General Election 2013 Essay About Myself

February 2015

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This paper provides a summary of the New Zealand General Election of 20th September 2014, including the final (official) results and voting statistics released by the NZ Electoral Commission.
The final results confirm the total number of seats in Parliament is 121. An overhang of one seat has been created by United Future winning one electorate; it would not otherwise have been entitled to any seats based on its 0.2% share of the party vote.
The National Party has lost one list seat compared to election night – it now has 60 seats in total; the highest number of seats the party has achieved under MMP.
The Labour Party’s share of the vote in 2014 (25.1%) is the lowest it has achieved in any MMP election to date; it is also the lowest share for the Labour Party in any election since 1922 when its 23.7% vote share was third-highest behind the Liberal and Conservative parties.
The Green Party’s share of the party vote (10.7%) is the second-highest it has achieved, entitling it to 14 seats in Parliament, one more than on election night before the counting of special votes.
There are no changes to the number of seats held on election night by other parties, although their share of the party vote has changed.
Of 71 electorates, 47 winning candidates won with a majority (over 50%) of the valid electorate votes, while 24 electorates were won with a plurality (less than 50%) of the valid electorate votes.
Amy Adams (National) achieved the largest winning margin (20,561) in the Selwyn electorate in 2014; Nikki Kaye (National) had the lowest winning margin (600) in Auckland Central.
The 38 women MPs elected in 2014 comprise almost one-third (31%) of the 51st Parliament, below the record 41 women MPs (34%) elected in 2008.
There are 25 MPs who have self-identified as being of Māori descent, or 21% of the total Parliament; there are a record eight MPs who identify as being of Pacific Peoples ethnicity, or 7% of the Parliament; there are five MPs who identify as being of Asian ethnicity, 4% of the Parliament.
The age of the youngest MP is 24; for the first time the New Zealand Parliament has a representative of ‘generation Y’, those born from 1986 to 2005. The oldest MP is 69. In generational terms, over half (54%) of the 51st Parliament are ‘baby boomers’, less than one-half (44%) are ‘generation X’, and 2% are from the generation born prior to World War Two (also known as the ‘silent generation’).
The 60+ age group is now the single largest voting cohort in New Zealand, representing 27% of all voters, up from the 21% share this age group accounted for in 1993.
In 2014 28 MPs (23% of MPs) listed their previous occupation as a ‘business person’; apart from 1999 and 2008 this has been the single biggest occupational category in NZ Parliaments since 1990.
Almost one million people did not vote in 2014; 250,683 were not enrolled, while 694,120 were enrolled but did not turn out to vote. While voters under 40 years comprise just over one-third (35%) of those enrolled, this cohort account for 81% of the quarter of a million people who were not enrolled for the 2014 election.
Of the ten general electorates with the highest turnouts, five are from the Wellington region. Nine of the ten general electorates with the lowest turnout are from the Auckland region.
Over half (51%) of the people who were enrolled but who did not turn out to vote were aged under 40.
The next General Election in New Zealand must be held by Saturday 18th November 2017.

Final Results after Special Votes

This research paper summarises differences between the preliminary (election night count) and final election results, compares the 2014 election result with 2011, and shows trends in voter turnout and the demographic makeup of the 51st Parliament. It concludes with some analysis of voter turnout by age figures, which for the first time, have been released by the Electoral Commission.

The General Election of 20th September 2014 was New Zealand’s 51st since general elections began in 1853, and the seventh election conducted under the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system. Following the counting of special votes and the release of the official results, there are seven political parties and 121 members represented in the 51st Parliament. An overhang of one seat has been created by the United Future Party winning one electorate; it would not otherwise have been entitled to any seats based on its 0.2 % share of the party vote.

Table 1: Candidates, Seats, Parties at New Zealand General Elections, 1996-2014
Election YearCandidatesElectoratesList seatsTotal seats/MPsMPs per 100,000 populationParties(2)
Electorate(1)List onlyTotalGeneralMāoriTotal
199661123184260565551203.26
199967928696561667531203.17
20025939068362769511203.07
200559714273962769521212.98
200852216068263770521222.97
20114539154463770511212.88
20144837155464771501212.77
  1. Includes candidates for Māori electorates, and dual candidates (standing for both list and electorate).
  2. Parties gaining Parliamentary representation; excludes Independents.
Sources: NZ Electoral Commission, The NZ Electoral Compendium 2002, p. 176; NZ Electoral Commission, http://www.elections.org.nz/news-media/electoral-commission-releases-party-and-candidate-lists-2014-election

Table 1 shows trends in the number of candidates, seats, and parties since 1996. It shows, for example, that the number of list only candidates contesting the 2014 election was the lowest in MMP elections to date. Also of note is that following the periodic redrawing of electoral boundaries by the Representation Commission (following each census), the number of available list seats has declined from 55 in 1996 to 49 in 2014 (50 temporarily as a result of the overhang).

The number of MPs per capita in 2014 was 2.7 per 100,000 people. This level of representation ranks New Zealand just below the 34 member OECD average of 2.8 MPs per 100,000 people for lower chambers. The average among the 15 OECD members with unicameral parliaments is somewhat higher at 4.4 MPs per 100,000 people; however New Zealand ranks close to the median among this group.

Table 2 shows the impact of the 300,915 valid special votes – accounting for about 14% of the votes cast in the 2014 general election – on the election night count. For example the Labour Party, the Māori Party and Internet-Mana saw incremental increases in the share of their party vote without altering their election night seat entitlement. Similarly, New Zealand First, the Conservative Party, the ACT Party and United Future saw the counting of special votes result in incremental change in their party vote share and no change to their seat entitlements.

