Reflection on the results

Well after a very long wait the WCC have announced the preliminary results.

Of course the media will be focussing on the fact that Kerry is only scraping through with a majority of 40 votes, with 1000 special votes to be counted by Wednesday.

Regarding the rest of the council, a huge congratulations to Justin Lester, Paul Eagle and Simon Marsh.

At the end of the day, with 11 out of 14 councillors retaining their seats, is this just a sign that people are happy with the way Wellington is going, but they’re sick of Kerry?

Very keen to hear any interpretations of the results in the comments.


25 responses to “Reflection on the results

  1. you’d expect Celia to pick up more specials from the students and unenrolled than Kerry the incumbent and establishment candidate. Even if Kerry wins the election, she should feel defeated — she had the council machinery behind her (she arrived at the announcement with a bunch of council officials and gave all the appearance of having run her election from her council office). plus many voters wrote Celia off — if the Dom or the radio had actually covered the election Kerry would have been long gone.

    I am looking forward to seeing what Kerry’s election returns look like — she claimed to have been doing polling that showed her well ahead of Celia. looks like she wasted money on that polling, so it will be interesting to see how much it cost her.

    there is one other cliff-hanger — that’s Cook vs Ganley in Lambton. Cook didn’t really campaign other than sticking some strange billboards up. apparently people like red boots so they voted for Cook. Ganley took a different approach and door-knocked and waved placards. he’s a few votes behind, but if he’s actually enrolled a few people in the course of his door-knocking, then he might close the gap.

    Cunningham will have (or ought to have) a high electoral expense return for only a handful of votes. laughable. in contrast to Cunningham, Eagle put in a huge amount of effort and walked in as expected. it goes to show that unless you have name recognition, you still have to make an effort to win a council seat. this is GOOD!

    on the other hand, something that concerns me is the way that council officials seem prepared to support incumbents, and the way that incumbents seem prepared to use council officials to support their campaign. Richard McLean’s contributions to this blog during the campaign were over the line. Prendergast’s and Morrison’s use of council processes and propaganda were unacceptable. this goes completely against the state sector code of conduct and we need to have some discussion about what standard council staff and councillors are held to — i was thoroughly disgusted with some of the media releases and cynical vote buying during the campaign.

    that’s one possible topic for another thread. a second topic is the uselessness of WCC’s website — apparently Dunedin City Council had an announcement on its website that Wellington would not be announcing prelim results before 6pm this evening, but noone in Wellington knew about this until candidates were phoned this afternoon.

  2. The DHB results are now in

    5 of these are the same as 2007 – just three years older. If the other incumbents had run again, they would have been odds-on to make it in.

    This is just appalling. I’m believe that I’m right in thinking that the CCDHB had to be put under John Anderson’s management in their previous term. That being the case, why would you reelect ANY of the people who allowed it to happen? Malakai Jiko, who seemed to me to be a fantastically well-qualified candidate, finished second-last, yet Helene Ritchie INCREASES her share of the vote from last time round. Seriously people, if you can only bring yourselves to vote for people whose names you recognise, please don’t vote at all. Chances are you know them because they’re TERRIBLE.

  3. I see the Sunday Star Times include Marcus Ganley as a successful candidate in Lambton – sadly this isn’t correct – he’s about 150 behind – not sure how many special votes there are in Lambton (see there are 900 for Wellington). I think specials usually favour incumbents (though the Green party is very good nationally at mobilizing special votes. I hope Marcus runs again – wonder if he would have done better as an independent. I too am appalled by the DHB results – but then again I didn’t attend their meeting and found their blurbs difficult.

  4. The coverage of the election by the Dompost was very disappointing. While there was little coverage of the mayoralty race, you could have missed that there was any contest for the rest of the council. The DHB and GWRC councils were also largely ignored. This absence of reporting delivered a massive boost to incumbents with their advantage of name recognition.

    It’s notable that the two incumbents who lost out were those who made headlines for the wrong reasons, yet perennial non-performers such as Cook and Ritchie were returned yet again.

    Another factor in Lambton that might have hindered Ganley was Mark Greening. He didn’t campaign strongly but beat Cunningham and Bishop. Perhaps he picked up a few dozen votes for the other MG candidate.

    Overall it was a pleasingly clean campaign for the overwhelming majority of candidates, if a little light on issues. Let’s just hope that next time round we get the strong proven leadership that Kerry P says we need.

  5. The campaign should never have been as ‘clean’ as it was. Wellington now has the bulk of the head in the sand ostriches and mock pollies it has had through some turgid decision making. Real shame that Pepperell couldn’t swallow his ego and stop the vote splitting that could have dealt Wellington an immediate reprieve from KP duty. To a degree ditto Jack Yan – if he doesn’t stand in 2013 what was that all about?

