Although it hasn’t really been covered in either the book or MA thesis on early IHC history (which focussed heavily on the Anyons), I believe (from detailed family knowledge) that my grandmother played a central role in both the intitial organising & lobbying for the IHCPA and was the one who insisted it specifically be set up as a Parents Association.
By the late 40s, she’d been a longtime Labour Party activist (knew all the leading Labour MPs & was especially close to the Wellington ones like Nash & Fraser), was embarking on a career in Wgtn City local body politics for Labour (Hospital Board / City Council), had been active in the PSA Equal Pay Campaign for some years (including lobbying politicians), had been involved in setting up one or two early childcare centres (most notably for Wellington Railway Station staff & passengers) & had been the Secretary of the Wellington School Committees Assn for quite some time.
As with the rest of her politics, she was very progressive & well-read on education issues (& was quite close to Clarence Beeby).
And she’d always believed that kids with intellectual or learning disabilities should be allowed to go to school like every other child. She was very young when she first started thinking along these lines. Poet/Journalist/Novelist Robin Hyde was a close friend of hers when they were growing up in the same street in the southern working-class Wellington suburb of Berhampore before & during WWI. In her semi-autobiographical ‘The Godwits Fly’, Hyde writes (in partly sarcastic / partly endearing terms) about a neighbourhood boy with intellectual disabilities:
"On the upstairs iron balcony of his house, the Silly Boy stood as usual, swaying and smiling, ludicrously polite. His head tipped right back, so that he seemed to have no chin at all, and he always smiled foolishly, bending over double as the children passed him. He was quite grown-up, with curly dark hair, but he didn’t know how to talk. Every morning his parents dressed him and stood him out in the sunshine, where he remained swaying quietly all day. Eliza had never seen him sitting down. He leaned out, as if vainly waiting for someone, and one of the trapped cabbage-palms came just level with his head"
That (teenage) boy was named Seymour & (like Robin Hyde) my Grandmother used to pass him on the way to school every day. He would always remember to say hello to her by name & she later remembered that at about the age of 6 she asked her Mother why Seymour wasn’t allowed to go to school with the rest of the kids. She thought it was grossly unfair … & that idea stuck with her throughout adulthood.
By the late 40s she knew the Anyons quite well from their mutual involvement on the Ngaio School Committee … and the information I have is that the Anyons & other Parents had initially focussed on petitioning or pressuring the Government to set up an organisation itself. My grandmother – with her years of experience in political activism – advised Mrs Anyon that it’d be much better to organise Parents to set up their own organisation. She knew that Governments of both stripes had the ability to put up all sorts of obstacles when it suited them & a Parents group would have much more control over events & also be a much stronger lobby group in sheer numbers.
Both the Anyons & my grandmother did a lot of lobbying of politicians & she was able to advise them given her experience & close contacts in the Labour Party.
Last thing I want to do here is sound like I’m trying to shoe-horn her into the history. But her children have quite a detailed & definite knowledge of events & the Anyons themselves always acknowledged her contribution privately over the following years (even if she’s been somewhat airbrushed from the official story). Then again, she was one of those principled Socialists who believed in doing things for the social good rather than personal glory or prestige … so would’ve said it doesn’t really matter whether or not she made it into an official history. She tended to organise new groups & then rapidly move on to other things once they were set up & running.
None of which is to take away from the central involvement & drive of the Anyons.
2014 New Zealand Election Study
Party or Electorate vote more important ?
Party vote more important 56%
(2011 = 42%) (2005 = 58%)
Equally important 25%
(2011 = 38%) (2005 = 30%)
Electorate vote more important 10%
(2011 = 9%) (2005 = 6%)
Don't know 10%
(2011 = 12%) (2005 = 6%)
"Considering National got fairly close to what it did in 2014 and certainly more than it did in 2008, I'm not sure the "National led government lost". The Nat's constituency seems to be fairly steady in their support"
Nats down 2.1 points (2014 Election Night vs 2017 Election Night)
Right Bloc (Govt Parties + Cons) down 6.5 points
So in the context of the collapse of the 4% Conservatives (whose supporters strongly favoured a National led government - NZES) = the Nats Party-Vote should've soared rather than fallen by 2 points (that's if you want to argue they've essentially held their own)
Lab+Green meanwhile are up a significant 7 points
Right vs Oppo
2014 (Election Night) … 2017 (Election Night)
Right … 54.4% .. …… … ……. 47.9% … … Down 6.5 points
Oppo … 43.6% .. … … ………. 49.2% .. …. Up 5.6 points
2014 Right lead by 10.8 points
2017 Oppo lead by 1.3 points
See my comparison of 2014-17 Election Night swing (Sunday - The Standard)
"Other than the Maori seats, where was the swing to Labour that you'd expect in a "mood for change" climate?"
