Election 2014 – the final count (up)

While we wait for final booth counts from polling day, we can analyse how the Green Party did in the specials and look at electorate level data.

First off – special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There were 333,757 of these votes – 13.6 percent of the total vote counted. We got 15.4 percent of specials, meaning a 14th Green MP in Parliament, Steffan Browning.

National got 6 percent less in the specials than it got on the night. New Zealand First and the Conservatives also did not fare particularly well.

Looking at electorate results, Wellington Central (James Shaw), Rongotai (Russel Norman), Dunedin North (Metiria Turei), Auckland Central (Denise Roche) and Mt Albert (Jeanette Elley) accounted for the highest proportion of Green Party votes. All broke 20 percent.

We achieved over 10 percent in a further 25 electorates and these weren’t just urban electorates. West Coast-Tasman and Northland were, for example, in this bracket.

We came second in the Party vote in Wellington Central, Auckland Central, Te Tai Tonga and Helensville.

In Helensville, Kennedy Graham also came second in the candidate vote (Catherine Delahunty in the Coromandel, and Peter Hill in Selwyn were other Green candidates who came second in their electorates). Overall the Green Party came 2nd or 3rd in over half of all electorates.

In the Māori seats, Te Tai Tonga got the highest Green percentage with 16.4 percent, Te Tai Hauāuru, Tāmaki Makaurau and Ikaroa-Rāwhiti also all got over 10 percent, and in the lowest Māori electorate Waiariki we still got 8 percent.

While National got a majority of party votes in all but 11 electorates, there were 22 electorates where Labour and the Greens combined beat National.

We’ll leave off comparing this election’s results against the previous until the booth level data comes out – given the large impact that boundary changes have played in some of the biggest movers.

15 Comments Posted

  1. Labour has to work with the rest of the left. It, or we, must present an opposition government in waiting, and we all have to make clear the failings of the policies of National for our country in the long run.

  2. There is another observation I should make and wish I didn’t have to… It is a bill that has cost Labour support in the Pacifica community and made US easy targets for assertions of extremism that have no real basis in our policies.

    Shortly before the vote on the anti-smacking bill I predicted that we’d be damaged goods for a decade or more, and that a huge amount of our hard-won political capital was being expended for no good reason given that a more accurate bill was clearly possible (you can find it somewhere in the archives where Sapient and I went over the possibilities), that would have accomplished the same thing. It would have passed by acclamation.

    I really wish I weren’t right so damned often sometimes.

    For all the people calling for Greens to focus just on the environment, how much of that sentiment of yours would there be had that single bill been done differently?

    Just asking.

  3. I think you can liken what is happening to grieving after death. At first there is emotion, including disbelief, then anger, then adaption. The processes of change must happen as Peak Oil and weather intensity will continue. Greens might have to get into more in your face campaigning. G20 countries have just announced billions of spend on new infrastructure, where does John Key get is original ideas for stimulating growth from?? This will be more roads etc. in the denial countries but it is a good opportunity to question why it isn’t going into alternatives, and the enlightened will be already onto that. I think more roading is the idiots trying to get comfort for what they don’t understand by doing the same, or protecting there present bad investments.
    The volatile money and stock markets will get shakier as they try to shift direction, and the tax payer will get sick of propping them up. We just have to keep up the message there is a peaceful way out of this.
    Maybe we need to shift our efforts to the local body elections and point out the funding that local bodies need could be capital gains or bigger rates with less going to central government roading tax, or Reserve Bank input instead of loans.

    More people are getting the message, maybe figures are needed to show that Capital tax, and greater tax on the wealthy negates the need for raising retirement age?? The increase of farms and businesses folding because of dairying can be used to push home the responsibility of banks in artificially increasing the values to cause this – call to make banks liable for half the losses in failure.

    Have a break first, and Gareth Morgans blog is a space to debate the economics, another 5% possibility of those who see themselves as blue green coming around. Maybe we need to convince them to get involved with the local body election as a way to improving things.

  4. When the media excludes the Greens from debates at which Key is permitted to attack them, they become culpable in this. That was the case and there was no effective ability to respond.