  6. Specials from 2007

    In 2007 there were 978 special votes cast of which 800 were valid. At the final iteration Kerry received 265 more votes than the preliminary results and there were 409 specials for the two remaining candidates at the final iteration.

    • No ‘v’, they weren’t. Thomas makes an excellent point. The people standing around Kerry were not supporters. They are ratepayer funded staff.
      Ya know people who were supposed to be impartial.

    • I don’t have the same confidence in the impartiality of Council staff that you seem to have. Whether you want to accept it or not, they were not independent supporters, rather paid staff acting as supporters.

  7. Just a note on the re-election practices of incumbents – Jo Coughlan’s signs all carried a PO Box, not a street address as required. Having run in a city election before it could be assumed that she or her campaign manager would know better.

    • Wrong again V: From other candidates point of view technical errors are best left till after the campaign so the offender can’t correct them prior.

      Winston Peters’s loss against Clarkson might not have happened if Peters hadn’t pulled up Clarkson on his spending till after the election then nailed Clarkson for overspending.

    • late enrollers — people who have just turned 18 or who have moved houses since the last election without updating their details, and particularly those who have been door-knocked and encouraged to enroll by campaigning candidates. few of the latter sort will be voting for Stefanie Cook who was so disinterested in the election that she didn’t even bother to turn up for the result announcement yesterday.

      and this is yet another reason i have little respect for people like Seann Paurini who was on this site whining that he doesn’t have a profile because he’s an independent — if he actually wanted to do something for the disenfranchised like he says he does, he’d be out there finding them and helping them to vote.

  8. Interesting to reflect on the role of the media in a campaign that ended up being so close.
    The development of a consensus that the incumbent Mayor was unbeatable probably reduced interest in the elections overall.
    The Dominion’s failure to cover the election campaign in anything like the depth that the Herald and Press dedicated to their Mayoral campaigns may have assisted the incumbent.
    The behaviour of council staff also *appeared* to support the incumbent.
    That staff couldn’t identify the *apparent* impropriety of organising a Mayoral Concert for the elderly during the campaign speaks volumes for how the WCC staff confuse supporting the current Mayor with performing their roles as officials.
    Similarly, staff with a strong sense of the importance of separating electioneering from council business wouldn’t have abetted the Mayor and Councillor Morrison with their mid-campaign spending announcements. Not only did this give the incumbents major advantages, they also bound a future council during the voting period.
    And then we have had the spectacle of the Council’s official spokesman weighing in on blogs to support the Mayor and mock people who disagree with her.
    All in all the last few months have shown that a highly questionable culture exists at WCC. All the more need for WCC Watch to keep watching and questioning.
    Well done WCCWatch (and Johnny) for being among the few voices (Lindsay Shelton being another notable exception) that perform the crucial Fourth Estate role in Wellington’s local politics.

    • Thanks Lisa! Not sure that I’m in total agreement with all of your statements, but I do think that we’re keeping an eye on things. We’ve copped some flack, but that was always inevitable.

  9. I agree you do keep and eye on things.

    In sheer frustration yesterday, where did I get updated?

    On this blog – that’s where – so thanks for that

  10. I am not sure I can maintain an interest in local government politics at the moment. I am still in shock that Celia didn’t win on Saturday night, being in the atrium hearing the results read out by the softly spoken Ross Bly. Hopefully Wednesday night will turn me back on. I was surprised that Adam Cunningham failed so miserably. Gotta laugh. The expense returns will be great. Good to see Wain go but also shocked that Cook got back in. She hardly campaigned apart from a visit to Palmers to pick out some seeds. I will collect my thoughts later in the week. The one thing that freaked me out was the closeness of the management team and the mayor. They seemed a completely unified unit by the lifts. Poole, Garty and the rest with Kerry and Rex. You would never see that at the national level. Imagine Mark Prebble hanging with Key as the election results are read out. Poole and co didn’t make any attempt to approach a number of councillors apart from the in crowd like Best. Bizzare. Actually I am feeling the need to continue. WCC needs an ethics and civics lesson that will last until 2013.

    • Wade Brown has as good a chance as kp.

      The expense returns will be fascinating – no doubt another drama with KP using a blind trust etc.

      Wain will no doubt have a lot of secrets that need to be buried as to how things were done on council.

      The management team is supposed to be independent of the Mayor – sadly that has not been the case.

      You have it in one – they are a unified unit.

      Lapdogs is the word that comes to mind.

      No ethics in her worships office – civic lessons is a brilliant idea!

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