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Students record win for Labour

MEDIA RELEASE

17 October 2005

Students record win for Labour

Auckland school students participating in the city's largest-ever mock election have given a clear mandate to Labour, with the party securing 47 per cent of the vote.

Students from around 30 schools participated in Auckland City's Kids Voting programme, which aims to teach young people about the democratic process.

Nearly 4,500 students voted in the mock MMP election, which was held as part of the Civic Awareness in Schools initiative.

A comparison between the party votes lodged in the Kids Voting programme and the actual party votes registered for Auckland City electorates is outlined below.

Political Party % of students party vote in Auckland City electorates % of actual adult party vote in Auckland City electorates

Labour 47 per cent 43 per cent
National 27 per cent 37 per cent
Green 8 per cent 6 per cent
New Zealand First 2 per cent 4 per cent
ACT 2 per cent 2 per cent
United Future 1 per cent 2 per cent
Maori Party 2 per cent 3 per cent
Progressive 1 per cent 1 per cent
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis 5 per cent -

Auckland City's electoral officer, Dale Ofsoske, says an analysis of both results shows that students and adults in Auckland voted roughly the same way.

"I think these results show that there was probably a lot of discussion about the election and politics around the dinner table and that may be because it was such a close election.

"But it's clear when you look at the electorate break-downs that students' votes basically mirrored their parents voting patterns," he says.

However, some of the more hotly contested election battles produced a very different result in the Kids Voting programme.

In the Epsom electorate, 30 per cent of students voted for National's Richard Worth, with Labour's Stuart Nash scoring 26 per cent and ACT's Rodney Hide 25 per cent. In reality, Mr Hide wrested the seat from Mr Worth.

Another closely fought seat in the parliamentary election was the Maori seat of Tamaki Makaurau, which passed from Labour's John Tamihere (40 per cent of the vote) to the Maori Party's Dr Pita Sharples (51 per cent).

In the Kids Voting programme, the vote was much closer, with Dr Sharples still winning with 43 per cent of the vote compared with Mr Tamihere's 41 per cent.

Another interesting result in the Kids Voting programme was the strong showing from the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. It secured five per cent of the total party vote lodged by students.

Mr Ofsoske says the Kids Voting programme has been a huge success in helping to engage young people in thinking about the democratic process.

"Auckland City pioneered this programme in 2001 and we're pleased that more and more young people are participating and learning about the electoral system and the role they are entitled to play when they turn 18."

Mr Ofsoske says Auckland City staff have met with Local Government New Zealand staff about the possibility of launching a nationwide Kids Voting programme in time for the next local government election.

ENDS

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