Sunday, 9 November 2008

Don't blame Bradford for ACT

It has been suggested (1) that one reason for ACT's good performance last night was down to a backlash against the repeal of Section 59, particularly among Pacific Islanders in South Auckland. They oted for ACT, supposedly, because that was the party that refused to support he bill.

(The implication that PI families are prone to violence agaisnt children is noted)

This doesn't stand up to even the most basic scrutiny. Comparing the party vote for ACT across the three South Auckland electorates of Mangere, Manakau East and Manurewa, ACT's share of the party vote has barely changed - a boost in one electorate balanced by falls in another.
Mangere 05 - 141
Mangere 08 - 252

Manakau East 05 -629
Manakau East 08 - 395

Manurewa 05 - 232
Manurewa 08 - 575

And anyway, we're talking about such piddling numbers here that the net increase in Manurewa (since when did it become a hotbed of Freidmanite lunacy?) wouldn't even get Roger Douglas's toe nail clippings into parliament.

It would be interesting - but tiresome - to see where ACT was getting it was behind ACT's surge, it wasn't the wrath of brownskinned child thumpers in South Auckland.

In fact, Labour's support in Mangere dropped by about 7,000 vortes, but so did the total number of party votes cast (28,967 down to 21,688). The vote simply seems to have stayed at home. In Manakau South we see the same thing - 33,193 party votes cast in 2005, down to 23,312 in 2008. And Labour's majority down by about 4,500 (interestingly, National's support fell by 5,000 as well, acocunting for the difference). And in Manurewa, the difference between 2005's party votes and 2008's was about 8,000 votes, once again matching the fall in Labour's majority.

It might be arguable that the collapse in Labour support in these electorates reflects disgust at Labour's support of Bradford's bill, but there is nothing to support the claim that they were transfering to ACT in any significant numbrs. And with out that evidence, it is hard to attribute the decline to the Bradford Bill at all. It might be, but there isn't any good evidence to support the contention.

National, after all, did rather well last night inspite of supporting the bill.

The figures for 2005 can be verified here and the figures for 2008 can be checked here (2).

1 - Comment posted on The Standard by a poster called Falafula Fisi: "Labour should blame themselves for bringing in the EFA and the backing of Sue Bradford’s bill. I have lots of relatives in South Auckland who had been Labour supporters since they set foot on this country, until came the Sue Bradford’s bill, and they me told this afternoon, that they all voted for ACT the only party that opposed that bill." (http://www.thestandard.org.nz/election-night-live-blogging-the-live-post/#comment-103069)
2 - The online summary of the 2005 and 2008 election results, broken down by electorates, viewed as of the 9th on November, 2008. (http://2005.electionresults.govt.nz/electorateindex.html and http://2008.electionresults.govt.nz/electorateindex.html)

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