Table 2: 2014 Final Party Vote and Seat Count
PartyValid Party VotesSeats
Provisional Total (1)Final TotalProvisional Share (%)Final Share (%)Final ElectorateFinal ListFinal Total
National Party1,010,4641,131,50148.0647.04411960
Labour Party519,146604,53524.6925.1327532
Green Party210,764257,35910.0210.7001414
New Zealand First186,031208,3008.858.6601111
Māori Party27,07431,8491.291.32112
ACT New Zealand14,51016,6890.690.69101
United Future4,5335,2860.220.22101
Conservative86,61695,5984.123.97000
Internet-MANA26,53934,0941.261.42000
Other (2)16,99420,4110.800.84000
Total Valid Party Votes2,102,6712,405,622100%100%
Informal / Disallowed Votes (3)9,85140,675
TOTALS2,112,5222,446,2977150121
  1. Provisional figures are as at election night on the 20th September; final figures as at 10 October, 2014. The preliminary results (announced on election night) include all ordinary votes – those cast by people who appear on the printed roll in the voting place they go to, and that are cast either on Election Day or in advance of Election Day. Provisional figures exclude the 329,726 special votes cast by voters who are overseas, or who are voting outside their electorate, or who are not on the printed roll for their electorate. Valid special votes are admitted to the final official count.
  2. Final party vote share for parties in the ‘Other’ category include: Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (0.46%); Ban1080 (0.21%); Democrats for Social Credit (0.07%); The Civilian Party (0.05%); NZ Independent Coalition (0.04%); Focus New Zealand (0.03%).
  3. Informal Votes are votes cast by electors, qualified to vote, which are not counted because the ballot paper did not clearly indicate the party or the electorate candidate vote, or both. ‘Disallowed votes‘ are votes disallowed for one of the following reasons: no ground stated for a special vote, arrived late, declaration not enclosed, incomplete declaration, ballot paper not enclosed, or address invalid for electorate.
Source: Electoral Commission: http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/

Although special votes usually result in only minor changes to the parties’ final percentage share of the party vote, they can and do have substantial impacts on the final election outcome. In the 2014 election, although the National Party’s final share of the party vote dropped 1.02 percentage points to 47.04%, it resulted in the National Party’s initial allocation of 61 seats – an outright majority and provisionally the first under MMP – being reduced to a final entitlement of 60 seats. Consequently the National Party sought confidence and supply arrangements with its support partners in order to command a majority in Parliament. This one seat loss was a result of the increase in the Green Party’s share which rose 0.68 percentage points to 10.70%, allowing the Green Party’s initial allocation of 13 seats to increase to a final entitlement of 14 seats. The total number of MPs in Parliament was not affected by the counting of special votes.

Figure 1 shows the impact of special votes on the number of seats in MMP elections. In 1999, for example, the impact of special votes meant five parties and 14 seats were affected, resulting in the Labour-Alliance majority coalition government becoming a minority coalition government. Special votes in 1999 also affected the Green Party – which on election night had no seats in Parliament – entitling the Greens to seven seats (including an electorate seat). In 2005 special votes reduced the total number of MPs in Parliament from 122 to 121 and thereby reduced the threshold required for confidence and supply for the governing coalition parties.

Figure 1: The Impact of Special Votes: Seat Gains or Losses by Party

Table 3 compares the 2011 election with those parties gaining parliamentary representation in 2014. New Zealand First was the only party to see an increase in both its party vote share (up 2.07 percentage points) and its seat entitlement (three more seats) between the two elections. The National Party lost 0.27 percentage points, but gained one more seat than in 2011. The Green Party, ACT New Zealand, and United Future all lost vote share but did not lose any seats. The Labour Party lost 2.35 percentage points and two seats; the Māori Party lost 0.11 percentage points and one seat when compared to 2011.

Table 3: Party Vote Share and Seats by Parliamentary Party: 2011 and 2014
PartyFinal Party Vote ShareTotal Seats
2011(%)2014(%)Change(% points)20112014Change (seats)
National Party47.3147.04-0.2759601
Labour Party27.4825.13-2.353432-2
Green Party11.0610.70-0.3614140
New Zealand First 6.598.662.078113
Māori Party1.431.32-0.1132-1
ACT New Zealand1.070.69-0.38110
United Future 0.600.22-0.38110

Party Vote Share and Parties in Parliament: 1981-2014

Under First-Past-the-Post (FPP) elections, from 1981 to 1993, the National Party averaged 40.3% of the vote while the Labour Party averaged 40.0%. Under Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) elections, from 1996 to 2014, the National Party has averaged 37.7% of the party vote which compares to the 33.7% average for the Labour Party. Figure 2 shows that the National Party’s share of the party vote in 2014 (47.0%) is the second-highest it has achieved under MMP. The Labour Party’s share of the vote in 2014 (25.1%) is the lowest it has achieved in any MMP election to date; it is the lowest vote share for the Labour Party in any election since 1922 when its 23.7% vote share was third-highest behind the Liberal and Conservative parties.

Across the seven MMP elections to date, for the other current parliamentary parties who have contested more than one election, the average party vote share has been: 7.7% for the Green Party; 7.6% for New Zealand First; 3.9% for ACT New Zealand; 1.8% for the Māori Party; and 1.8% for United Future.

The total vote share for the minor parties gaining representation in Parliament has doubled under MMP compared to FPP elections – from an average of 12% over the FPP elections from 1981 to 1993 to an average of 23.5% under MMP elections from 1996 to 2014. In 2014 the five minor parties gaining parliamentary representation obtained just below this average at 21.6% share of the party vote.

Figure 2: Party Vote Share 1981-2014

Under FPP elections, from 1981 to 1993, representation in Parliament was dominated by the two major parties, Labour and National. On average, these two parties captured 98% of the seats in Parliament from a combined average of 80% of the vote from 1981 to 1993. In MMP elections between 1996 and 2014, Labour and National together have, on average, won three-quarters (75%) of the seats in parliament from a combined average of 71% of the total party vote. In the 2014 election, the two major parties improved on this average, winning 76% of the seats between them (92 seats) from 72% of the total party vote.

