Dunedin Central Ward Elections 2016

So the preliminary election results out, and Dunedin uses the Single Transferable Vote system. This is both fiendishly complicated to calculate the outcome, and also potentially quite frustrating for voters. On the flip side, it is supposed to produce a fairer outcome, and more diverse representation.

I like graphs, so this depicts the outcome. Basically, they count the votes, eliminate the weakest candidate, and the the people that voted for that person, their vote transfers to the person they like next best, and so on, along the bottom of the graph, until 14 councillors have been elected.


So as you can see Vandervis was by far the most popular candidate (though had Cull not been elected Mayor, then he would have been, I suspect). Whiley, Hawkins, and Benson-Pope all got there on first preferences, with Staynes getting in after the first 10 or so weakest candidates had been removed. The next few councillors all get elected in a mostly unsurprising fashion, until we get to Laufiso and Garey. These candidates were originally pretty equal of first preferences back at iteration 1, but both pull away from other candidates that they start out with back on the left hand side.

In particular, you’ll note that Laufiso picks up quite a few additional votes (marked 2) when Matahaere-Atariki, Walker, and Fung. This suggests that voters that liked those candidates also like Laufiso. You can also see a number of candidates whose elimination gives Hawkins a real bump (marked 1) even though he is already elected (those bumps are then redistributed).

Barbour-Evans could be described as unlucky, but in reality, as the final candidates were eliminated, they did not benefit as much. (It doesn’t seem too surprising that Acklin supporters don’t overlap with Barbour-Evans supporters).

I don’t expect there will be any change from the provisional results. There are no other candidates close, and I don’t think a different ordering of eliminations would have an impact.

(Except, perhaps if Fung was marginally ahead of Garey. At that point, it is between Garey, Fung, Barbour-Evans and Acklin. Garey gets a big bump after Fung is eliminated. At that point there is 25 votes in it. If Fung was ahead of Garey, and her elimination pushed either Fung or Barbour-Evans forward, they could replace Garey on council. Based on the patterns there, Acklin does not seem likely to benefit from this scenario).

(Also, it’s not very visible, but Acklin is also only 24 votes ahead of Walker at the point that Walker is eliminated. Hard to predict what would happen from there).


About James

I'm a scientist. Sometimes I get distracted.
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