Thursday, September 22, 2005

Polarisation: The Stats tell the story

Labour Vote Trend: Labour Held v. Non Labour Held Posted by Picasa

Some extremely interesting trends emerge on analysis of the Election night results.

The primary trend is of increased political polarisation. Simply put, National areas moved to National in proportionately higher numbers than elsewhere, and Labour areas moved away from Labour in proportionately lower numbers than elsewhere.

The overall result saw Labour fall marginally from 41.26% in 2002, to 40.74% on Election night this year, a small swing away from Labour of 1.26%. The polarisation trend can be observed by looking at the Labour vote across Auckland electorates and seeing how this trend was distributed.

The graph above shows three things:
- The flat yellow line in the middle represents the 1.26% fall in the Labour vote across the country.
- The pink line represents Party vote results in Labour-held Auckland seats.
- The blue line represents Party vote results in non-Labour held Auckland seats.

The picture is simple, in all non Labour-held seats, where the Labour vote was weaker to begin with, the swing against Labour has been bigger than the nationwide average. The percentage decrease in the Labour vote in these seats varied between 5.8% (North Shore) and 15.15% (Rodney). Pakuranga was 6.84%.

However, in most Labour held seats, the picture is reversed. In all but two of these seats, the Labour vote held up better than the nationwide average. In four (Mangere, Auckland Central, Manurewa, and Mt Albert) the Labour Party vote actually increased.

The stark differences in Party vote increase/decrease between Labour-held and non Labour-held seats in Auckland confirms the theory of increased political polarisation that has been bandied around in reference to the rural/urban divide.

The trend is also evident within the Pakuranga results.

Our overall Party vote decrease was 6.84%. For administrative purposes the Returning Officer breaks down the booths in the electorate into the geographic sub-groups of Bucklands Beach (worst for Labour historically), Howick (middling), and Pakuranga (best for Labour historically). When the results are broken down into these groups we see:

- Labour vote in Howick down by 14.39%
- Labour vote in Bucklands Beach down by 8.41%
- Labour vote in Pakuranga down by just .79%

If the Pakuranga segment is broken down further to remove the Farm Cove and Sunnyhill booths which are very strong for National, we are left with what we call 'Pakuranga South', the area that has had far and away the strongest Labour vote historically. In this area our vote actually climbed by .91% compared to the nationwide dip of 1.26%. The strongest Labour booths such as Anchorage Park (+2.6%), Elm Park (+4.88%), Pakuranga Heights (+6.02%), and Riverhills (+11.56%) saw good Labour gains.

So internally, the pattern matches the picture across Auckland - National areas solidifying for National, Labour areas solidifying for Labour. Polarisation.

And here's an example of what won this tightest of tight elections for Labour:

Turnout Increase in Pakuranga:

Bucklands Beach (7143-7617) - 6.64%
Howick (7304-7645) - 4.67%
Pakuranga (12649-14110) - 11.55%

Hard graft and on the ground organisation to get out the Labour vote, that's what won it. Despite the Presidential style campaign, flash billboards, blogs, and multi-media gimmicks, it was on the ground campaigning in the end.


Too Right said...

Michael - I don't think you can spin the result in Pakuranga in any terms but it was a shocker for Labour. The national swing against Labour was -1.26% and the swing against Labour in Pakuranga was -6.84%; more than five times the national average. I see you want to look at sub-booths (but I am sure you did not want to be the sub-booth Member for Elm Park). My reading of the electoral returns had Labour winning only two booths!

If you want my advice - don't stand a third time. Momentum is with National.

This was the election to not win the Treasury benches.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that with so many 'shockers' like these Labour won.

Spooks said...

Me too, Nony.

Cheezy said...

Well done, Michael. The Labour vote held up well, considering it's a true-blue electorate and all of the problems that a 2-term government traditionally has going into an election... PS: Who was the pleb who predicted that Michael wouldn't win any booths in Pakuranga? :)

Anonymous said...

I do believe that was whaleoil...he's a funny old coot.
Gone back to his cocoa now.

Anonymous said...

As a point of interest, where do you allocate Northcote, the only seat to change sides on the night ??

Cheezy said...

"bet ya don't even make it to 8500 in both votes"
posted by Whaleoil : September 11, 2005 5:58 PM

But what exactly did you wager and lose, Whaleoil? Apart from your credibility, I mean...?

Whaleoil said...

Cheezy, at least I was prepared to Wager and to lose. Secondly I would hardly describe a 36 year old as an Old Coot.

yeah I got the booth count wrong, but wasn't far off on the other two predictions. in fact I think i said (can't be bothered looking it up) that Williamson will get double what Wood did....well I was was wrong on that one, he got MORE than double.

Cheezy said...

It's alright, Whaleoil. We accept your apology (of sorts). We won't insist that you run naked down the Pakuranga Highway. In fact, we insist that you don't! :)

Cheezy said...

PS: Actually, I could be bothered looking it up.

Double Michael's 8,782 votes and that makes 17,564. Maurice got 17,537.

And if we look at the party vote result... it's nowhere near double.

Maybe you need a bit of coffee in your cocoa, Whaleoil.

Whaleoil said...

Specials aren't in yet, lets wait till Saturday shall we?

Cheezy said...

Exactly, it's not even a confirmed result yet, and you're shooting your mouth off with this kinda thing --

"well I was was wrong on that one, he got MORE than double."

Can't bitter little people like you just congratulate a candidate on a good campaign, fairly fought? And a remarkable achievement for (what's looking like) a three-term Labour-led government?

Whaleoil said...


Cheezy said...

It shows.

Rob Good said...

You tried hard Michael, but I am sure that you would be much happier on the right..... Think blue.

Whaleoil said...

Echo "well I was was wrong on that one, he got MORE than double."

Wood 9,577
Williamson 19,159 (more than double Wood as predicted)

Majority 9582

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, Labour won and National lost. Eat that.

Whaleoil said...

Thanks for the comment Michael (Cullen)


Cheezy said...

So, Whaleoil... Once we count the special votes, that means that your initial prediction was actually wrong by more than 1000! :)

DarkSunshine said...

Has Michael died??

Whaleoil said...

Looks like it....Span will be upset.

Anonymous said...

Lads, some of us have got a country to run.

Whaleoil said...

But not Michael huh...back to the union job...I always knew Anon was his minder in Government and from your previous comment it must be Michael Cullen....

Anonymous said...

But I thought unions had started to run the country under Labour whaleoil...

DarkSunshine said...

RIP Michael Wood

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