Under FPP elections from 1981 to 1993 minor parties that gained parliamentary representation won about two seats on average each election – about 2% of the seats from an average of 12% of the vote. In MMP elections, from 1996 to 2014, minor parties that gained parliamentary representation won, combined, around 30 seats on average each election – or one-quarter (25%) of the seats from about one quarter (24%) of the vote. In the 2014 election, the minor parliamentary parties won 29 of the 121 seats (24%) from 22% of the vote – about the same average seat share under MMP, from slightly below the average vote shares for the minor parliamentary parties under MMP (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Seats Won by Major and Minor Parliamentary Parties

The Electorates

All 71 electorate candidates who won their seats on election night were confirmed as the electorate representative after the counting of special votes. In Te Tai Tokerau, Kelvin Davis, (Labour) won the seat with a margin of 743 votes after a judicial recount.

Of the 71 electorate seats, a majority (41) were won by the National Party. The National Party lost the seat of Napier, but won the new seat of Upper Harbour. The Labour Party won 27 electorates, five more than the number of electorates it won in 2011, and did not lose any electorates to other parties. Labour won the newly re-drawn electorate of Kelston, the Napier electorate from National, Te Tai Tokerau from the Mana Party, and Te Tai Hauāuru and Tamaki Mākaurau from the Māori Party. The Māori Party won the electorate of Waiariki, but lost two electorates (Te Tai Hauāuru and Tamaki Mākaurau) to Labour. The ACT and United Future parties won one electorate seat each, the same number of electorates as those parties won in 2008 and 2011. Mana lost its only electorate seat of Te Tai Tokerau. The Green Party and New Zealand First did not win any electorate seats.

Of 71 electorates, 47 winning candidates won with a majority (over 50%) of the valid electorate votes, while 24 electorates were won with a plurality (less than 50%) of the valid electorate votes. The electorate with the lowest share of the electorate (candidate) vote was Ōhāriu, where Peter Dunne (United Future) won with 36.9% of the electorate vote. The electorate with the highest share of the electorate (candidate) vote was Māngere, where Sua William Sio (Labour) won with 72.5% of the electorate vote.

Table 4 below shows both the ten electorates with the highest winning margin over the second-placed candidate, and the ten electorates with the smallest winning margin. For example, Amy Adams (National) achieved the largest winning margin (20,561) in the Selwyn electorate in 2014; Nikki Kaye (National) had the lowest winning margin (600) in Auckland Central.

Table 4: Electorates with the Ten Largest and Ten Smallest Winning Margins in 2014
ElectorateWinning CandidatePartyShare of Valid Electorate Votes(%)Margin
SelwynAmy AdamsNational69.9720,561
TāmakiSimon O’ConnorNational71.4320,421
RodneyMark MitchellNational63.4120,230
HelensvilleJohn KeyNational65.5718,287
HunuaAndrew BaylyNational67.5617,376
Taranaki-King CountryBarbara KurigerNational68.1716,773
WaitakiJacqui DeanNational62.9816,668
North ShoreMaggie BarryNational63.1516,503
WaikatoLindsay TischNational65.6716,169
CoromandelScott SimpsonNational58.7215,801
Christchurch CentralNicky WagnerNational 46.222,420
MaungakiekiePeseta Sam Lotu-IigaNational 48.382,348
Port HillsRuth DysonLabour 46.442,228
Palmerston NorthIain Lees-GallowayLabour50.082,212
Te Tai HauāuruAdrian RurawheLabour41.341,554
Tāmaki MakaurauPeeni HenareLabour38.281,462
Te Tai TokerauKelvin DavisLabour44.73743
ŌhāriuPeter DunneUnited Future36.86710
Hutt SouthTrevor MallardLabour 43.80709
Auckland CentralNikki KayeNational45.84600
Source: NZ Electoral Commission, 2014 election results, http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/e9/html/statistics.html

Demographic Makeup of the 51st Parliament

As a proportional representation system, MMP ensures that voters’ party preferences are proportionally reflected in the party composition of Parliament. This has resulted in a greater number of political parties gaining representation in Parliament than occurred under the FPP system. Indirectly, MMP has also contributed to achieving a Parliament that is more diverse and more representative of the New Zealand population as a whole; parties are able to choose candidates who resemble the electorate in terms of demographic characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, and age. Consequently, it is argued that “one central virtue of proportional systems is the claim that they are more likely to produce a Parliament which reflects the composition of the electorate”. [1]

Until the 1980s, for example, the representation of women in Parliament rarely exceeded 5%. Figure 4 shows that on gender grounds, the representativeness of Parliament has increased significantly since the advent of MMP in 1996, although it still has some way to go before it reflects the gender balance in New Zealand society as a whole. There are 38 women MPs in the 51st Parliament, compared with the record 41 elected to the 49th Parliament in 2008. Overall, women comprise about one-third (31%) of the new Parliament.

Figure 4: Number and Share (%) of Women in Parliament 1981-2014

Internationally, this level of representation of women in Parliament places New Zealand in 35th place on this measure. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Rwanda (64%), Bolivia (53%), Andorra (50%), Cuba (49%), and Sweden (45%) have the greatest proportions of women represented in their parliaments among the 189 countries surveyed. Italy, Portugal, and Switzerland have similar proportions of women represented in their parliaments (31%) to New Zealand. [2]

Even after the introduction of MMP, however, women are still finding it difficult to win selection as candidates for the electorate vote, which is still conducted under FPP. Figure 5 shows the gender differences in representation between electorate and list seats. From 1996, women have tended to comprise a higher level of representation in the list seats than their representation in electorates. In 2005, for example, less than one quarter (23%) of electorate MPs were women, compared to 44% of the list MPs. In 2002 and 2014 this difference was less marked; in 2014 31% of electorate MPs were women compared to 32% of list MPs.

