The Greens had a fantastic election, improving on last election's 6.72% and nine seats in the house to breaking the ten precent barrier this election with 10.62%, giving them 13 MP's in the house.
There are really two factors at play with the Greens success, the strengthening of the Green brand and the diabolical performance of the Labour Party. In terms of branding, the Greens have managed to maintain their clean, green and principled guise by rigorously staying on message.
The Greens have realised that they can fly under the radar of scrutiny if they keep to a simple idealistic message. The soft vote doesn't care about scrutiny and the media won't push for answers, if the Greens stay on message; kind of like the defence mechanism of a schooling fish. But in saying that, they have to be commended for how they managed to get their message out, again their advertising and other promotional stunts worked very well.
Along with New Zealand First, the Greens were the big winners on the night. So let's take a look at the numbers. Note that the following analysis is based 2008 data and preliminary results from the 2011 election.
Biggest Party Vote by Electorate
|Rank ||Electorate ||Candidate ||Party (%) ||Change |
|1 ||Wellington Central ||SHAW, James ||26.47 ||n/c |
|2 ||Rongotai ||NORMAN, Russel ||23.07 ||n/c |
|3 ||Dunedin North ||TUREI, Metiria ||22.69 ||n/c |
|4 ||Auckland Central ||ROCHE, Denise ||22.13 ||n/c |
|5 ||Port Hills ||BURSTON, Joseph ||19.26 ||n/c |
|6 ||Mt Albert ||CLENDON, David ||16.48 ||+1 |
|7 ||Christchurch Central ||MOORHOUSE, David ||15.78 ||-1 |
|8 ||Te Tai Tonga ||LANGSBURY, Dora Roimata ||15.51 ||+13 |
|9 ||Nelson ||BARLOW, Aaryn ||15.33 ||n/c |
|10 ||Ohariu ||HUGHES, Gareth ||14.06 ||n/c |
The first observation is that the Greens have maintained support in their last election's best performing electorates, their urban powerhouses. Wellington Central generally had a very low voter turnout (around 64%), but with the help of James Shaw, they increased the party vote from 20.62% when Sue Kedgley stood in 2008 to 26.47% this election.