Why Winston’s task is harder than people realise

There’s been a bit of speculation about whether Winston will break the 5% threshold and get back into Parliament. Most of the credible polling shows he polling around or just under 3%.

His task is harder than people realise. Pundits have not yet picked up on the power of specials and overseas votes, and how this could profoundly affect Winston’s chances.

(Source – NZ Parliament website)

You see, Winston needs to do better than 5.01%.

This is because overseas and special votes cast tend to hurt, rather than help NZ First’s party vote. If he should get 5.1% on the night, he would probably fall below 5% when the specials come in.

Let’s look at the evidence.

Election night on 2008, NZ First got 4.2%

However, they dropped to 4.07% after the specials came in.

The results are similar to 2005, where they won 5.84% on the night, and dropped to 5.72% on the final result – again with slippage of .12%

Given that in 2011, they have been out of Parliament, it is likely that their overseas and special vote networks have degraded. Their “slippage” from E-Day to the final declared result could be higher than 0.12%.

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