Figure 5: Share of Women in Electorate and List Seats 1981-2014

The party list mechanism under MMP has also enabled a more ethnically diverse range of candidates to be elected (see Figure 6). The new Parliament has 25 MPs who have self-identified as being of Māori descent, compared with 22 in the previous Parliament. Overall, MPs who identify as being of Māori descent comprise one fifth (20.7%) of the Parliament, similar to the proportion of the total New Zealand population who stated they identified as being of Māori descent in the 2013 census (18%).

The new Parliament has a record eight MPs who identify as being of Pacific Peoples ethnicity, compared with six in the previous Parliament. Overall, MPs who identify as being of Pacific Peoples ethnicity comprise 7% of the Parliament, which is the same proportion of the population who identified as being of the Pacific Peoples ethnic group in the 2013 census.

Figure 6: MPs in Parliament by Ethnic Share 1981-2014

The new Parliament has five MPs who identify as being of Asian ethnicity, the same number as in the previous Parliament. Overall, MPs who identify as being of Asian ethnicity comprise 4% of the Parliament, which compares to the 11% of the population who identified as being of the Asian ethnic group in the 2013 census.

In terms of age, Figure 7 shows that those aged 18-29 years, and those aged over 60, are under-represented in the 51stParliament. These age groups comprise 22% and 27% respectively of the New Zealand voting age population (VAP), but just 2% and 17% respectively of the New Zealand Parliament. By contrast, the 40-49 and 50-59 age groups are over-represented in Parliament when compared to the general 18+ population. In generational terms, over half (54%) of the 51st Parliament are ‘baby boomers’, less than one-half (44%) are ‘generation X’, and 2% are from the generation born prior to World War Two (also known as the ‘silent generation’). For the first time the New Zealand Parliament has a representative of ‘generation Y’, those born from 1986 to 2005. [3]   The median age of the 2014 Parliament is 50.0 years. The youngest MP is 24 years old – the oldest, 69 years.

Figure 7: The Composition of the 51st Parliament by Age Group

Table 5 sets out the previous occupations of MPs as a share of successive Parliaments since 1996. In 2014 28 MPs (23% of all MPs) listed their previous occupation as ‘businessperson’. Since 1996, this has usually been the single biggest occupational category in New Zealand Parliaments, apart from 1999 and 2008 when ‘teacher’ and ‘manager / administrator’ were the highest respectively. A further 20 MPs (17% of the Parliament) listed their previous occupation as a ‘manager or administrator’, confirming a recent trend for increasing numbers of these professionals to enter Parliament. The education sector, local government, and legal profession are the other most prevalent occupational backgrounds for MPs. Farmers were more common in the Parliaments of 1990-1996, while teachers have generally outnumbered farmers in Parliaments since. In 2014 about eight percent of MPs were previously lawyers, somewhat below the average share in parliaments since 1990. Two percent of MPs in 2014 were previously union workers, the lowest share in the 1990-2014 period, while declines in the share by accountants and engineers can also be noted.

Table 5: Previous Occupations of MPs 1996-2014 (%)
Occupation(1)1996199920022005200820112014
Businessperson18171920112023
Manager/Administrator8689161317
Teacher1718181514710
Local Government3563289
Lawyer8810715108
Public servant (2)------7
Farmer1312810875
Media3221355
Consultant6867243
Health professional (2)------3
Trade Unionist7687542
Accountant4322411
Engineer3332221
Other (or not stated)1113121716196
TOTAL100100100100100100100
  1. Businessperson includes company directors, the self-employed, real estate agents, investment bankers, and chairpersons. ‘Teacher’ includes lecturers and school principals. The category of ‘manager/administrator’ includes financial administrator, voluntary sector administrator, and executive officers of public agencies. ‘Other’ includes those working for non-governmental organisations, and MPs whose previous occupation is publicly unavailable.
  2. Prior to 2014, ‘Public servants’ and ‘health professionals’ were included in the ‘Other’ category.
Source: Statistics New Zealand, NZ Official Yearbook; MPs’ biographies as listed on political party websites.

Voter Enrolment

Over 3.14 million people were enrolled to vote in the 2014 general election, or 92.6% of the estimated 3.39 million eligible voting age population (VAP) – about the average enrolment ratio for MMP elections, although below the 95.3% of the VAP who were enrolled in 2008.

A total of 441,492 New Zealand voters of Māori descent were enrolled – 239,941 (54%) were enrolled on the Māori roll and 201,551 (46%) were enrolled on the general roll. Therefore 92.9% of the estimated Māori descent population of 475,100 were enrolled for the 2014 election – similar to the enrolment rate on the General Roll.

Figure 8 shows the differences in voting age population cohorts, enrolment, and non-enrolment by age group. For example, the 60+ age group is now the single largest voting cohort (898,320 voters), and in 2014 represented 27% of all voters, up from the 21% share this age group accounted for in 1993. By comparison, voters under 30 years now represent 22% of all voters, down from the 28% share this cohort accounted for in 1990.

Figure 8 also shows that enrolment by age group is not uniform. Voters aged over 40 years tend to enrol in proportion to their share of the total voting age population. However, while voters under 40 years comprise just over one-third (34.8%) of those enrolled, this cohort account for 80.5% of the quarter of a million people (250,683) who were not enrolled for the 2014 election.

Enrolment by electorate is also not uniform; it ranges from 75.1% in Auckland Central to 99.6% in Tauranga. The seven electorates with the lowest enrolment rates are also those with high student populations: Palmerston North (86.8% of the VAP enrolled); Christchurch Central (86.8%); Wellington Central (85.7%); Ilam (84.4%); Christchurch East (83.1%); Dunedin North (82.7%); Auckland Central (75.1%). [4]

Figure 8: 2014: Age-Group Shares of Voting Age population, Enrolment, Non-Enrolment

Voter Turnout

Figure 9 shows that voter turnout (total party votes cast as a proportion of enrolled electors) for the 2014 General Election was 77.9% overall, an increase on the 74.2% overall turnout of those enrolled in 2011. As a measure of political participation, total voter turnout in New Zealand between 1981 and 2014 has averaged 83.9% – a high level of voter participation when compared with other Western democracies. However, MMP does not appear to have increased voter turnout by those enrolled. In FPP elections from 1981 to 1993, the average overall turnout was 88.9%; in MMP elections from 1996 to 2014 the average overall turnout was 80.4%.

