In case you missed it, my column about the redrawing of the electoral map in Christchurch is up over at the Daily Blog:

Christchurch East has been hardest hit, losing around 10,000 people – or 23% of the roll. Port Hills and Christchurch Central also lost around 10%. The big gains were in Selwyn – up 13,000, Waimakariri – up 7,000, and Wigram – up 5,000. Ilam’s population hasn’t moved significantly. This will obviously have major impacts on electoral boundaries, but the current Christchurch East by-election is being contested on existing lines, and this will make this an even tighter race.
We know that turn-out in by-elections is already low. This means that Labour will have to run a concerted campaign which gets as many people who might have forgotten or chosen not to vote at the last election out of the house. In the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election, 35.7% of the enrolled voters cast a vote; if that percentage voted in Christchurch East, we would be looking at around 16,500 voters. At the 2011 election, almost 29,000 people cast votes in this electorate – and 13,252 of those votes were cast for National.

I’d also add that I think that Christchurch Central may actually be more vulnerable than Christchurch East; we won’t know until the boundary meetings obviously, but it may be easier to merge Central into East and then form a new electorate out of the population increase in the north and west of the city. Wild speculation at this point.

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