Norman Wood’s Prediction for the 2011 New Zealand Election

by norman on November 25, 2011

This prediction has been made on the evening before the November 26th 2011 election in New Zealand. My estimates, while I have given them careful consideration, it must be noted are very different from all the conventional polling published in the main stream media.

To summarise main stream media polling, namely, 3News Reid Research, TVNZ Colmar Brunton, Roy Morgan, Fairfax Media, Herald Digipoll, they when looked at together can be summarised as suggesting the following result: National 51% and trending down (enough to govern without a coalition partner), Labour 26% and trending down, Greens 13% trending up, NZ First 4.4% trending up (no seats as below the 5% party vote threshold and not winning a constituency), Maori 1.5% (4 constituency seats), Mana 1% trending up (1 constituency, 1 list seat), ACT 1.5% (although polling clearly shows ACT will loose Epsom and hence is required to reach 5% to get proportional representation, Main Stream media while reporting it is close seem to suggest in all their musings of coalition partners that ACT will be back with 2 seats), this is also the case for United Future, they also are required to win a constituency seat, while polling around 0.5% and trending down, the media assume United will be in on the back of that seat win. Then there is the new Conservative Party 2% trending up, failing to win a constituency, no seats.

Hence conventional polling is suggesting on the right wing we have (approximate number of seats out of 122 in brackets) National 51% (66 seats, majority government), although in support ACT 1.5% (2 seats), Maori 1.5% (4 seats), United 0.5% but winning a consistency (1 seat). In total 73 seats for government supporting parties (60% of seats). A commanding lead.

On the left there is the Labour Party on 26% (33 seats), Greens 13% (17 seats) and Mana 1.5% (2 seats). A total of 52 seats for the opposition.

As you can see there is a relatively large overhang of 5 seats, if we had the party vote alone, the NZ parliament would only have 120 members. List seats are created given the vagaries of independents and small parties winning constituency seats but only winning a very small percentage of the party vote. Hence, proportionality of parliament from the party vote requires more seats in parliament to be added. Yes, people have two votes in New Zealand, a vote for their geographical constituency representative, for the person (nearly always a member of a large political party) and also a party vote, for the party they most want to form the government. It is this last vote, the party vote that is most important for forming a government, because it is this party vote that determines the percentage of MPs a party has in parliament. Simply put, if the Greens get 10% of the party vote, they get 10% of the Members of Parliament.

Now, to get to the point of this article. What do I think will be the result tomorrow.

National I believe has been hurt much more than many people think by the police raids on media outlets instigated by a the Prime Minister to suppress information that I believe (but many don’t) was from a public conversation, in addition, their plan to sell strategic government assets to get a quick fix of cash, is also very unpopular. Labour has hammered the asset sale issue home, and NZ First has really driven the secret taping issue well and to their advantage. Hence, National 42% (55 seats). Maori Party 1.5% (4 constituency seats). ACT party loose their only constituency seat and hence must get over 5% to get their share of the vote in parliament, at only 1.5% party vote, they don’t, 0 seats. This is also the same for United, they loose their only seat, 0.5% party vote, 0 seats. New Zealand First will shock most people by getting at least 5% (7 seats). I see a Wild Card in the Conservatives, I predict to the surprise of many they will get 4% and will almost win the Rodney constituency, however, they don’t and with less than 5%, they get 0 seats, although they just might pop over 5% with many disenchanted National supporters wanting to send both a message and also a natural coalition partner to the Government, we will see. Labour, while having run a satisfactory campaign, they really have the weight of an appalling performance in opposition over the last 3 years to shrug off, they don’t, a record poor performance for them 26% (34 seats), expect to see Phil Goff their leader to be challenged within weeks. The star performer has probably been the Greens, however, it was more the poor performance of the others that they capitalised on, however, luck favors the prepared, and they were, 15% (20 seats), Mana Party hasn’t really had time to build an organisation being only 6 months old, however knowing the people involved expect it to either grow into a force or sink with internal arguments and infighting, 1.5% (2 seats).

In summary, the right wing, National 42% (55 seats) Maori 1.5% (4 seats). Total 59 seats.

The cross benches is NZ First with 5% (7 seats) they have said they will not go into government with anyone, although they have led people to think they would do one thing, and then do the complete opposite in the past. Apparently they will support legislation on a case by case basis. I’m unsure who they will support on confidence and supply. In the past they have been part of both Labour and National led governments.

The left wing, Labour 26% (34 seats), Greens 15% (20 seats), Mana 1.5% (2 seats). Total 56 seats.

For a party to win confidence and supply they need 62 seats in this scenario. Neither block has this. This is a true hung parliament. I’d imagine, the government being in power already will be a caretaker government until either NZ First can be won over, and this has taken months in the past, or maybe the Greens support the National led government. Even if the Maori Party join the left, their heartland actually, this only gives the left grouping 60 seats, and NZ First/National 62 seats. Hence, the Maori Party and particularly NZ First are the king pins in my scenario for tomorrow. As you can see this is a very very different prediction than what other commentators have suggested.

I must say I’ve been influenced to some degree by the very poor performance last year by these conventional polls prediction of the Auckland Mayoralty, they got it very very wrong. The new and not well reported by conventional media Horizon Polling methodology was more accurate in the Auckland Mayoralty, and has subsequently indicated National will do far worse than conventional reporting, in addition I’d like to give credit to a fellow blogger Martyn Bomber Bradbury and his analysis of the upcoming election. Now, we can only wait. Read the prologue below.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

JV November 26, 2011 at 10:14 am

Interesting, very interesting. I’d put Ohariu and Epsom too close to call. In the past, Hyde has polled well below 50% but come through on the night.

I also agree National will not get as high as they are polling, and I think they know that.

I think the Greens will get into double digits. but not much more. I’ve noticed a backlash from Green supporters worried that they may support National in some way. Given Russel Norman says “highly unlikely” they will support National, for many, that’s not definitive enough. They could also be a victim of their own high polling. “In the past I’ve voted Green, but Labour need my support more now.”



norman November 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Looks like you were more on the ball with Ohariu and Epsom. Banks result surprised me. So did National polling so high. I got most of the other parties correct, although maybe you were right about the Greens, their support is very shaky, but still a good result with 11%


Richard November 26, 2011 at 11:48 pm

So how were your predictions Norm? Give us an honest summary not the political bullshit one!


norman November 27, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Sorry Richard posted instead of replied. See the comment below for the response to your question.


norman November 27, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Well, lets just say that National did better than I was expecting at 48% (I predicted 42%, polls 51%), Labour 27% (I predicted 26%, polls 26%), Greens 11% (I predicted 15%, polls 13%), NZ First 7% (I predicted 5%, polls 4%). The other parties were about what the polls and I thought. Other than the Conservatives that I thought were a coming force, they didn’t do as well in Rodney as I thought, although I didn’t think they would win either. I do believe John Key had a cup of tea with the wrong person, Colin Craig winning Rodney would have given him 3 to 4 extra seats. I also noticed that TVNZ didn’t even have a graphic for the Conservatives at the bottom of the screen. I’m not a Conservative supporter, but it seems a bit arrogant to discount them like everyone seems, they were the next highest after NZ First, and more than ACT, Maori, United Future and Mana, all these other parties got MPs and far greater coverage.


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