Turnout of the VAP (votes cast as a proportion of the total voting age population) was 72.1%; this is the second-lowest since the Second World War after the 69.6% turnout of the VAP in 2011. In total, almost a million people did not vote in 2014; 250,683 were not enrolled, while 694,120 were enrolled but did not turn out to vote.

Figure 9: Voter Turnout by Roll, 1981-2014

Voter turnout of those on the Māori roll generally falls below that of those on the general roll. In the 2014 election the turnout of those on the Māori roll was 65.1% – an increase from the 2011 Māori roll turnout of 58.2%, but the fourth-lowest in any election since the first Māori roll was compiled in 1949.

MMP also does not appear to have increased voter participation by those on the Māori roll. About three quarters (75.5%) of those on the Māori roll voted on average in FPP elections between 1981 and 1993; on average in MMP elections between 1996 and 2014, about two thirds (65.5%) of these electors voted.

Table 6 lists the general electorates with the highest and lowest turnouts in 2014. Of the ten general electorates with the highest turnouts (votes cast to enrolled electors), five are from the Wellington region. Nine of the ten general electorates with the lowest turnout are from the Auckland region. As can be seen from Table 6, the general electorate with the lowest turnout (Māngere) had a higher turnout than the Māori electorate with the highest turnout (Te Tai Tokerau).

Table 6: Electorates with Highest and Lowest Turnouts
General Electorates with Highest Turnouts2014 Turnout (%)2011 Turnout (%)
Wellington Central84.682.4
Selwyn84.479.2
Ōhāriu83.781.6
Rongotai83.681.5
Ōtaki83.180.2
Helensville82.975.7
Mana82.379.5
Rodney82.278.9
Waitaki82.078.7
Dunedin South82.077.9
Average (General Electorates)79.075.5
General Electorates withLowest Turnouts2014 Turnout (%)2011 Turnout (%)
East Coast Bays75.971.6
Hamilton West75.772.8
Pakuranga75.571.9
Mt Roskill75.071.8
Kelston74.3
Upper Harbour74.3
Botany71.967.0
Manurewa70.267.0
Manukau East69.767.8
Māngere69.467.1
Turnout in the MāoriElectorates2014 Turnout (%)2011 Turnout (%)
Te Tai Tokerau69.361.6
Waiariki66.359.9
Ikaroa-Rāwhiti66.358.8
Te Tai Hauāuru65.958.7
Hauraki-Waikato63.656.9
Te Tai Tonga63.657.0
Tāmaki Makaurau60.654.8
Average (Māori electorates)65.158.2
TOTAL (All Electorates)77.974.2
Turnout = total votes cast as a share of total enrolled.Source: NZ Electoral Commission, 2014 election results, http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/e9/html/statistics.html

For the first time the Electoral Commission has provided a breakdown of voter turnout by age band. Figure 10 shows that those age cohorts over the age of 45 had above average (76.8%) turnout in the 2014 election. Those aged 65-69 had the highest turnout (88.1%), followed by those aged 60-64 (86.0%), and those aged 70 or older (85.8%). The age cohorts under 40 had the lowest levels of turnout in the 2014 election; those aged 25-29 had the lowest turnout, with less than two-thirds (62.1%) turning out to vote. In total, over half (50.9%) of those who were enrolled but who did not turn out to vote were aged under 40.

Figure 10: 2014 Voter Turnout by Age Band

In accordance with Section 8(1) of the Electoral Act 1993, the Electoral Commission must report within 6 months of the return of the writ (10 October 2014), on the administration and delivery of the 2014 General Election. [5]   Among other matters, the Commission must report on enrolment and voting statistics.

It is also usual for the Justice and Electoral Committee to hold an inquiry into each general election; the Committee initiated its inquiry in to the 2014 general election on 30th October 2014 and submissions close on the 31st March 2015. [6]

The date for the next New Zealand general election can be no later than Saturday 18th November 2017.

Selected References

Election Results – The New Zealand Electoral Commission, http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/

Enrolment Statistics – The New Zealand Electoral Commission, http://www.elections.org.nz/ages/

2014 General Election Voter Turnout Statistics by Age Band– The New Zealand Electoral Commission, http://www.elections.org.nz/events/2014-general-election/election-results-and-reporting/2014-general-election-voter-turnout

Final Results for the 2011 New Zealand General Election and Referendum, John Wilson, Parliamentary Library Research Paper, 2012/02, March 2012, Parliamentary Library. http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/parl-support/research-papers/00PLLaw2012021/final-results-for-the-2011-new-zealand-general-election

Parliamentary Voting Systems in New Zealand and the Referendum on MMP, John Wilson, Parliamentary Library Research Paper, 2011/03, November 2011, Parliamentary Library. http://ourhouse.parliament.nz/en-NZ/ParlSupport/ResearchPapers/9/0/f/00PLLawRP11031-Parliamentary-Voting-Systems-in-New-Zealand-and-the.htm

For voting, social, and economic statistics by electorate see the electorate profiles compiled by the Parliamentary Library at: http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/mpp/electorates

