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

New Zealand election guide launched

Auckland-region-mapAfter a few months of work, I’ve completed the Tally Room guide to the upcoming New Zealand general election.

New Zealand will be electing a new Parliament on 20 September.

The guide includes profiles of all 71 electorates, including open comment threads for each electorate.

In addition, pages have been written covering New Zealand political history, the recent redistribution, and New Zealand’s electoral system.

I’ll be posting summaries of each region of New Zealand over the course of this week on the front page of this blog, starting with a profile of the election in the Auckland area later today.

Once I finish those, I’ll keep featuring interesting electorates over the next few weeks before the election.

Check out the Tally Room guide here.

ACT redistribution – 17 to 25

While I was away in the US, the ACT Legislative Assembly officially voted to increase the number of seats in the Assembly from 17 to 25.

The Assembly is currently elected from three electorates: one electing seven MLAs, and the other two electing five MLAs each.

The new Assembly will be elected from five equal-sized electorates, each electing five MLAs.

This will require the three existing electorates to effectively be redrawn out of existence, with the two five-member electorates shrinking to cover a smaller area, and the middle electorate of Molonglo being broken apart.

In March, I analysed the possible electoral boundaries that could be drawn with the ACT’s current population, and you can read that here.

Not a great amount has changed since then.

The ACT’s population is contained within seven ‘districts’:

  • Belconnen
  • Gungahlin
  • North Canberra (the ‘inner north’)
  • South Canberra (the ‘inner south’)
  • Tuggeranong
  • Weston Creek
  • Woden Valley

The ACT is currently developing an eighth district named ‘Molonglo’ but it does not yet contain a substantial population.

Using the population estimates for each suburb from the last redistribution in 2008, you can get a good sense of the options. Bear in mind that each electorate will need to have approximately 20% of the ACT population within it. The current legislation allows electorates to diverge from the average by up to 10% at the time of the redistribution, and by up to 5% of the estimated population at the time of the next election.

District Enrolment as of Jan 2011 Projected enrolment as of Oct 2012
Belconnen 26.10 25.65
Gungahlin 10.74 12.00
North Canberra 13.00 13.11
South Canberra 7.55 7.58
Tuggeranong 25.59 25.25
Weston Creek 6.96 6.52
Woden Valley 9.74 9.62
Other 0.31 0.28

Belconnen is well over 20% of the population, so there will be an electorate based mostly if not entirely within Belconnen. The combined population of Belconnen and Gungahlin is close to, but not quite, 40% of ACT enrolment. It is possible this population will continue growing, and will allow for two complete electorates in the Gungahlin-Belconnen area, or the Gungahlin-based electorate may need to take in a small part of North Canberra.

North Canberra and South Canberra together make up between 20% and 21% of the total ACT enrolment. There will definitely be an electorate that covers most of this area – if it fits within the quota, and the northern electorates don’t need to extend into the inner north, it would make sense to have a single electorate covering all of the inner north and inner south.

Tuggeranong in the south, like Belconnen, makes up more than 20% of the population, so it seems likely that there will be a Tuggeranong electorate.

The combined Tuggeranong-Weston-Woden area make up just over 40% of the population, so there will almost certainly be an electorate covering the remainder of Tuggeranong, as well as most of Weston Creek and Woden Valley. The precise population figures will determine if it will be possible to contain this entire region into two electorates, or if the inner north-inner south seat will have to spill over into the area.

There will be some room for negotiation and discussion over the detailed boundaries – the population thresholds will allow those making submissions to choose different ways to divide the population, and there will be disagreement about which electorates should be drawn over-population and under-population.

In addition, there will be flexibility in terms of which suburbs of Belconnen and Tuggeranong are contained in the electorates contained entirely within those districts, and which suburbs are combined with the neighbouring districts.

This redistribution is scheduled to commence in October 2014, according to Elections ACT.