Archive for the ‘Electorate Boundaries’ category

Burton to loose seat; Boundaries set to change

May 3, 2007

The representation commission has finally released its proposed electorate boundaries for the 2008 general election. They can be found at www.elections.org.nz and the topic is well covered at www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2007/05/proposed_2008_boundaries.html. I did a booth by booth analysis looking at how the changes would alter the 6 most marginal general electorates in the country. The method used was to add up the votes for the Labour and National candidates in the areas set to change. This has some flaws as people can move in or out of the area and people may not vote at the polling booth closest to where they live.  In Otaki Darren Hughes will have his tiny 382 vote majority cut to 316. This seat could go either way in 2008. In Rotorua Steve Chadwick will have her majority cut by 88 votes to only 574. The third most marginal electorate in the country, Tauranga, has no change to its boundaries. There is some good news for labour in Hamilton West, where Martin Gallagher gets his majority strengthened by 198 votes bringing it to 1 023 votes.The East Coast has substantial changes to its boundaries, the effect of which is to make it safe for National’s Anne Tolley increasing her majority by 1 808 to 3 097. One of the biggest changes comes in Taupo, where the inclusion of Cambridge in that electorate, with other boundary changes, turns Mark Burton’s 1 285 vote majority to turn into a 705 vote majority to National. In Banks Peninsula, Ruth Dyson gets her majority strengthened to 4 305 votes, making that electorate a safe Labour seat. Labour lost that electorate in 1996 and won it in 2005 by only 1  923 votes. Going into the Maori seats, Horomia’s majority in Ikaroa-Rawhiti will increase by 124 votes to 1 932, but Okeroa’s majority will decrease to 2 374.  The Maori party should be pleased that in the most marginal Maori electorate, Tainui, renamed Pare-Hauraki Pare-Waikato, Nania Mahuta’s majority is cut by 213 votes to 1 647.  The commision creates one new electorate in Auckland- Howick, which has a 7 975 National majority, but this comes at the expense of Williamson’s majority in Pakuranga halved to 4 061. The Clevedon electorate is divided inbetween a new Huanna electorate, consisting of the rural areas of Clevedon and some of the Port Waikato electorate (which has been abolished), and a new Papakura electorate. The new Papakura electorate has a slim 1 573 National majority.  There are also gains to National in West-Coast Tasman where Damien O’Connor has had his majority reduced by 538 votes to 1 616. Overall, politically it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the new boundaries favour National.

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