Dr John Wilson, Research Services Analyst,

Parliament, Law and People Team,

Parliamentary Library

For more information, contact John.Wilson@parliament.govt.nz, or Tel: 817 9358.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand licence. In essence, you are free to copy, distribute and adapt the work, as long as you attribute the work to the Parliamentary Library and abide by the other licence terms. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/nz/.
Appendix 1: 2014 Members of Parliament by Electorate
ElectorateMemberPartyMargin in SeatChange in PartyChange in MP
Auckland CentralKAYE, Nikki National 600 NoNo
Bay of PlentyMULLER, ToddNational 15,096 NoYes
BotanyROSS, Jami-LeeNational 13,495 NoNo
Christchurch CentralWAGNER, NickyNational 2,420 NoNo
Christchurch EastWILLIAMS, PotoLabour 4,073 NoNo
Clutha-SouthlandBARCLAY, ToddNational 14,886 NoYes
CoromandelSIMPSON, ScottNational 15,801 NoNo
Dunedin NorthCLARK, DavidLabour 5,917 NoNo
Dunedin SouthCURRAN, ClareLabour 3,858 NoNo
East CoastTOLLEY, AnneNational 7,934 NoNo
East Coast BaysMcCULLY, MurrayNational 15,034 NoNo
EpsomSEYMOUR, David ACT 4,250 NoYes
Hamilton EastBENNETT, DavidNational 10,199 NoNo
Hamilton WestMACINDOE, TimNational 5,784 NoNo
HelensvilleKEY, JohnNational 18,287 NoNo
HunuaBAYLY, AndrewNational 17,376 NoYes
Hutt SouthMALLARD, TrevorLabour 709 NoNo
IlamBROWNLEE, GerryNational 11,898 NoNo
InvercargillDOWIE, SarahNational 7,482 NoYes
KaikōuraSMITH, StuartNational 12,570 NoYes
KelstonSEPULONI, CarmelLabour 5,367 --
ManaFAAFOI, KrisLabour 7,953 NoNo
MāngereSIO, Sua WilliamLabour 14,933 NoNo
Manukau EastSALESA, JennyLabour 13,254 NoYes
ManurewaWALL, LouisaLabour 6,402 NoNo
MaungakiekieLOTU-IIGA, Peseta SamNational 2,348 NoNo
Mt AlbertSHEARER, DavidLabour 10,656 NoNo
Mt RoskillGOFF, PhilLabour 8,091 NoNo
NapierNASH, Stuart Labour 3,850 YesYes
NelsonSMITH, NickNational 7,605 NoNo
New LynnCUNLIFFE, DavidLabour 4,557 NoNo
New PlymouthYOUNG, JonathanNational 9,778 NoNo
North ShoreBARRY, MaggieNational 16,503 NoNo
NorthcoteCOLEMAN, JonathanNational 9,664 NoNo
NorthlandSABIN, MikeNational 9,300 NoNo
ŌhāriuDUNNE, Peter United Future 710 NoNo
ŌtakiGUY, NathanNational 7,782 NoNo
PakurangaWILLIAMSON, MauriceNational 12,867 NoNo
Palmerston NorthLEES-GALLOWAY, IainLabour 2,212 NoNo
PapakuraCOLLINS, JudithNational 5,119 NoNo
Port HillsDYSON, RuthLabour 2,228 NoNo
RangitataGOODHEW, JoNational 14,107 NoNo
RangitīkeiMcKELVIE, IanNational 11,060 NoNo
RimutakaHIPKINS, ChrisLabour 6,664 NoNo
RodneyMITCHELL, MarkNational 20,230 NoNo
RongotaiKING, AnnetteLabour 9,617 NoNo
RotoruaMcCLAY, ToddNational 7,418 NoNo
SelwynADAMS, AmyNational 20,561 NoNo
TāmakiO'CONNOR, SimonNational 20,421 NoNo
Taranaki-King CountryKURIGER, BarbaraNational 16,773 NoYes
TaupōUPSTON, LouiseNational 15,046 NoNo
TaurangaBRIDGES, SimonNational 14,842 NoNo
Te AtatūTWYFORD, PhilLabour 2,813 NoNo
TukitukiFOSS, CraigNational 6,490 NoNo
Upper HarbourBENNETT, PaulaNational 9,692 --
WaikatoTISCH, Lindsay National 16,169 NoNo
WaimakaririDOOCEY, MattNational 2,506 NoYes
WairarapaSCOTT, AlastairNational 6,771 NoYes
WaitakiDEAN, JacquiNational 16,668 NoNo
Wellington CentralROBERTSON, GrantLabour 8,267 NoNo
West Coast-TasmanO'CONNOR, DamienLabour 4,094 NoNo
WhanganuiBORROWS, ChesterNational 4,505 NoNo
WhangareiRETI, Shane National 13,169 NoYes
WigramWOODS, MeganLabour 3,330 NoNo
Hauraki-WaikatoMAHUTA, NanaiaLabour 7,695 NoNo
Ikaroa-RāwhitiWHAITIRI, MekaLabour 4,673 NoNo
Tāmaki MakaurauHENARE, PeeniLabour 1,462 YesYes
Te Tai HauāuruRURAWHE, AdrianLabour 1,554 YesYes
Te Tai TokerauDAVIS, KelvinLabour 743 YesYes
Te Tai TongaTIRIKATENE, RinoLabour 3,554 NoNo
WaiarikiFLAVELL, Te UruroaMāori 3,889 NoNo
Total electorates won by National41
Total electorates won by Labour27
Total electorates won by Māori1
Total electorates won by ACT1
Total electorates won by United Future1
Total electorates won by Green Party0
Total electorates won by New Zealand First0
Total electorates71
Total electorates won by an MP from a different party than 20114
Total electorates won by a different MP than 201115
Appendix 2: Members of Parliament by Party and by List Ranking
National Party
Member of ParliamentElectorate / List SeatList Rank
KEY, JohnHelensville 1
ENGLISH, BillList Seat 2
CARTER, DavidList Seat 3
BROWNLEE, GerryIlam 4
JOYCE, StevenList Seat 5
COLLINS, JudithPapakura 6
PARATA, HekiaList Seat 7
FINLAYSON, ChristopherList Seat 8
BENNETT, PaulaUpper Harbour 9
COLEMAN, JonathanNorthcote 10
McCULLY, MurrayEast Coast Bays 11
TOLLEY, AnneEast Coast 12
SMITH, NickNelson 13
GROSER, TimList Seat 14
ADAMS, AmySelwyn 15
GUY, NathanŌtaki 16
FOSS, CraigTukituki 17
BRIDGES, SimonTauranga 18
KAYE, NikkiAuckland Central 19
WOODHOUSE, MichaelList Seat 20
GOODHEW, JoRangitata 21
BORROWS, ChesterWhanganui 22
McCLAY, ToddRotorua 23
LOTU-IIGA, Peseta SamMaungakiekie 24
WAGNER, NickyChristchurch Central 25
TISCH, LindsayWaikato 26
UPSTON, LouiseTaupō 27
MACINDOE, TimHamilton West 28
ROSS, Jami-LeeBotany 29
GOLDSMITH, PaulList Seat 30
LEE, MelissaList Seat 31
BAKSHI, Kanwaljit SinghList Seat 32
YANG, JianList Seat 33
NGARO, AlfredList Seat 34
WILLIAMSON, MauricePakuranga 35
DEAN, JacquiWaitaki 36
BENNETT, DavidHamilton East 37
YOUNG, JonathanNew Plymouth 38
HUDSON, BrettList Seat 39
BARRY, MaggieNorth Shore 40
McKELVIE, IanRangitīkei 41
MITCHELL, MarkRodney 42
O'CONNOR, SimonTāmaki 43
SABIN, MikeNorthland 44
SIMPSON, ScottCoromandel 45
FOSTER-BELL, PaulList Seat 46
HAYES, JoList Seat 47
PARMAR, ParmjeetList Seat 48
BISHOP, ChrisList Seat 49
KORAKO, NukList Seat 50
NAYLOR, JonoList Seat 51
BARCLAY, ToddClutha-Southland 54
BAYLY, AndrewHunua 55
DOOCEY, MattWaimakariri 56
DOWIE, SarahInvercargill 57
KURIGER, BarbaraTaranaki-King Country 58
MULLER, ToddBay of Plenty 59
RETI, ShaneWhangarei 60
SCOTT, AlastairWairarapa
File photo

