The primary focus of our campaign this year was to take either Mangere or East Coast Bays, to bypass the 5% threshold. I have discussed the Mangere result here. The main results for East Coast Bays (parties gaining over 100 votes) are below, full results are here.
|Family Party||435||ADAMS, Paul||FAM||3,275|
|Green Party||1,210||BRADFORD, Sue||GP||1,969|
|Labour Party||6,855||GOLDSMITH, Vivienne (Viv)||LAB||5,628|
|New Zealand First Party||944||JONES, Dail||NZF||683|
|ACT New Zealand||1,844||KRONFELD, Tim||ACT||1,149|
|National Party||19,617||McCULLY, Murray||NAT||18,428|
|United Future||234||McINNES, Ian||UFNZ||200|
|Jim Anderton’s Progressive||196|
|The Bill and Ben Party||124|
|Party Informals||95||Candidate Informals||247|
East Coast Bays turned out to be our best electorate, and Paul Adams took 10.3% of the candidate vote here. Although this was not enough to take the electorate, he did gain far more votes than Sue Bradford (Green), and the Act candidate. Paul was the third highest polling candidate, after National and Labour. Unfortunately, although we had been pushing the “2 for 1” message very heavily here (vote for Paul Adams, get both Adams and McCully as McCully would be in on the list), most voters still went for McCully.
In 2005, McCully took 17,213 votes, the Labour candidate took 9,927, and Paul Adams (standing as an independant) gained 5,809 votes (full results are here). In 2002, McCully took 12,134 votes, the Labour candidate took 10,600, and Paul Adams (standing for United Future) took 2,872 (results here). So this is the third election running that Paul has been the third highest polling candidate, above the candidates from any other minor party – which is an excellent achievement in itself. This year there was not so much a major swing to National, as National’s votes remained at about the same level, but rather a swing away from Labour. Many voters seemed to stay at home, with the turnout dropping from over 37,000 in 2005 to less than 32,000 this year. There was a swing towards ACT, and towards the Green party (presumably disgruntled Labour voters). But the biggest change was the number of voters who stayed at home.
It is disappointing that despite a heavy campaign Paul actually polled lower this year than in 2005, but can probably be best explained by the number of voters who stayed at home. There is also the possibility that a few voters may have been put off by his association with the Family Party for some reason. However this is unlikely because Paul polled higher this year, standing for us, than he did when he stood for United Future. So I think the fact that McCully won by a landslide is simply due to the nationwide swing towards National.
Overall, taking over 10% of the candidate vote is an excellent achievement, and certainly something that could be built on in future. McCully is a formidible opponent, as he has been the incumbant there for so long, but he is always high enough on National’s list for there to be no point voting for him, unless you are a Labour voter specifically wanting to shut out a right-leaning minor party such as ourselves. The strange thing about the MMP 5% threshold is that it means it can be best to vote for the opposition sometimes.