The Dim-Post

March 9, 2011

Botany results

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 6:39 am

John Armstrong on Botany:

The net result is: Labour increased its share of the candidate vote in the seat from 21 per cent in 2008 to 28 per cent on Saturday.

Moreover, it did so in the face of a number of handicaps – notably the party’s candidate, Michael Wood, committing one of politics’ great sins early on by saying he would not win the seat.

At a minimum, the result boils down to a psychological victory for Labour, one which Goff wasted no time milking by staging a lunch-time photo-opportunity yesterday at a cafe in Botany town centre.

His claim the result is a “significant swing” against the Government ignores National having won about the same share of the vote as it did in 2008.

Surely most of this swing is about the Greens failing to register, and Labour picking up the majority of the Green vote which was around 4% in the last election. Still, it was an FPP election in a safe seat – there was basically no point in Labour supporters turning out, so holding your share of the vote is actually pretty impressive.

The chart below shows the percentage votes by polling booth in Botany, with the results for National, Labour and the New Citizen Party. (No Greens in this election, ACT did too poorly to chart).

So the big surprise is how well the New Citizen Party did. This is a centrist party representing Chinese New Zealanders and they won 10% of the vote even though they have no representation in Parliament. I guess the message there is that ethnicity is a big deal in electoral politics.

The second thing to note is that Labour did poorly in a majority of the polling booths but in three of them they won massive majorities. I suspect they didn’t even campaign in most of the electorate but ran an intensive GOTV campaign in key areas. This is basically how they won Mana and it’s obviously their strategy for the election in November.


  1. Why the assumption that Green voters would turn out and vote Labour? You’re not the only one making it, but I can’t see why green voters wouldn’t just stay home, like many of them do in generals come to think of it.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — March 9, 2011 @ 7:14 am

  2. Most Green voters are soft Labour voters. It caused them huge problems under Labour, when the Greens were in opposition but most of their voters supported the government.

    Comment by danylmc — March 9, 2011 @ 7:47 am

  3. I was not so surprised at the New Citizen Party percentage vote. Parts of the Botany electorate encompass Howick, colloquially called ‘Chowick’.

    My work colleague from a more affluent part of Botany had not seen any candidate and was not impressed at all with Jamie-lee from his old associations with Dick Quax and the personal campaign against Mayor Brown. In her words wit ha shrug ‘there is no one else to vote for’. She also was disappointed that there will be another local body election and associated extra cost to the new Auckland Council because Jamie-lee will resign, and as a rate payer was not impressed.

    Mind you on any given Saturday there are probably more than 15,000 voters at the Botany Town Shopping (mall) Centre. 66% of eligible voters didn’t bother.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — March 9, 2011 @ 7:52 am

  4. I think the news is indeed the GOTV from Labour. I am picking an historic low turnout this November. My reasons for this are general voter apathy – a lot of voters don’t think National have delivered on the economy, can’t see any reason to vote Labour and Winston is just to damn discredited and hated by media opinion makers for them to consider NZ First, a feeling that National are going to romp home anyway so why bother voting for Key as his his victory is guaranteed and the distraction of the RWC.

    The talking heads of the media always proclaim a low turn out to be to National’s advantage, but I am not so sure. Labour has an excellent on the ground organisation in the main centres and if it can maximise it’s vote in the face of 75% or less total vote that could really impact on the overall result.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 9, 2011 @ 8:02 am

  5. Oh the NCP – they are little more than Beijing’s stooges trying to extend the PRC’s influence by acting as a conduit for the Chinese government to have an excuse to meddle in this country’s internal affairs.

    Given that most white and Maori New Zealanders only tolerate rather than embrace Chinese migrants any hint the NCP might do well could lead to some very interesting political times.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 9, 2011 @ 8:16 am

  6. I get that Green voters prefer L to N, I’m just questioning the assumption that they turned out in this by-election in any numbers worth mentioning.

    I probably wouldn’t have.

    Most greens will vote labour if they ‘fucking well must to keep a tory out’, sure, but that’s not the case in botany, so meh.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — March 9, 2011 @ 8:32 am

  7. I havent looked in detail but the three booths where Labour did well look to be ‘over the road’ towards Manukau, typically a Labour stronghold. The other booths are (mostly) in the richer areas.

    What is interesting is where Labour did well turn out was higher which sort of proves my point that that its always worth having a vote, even if your guy is expected to get his arse kicked.

    Comment by Justin — March 9, 2011 @ 9:33 am

  8. I guess the message there is that ethnicity is a big deal in electoral politics.

    Or rather, language is. I know of many Chinese-speaking voters who listen(ed) to Pansy Wong on the radio, but have never heard Key or Goff talking to Geoff Robinson or Mike Hosking.

    So National desperately need a replacement for Wong, ranked high on the list. Irony alert: if National lose votes to a “Chinese” party, it could mean Winston gets a phone call on election night.

    Comment by sammy — March 9, 2011 @ 10:09 am

  9. Given the really low turnout it’s very easy to read too much into these results. Even more so given how the ACT and Labour candidates placed both feet in their mouths and then shot themselves in the feet.

    Swing voters probably stayed away in droves.

    Comment by Richard — March 9, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

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