Election 2017: Auckland tips the balance in National's favour

Support for Bill English and the National Party held firmer in Auckland than in other parts of the country.
PHIL WALTER/GETTY IMAGES

Support for Bill English and the National Party held firmer in Auckland than in other parts of the country.

How did the different parts of New Zealand vote? And how does that compare to 2014? 

AUCKLAND STAYS BLUE

Despite all the talk of unaffordable housing, unchecked immigration and gridlocked roads, there is no mood for change in our biggest city. Or if there is, none of the other parties are doing anything to capture it.

National's party vote held firm or increased in all but a handful of Auckland's electorates. 

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The main exceptions were Mt Albert (Jacinda Ardern's electorate) and Auckland Central, which saw one of the biggest swings to Labour in the country.

All 10 of the electorates nationwide in which support for National increased by more than 2 points, were in Auckland. 

Many of those were heartland Labour territory in the south and west of the city, where National's overall vote share is still small and Labour's is large, but they also grew their support in blue strongholds like Botany, Pakuranga and Papakura.

 

It's often said that Auckland is a different country to the rest of New Zealand and votes as such, but if the swing to Labour away from National (and not just the minor parties) in other parts of New Zealand had been mirrored in more of Auckland, a change of Government would be looking much more likely right now. 

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And if Winston Peters feels obliged to throw his support behind National because they have more seats than Labour-Greens, they might say 'it was Auckland what won it'.

WHERE THE JACINDA EFFECT WAS STRONGEST

The pre-election polls told us there was a groundswell of new support for Labour under Ardern's leadership. She immediately took them from the low 20s into the high 30s.

Now the results are in we can see where that support has come from.

The biggest gains have been made in traditional heartland Labour territory (excluding south and West Auckland): Such as the Māori seats, and the urban centres of the biggest cities - Auckland Central, Wellington Central and Christchurch Central.

In contrast to Auckland, all five of the Christchurch seats and the two Dunedin seats have been fertile ground for growing Labour support at the expense of National and not just the minor parties. It seems there is slightly more of a mood for change in the southern cities.

 

THE GREENS AND NZ FIRST

The Greens have been the biggest victim of Labour's revival. The biggest blows to their support have been made in younger electorates, such as Dunedin North, Auckland Central and Wellington Central. 

These are places where the Greens have eaten into Labour's party vote in recent elections, so you would expect to see this.

They also tend to vote more strongly for the Greens than the rest of New Zealand as a whole, so there is plenty of support to bleed away.

 

As for NZ First, they won less party vote than 2014 in all but a handful of electorates. But outside of the Māori electorates - where they suffered at the hands of Labour's resurgence - losses were minimal.

Peters' appeal endures. Particularly so in Northland and in the Bay of Plenty and East Coast regions. But also throughout the smaller provincial towns.

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 - Stuff

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