Pakistani voters appear divided on many questions of the day – including who to vote for in the upcoming elections and what issues are most critical for the country at present – according to the Political Barometer, an opinion survey conducted by the Herald in partnership with the Sustainable Development Policy Institue (SDPI), an Islamabad-based think-tank.

Of those respondents who say they have registered for the upcoming elections, 29 per cent expressed an intention to vote for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). 24.7 per cent pledged support for the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PMLN) while 20.3 per cent indicated a preference for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Mind the generation gap

The survey’s findings indicate that the PTI’s support is derived from all age groups – 22.9 per cent of those between 18 to 35 years, 18.6 per cent of those between 36 to 50 years, 18.4 per cent of those between 51 to 70 years and 7.7 of those above 70 years support the PTI, dispelling the notion that its vote bank is rooted in the younger generation.

The highest proportion of those aged between 36 to 50 years (32.5 per cent) indicate a preference for the PPP. Similarly, 46.2 per cent of those aged over 70 expressed a preference for the PMLN.

Compared with respondents’ voting histories, the PMLN’s vote bank appears to have remained stagnant while the PPP’s seems to have declined significantly.

It appears that the PTI has a stronger urban base, while a higher proportion of rural respondents indicated that they would vote for either the PPP or the PMLN in the upcoming elections.

The ethnic vote

Predictably, the highest level of support for the ruling party was pledged by Sindhis, 55 per cent of whom said that they would vote for the PPP in the impending elections.

This was followed by Seraiki-speakers at 46 per cent.

Forty-four per cent of Hindko-speakers said that they intended to vote for the PMLN, closely followed by Punjabis at 43 per cent.

The same proportion of Hindko-speakers – 44 per cent – also expressed an intention to vote for the PTI, indicating a close contest between the two parties (PMLN and PTI) within that particular demographic.

It is worth noting that while 34 per cent of Pakhtuns stated that they would vote for PTI, only 11 per cent expressed the same vis a vis the Awami National Party (ANP).

47 per cent of Baloch said that they would vote for the Balochistan National Party–Mengal.

Money matters

On average, approximately a third of those earning up to 30,000 rupees each month indicated a preference for the PPP whereas, among those earning more than 30,000 rupees, support for the party dropped to 10.8 percent.

This is in keeping with the party’s traditional pro-poor image.

No such trend could be determined for the PMLN, whose level of support remained similar across all income levels.

Those earning in excess of 250,000 rupees each month (the highest identified income bracket in the survey) expressed the maximum intention to vote for either the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) or the PTI, at 33 per cent each.

While this figure may appear anomalistic in the MQM’s case – support for the party within the second highest income bracket (those earning between 100,000 and 250,000 rupees each month) was only four per cent – it was possible to identify a rough direct trend between level of income and support for the PTI.

In general, it appeared that support for smaller parties declined with increasing levels of income.

It’s the issues, stupid

From a given list, respondents identified — in the following order – poverty, corruption, power crises, illiteracy and extremism as the top five issues crucial to the country today.

No issue received more than 17 per cent of the vote, a possible indication of a divided electorate.

A marginally higher percentage of respondents belonging to lower income brackets identified poverty as an issue of concern, while a higher proportion of those at higher levels of income identified – albeit again by a small margin – corruption as a ‘crucial issue’.

A similar proportion of urban and rural respondents (12 per cent each), considered corruption to be an issue that has not been effectively addressed by the current government — an assessment perhaps linked to the prevailing perception (55.6 per cent, according to survey responses) of the ruling party as being the most corrupt.

While 59 per cent of respondents rated the performance of the government as either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’, the ruling PPP nonetheless emerged as the party that the highest number of respondents (27.1 per cent) said would be most effective in addressing the identified issues.

Urban respondents appeared more dissatisfied with the current government’s performance, with 63 per cent rating it as either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. Dissatisfaction was also slightly more pronounced with increasing education-levels of respondents.

