North Island regional summary – NZ 2014

Electorate Margin Electorate Margin
Bay of Plenty NAT 49.69% vs LAB Rangitīkei NAT 29.55% vs LAB
Coromandel NAT 37.86% vs LAB Rotorua NAT 29.06% vs LAB
East Coast NAT 16.65% vs LAB Taranaki-King Country NAT 50.82% vs LAB
Hamilton East NAT 24.37% vs LAB Taupō NAT 42.92% vs LAB
Hamilton West NAT 13.97% vs LAB Tauranga NAT 48.56% vs LAB
Napier NAT 11.81% vs LAB Tukituki NAT 29.12% vs LAB
New Plymouth NAT 14.44% vs LAB Waikato NAT 47.23% vs LAB
Ōtaki NAT 14.02% vs LAB Wairarapa NAT 21.01% vs LAB
Palmerston North LAB 10.2% vs NAT Whanganui NAT 16.93% vs LAB

Northisland-region-mapLocal electorates

This post covers those parts of the North Island south of Auckland and North of Wellington. There are eighteen electorates in this area. Four of these electorates are relatively small urban electorates: Hamilton East, Hamilton West, Palmerston North and Tauranga.

Seventeen of these seats are held by the National Party. The only exception is Palmerston North, held by the Labour Party by a 10.2% margin. The National Party has suggested they are hoping to win this seat, but the seat is not one of the most marginal Labour seats.

A number of other seats were held by the Labour Party until 2008: Hamilton West, New PlymouthŌtaki, Rotorua and Taupō.

The seats of East Coast, Hamilton East, Napier, Tukituki, Wairarapa and Whanganui were held by the Labour Party up until the 2005 election.

Two other seats were held by minor parties in the past fifteen years. Tauranga was held by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters from 1984 until 2008. Coromandel was held by Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons from 1999 to 2002. Both of these seats are now safe National seats.

The remaining seats of Bay of PlentyRangitīkei, Taranaki-King Country and Waikato are all extremely safe National seats.

None of the seats in this region are ultra-marginal, but quite a few seats are held by margins that could be small enough to fall if the Labour Party was in an election-winning position. These seats include East Coast, Napier, New Plymouth, Ōtaki and Whanganui.


Most electorates in this region underwent subtle changes. The southern boundary of this area (on the border of the Wellington region) underwent no changes, and the electorates of Palmerston North, Taupō, Tukituki and Wairarapa all stayed exactly the same.


North Island is a strong area for the National Party and relatively weak for Labour and the Greens. The National Party polled 5-9% above the nationwide result, while Labour polled 4-6% below the nationwide average.

The Green Party polled below their nationwide result, while New Zealand First and the Conservative Party outpolled their nationwide result.

2011 election results

Electorate Votes Party Votes
Party Votes % Swing Redist Votes % Swing Redist
National 331,786 56.60 +0.08 56.52 313,761 52.17 +1.69 52.05
Labour 174,656 29.79 -2.57 29.69 138,107 22.96 -7.12 22.86
Green 33,685 5.75 +1.62 5.75 56,496 9.39 +3.79 9.40
New Zealand First 21,118 3.60 +0.08 3.60 50,624 8.42 +3.07 8.40
Conservative 15,164 2.59 +2.59 2.59 21,022 3.50 +3.5 3.49
ACT New Zealand 2,539 0.43 -0.80 0.44 6,953 1.16 -2.53 1.15
United Future 1,746 0.30 -0.22 0.46 4,252 0.71 -0.21 0.87
Māori 123 0.02 +0.02 0.03 4,012 0.67 -0.24 0.75
Legalise Cannabis 1,498 0.26 +0.26 0.25 3,088 0.51 +0.14 0.52
Mana 1,569 0.27 +0.27 0.27 1,964 0.33 +0.33 0.32
Libertarianz 652 0.11 -0.02 0.11 465 0.08 +0.02 0.08
Democrats 494 0.08 -0.05 0.08 390 0.06 -0.01 0.07
Alliance 48 0.01 -0.02 0.01 255 0.04 -0.03 0.04
Others 1,153 0.20 -1.24 0.21

Māori electorate summary – NZ 2014

Electorate Margin Electorate Margin
Hauraki-Waikato LAB 35.53% vs MANA Te Tai Tokerau MANA 6.21% vs LAB
Ikaroa-Rāwhiti LAB 37.61% vs MAORI Te Tai Tonga LAB 8.83% vs MAORI
Tāmaki Makaurau MAORI 5.31% vs LAB Waiariki MAORI 10.59% vs MANA
Te Tai Hauāuru MAORI 18.45% vs LAB

Maori-region-mapLocal electorates

There are seven Māori electorates covering the entirety of New Zealand. Three of these seats are held by the Labour Party, three are held by the Māori Party and one is held by the Mana Party.

