Electorate analysis – Mangere

The primary focus of our campaign this year was to take either the Mangere electorate or East Coast Bays, to avoid the 5% threshold. Jerry Filipaina was campaigning full-time in Mangere for a year before the election, and by the election the party had visited every house five times. However our actual results there were disappointing. The main results (parties gaining over 100 votes) are below, full results may be found here.

Parties Candidates
New Zealand Pacific Party 2,212 FIELD, Taito Lemalu Phillip NZPP 4,767
Family Party 237 FILIPAINA, Galumalemana Jerry FAM 856
RAM – Residents Action Movement 14 FOWLER, Roger RAM 138
National Party 3,641 HARRIS, Mita NAT 3,081
MATATUMUA, Lemalu Talia IND 48
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 137 PO’E, Tala JAP 126
Labour Party 13,162 SIO, Su’a William LAB 11,263
United Future 182 SOLOMON, Pulotu Selio UFNZ 389
Green Party 452 STRICKSON-PUA, Muamua Sofi GP 462
ACT New Zealand 252 TABACHNIK, Michael ACT 214
Mäori Party 165
New Zealand First Party 767
Party Informals 245 Candidate Informals 343
TOTAL 21,688 TOTAL 21,687

I will do my best to describe the situation in Mangere, but remember I was campaigning in Selwyn at the other end of the country, so if anyone spots any errors stick them in the comments & I’ll fix it.

No media organisation published polls for Mangere in the run-up to the election. We were unable to have a professional poll conducted, due to the workload of polling companies or their refusal to conduct one due to having a conflict of interest because they were conducting polls for another party.

However a month before the election we conducted an internal poll, which I am now able to release publicly. Although conducted by ourselves, it was done as rigorously as possible to ensure it was accurate. This poll showed Sio (Labour) on 28%, Jerry (Family) on 31%, and Field (Pacific) on 33%. In other words, all three candidates were neck and neck, so it could go any way. It was on the basis of this poll that we were able to campaign saying that Jerry had a decent chance of taking the electorate.

In the month following that poll our campaign stepped up in an attempt to bring Jerry into the lead. Our final visit of every house in Mangere occurred on the Saturday prior to the election, when the team visited 14,500 homes in the one day. Our brochures were pushing the “2 for 1″ message, ie vote for Jerry and get two local MPs, as Sio would be in on the list anyway. On Friday night before the election the team was parading around Mangere and Manukau East until midnight with the truck, billboard trailer and motorbikes!

However, the campaigns of Labour and the Pacific Party also swung into gear strongly in the last few weeks. Labour was particularly well-resourced, and being already ingrained in the culture would have made an impression on many voters. Old habits die hard, and if a voter was still undecided on polling day (due to heavy campaigns by three different parties) they may well have just ticked Labour because they always had.

Liberty Scott has questioned what Labour campaigners were actually telling people, as the fact that some believed their benefits would be cut if National got in certainly makes it sound like some Labour campaigners could have been spreading lies about National. If this is the case, this could have turned voters off not only National but any party hoping to go into coalition with them, such as ourselves.

Labour was also ringing people up on the morning of the election, and giving their supporters rides to the polling booth. We simply didn’t have the resources to do the same this year.

Many Mangere voters did not actually vote. Only around 20,000 voters turned out in the South Auckland electorates, as opposed to over 30,000 in most other electorates. There is a possibility that many people who were intending to vote for us when polled, did not end up actually voting. However more Labour supporters would have voted due to the free lifts to the polling booths. It is also possible that some people who were intending to vote for Jerry were picked up by Labour, which influenced them to vote Labour after all.

As a result of all these factors, and possibly others, Jerry’s support on polling day was nowhere near as high as he had polled, the election result really took us by surprise.

In future, when targeting South Auckland electorates, we will have to be very careful to address all these factors. We must ensure voters understand MMP, so they clearly understand they can vote for our candidate and still support Labour if they wish. We must ensure they have accurate information about policies, and keep an ear to the ground for what Labour campaigners are actually saying to the people (not just the official campaign material).

And we’ll probably need to hire a load of buses for election day!

EDIT:

There is a real possibility that our campaign helped to reduce Labour’s votes from Mangere. In 2005 Labour took 21,000 votes from Mangere, from a total turnout of 29,000. Although it wasn’t great for us, possibly our campaign resulted in many voters being confused who to vote for, as they may have been put off Labour but unconvinced whether they should vote for us, and therefore they stayed home. This year Labour only got 13,000 votes in Mangere. So although our campaign there didn’t get us in, it could well have dented Labour’s election performance considerably and so still helped to change the government.

Electorate votes

As I said previously, this election will be decided by electorate votes in a few key electorates. Peter Dunne has now announced he will support a National-led government. National needs as many friends as possible, and Labour as few as possible, if we are to have a change of government. So updated electorate recommendations for a change of government are:

To ensure representation from Act, United Future and The Family Party:

  • Epsom
    • Rodney Hide (Act)
  • Ohariu-Belmont
    • Peter Dunne (United Future)
  • Mangere
    • Jerry Filipaina (Family Party)
  • East Coast Bays
    • Paul Adams (Family Party)
  • Manukau East
    • Papali’i Poutoa Papali’i (Family Party)

To ensure NZ First does not get in:

  • Tauranga
    • Simon Bridges (National)
  • Rimutaka
    • This is more debatable. Probably the National candidate, Richard Whiteside, as many Labour voters will probably vote strategically for Ron Mark, giving Whiteside a chance. But it is a Labour seat currently.

The party vote is where you decide which party policies you support. But the electorate vote can be used strategically under MMP, as it makes a big difference to which minor parties are represented in parliament and which are not. Sometimes this may mean voting for someone whose policies you disagree with – I have recommended candidates from four different parties here. But that is the nature of MMP.

