Whanganui – NZ 2014

NAT 16.93% vs LAB

Incumbent MP
Chester Borrows, since 2005.

Geography
Western parts of North Island, including Whanganui, Hawera and surrounding areas. The seat covers all of Wanganui council area, most of South Taranaki council area and small parts of Stratford council area.

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

Redistribution
Whanganui’s western boundaries previously aligned with the western boundaries of South Taranaki council area, but lost a small part of South Taranaki to New Plymouth, and gained a small part of Stratford council area from Taranaki-King Country.

History
Whanganui has existed as an electorate continuously since 1866. The seat has been Labour-dominated for most of the period since 1935, but has been National-held since 2005.

From 1935 to 2002, Labour won Whanganui at all but two elections. National won in 1969 and 1990.

Labour’s Jill Pettis won Whanganui off National MP Cam Campion in 1993. She was re-elected in 1996, 1999 and 2002.

In 2005, Pettis lost to National’s Chester Borrows, but retained a seat as a Labour list MP. She retired in 2008.

Borrows was re-elected in 2008 and 2011, and has served as a minister outside Cabinet since 2011.

Candidates

  • Chester Borrows (National #22)
  • Alan Davidson (ACT #25)
  • Kim MacIntyre (Conservative)
  • Hamish McDouall (Labour #41)
  • Heather Marion Smith (Democrats #26)
  • Nancy Tuaine (Māori #6)

Assessment
Whanganui is an electorate that Labour last held when they won a landslide victory in 2002. While the 16.7% margin isn’t completely out of reach, it will be very hard for Labour to win back in 2014.

2011 election results

Electorate VotesParty Votes
CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedistVotes%SwingRedist
Chester Borrows National 16,74353.69-2.6154.2415,15147.56+1.2547.85
Hamish McDouall Labour 11,69737.51-0.1037.308,73327.41-8.1027.32
John Milnes Green 1,4444.63+0.194.622,8558.96+3.688.74
Ian BroughamNew Zealand First1,0433.34+3.342.913,0359.53+4.399.48
Alan DavidsonACT1350.43-0.560.383451.08-1.991.07
Heather SmithDemocrats1210.39-0.280.35470.15-0.070.13
Conservative1,0303.23+3.233.36
Māori2250.71-0.290.68
Legalise Cannabis1760.55+0.210.54
United Future0.201430.45-0.200.47
Mana750.24+0.240.21
Libertarianz220.07+0.020.07
Alliance210.07-0.020.07
Polling places in Whanganui at the 2011 general election. Central in green, East in blue, Hawera in red, West in yellow, Whanganui in orange. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Whanganui at the 2011 general election. Central in green, East in blue, Hawera in red, West in yellow, Whanganui in orange. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths in Whanganui have been divided into five groups. The two largest towns, Whanganui and Hawera, have both been grouped together. Those polling places in the Wanganui council area outside the Whanganui urban area have been grouped as ‘east’, with the remainder split between ‘central’ and ‘west’.

The National Party won the electorate vote in four out of five areas, with large majorities ranging from 59.4% to 70.6% in those areas. Labour won 49% of the vote in Whanganui, to 42% for National.

On the party vote, National topped the poll in all five areas. National won majorities ranging from 55% to 59% in four of those areas, and won a 38% plurality in Whanganui.

New Zealand First came third, with a vote ranging from 8.3% in Hawera to 10.8% in Whanganui. The Green Party came fourth, with a vote ranging from 5.9% in Hawera to 10.3% in Whanganui.

Voter groupElectorate votesParty votesTotal% of votes
NATLABNATLABNZFGRN
Whanganui41.9249.1438.3433.4410.8010.2714,31943.10
West67.6524.2958.3519.658.786.115,38516.21
Hawera70.5923.7758.3222.318.275.903,70611.16
East59.4031.5755.3318.878.739.762,3036.93
Central67.8223.2059.4720.279.895.891,4144.26
Other votes56.2634.6748.9527.618.039.426,09418.34
National party votes in Whanganui at the 2011 general election.
National party votes in Whanganui at the 2011 general election.
Labour party votes in Whanganui at the 2011 general election.
Labour party votes in Whanganui at the 2011 general election.
National party votes in the Whanganui urban area at the 2011 general election.
National party votes in the Whanganui urban area at the 2011 general election.
Labour party votes in the Whanganui urban area at the 2011 general election.
Labour party votes in the Whanganui urban area at the 2011 general election.
National party votes in Hawera at the 2011 general election.
National party votes in Hawera at the 2011 general election.
Labour party votes in Hawera at the 2011 general election.
Labour party votes in Hawera at the 2011 general election.

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