A fairly low turn out and STV scrapes in by a less than comforting margin. NZPA reported yesterday:
When polling closed at noon today 22,209 voters had chosen STV – 476 more than the 21,733 voters who chose the first-past-the-post (FPP) system.
The turnout translates to a 50.46 per cent vote for STV and 49.37 per cent vote for FPP.
A total of 132,762 voting papers were mailed out to registered voters in Wellington City on September 5. Some 44,024 were returned – representing a turnout of 33.16 per cent.
This is a good result for Iona Pannett the Green Wellington city councillor who did the vast bulk of organisation for the STV campaign. it’s also a good result for democracy. I suspect many of the city councillors, such as the Mayor, who seems to favour the less democratic First Past the Post voting system, were hoping for a low turn out and significant voter confusion to help First Past the Post make a come back into the city. It’s good that STV survived and that mayors and councillors will continue to need to win the support of a majority of voters rather than being voted in by minority blocs. However it is a shame that an important electoral decision such as this was shown such scant regard by our city council. People now seem more confused than ever and that was going to be bad no matter what the result was yesterday.