This election, strategic electorate voting is absolutely essential if you want to change the government.

Close election requires strategic voting

This election is going to be scarily close. It will actually be decided by the votes in several key electorates:

  • Epsom (whether Act is in or not, should be guaranteed but nothing is certain in politics)
    • Rodney Hide
  • Mangere and East Coast Bays (whether the Family Party is in or not)
    • Jerry Filipaina and Paul Adams
  • Tauranga and Rimutaka (whether NZ First is in or not)
    • Simon Bridges and Christopher Hipkins Richard Whiteside

Voters wanting a change of government in these five electorates need to vote strategically. Even if you disagree with Act’s policies, but are in Epsom and want a change of government, Rodney Hide needs your vote. Even if you disagree with Family policies, but are in Mangere or ECB, Jerry Filipaina or Paul Adams needs your vote.

To keep NZ First out, as they will support Labour, Simon Bridges (National) needs your vote in Tauranga, and Christopher Hipkins (Labour) needs your vote in Rimutaka (as the other candidate with the best chance of taking it, the electorate is currently held by Labour) Richard Whiteside in Rimutaka. It doesn’t matter if you disagree with National’s or Labour’s polices – their total numbers will be decided by the party vote, even voting in a Labour candidate here will make no difference to Labour’s total numbers. But candidates make a massive difference to the minor parties.

On the other hand, if Labour voters go for Ron Mark in Rimutaka, that reduces Hipkins chances, and maybe it would be better to vote for the National candidate – this is like trying to play chess 8 moves ahead against 40,000 other players… I don’t like recommending voting against Ron Mark, he is a good man, but unfortunately they will only be siding with Labour this time so he is dragged down by the fact he is in NZ First. Very frustrating. If he jumped ship to National or stood as an independent I could recommend him.

I would also like to be able to recommend Larry Baldock in Tauranga, as a Christian candidate who won’t side with Labour, but ultimately keeping NZ First out will achieve more to change the government than getting Baldock in, and if National voters go for Baldock they risk letting Winston Peters take the electorate. If only Baldock was standing in a different electorate I would be able to recommend him too. But the reality is that Simon Bridges needs those votes more.

We must ensure National has as many friends as possible, and Labour has as few as possible, and that will take careful, strategic voting – and in some cases that may mean voting for someone whose policies you disagree with (such as in Rimutaka). That’s MMP for you.

EDIT: You may note some changes with regard to Rimutaka. This is after I received the following email from Richard Whiteside, the National candidate there, who obviously knows far more about the electorate than I:

I read your blog post on Rimutaka and you have got it totally wrong. Due to boundary changes that favour National & Paul Swain standing down who got 3000 more votes than his party vote at the last election. Rimutaka is very winnable for National. I am the only married family man standing. I was born and bred locally and have been campaigning full time since April. I am running a full campaign to win Rimutaka and have had huge support from National. Being a family man I strongly support family values and have openly declared I do not support the smacking law and signed the petition.

Ron Mark got 10.8% of the vote in 2005 in Waimakariri – that is after 3 attempts, he only started campaigning 2 or 3 weeks ago & he lives in the Wairarapa not Rimutaka.

I know from polling I have a very strong chance of winning this as long as Ron Mark does not take National votes away from me.

The Family Party conference

The Family Party pre-election conference went really well today. A number of media organisations attended, and we had an excellent slot on Maori TV news tonight with several people interviewed and great shots of our billboards.

It was great for me to come up to Auckland, be shown around the Mangere electorate and see first-hand all the great work everyone has been doing. Jerry and his team have been putting a lot of work into this campaign and we really have a great chance of taking this electorate.

A vote for The Family Party will certainly not be wasted.

Family Party conference

The Family Party has a pre-election conference this weekend in Auckland:

Family Party Pre-election Conference

“Putting Families First”

Saturday 27 September, 10am to 2pm

Metro Theatre, 351 Massey Road, Mangere

Free entry (and a free lunch!), but please register your attendance by contacting:

09 2758703 or office@familyparty.org.nz

I will be speaking on “Family and Environment go together”, and as I aren’t often in Auckland it would be a great chance to meet any of you who live up there, if you know me from the blogs be sure to say hi.

Police officer killed in Mangere

A plain clothes police officer was shot dead in Mangere early this morning. This is a tragic incident. There has been a lot of discussion of what we should do about it over at Kiwiblog.

There are two main points to take from this:

  • If the police officer had been armed, he may have been able to defend himself and we might not be reading these headlines this morning. Should plainclothes officers in covert operations against drugs like this be armed? This is something well worth considering.
  • Arming the officer would not have stopped the crime occurring – we would instead be waking up to news of a shootout in Mangere, possibly still with a dead cop, possibly with a dead criminal, possibly just with injuries on both sides. Although this would have been better as the cop would have more chance of surviving it doesn’t solve the real problem – why the crime occurred in the first place.

To stop crimes like this occurring we must first stop people feeling a need to get into crime in the first place. Many criminals come from broken families, raised without a father as a male role model they seek out gangs for solidarity and for role models to look up to. It is downhill from there on.

We must support families, promote marriage (a commitment which in general results in more stable families than defacto relationships), allow parents to discipline their children effectively, and demand accountability from fathers towards their children. But Labour has been doing exactly the opposite to this over the past 9 years.

Only by tackling the root issues behind crime will we ever solve this dreadful problem. I sympathise deeply with the family of this cop. He is the 28th cop killed on duty here since 1890, his family join a long line of families in the same situation. We must have the guts to break through the PC wishywashy rubbishy policies of Labour and actually prevent this occurring in future.

EDIT:

Family Party press release.

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