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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Party Vote? 'How to Vote Cards?

I want to hear from the MMP experts. I want some advice on how to make the best use of my party vote.

You might ask 'Why on earth is a Gnat asking such a dumb question?' Well, I want to see Act in the next government and Winston out of it. It seems to me the only way Act will get there is for RH to win Epsom and given that he does, which I suspect he will, the question for me is simple. If a significant number of Gnat voters gave their party vote to Act, would the total number of Act/Gnat seats be greater than it would have been, had those party votes stayed with National? I don't know the answer.

It was dead easy in Australia where parties are permitted to hand out 'how to vote cards' on election day at each polling booth. This is done so that parties can 'direct' their preferential votes. Maybe it's time for 'how to vote' cards here.

For example, what would be the effect of a direction from the Maori Party, asking it's voters to give their party vote to National or Act? I wonder if they would see this as a means of killing off Winston and giving two shots at knocking off labour to each of its voters? After all, if they take six seats with only two percent of the party vote, is not a huge number of their party votes actually wasted?

So, why not redirect them where they can do real damage, both to Labour and Winston?

If I were a Gnat strategist I would be sitting down right now and talking real hard to Dr Winiata.

UPDATE by AL: Election NZ's MMP Seat Allocation Calculator

Posted by Adolf Fiinkensein | 7/02/2005 07:54:00 am


Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Depends on the breakpoints between the percentages. But why think theoretically about this when you can use Election NZ's MMP Vote Calculator?

7/02/2005 08:34:00 am  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Thanks Lemur. I've had a play with it but for us poor country boys it leaves much to be desired. For example I can't see how to change the one figure without losing the lot and having to start again. There is no 'back' function on the actual hoodacky. IS there some other site which has more flexibility?

7/02/2005 10:13:00 am  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Unfortunately not, unless you email Elections NZ and they have a spreadsheet version (a distinct possibility).

I once emailed them for the history of political party donations over the last couple of elections, and they promptly replied with the data in a spreadsheet.

7/02/2005 10:21:00 am  
Blogger andrewfalloon said...

I heard somewhere it takes ACT 16,000 votes to get an extra MP (on top of Epsom), while it takes National 80,000 votes to get an extra MP. Don't quote me on that though. Anyone else heard that??

7/02/2005 11:19:00 am  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

That doesn't make sense. Act is assured of getting 3% or so, which gives them 3-4 MP's so long as Rodney takes Epsom.

7/02/2005 11:21:00 am  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Andrewfalloon, that's exactly the sort of arithmetic I'm looking for. The real campaign has to be all about keeping Winston safely in opposition. I might have another play with the calculator and see if I can make some sense of it.

7/02/2005 11:30:00 am  
Blogger Ashley Clarkson said...

If you want to go back with the electoral calculator Adolf, press F11. That will pop out the bar and such so you can press the back button.

As for the number of party votes required for a seat, it is all relative. All that happens is that the total votes of every qualifying party are divided by 1,3,5,7,9,11 etc. and the 120 largest numbers there are used to divide up the seats. From memory it goes down to about 7-8000 votes to cover one seat.

In my opinion, what any minor party should be trying to do is pick up as many votes as possible (and if they get over the 5% threshold, then great) but also to win an electorate seat - one they have a reasonable chance of winning. Try for a marginal, or a seat where a major party is willing to ally in a electorate vote minor/party vote major campaign.

7/02/2005 12:52:00 pm  
Blogger Nigel Kearney said...

Whether you give your party vote to National or Act makes no difference to the total seats for National and Act combined, unless National wins enough electorates with a low enough percentage of the party vote to have an overhang. In that case it's better for Act to have your party vote. This is highly unlikely and if it did happen, there would not be enough seats to form a govt without Winston anyway.

However, quality matters as well as quantity. Trading one of National's number 45-50 for Act's number 7-9 would be a huge improvement, even if the total number of MPs was the same.

7/02/2005 01:17:00 pm  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Thank you Nigel. That's what I had suspected. Am I right in considering that, due to their overhand in electorate seats,Maori Party voters can get two bangs for one buck by giving their party votes either to National or Act?

7/02/2005 01:32:00 pm  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Yep thats right Adolf.

7/02/2005 02:06:00 pm  
Blogger David Farrar said...

As orthers have said, havign Natinal voters vote ACT will not increase the number of Nat/ACT seats.

If ACT do not make 5% or win a seat however then all those ACT votes will be wasted, and may ironically help Labour retain office.

7/02/2005 04:35:00 pm  
Blogger radar said...

ACT will get more than 5% and win a seat.

7/02/2005 07:34:00 pm  
Blogger Gooner said...

Yes they will Roger.

7/02/2005 08:03:00 pm  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Well guys, if they are going to they will have to get off their arses pretty quick.
I hope they do.

7/02/2005 09:21:00 pm  
Blogger Gooner said...

The Lions were ahead 10-0 within 5 minutes tonight and lost by 30. The prizes are handed out at the end, not at the start. They're off their arses. But I note your point.

7/02/2005 10:49:00 pm  

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