Tangential comments about Software Development

Monday, September 29, 2014

One way to lose an election

To me, the curious thing about the 2014 New Zealand General Election is that in so many seats Labour candidates get elected but the Party vote goes to National. I did a number-crunching exercise, and here are the worst three statistics:

  • David Shearer in Mount Albert "lost" the most votes - 8,913 of his votes did not vote Labour
  • Grant Robertson in Wellington Central only gets 46% of his voters to vote for Labour
  • Phil Goff in Mount Roskill had the worst decline in the Labour vote, 8.2%
My data is at having been copied and pasted from the NZ results for 2011 and 2014.

The total of "lost" votes was 114,945. If they'd been retained then Labour's overall share if the vote would have exceeded 30% and they'd have got half a dozen more List MPs.

In the era of Dirty Politics, I am not going to publicise these findings. Instead, as this blog is usually about programming, I will talk up my finding of the day - Excel's INDIRECT function. If you create a string which is a cell reference like 'Dunedin North'!G4 then =INDIRECT() of that string looks up cell G4 from sheet Dunedin North. Useful.

I was able to find NZ's loneliest voter : the one person to vote for Legalise Cannabis, when everyone else at that polling station voted National!