Hamilton East – NZ 2014

NAT 24.37% vs LAB

Incumbent MP
David Bennett, since 2005.

Geography
Eastern suburbs of Hamilton, on the North Island. Hamilton East covers all of the suburbs of Hamilton City on the eastern side of the Waikato River, as well as a small rural part of Waikato district to the east of Hamilton. These suburbs include Chartwell, Claudelands, Fairfield, Hillcrest and Hamilton East.

Map of Hamilton East's 2011 and 2014 boundaries. 2011 boundaries marked as red lines, 2014 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.
Map of Hamilton East’s 2011 and 2014 boundaries. 2011 boundaries marked as red lines, 2014 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.

Redistribution
The major population centres of Hamilton East were unaffected by the redistribution. A small sparsely populated part of Waikato district was transferred into Hamilton East from the Waikato electorate, and northern parts of Hamilton City were transferred into Hamilton West. Neither of these areas included a significant population. These changes reduced the margin for the National Party from 25.5% to 24.4%.

History
The electorate of Hamilton East has existed since the 1972 election. The seat has shifted back and forth regularly between Labour and National – no party has won the seat for more than three elections in a row, and no MP has successfully handed the seat over to a successor from the same party.

The seat went to the party of government from 1972 to 1990, but since Labour won the seat back in 1993 the seat has often been won by the opposition party in 1993, 1999 and 2005.

Tony Steel won the seat for the National Party in 1990, defeating two-term Labour MP Bill Dillon. In 1993, Steel lost to Labour’s Dianne Yates. Steel and Yates faced off against each other at four successive elections – and both of them were unseated on two different occasions.

In 1996, Steel won the seat back off Yates. Yates won a seat on the Labour party list. Steel was re-elected in 1999, with Yates staying on the Labour list.

In 2002, Steel lost to Yates in a Labour landslide. Steel did not win a list seat, and the election finished his political career.

In 2005, Dianne Yates was defeated by National candidate David Bennett, and she retained her seat as a list MP. She retired in early 2008 in the lead-up to the election.

Bennett has been re-elected in Hamilton East twice in 2008 and 2011 – the first MP to win election to three successive terms in Hamilton East since Ian Shearer (1975-1984).

In addition to Yates, two other list MPs have contested Hamilton East. New Zealand First’s Doug Woolerton ran in Hamilton East, and was elected on the party list, at four successive elections from 1996 to 2005. He lost his seat when New Zealand First was eliminated from Parliament at the 2008 election.

Labour list MP Sue Moroney – who lost to Bennett in 2008 – has been elected on the Labour party list at the 2005, 2008 and 2011 elections. She still sits in Parliament as a Labour list MP, but did not contest Hamilton East at the last election.

Candidates

  • Cliff Allen (Labour)
  • David Bennett (National #37), Member for Hamilton East.
  • Ray Calver (Internet #28)
  • Katrina Day (Conservative)
  • Carolyn McKenzie (Democrats #11)
  • Mark Servian (Green #54)
  • Ron Smith (ACT #19)
  • Richard Taurima (New Zealand First #28)
  • Quentin Todd (United Future #9)

Assessment
Hamilton East has a reputation as a bellwether seat, but has shifted towards National in recent years. Labour would likely need to do very well to challenge David Bennett’s hold on the seat.

2011 election results

Electorate VotesParty Votes
CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedistVotes%SwingRedist
David Bennett National 18,50557.11-1.4756.3317,08551.39+1.8850.57
Sehai Orgad Labour 10,23031.57-0.4331.968,21724.71-6.0925.07
Nick Marryatt Green 1,6975.24+0.925.473,94911.88+4.6712.17
Gordon StewartNew Zealand First7972.46-0.042.571,7865.37+2.085.48
Robyn JacksonConservative7522.32+2.322.341,1453.44+3.443.50
Garry MallettACT2300.71-0.560.713411.03-3.071.00
Bruce KingsburyPirate1370.42+0.420.43
Carolyn McKenzieDemocrats540.170.000.18180.050.000.06
United Future2600.78-0.570.77
Māori1950.59-0.370.60
Legalise Cannabis1310.39+0.010.39
Mana890.27+0.270.27
Libertarianz250.08+0.010.09
Alliance80.02-0.030.02
Polling places in Hamilton East at the 2011 general election. Central in green, North in orange, South in blue. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Hamilton East at the 2011 general election. Central in green, North in orange, South in blue. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths in Hamilton East have been split into three parts:

  • Central – Enderley, Fairfield and parts of Claudelands
  • North – Chartwell, Flagstaff and Rototuna
  • South – Hamilton East, Hillcrest and Silverdale

National won a large electorate vote majority (69% – 22.5%) in the north, and a similar majority in the north on party votes.

National won a plurality of electorate and party votes in South and Central – around 47-48% on the electorate vote and 41-43% on the party vote.

The Labour electorate vote varies from 22.5% in the north to almost 40% in the centre, and a similar pattern is seen in the party vote, but on a lower vote base.

The Green Party came third, with a party vote ranging from 7.6% in the north to 17.9% in the south.

Voter groupElectorate votesParty votesTotal% of votes
NATLABGRNNATLABGRNNZF
North68.9022.503.1963.3817.627.574.589,29829.77
South47.8038.507.3441.0528.9817.885.457,66724.55
Central47.6239.855.6742.7432.1611.606.535,69718.24
Other votes56.1331.146.1450.4324.9412.425.788,57427.45
National party votes in Hamilton East at the 2011 general election.
National party votes in Hamilton East at the 2011 general election.
Labour party votes in Hamilton East at the 2011 general election.
Labour party votes in Hamilton East at the 2011 general election.
Green party votes in Hamilton East at the 2011 general election.
Green party votes in Hamilton East at the 2011 general election.