers crossed.

    So if Celia does get she won’t be alone with Brown in Auckland, and Robet Guyton in the South etc. etc.

    It is sending clear signals to the government that the thinking public of Aotearoa definately don’t like secret agenda’s, holding cards to the chest or ultimately fete accomplii eg. Auckland

    Having said that I didn’t like what I was hearing on Sunday; Browns eagerness to co-operate with the government and that everything is going to be all lovey-dovey!!!!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  15. Celia Wade-Brown is the new Mayor of Wellington, beating Kerry Prendergast by 176 votes. Well done!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 (+5)

  16. @robertguyton 8:04 PM

    Yes, clearly big bruv/bro has filled his chunderbucket to the brim tonight over at Kiwiblog.

    But at least some of the punters are learning over there. The thread is far more balanced in response than the one on Len Brown’s election last Saturday.

    Well, maybe they are learning something. Or perhaps many of them are just too traumatised to respond.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  17. I would love to see this be an issue in the debate. The work rrceod. When the average citizen wants a job, we have our resume’ or past work and educational accomplishments to be judged by. We should expect someone who can do more than talk, especially when the talk is empty and does not add up to anything intelligent. Where is the outrage? I don’t get it. The Pres has not made a living talking himself out of situations, he is someone who is a man of action. His accomplishments show that. From education to work rrceod to marriage to faith. Beyond that, the Pres always takes responsibility for decisions he makes – he doesn’t blame his staff. Kerry goes around petulantly blaming his staff when the campaign is judged to have not made a good choice. I just find it hard to believe that America, in the majority doesn’t see this for herself! If not, the only explanation is the average person relies too much on the MSM, and does not make the effort to inform themself & think for themselves. That’s not to say that everyone should be for the Pres. & no one should be for Kerry. That’s is part of the beauty of America is more than one opiniion, and it is intended that we use that sense of competition to better ourselves, not self destruct. But, the core value person in America, I just have a hard time understanding how that person could value Kerry’s very shallow behavior and questionable history with regards to lack of accomplishments. Not to mention the list of things he HAS accomplished. He accomplished aid to the enemy during Vietnam. I believe his rhetoric now gives aid to the enemy, though so far, not as powerfully, as during Vietnam. Because THIS time, America, as a whole is not falling for the rhetoric. Why do we allow someone who never shows up for work to not give an accounting for himslef? Thanks for giving accurate and thought provoking information.Love your blog!

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