Two of Labour’s three seats are very safe: Ikaroa-Rāwhiti along the east coast of the North Island, and Hauraki-Waikato immediately to the south of Auckland.

The Labour seat of Te Tai Tonga is more marginal, with an 8.8% margin against the Māori Party. Te Tai Tonga covers Wellington and the entire South Island, and was held by the Māori Party from 2008 to 2011.

The Māori Party’s safest seat is Te Tai Hauāuru, stretching from north of Wellington to just south of Hamilton and covering much of the west coast of the North Island. The seat has been held by Tariana Turia since she was a member of the Labour Party, but she will be retiring in 2014 and it’s not clear how much of the Māori Party vote is a personal vote for her.

The Māori Party also holds Waiariki on the Bay of Plenty, which is held by the party’s new co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell. He should be able to hold on with a 10.6% margin against the Mana Party.

The Māori Party also holds Tāmaki Makaurau, which covers most of the Auckland urban area. That seat is only held by a 5.3% margin, and with former co-leader Pita Sharples retiring, it could be in danger.

Hone Harawira has held Te Tai Tokerau since 2005, first as a member of the Māori Party, and then as leader of the Mana Party since 2011. Te Tai Tokerau covers Northland and the northwestern rural fringe of Auckland. The Mana Party has now formed an alliance with the Internet Party, and both parties will be relying on a victory in Te Tai Tokerau to qualify for list seats.


No changes were made to five out of the seven Māori electorates. A small area was transferred from Ikaroa-Rāwhiti to Wairaki, with no measurable impact on the results in those areas.


These seven electorates are some of the most important individual races in the country. The Māori Party does not poll high enough to win list seats, so relies entirely on winning electorates for representation in Parliament. With an open seat in Tāmaki Makaurau, the party is in serious danger of dropping to two seats. The Mana Party, and its allies in the Internet Party, rely on winning Te Tai Tokerau for representation in Parliament.

The overall political make-up of the Māori electorate is very distinct from the rest of the country. Labour performs slightly above-average, and the Green Party performs slightly below-average. New Zealand First performs very well on the party vote. The Māori and Mana parties rely almost entirely on these electorates for their party votes, and rely on winning seats in these areas to stay in Parliament. The National Party barely registers in the area.

On the electorate vote, Labour leads with 40.7%, followed by the Māori Party on 31.5% and Mana on 21.2%. The Green Party polled just under 5%. Neither the Māori Party or the Mana Party polled over 1% in any of the other six regions.

On the party vote, Labour polled about the same, but both the Māori and Mana parties polled less than on the electorate vote. The Green Party did quite well, with 10.3%. The gap between the second-placed party (Māori Party) and the sixth-placed party (National) is only 7%.

National and New Zealand First do not run in Māori electorates. The National Party polled less than a fifth of the party vote in the Māori electorates as they did nationwide. New Zealand First, on the other hand, polled quite well on the party vote in the Māori electorates – 9.5% in the Māori seats as opposed to 6.6% nationally. This is better than any of the other six geographic regions I have profiled. This likely reflects New Zealand First’s history as a party that competed in the Māori electorates, winning one seat in 1993 and all five seats in 1996.

2011 election results

Electorate Votes Party Votes
Party Votes % Swing Votes % Swing
Labour 49,802 40.69 +3.15 52,925 40.96 -9.14
Māori 38,545 31.49 -26.37 20,172 15.61 -13.28
Mana 25,889 21.15 +21.15 16,823 13.02 +13.02
Green 6,044 4.94 +1.87 13,341 10.33 +6.41
New Zealand First 12,219 9.46 +3.35
National 11,085 8.58 +1.13
Legalise Cannabis 1,262 1.03 +0.44 1,577 1.22 +0.13
Conservative 589 0.46 +0.46
ACT New Zealand 230 0.18 -0.30
United Future 164 0.13 -0.01
Libertarianz 34 0.03 +0.01
Democrats 29 0.02 +0.01
Alliance 21 0.02 -0.01
Others 866 0.71 +0.28

