BIG NEWS: Why Peter Dunne won with an increased majority

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why Peter Dunne won with an increased majority

Well, I have been saying for a while now that Peter Dunne will win Ohariu – and win with an increased majority.

Peter Dunne not only won Ohariu with an increased majority, he increased that majority by more than 50 percent and won 39 percent of the vote. While National’s Katrina Shanks’ vote dropped to her lowest in three elections,( as did the Greens’ constituent vote) Labour’s Charles Chauvel got 315 more votes than he did in 2008- but Dunne got 925 more – and that’s with a lower turnout.

Chauvel conceded before 10pm, but has yet to ring Dunne – in fact he has yet to ring Dunne to concede the 2008 election. He also came second in 2005 and contested an electorate in 1990. I heard that a reporter tried to get in to Chauvel’s electorate party only to be told she was not wanted.

However United Future’s party vote dropped and I recon the party would have got more had the tea tape controversy not assisted NZ First. In fact the electorate vote dropped too, perhaps reflecting the fact that only 65 percent bothered to turn up to vote – the lowest since about 1884. But it wasn’t the low turn-out or any “deal” between National and Dunne that won the seat for Dunne – more people in Ohariu simply want Dunne as their MP. Dunne had a 10 point plan for the electorate, the other candidates did not. Dunne has a firm grip on the electorate – even amongst the increasing number of people who party vote Green. Fewer voted Labour too – the party vote dropped to 26 percent from 32.8 percent, despite Labour campaigners being the most visible in the electorate.

It appears that some Dunne voters, tiring of the incumbent voted for Chauvel as there was no way Katrina Shanks was going to win, but more former Shanks voters voted for Dunne – with many staying at home. An increasing proportion of those who voted Dunne party voted Green instead of Labour. National also got a good showing - 49 percent of the party vote.

It is clear that Chauvel is the wrong Labour candidate for Ohariu. He has lost three times in a row, despite Labour's footsoldiers campaigning increasingly harder. If Labour wants to win Ohariu, Dunne would either need to retire, or Labour would have to select a candidate that more people will vote for – and who wants to represent his electorate a little more than Chauvel does.

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