The Peters disease must be airborne
Over at Poster Child, Bren examines the geographical spread of the 2002 party vote in an interesting way. Looking at the minor parties, he lists the top 10 electorates by party vote for each party, with the bottom 10 electorates for each party.
NZ First support appears to be focused around the top of the North Island. In fact, most of these electorates are right next to each other - the Peters disease must be airborne! From Northland to the North, to Taranaki-King Country and Rotorua in the south, an iron passes over an Italian suit, and people fall for it. Thankfully, Auckland city appears to have greater immunity (yay to the Migrants!).
I have often wondered why Winston Peters' supporters are so geographically bound. As Peters gained nearly 15% of the party vote in the Maori seats in 2002, does the northern north island concentration represent his Maori constituency in the general seats, as these areas have reasonable Maori populations as a percentage? But given his vote, there must be more to it than this. Any thoughts?
While much as been said of the threat of the Maori party to Labour and the Greens, no one appears to have pointed out that NZ First's vote could be drained by the Maori party, especially given his stance on the seabed and foreshore issue. Given his policies I have always found it strange why Peters attracts support from Maori - it seems more than a little insulting to claim it can be explained in terms of just 'face' value.
And as for NZF's worst seats - the educated liberal electorates absolutely loathe and detest Peters. With good reason, Mr Powell.
I hope Winston looses Tauranga, I really do. The less our MMP electoral system is distorted by egotistical upstarts in single electorates the better. Lets lower the threshold from 5%, but do away with the silly rule that allows those who win one electorate to bring their cronies in with them*. Lets encourage parties to base themselves on clear policy and principles - this is what party votes are meant to be about after all.
* Germany requires parties to win at least 3 electorate seats (or 5%) to gain list seats.