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Wednesday, 23 January 2019 09:15 pm

Referendum street poll: Voters have no idea

Nov 20th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News


With less than seven days until Election Day voters show little knowledge of this year’s election referendum on MMP and the other voting systems.

Of all those spoken to by NewsWire in a street poll who were eligible to vote, 75% had no or little knowledge of the differences between the possible voting systems.

Of those who said they had no or little knowledge of the differences, 33% said they would find out more information online before Election Day.

There have been 18 public meetings around New Zealand organised by the Electoral Commission to discuss the referendum.

Less than 20 people showed up at the Wellington meeting, which was held earlier this week in Rutherford House.

The last public meeting being held before the elections is in Nelson on the November 21 at 7pm in the council chambers.

In the street survey, NewsWire asked:

1) Do you know the differences between the possible voting systems?
2) If no, will you find out more information about the systems before Election Day or will you vote MMP because you don’t know the other systems?

Sam Fraser (right),19, Motueka: “No I don’t know – I’ll just be voting MMP”

Andy Wright, 33, Aro Valley: “No, I haven’t even thought about it but will find out the differences”

Connie Hutchinson, 21, Tawa: “Yes, I mostly know how they differ from MMP.”

Simi Avia (left), 43, Mount Victoria: “I just vote, probably will just vote for MMP I’m more concerned about the party vote then the system, I guess it’s also because I don’t know what they [systems] mean.”

Johnathan Wright, 20, Dunedin: “Yes, I know a vague run down of them.”

Bruce Mcaulay, 57, Mana: “I loosely know – I’ll find out more online”

Anahera Herewihi,18, Porirua: “No, I’m voting MMP I don’t know what the others are”

Hayden Sanders, 28, Northland: “I pretty much know. I know there are four other options and know the differences.”

Dave Grant, 23, New Plymouth: “I could probably name them but don’t know the differences. It’s shocking nobody knows – I probably couldn’t even name them all actually. I’ll look online for more information.”

Alastair Mawhinney (right), 21, Newtown: “No idea. I know MMP but that’s it, I won’t find out but probably would just vote MMP.”

Anton Milne, 25, Miramar: “I vaguely know but can’t quote them – probably look into it.”

Voting Systems Overview

MMP – Mixed Member Proportional: Each voter gets two votes. An electorate MP vote and a party vote.  A party that wins at least one electorate seat or 5% of the party vote gets a share of the seats in Parliament that is about the same as its share of the party vote.

FFP – First Past the Post: Each voter gets one vote. An electorate MP vote. Large parties usually win a share of the seats in Parliament larger than their share of all the votes across the country. Smaller parties usually receive a smaller share of seats than their share of all the votes.

PV – Preferential Voting: Voters rank the candidates – 1, 2, 3, etc – in the order they prefer them. A candidate who gets more than half of all the first preference votes wins. Large parties (in particular the winning party) usually win a share of the seats in Parliament larger than their nationwide share of the first preference votes. It is hard for smaller parties to win seats in Parliament, but votes for smaller party candidates may influence who wins the seat because of second, third, etc preferences.

STV – Single Transferable Vote: Each voter has a single vote that is transferable. Voters either rank the individual candidates – 1, 2, 3, etc – in the order they prefer from all the candidates, OR vote for the political party of their choice and accept their choice of candidate rankings. The number of MPs elected from each political party roughly mirrors the party’s share of all the first preference votes across the country.

SM – Supplementary Member: Each voter gets two votes. There are 120 members of parliament and 90 electorates the remaining seats are called supplementary seats. The first vote is the electorate candidate vote. The second vote is the party vote where the voter chooses a political party. The share of the 30 supplementary seats each party gets reflects its share of the party vote. For example if the party gets 50% of the party vote it will get 15 seats (being 50% of 30 seats).

For more information visit: www.referendum.org.nz

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is a Whitireia journalism student. Holds Bachelor of Communications, major in Journalism Studies, composite minor in Media Studies and Expressive Arts.
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