    When the media fails to demand to know WHAT it is that Winston thinks of as “extreme”, they become culpable.

    Of a certainty though, this one was Labour’s loss. They had the power, early on, to make the case for a united Left and make it properly and they failed. They could have made the Green’s a part of the debate and they failed. They had the power to leave Hone’ alone and let Internet-Mana have a voice instead of a void. They didn’t. They had the ability to discuss what is WRONG with the way the country is being run, and they did not.

    So most New Zealanders, thinking everything is going OK, voted for the status quo, voted to avoid change even though that change is necessary and by avoiding it now it will be more painful when it arrives.

    Absolutely the bulk of the failing is with Labour, but the media participated in the problem, contributed to it, and the failings you observe, the fascination with trivia, is in fact a further part of the problem with the media. The problems that the government doesn’t want us to look at… it is the media’s role to look at them and to make them clear. When it fails we become more and more poorly informed and… obsess over trivia. THIS is not an accident.


  5. BJ,

    There was no effective right of reply and the media not only stood for it, it encouraged it….

    Whilst there is an infinite volume of media available, the ability of the voter to take in the sheer volume of media generated is “for better or worse” definitely finite. We can take in just so much before turning into either a zombie or one of the 600K who don’t bother to vote.

    And as the media intake level reaches maximum personal threshold the “squeaky wheel l gets the oil” scenario sets in.

    I would say that the Internet/Mana party conniptions took over the majority of peoples interest in political messages and when that collapsed (for more wasted media space on that Monday night) the Labour party did a pretty good job of stuffing up the left message media space with its stumbling and mumbling increased taxation meme (the CGT debacle will ensure it wont see the light of day for a very long time).

    I really don’t think you can blame the media for the lack of traction in disseminating Green policies.

    You had a “perfect storm” of woeful Internet/Mana and Labour policies plus personalities overriding any “worthwhile” Green party policy.

    And when National announced farm watercourse fencing as a funded policy, the Greens voice simply had no resonance anymore. The National party promoted one of the Greens primary voting policies.

    So why would anyone want to intake any Green media releases?

    The Greens have another fundamental problem in that whilst you may rally against the message that “vote Labour get Greens” the Greens only belatedly, halfheartedly and with little conviction said it would work with National.

    Without another major party to work with the Greens are ALWAYS going to be reliant on Labour (or a possible splinter group from Labour when it self destructs shortly) to make the treasury benches.

    And that is clearly understood by the voters. No matter how much the Greens or Labour postulate, it is in the voters minds a clear and defined fact. That National advert was a gem and will no doubt be used again and again.

    So the way forward for the Greens?

    My personal preference is for a far more pragmatic approach to environmental and social issues (advocate for the do-able and financial possible) across the political spectrum.

    However I would see the current Green voters be against that so in future there wont be any increase in the 10% vote and the Greens totally reliance on the Labour left splinters.

    As for media outlets, why has frogblog stagnated into a barely visited enclave? Where is the vitality gone? Is it symptomatic of the Greens cause? Flat and listless?

  6. MMP is not the problem. It is the media and the money that are the problem.


    Here we allowed Key and National to run against the Green Party and Green Policies as interpreted for everyone by Key and National. There was no effective right of reply and the media not only stood for it, it encouraged it…. and Labour ran away from its association with the Greens, which made a dumb ad with people rowing in different directions actually make sense.

    It is not enough for us to have our own house in order. We have to be our brother’s keeper as well? Key and National and some media pundits are going to go right on imagining a “mandate” unless the difference gets explained to them.

    A “Mandate” is a referendum on a single issue. Governments have ignored them on several occasions now, and then claimed a mandate based on their overall popularity in the elections… or among MP’s. There are “more stupid” things in most democracies, but that one is quite enough to go on with.


  7. How come people just forget about the climate when they go voting? I can’t understand it. I’m Swedish and we just had an election. The green party in sweden got 6.7% of the votes. Hope you guys are doing better! 🙂

  8. Is there anything in the special vote statistics that distinguishes between those cast in New Zealand and those cast overseas?
    I would be very curious to see whether the claims I have seen that overseas voters disproportionally vote for the Green Party are true. The person who told me this, an expert politics watcher, couldn’t show me any numbers but still claimed it was true.