10 per cent of those earning less than 3,600 rupees a month deemed the current government’s performance to have been ‘excellent’ while 23 per cent, conversely, rated it as ‘very poor’.

In contrast, 54 per cent of those earning in excess of 250,000 rupees a month considered the government’s performance to have been very poor.

Indeed, based on the survey’s findings, it is possible to state that those at higher income levels appear relatively more disgruntled by the current government – a conclusion somewhat surprising given that among the top five ‘crucial’ issues identified by respondents, at least two – poverty and illiteracy – are of greater concern to those earning lower levels of income.

For respondents with higher levels of education, extremism, political instability and interprovincial problems appeared to be issues of greater concern, whereas those with little or no education deemed inflation, gender discrimination and food shortages as bigger problems.

Getting out the vote

Approximately 21 per cent of respondents admitted to never previously having voted in an election.

There appeared to be a negative correlation between inclination to vote and levels of income – 38 per cent of those earning above 250,000 rupees a month stated that they had never voted before, as compared to 13 per cent of those earning less than 3,600 rupees.

Despite this, however, those within the highest income bracket were most likely (at 38 per cent) to have been a member of a political party.

Similarly, while a greater number of respondents from urban areas say that they have been members of a political party (17 per cent) and claim to have been active participants of an election campaign (23 per cent), their political involvement did not necessarily appear to translate into electoral participation.

29 per cent of urban dwellers profess to have never voted in an election while 85 per cent of rural respondents have voted in at least one election with 46 per cent having voted in three or more elections.

Moreover, while it would appear that higher levels of education may result in greater political participation, 87 per cent of those with no education claimed to have voted in three or more elections, while approximately 38 per cent of those with a Bachelor’s degree or higher professed to have voted in the same number of elections.

Ninety four per cent of respondents, however, have said that they have registered to vote in the upcoming elections, a figure that bodes well for a country with plummeting rates of voter turnout.

Based on survey findings, it would seem that the electoral playing field will be closely contested this time round between the PPP and the PMLN, with the PTI not far behind. In light of this, who will be at the helm of the incoming government?

Five scenarios

According to Dr Abid Suleri, executive director at SDPI, things may unfold in in a number of ways come elections, giving shape to five distinct scenarios.

Scenario 1 The PPP forms an electoral alliance with its current allies: the Awami National Party (ANP), MQM and the Pakistan Muslim League–Quaid-e-Azam (PMLQ); while a grand anti-PPP alliance, comprising the PMLN, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) but not the PTI, simultaneously takes shape.

Based on the findings of this survey, in this first scenario, the PPP and its allies may be able to secure 38.1 per cent of the vote. A grand anti-PPP alliance, which discludes the PTI, may secure 29.5 per cent. Together with the PTI, this grand opposition alliance may give the PPP a difficult time.

Scenario 2 Alternatively, the PPP forms an electoral alliance with its current allies, the ANP and the PMLQ – but not the MQM, which opts for the grand anti-PPP alliance. Here too, the PTI chooses to remain alone.

In this instance, the PPP and its allies would likely capture 33.9 per cent of the votes. An opposition alliance could secure with ease 33.7 per cent. This scenario would also result in the formation of a minority government, albeit a weaker one with a more formidable opposition. Either the PPP and the PTI would form the opposition to a PMLN-led government or the PMLN and the PTI would do the same against a PPP-led government.

Scenario 3 In this scenario, the PPP forms an electoral alliance with its current allies, the ANP, the MQM and the PMLQ – while the PMLN and the PTI form an opposing alliance. In this case, the PTI and the PMLN would, with 45.0 per cent of the votes, comfortably sail through the elections, forming a comparatively stable government at the centre. They may be joined by a number of other anti-PPP parties.

Scenario 4 The PPP and the PTI form an electoral alliance, while the PMLN forms a grand opposing alliance. In this instance, the PPP and the PTI would receive 49.3 per cent of the votes, and easily form a stable central government.

Scenario 5 The PPP forms an alliance with its current allies, while the PTI and the JI form an alliance; concurrently, the PMLN forms an alliance with the JUI and other anti-PPP parties. In this instance, the PPP and its allies would receive 38.1 per cent of the vote, the PTI and JI pairing would capture 23.9 per cent of the votes, while the PMLN led alliance would receive 25.9 per cent.

Verdict

So, what electoral outcome seems most likely?

Politics in Pakistan is predicated on uncertainty but, according to Dr Suleri, there’s a high chance that the third and fourth scenarios may never materialise.

Moreover, given that the country is far from being a homogenous entity where support is spread uniformly across all constituencies, the actual outcome may be entirely different from the ones described above.

Indeed, in the first-past-the-post electoral system, percentage of votes scarcely translate into a similar proportion of seats in the National or provincial assemblies.

It is evident, however, that no single party currently stands to sweep the upcoming polls.

It also appears, based on survey findings, that the PPP may have to retain its current allies to maintain its present political clout – and that, amidst the traditional PPP-PMLN toss-up, the PTI is emerging as a political reality.

What is most certain, says Dr Suleri, is that whoever does manage to form the government will most likely have to contend with a strong opposition. Moreover, if responses collected in the Political Barometer are any indication, it may also find it difficult to figure out what issues to tackle first, in order to soothe an electorate clamouring for change.

Methodology

Whereas many surveys conducted in Pakistan base their sample along provincial demographics, the Political Barometer’s sample of 1,283 respondents was based on Pakistan’s ethno-linguistic identities -- the Baloch, Hindko-speakers, Pakhtuns, Punjabis, Seraiki-speakers, Sindhis, Urdu-speakers and others.

Stratified sampling was used to reflect voter preferences across ethnicities, genders, age groups, urban or rural localities, education levels and income brackets.

An abridged version of this survey appeared in today's Dawn. Full results of the survey, which was carried out in 54 districts by a team of around 100 interviewers, can be found in a special supplement distributed alongside the February issue of the Herald. 

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