Low voter turnout feared

GLENN CONWAY
Last updated 09:47 04/10/2013
Hagley-Ferrymead candidates
LARGE FIELD: Hagley-Ferrymead has the most candidates vying for election of any Christchurch ward.

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Local Elections 2013

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Nearly a third of all voters in the Banks Peninsula ward have had their say in the local body elections but there is still the prospect of a low turnout across the city.

With just over a week until polls close, 22.5 per cent of all eligible voters have had their votes processed by Christchurch City Council scrutineers.

At the same time in the 2010 election, that figure was 24.3 per cent.

As of 7pm last night, 30.4 per cent of all Banks Peninsula voting papers had been returned and processed - the highest of all the seven council wards.

That ward is predicted to be too close to call with five strong candidates - Andrew Turner, Paula Smith, Jane Broughton, Mark Belton and Nuk Korako - all vying to replace sitting member Claudia Reid who has moved from the area.

The lowest returns were in the Hagley-Ferrymead ward which has the biggest field of any ward with 12 candidates seeking its two council seats.

The latest returns are: Shirley-Papanui ward 21.88 per cent, Fendalton-Waimairi ward 22.83 per cent, Burwood-Pegasus ward 24.38 per cent, Riccarton-Wigram ward 22.44 per cent, Hagley-Ferrymead ward 20.55 per cent, Spreydon-Heathcote ward 21.70 per cent and a 30.40 per cent turnout in the Banks Peninsula ward.

Overall, 54,402 voting papers, or 22.52 per cent of all voting forms, have been processed.

The voting turnout at Christchurch local body elections has risen at each election over the last decade.

In 2004, the overall turnout was just 38.77 per cent which rose to 42.02 per cent at the 2007 poll while the last election, held just after the September 2010 earthquake, attracted a 52.15 per cent response from voters.

This year's poll closes at noon next Saturday, October 12. 

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- The Press

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