Christchurch regional summary – NZ 2014

Electorate Margin Electorate Margin
Christchurch Central NAT 1.33% vs LAB Port Hills NAT 2.50% vs LAB
Christchurch East LAB 18.82% vs NAT Wigram LAB 4.46% vs NAT
Ilam NAT 40.07% vs LAB

Christchurch-region-mapLocal electorates

There are five electorates in the Christchurch urban area. Two electorates are held by the National Party, and two are held by the Labour Party. The fifth seat has a Labour MP, and was won by Labour in 2011, but has been redrawn as a National seat. Labour and National each hold one safe seat, while the other three are all very marginal, ranging from a 4.5% Labour margin to a 2.5% National margin.

The National seat of Ilam, in the western suburbs of Christchurch, is a very safe National seat.

The Labour seat of Christchurch East is a safe seat, which was confirmed at last year’s by-election.

The Labour seat of Wigram in the western suburbs is very marginal, held by only 4.5%. The seat was held by Jim Anderton for decades, as a Labour MP, then as leader of the Alliance and in recent years as a Progressive. The Labour Party would be hoping to solidify their hold on this historically progressive seat.

The marginal National seat of Christchurch Central is held by a 1.3% margin. The seat was held by Labour until a very close result in 2011.

Port Hills is held by Labour’s Ruth Dyson, who has held a seat in the area since 1999. In 2011, Dyson won with a 9.5% margin, but the recent redistribution significantly improved the National Party’s position, and made the seat a notional National seat with a 2.5% margin.

Since the 2011 election, there have been significant population shifts in the greater Christchurch area, which has been reflected in the redistribution. It is possible that these population shifts will cause unexpected and dramatic shifts in voting patterns, and make these electorates harder to predict than those in other parts of New Zealand.


There was a significant shift in population in the greater Christchurch area, with seats in inner Christchurch losing population and a surge in population in the neighbouring semi-rural seats of Waimakariri and Selwyn.

This caused an overall shift in electorates moving further west. Christchurch East expanded in all directions, causing Christchurch Central to shift north into Waimakariri and south into Port Hills. Wigram contracted slightly, losing some territory to Port Hills, while no changes were made to Ilam. These shifts caused Port Hills to expand westward, gaining suburbs from Selwyn.

The changes made little impact on the margins in Christchurch Central, Christchurch East and Wigram, but in Port Hills they caused a 12% turnaround from a 9.5% Labour margin to a 2.5% National margin.


On the party vote, Labour polled about the same in Christchurch as they did nationally (27.1% vs 27.5%). The National Party polled 1.2% better in Christchurch (48.5% vs 47.3%). The Green Party polled very well, with 14.4% compared to 11% nationally. ACT, the Conservative Party and New Zealand First all polled below their national average.

Labour did quite well on the electorate vote, polling 41% in Christchurch compared to 35% nationally. The National Party polled 1.8% under their national average. The Green Party polled 2% above their national average on the electorate vote.

2011 election results

Electorate Votes Party Votes
Party Votes % Swing Redist Votes % Swing Redist
National 67,579 44.45 +3.98 45.51 74,581 47.67 +7.17 48.52
Labour 64,151 42.19 +5.82 41.37 42,957 27.46 -10.27 27.10
Green 14,442 9.50 +1.25 9.24 23,266 14.87 +5.39 14.41
New Zealand First 697 0.46 +0.19 0.60 8,099 5.18 +2.15 5.14
Conservative 2,513 1.65 +1.65 1.68 3,130 2.00 +2.00 2.05
ACT New Zealand 541 0.36 -0.87 0.33 1,162 0.74 -1.81 0.74
United Future 547 0.36 -0.27 0.33 966 0.62 -0.38 0.62
Legalise Cannabis 591 0.39 -0.13 0.36 781 0.50 +0.09 0.48
Māori 670 0.43 -0.17 0.42
Mana 384 0.25 +0.25 0.24
Alliance 793 0.52 +0.27 0.48 251 0.16 +0.01 0.16
Libertarianz 123 0.08 +0.02 0.08
Democrats 84 0.05 +0.01 0.05
Others 191 0.13 -11.82 0.12

Auckland Surrounds regional summary – NZ 2014

Electorate Margin Electorate Margin
Helensville NAT 45.97% vs LAB Papakura NAT 31.59% vs LAB
Hunua NAT 50.86% vs LAB Rodney NAT 31.01% vs CON
Northland NAT 35.95% vs LAB Whangarei NAT 36.74% vs LAB

Aucklandsurrounds-region-mapLocal electorates

“Auckland Surrounds” covers the rural parts of Auckland Regional Council (both north and south of the Auckland urban area), as well as the Northland area to the north of Auckland.

