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Local election data

I am looking for local election data sets from before 2007 (2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 are all available online), preferably dating back to late 1980s. I am a Master of Economics student writing his thesis. I would need to data set to contain fields for turnout for the district, city, and regional elections, as well as for the mayor. Fields that would be optimal for each local election: Area Authority Ward, Subdivision, Constituency Election Type Electoral system (first past the post, single transferable vote etc) Region Contested or Uncontested election Total electors (N) (Estimated) population Electors as % of total population Total voters (N) Overall turnout (%) Here is a link where i found the 2007-2016 data: https://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Local-Elections-Local-Authority-Election-Statistics-2013?OpenDocument#four

Evaluating how effective proportional representation is at increasing voter turnout.
Because New Zealand uses First-past-the-post for most of their local elections, but proportional representation at the national level, it makes a very good candidate for studying the effects that New Zealand's switch to a proportional representation has on voter turnout, and by extent engagement in the political process by voters.

By having both data for local and general elections ( I can find the data for general elections) from before and after the switch to proportional representation in the 1990s, I can add robustness to my findings of how a voting systems affect voter turnout.
Having the data from before 2007 local elections would allow me to establish "common time trends" through a differences in differences econometric model. I hope to show that before NZ switched to proportional representation in the 1990s, election turnout was evolving in the same way for both local and general elections, and that switching systems lead to higher voter turnout in general election compared to local elections.
Given NZ commonwealth status and as an advanced democracy, I am hoping this dataset and subsequent analysis will can shine some insight on how other countries, such as my native Canada, can improve voter engagement and trust in economic and political institutions more broadly - an area that NZ performs very well on in many international rankings.

Marshall Stewart


Response from
Electoral Commission

Different agency responsible

Kia ora Thank you for your request. The Electoral Commission is not involved with the running of local authority elections which are run by each local council. The Department of Internal Affairs provide information, oversight and statistical data for local authority elections. The Department of Internal Affairs has a number of particular roles in local authority and district health board (DHB) elections. In summary, the Department: - administers the relevant legislation - approves voting document formats - supports local authorities by supplying an independently certified vote-counting computer programme for STV elections - participates in the analysis of election results and recommends improvements where appropriate - in conjunction with other bodies, provides information and responds to queries relating to local elections. Local election statistics between 2001-2016 can be found on this DIA website https://www.dia.govt.nz/Services-Local-Elections-Index#one Historical results may be sought from DIA also. Ngā mihi mahana

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