  9. Hard to say RJ, but I think that you have a point. The Greens are not numerous out there and it is darned difficult to get someone willing to “tilt at windmills” out there. I moved back to Wellington from the Waikato… and only just now became a citizen, or I might have considered signing up for the job.

    Thankless or no, we have to put the message out there and put it out seriously. The antipathy of farmers in general (and this is not just here but globally) to the notion of “global warming” and the idea of doing something about it, is pretty negative. Their view of Greens in general tends to follow that same path. That makes any run in a place like Waikato a bit Quixotic. OTOH… there is NO publicity or message getting out out there unless the run is made.

    I think that you are right, that this does degrade our rural vote, and when I was in Waikato I found more than a few agreeable souls door-knocking in Leamington. Thing is I’m not there any more.

    Sure, the farming has a role in the warming… some alteration of CO2 curves started when farming started several thousands of years ago… but it really kicked off in the last 200… but there aren’t a lot of “easy” ways to alter that… and probably not a lot of reason to make it harder to farm. In the longer run the CH4 production is closed loop. Grass->Cow->Methane->C02->Grass, and we as a society were OK with levels we had even two decades ago. Not sure all my peers would agree, but THIS Green does not see the warming issue being solved by making life harder on the farm.

    Getting the party to understand that and make policy around it might help us too, but in the end you have to have “boots on the ground”… and as you observed, we did not.

    Want to run as a Green? I hear there’s an opening in Pukekohe for someone. 🙂

    Only costs $15 to join the party if you aren’t already a member.

  10. Firstly National vote went down a fraction – virtually stayed the same 1 more seat
    Greens went down a fraction – virtually stayed the same the same 14 seats
    NZ First went up the most 3 seats more
    The other parties to go up but missing the 5% threshold or no electoral seat Conservatives, Mana, Other small parties. Maybe a problem with thresholds and their distortions.
    This indicates that there was a move from Labour and Nationals support parties to Conservative and Winstone – maybe really a shift to the centre and if the Greens stayed hardly moving then they are also part of that process. Extra voters this election came from Right supporters but Maori votes showed a move from the Maori party back to Labour, and Mana picked up some of the extra voters. Labour won mainly because of an equal Flavell/Harawira split giving Labour the edge.
    This cannot be seen as a big loss for the Greens unless you say the same for National – it is little change for both parties, both downward.
    Winstone and Colin Craig don’t talk Capital gains though Colin looks slightly less definitive. It seems disatisfaction with Capital gains may be a stumbler. Also Labours pension shift for all the boomers, a look at this with better taxing is needed. Economic education in General would be a good thing coming from the Greens.
    Some of the move away to Winstone and Colin would have been the state of fair play and the privacy issues but maybe all that revelation should have happened earlier for people to digest before the policy consideration.
    If right means individual freedom and responsibility and the left means community involvement then the middle balance can only be achieved by educating about the realities and regulating when there is a clear indication of harm occuring – something the Greens probably agree on but doesn’t say enough. The Greens are in the house so can be active putting the breaks on National where possible and all the support helps.
    A small shift to Green next time of 2-3%+ will change things a lot – pity not now, but??

  11. The numbers are only numbers as far as they go. What is really needed are some conclusions that the numbers support. For example, I wonder to what extent not stand candidates in all electorates was a factor?

    Here in Pukekohe, the Greens did not have a candidate in either the Hunua nor Waikato electorates. Was the abysmal Green vote here a consequence of not standing candidates, or were no candidate stood because these are strong National areas? I think that the Green vote suffered because there was no local candidate arguing Green policies.

  12. As usual, & for some reason I don’t understand, many Green & Labour party voters again voted for their respective electoral candidates in the Epsom electorate. Surely they realise by now that if they’d given their electorate vote to the National party candidate, there would no longer be an ACT MP in parliament.

    Perhaps what is required is an explanation to party members, through these Frog Blogs, that voting strategically isn’t disloyalty – it’s simply a logical way ensure the ACT party has no MPs.

    Although not a member of the Labour party, I’m emailing a similar message to Labour HQs.

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