There are six electorates in this area, four to the north of Auckland, and two to the south. All six are very safe National seats, with margins ranging from 31% in Rodney to 51% in Hunua.

To the south of Auckland you find Hunua and Papakura.

To the north of Auckland, you find Helensville, Rodney, Northland and Whangarei.

The Labour Party were the runner up in five out of these six electorates, although in all cases they were a long way behind. In Rodney, the Conservative Party came second.


Substantial changes were made to the electorates on the western and northern fringe of Auckland. Prior to the redistribution, the electorates of Waitakere, New Lynn and Helensville all overlapped between the urban area and the rural area, and for my purposes (and the results table below) all three electorates were counted as ‘Auckland Surrounds’.

In the redistribution, Waitakere was abolished, New Lynn contracted into the Auckland urban area, and Helensville lost its urban parts to the new seat of Upper Harbour. Helensville took over the rural areas previously included in Waitakere and New Lynn. These changes significantly increase the National vote and reduce the Labour vote.

Relatively minor changes were made to Hunua, Papakura and Rodney, and no changes were made to Northland and Whangarei.


The Auckland Surrounds area is very favourable for the National Party, who poll more than twice the vote of Labour in the area. The National Party polled 12% higher than the nationwide average on the electorate vote, and 9% higher on the party vote. The Labour Party polled roughly two-thirds of its nationwide average. On the electorate vote, Labour did a lot worse – 20% compared to 35% nationally.

The Green Party polled 1.6% less on the party vote, but 1.1% more on the electorate vote. This could reflect the safe nature of the electorates in the area, which may mean Green voters don’t cast a tactical vote for another candidate.

New Zealand First polled above average in this area, 8% of the party vote compared to 6.6% nationally. The area was also a good area for the Conservative Party, polling 4.4% of the party vote compared to 2.7% nationally. The Conservative Party also did very well on the electorate vote (7%), mostly reflecting the fact that Rodney was the party’s main target at the 2011 election.

2011 election results

Electorate Votes Party Votes
Party Votes % Swing Redist Votes % Swing Redist
National 150,434 56.61 -1.84 59.84 145,937 53.38 +0.87 56.27
Labour 68,970 25.95 -1.97 20.03 61,430 22.47 -4.97 18.16
Green 20,398 7.68 +1.55 8.30 25,451 9.31 +3.82 9.42
New Zealand First 6,111 2.30 +0.59 3.14 20,404 7.46 +2.94 8.08
Conservative 15,147 5.70 +5.7 6.99 10,799 3.95 +3.95 4.44
ACT New Zealand 1,900 0.71 -2.59 0.79 3,530 1.29 -4.08 1.39
Māori 484 0.18 +0.18 0.24 1,482 0.54 -0.24 0.57
Legalise Cannabis 993 0.37 +0.37 0.14 1,343 0.49 +0.1 0.51
Mana 933 0.35 +0.35 0.35 1,335 0.49 +0.49 0.52
United Future 1,203 0.44 -0.33 0.46
Libertarianz 152 0.06 -0.02 0.06 202 0.07 +0.03 0.07
Democrats 223 0.08 -0.04 0.12 195 0.07 +0.02 0.09
Alliance 77 0.03 -0.04 0.03

Auckland regional summary – NZ 2014

Electorate Margin Electorate Margin
Auckland Central NAT 10.60% vs LAB Mount Albert LAB 24.10% vs NAT
Botany NAT 37.81% vs LAB Mount Roskill LAB 10.59% vs NAT
East Coast Bays NAT 52.49% vs LAB New Lynn LAB 22.58% vs NAT
Epsom ACT 6.68% vs NAT North Shore NAT 41.87% vs LAB
Kelston LAB 25.31% vs NAT Northcote NAT 29.00% vs LAB
Māngere LAB 63.30% vs NAT Pakuranga NAT 44.06% vs LAB
Manukau East LAB 63.03% vs NAT Tāmaki NAT 50.33% vs LAB
Manurewa LAB 36.41% vs NAT Te Atatū LAB 8.27% vs NAT
Maungakiekie NAT 5.74% vs LAB Upper Harbour NAT 30.01% vs LAB


Local electorates

There are eighteen electorates in the Auckland urban area.

