The message is, "Business as usual." I suggest to you that despite the anger over several years of rates rises and council meddling under a Hubbard mayoralty and a Red council, a John Banks mayoralty and a Blue council will do nothing to lessen either the rates bill or the meddling. Despite all the talk and all the crowing, by this time next year, both the meddling and the Auckland rates bill will be no less than they are now.
That's the real message these elections have for the national elections: that neither Team Red nor Team Blue represent any substantial alternative. In the words of the song, the message is, "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss."
UPDATE: It's not so much that Banks won, but that Hubbard lost. Russell Brown points out that "John Banks has achieved his landslide win in the Auckland mayoralty election with almost exactly the same number of votes he attracted in his landslide loss three years ago: about 45,000... On a rough calculation, Banks won with about 40% of the vote, and the support of less than 15% of Auckland's registered voters." At the same time as Banks was receiving the same number of votes as last time, Dick Hubbard was receiving 27,000 fewer. Banks wasn't voted so much as the other bugger was voted out -- something that resonates with Aucklanders and with how mayoral candidates campaign:
- Nine years ago, Christine Fletcher won with the single policy: I'm not Les Mills.
- And six years ago, John Banks won with the single policy: I'm not Fluffhead Fletcher.
- Dick Hubbard won three years ago with the single substantive policy: I'm not John Banks.
- And now a "transmogrified" Banks wins again with the single substantive policy, I'm not Mother Hubbard.