Bizarre thing to say when Labour's Party-Vote soared by 11 points
"But NZ First are split on which way their constituents would want them to go. That break down is: 46% want them to go with National. 41% Labour and 13% want them in opposition.This would change the result to 51.15 vs 44.78"
Self-selected sample at the beginning of August = meaningless
I've done quite a bit of finely-grained Booth-by-Booth analysis over recent years
It's allowed me to identify various Bellwether neighbourhoods
Who knows - Intensive canvassing of these micro-areas might just prove a little more cost-effective for Labour & Greens than Polling
Where did I read recently that NZ's population is far too small to make statistically robust Online polling viable ?
Dare I say it ? - find myself largely agreeing with Young Paddy Gower too
"The Greens seem to be in pathological denial about the damage that Turei's benefit fraud admission is doing"
Becomes clearer by the day that the Greens attract a disproportionate number of wishful-magical thinkers - psychologically needing a protective bubble to escape cold hard political reality
Metiria's damaged her party and possibly the electoral fortunes of the wider Left Bloc … reinforces Coalition of Chaos meme & reinforces ugly beneficiary stereotypes held by voters on the Right (& a large slice of the Centre)
Most frustrating of all - the Metiria factor is potentially nullifying the Jacinda factor
Green’s core policy on welfare ? = for the most part laudable (indeed long overdue)
Turei’s PR campaign to promote that policy ? = clumsy, impulsive, self-defeating
Blissfully unaware of wider public opinion - didn't bother to consult publicly available Poll data … If she'd bothered - they could've focused attention on vital issues around welfare, poverty, beneficiaries in far less counter-productive way for Left
With the Greens – it’s like giving kids a box of matches to play with … & on the eve of an Election Campaign after 9 long years in Opposition !
Re-posting Toby Manhire & Bernard Hickey links (originally posted by Russell & Sacha) - both hit the nail squarely on the head
"I wonder how many of those voters were former Labour Party voters"
Yep, I think that's right, Jason - quite a few will be, given Labour's 25 point decline in the seat since 2005 and the Greens 13 point rise (not taking into account boundary changes). So, I'd guess up to half of current Green supporters in Mt Albert are former Labour voters.
Certainly a degree of unpredictability - but, with the different dynamics of a one-vote By-Election (and the unprecedented situation of no National candidate), I'm pretty sure that significantly fewer than 73% of Greens will go Ardern.
Varying turnout will also play a crucial role. Who can motivate their supporters to get out and vote ?
Ardern will certainly win - but the question is by how much ?
"What will National voters do?"
While National voters will disproportionately stay at home, I suspect a core of loyalists will hold their collective noses and strategically vote Green in an effort to help slash Labour's majority, humiliate them and sow a bit of discord on the Left.
Not necessarily a majority of Nat voters (I agree that for many it will just go too much against the grain) but quite possibly a large minority of the maybe 30-35% of Tories who do get out and vote. Would still mean more than 2000 - perhaps 2500 - heading towards Genter.
At least as importantly ... What will Green voters do ?
73% of Green Party-Voters backed Shearer in the Candidate-Vote at the last Election. That was way ahead of the average Labour MP – in the Country as a whole, just 47% of Greens Candidate-Voted Labour.
Indeed, Shearer was one of those rare Labour MPs whose Candidate-Vote was derived, first and foremost from non-Labour voters.(arguably making the Mt Albert Labour majority uniquely vulnerable).
So, in a one-vote By-Election, where voters can’t enjoy the (General Election) luxury of being able to separate out their core political allegiance (as expressed in the Party-Vote) from their favoured personality ( Candidate-Vote ), it’s reasonable to assume that a significant chunk of that 73% of Greens (5810 voters to be precise) are going to reaffirm their primary political allegiance and choose Genter. All the more so when there is no National candidate to scare them into strategically voting Ardern.
I doubt that Ardern is any great danger of actually losing the seat …
But – with a potential majority of 2014 Green-Shearer voters combining forces with a potential large minority of Nats – it’s quite possible Genter will slash Labour’s majority. ... This in a seat that Farrar has already loudly proclaimed one of “Labour’s” safest (in fact, it’s a Shearer stronghold, not a Labour one. Labour received just 29% of the Party-Vote at the last Election).
So you can imagine the media headlines. Potentially, at least, an own goal for the Left. Hope not, but fear it may be.
Brilliant. Thanks, David. Your data even allows me to calculate movement in and out of non-voting - all I could ask for and more.
On the the left/right median voter theorem being tosh - completely agree. Similar findings in recent analyses of British voters. A significant body of voters do not vote for the Party closest to them on the Left-Right spectrum. Voter behaviour is much more fluid and much more complex than that. Partly why I see Rob Salmond's emphasis on "Centrist" voters as far too simplistic.