Nine seats are held by the National Party, eight seats are held by the Labour Party, and one seat is held by ACT.

Five of these could be considered to be marginal. Auckland Central is held by the National Party by 10.6%, and was Labour-held until 2008. Maungakiekie is held by the National Party by 5.7%, and likewise was Labour-held until 2008.

The Labour seats of Mount Roskill and Te Atatū are both seats held by relatively slim margins, but have Labour-dominated histories and should remain in Labour hands.

The ACT seat of Epsom is a unique electorate. The seat naturally tends towards the National Party, who held it until 2005 and who win a large majority of the party vote, but the seat has been won by ACT at the last three elections thanks to vote-splitting from National voters attempting to preserve a right-wing ally for the National Party. ACT has not come close to passing the 5% threshold since 2005, so relies on winning Epsom to remain in Parliament.

Auckland can be divided into a number of separate regions. The three south-eastern Labour electorates of Māngere, Manukau East and Manurewa are all extremely safe Labour seats.

In the east of Auckland, immediately north of the very strongly pro-Labour areas in the south-east, are three safe National seats: Botany, Pakuranga and Tāmaki.

Labour also holds the safe seats of Kelston and New Lynn in the western suburbs. Kelston is a newly-drawn electorate, and New Lynn has been significantly redrawn, being drawn into the urban area and losing its rural parts to Helensville.

In the northern suburbs, National holds four seats by very safe margins: East Coast Bays, Northcote, North Shore, Upper Harbour. Upper Harbour is a newly drawn electorate.

Most of the seats in central Auckland are more marginal, including the National seats of Auckland Central and Maungakiekie, the Labour seat of Mount Roskill, and the ACT seat of Epsom. The one other marginal electorate, Te Atatū, is in the outer west of Auckland.


Changes in central and eastern Auckland were relatively minor, but substantial changes were made in western Auckland.

The electorates of Helensville, New Lynn and Waitakere overlapped urban and rural parts of Auckland’s western fringe. In the results table below, these three electorates are counted as part of ‘Auckland Surrounds’ and thus are not included in the table.

In the redistribution, Waitakere was abolished, Helensville shifted into more rural areas and New Lynn shifted further into Auckland, and two new electorates (Kelston and Upper Harbour) were created in the area. This increased the number of seats in the Auckland urban area from 15 to 18 and cut the number of nearby seats by two.


The Labour Party polls higher in the Auckland region than nationally, about 4% above the nationwide electorate vote, and 5% above the party vote. The National vote is about the same as the national average.

New Zealand First and the Green Party both polled less well in Auckland than in the country as a whole.

2011 election results

Electorate Votes Party Votes
Party Votes % Swing Redist Votes % Swing Redist
National 213,527 46.04 +2.39 46.37 230,001 47.78 +0.57 47.54
Labour 180,660 38.96 +2.58 39.25 155,452 32.29 -1.91 32.45
Green 24,307 5.24 -0.23 5.36 45,521 9.46 +3.76 9.41
New Zealand First 7,347 1.58 +0.67 1.37 24,107 5.01 +2.07 5.12
Conservative 12,557 2.71 +2.71 2.68 10,225 2.12 +2.12 2.21
ACT New Zealand 21,784 4.70 -3.35 4.12 6,727 1.40 -3.39 1.35
Māori 2,830 0.59 -0.08 0.57
Mana 1,481 0.32 +0.32 0.33 2,046 0.43 +0.43 0.42
Legalise Cannabis 456 0.10 +0.03 0.22 1,857 0.39 +0.11 0.40
United Future 548 0.12 -0.62 0.10 1,743 0.36 -0.43 0.37
Libertarianz 213 0.05 0.00 0.05 347 0.07 +0.02 0.07
Democrats 313 0.07 +0.05 0.06
Alliance 202 0.04 +0 0.04
Others 856 0.18 -4.45 0.16 0 0.00 -3.32 0.00