New Zealand election live

12.40am. If the election had been single-member first-past-the-post on current boundaries, the result would have been National 41 seats, Labour 21, Maori 5, minor parties 3. Make that preferential, and give Labour 75 per cent of Greens preferences and split the others evenly, and there’s little change: National 40, Labour 22, Maori 5, minor parties 3.

10.55pm. Regarding that ninth Green Party seat, Antony Green writes: “Unlike Australia, they do not count special (absent, postal etc) votes progressively, but as a lump in about 12 days time. It will be two weeks before they do the final allocation of seats.” Strong Green performance on special votes has been a notable feature of past elections.

10.45pm. Green Party leader Jeanette Fitzsimons addressing supporters. Haven’t mentioned them much because the result has left them marginalised. The party has gained two seats, from six to eight, although Fitzsimons is holding out for an ninth. Not bad, but less than the polls had indicated.

10.38pm. Labour and NZ First principals venting about the media, in time-honoured fashion.

10.33pm. Peter Dunne confirmed in his speech 10 minutes ago that he would back a National government, and there’s no doubt left that that’s what we’ll be seeing.

10.28pm. However, Labour has taken the lead in Christchurch Central, where they trailed earlier after winning by 23.7 per cent in 2005 – though I can’t speak for redistribution effects.

10.20pm. Nikki Kaye has won for National in Auckland Central, in what seems to be the biggest electorate seat boilover. Labour won by 9.3 per cent in 2005, presumably on different boundaries.

10.14pm. Remember that when Elections NZ says 90 per cent counted, they mean 90 per cent of booths counted. The ones outstanding are presumably big ones, mostly in Auckland. So the current 45.6-33.6 gap might narrow a little further than you’d think.

10.01pm. Peter Dunne home and hosed in Ohariu, Maori seats now definitely 5-2. Only question is how things are looking beyond 61 seats. National still slowly losing ground, but will win at least 58 seats, ACT NZ looking very good for five, maybe only four if they’re unlucky. No question that we’ll be seeing a National-ACT NZ government.

9.48pm. Antony: “The best estimate I see for the new Parliament is 58 National, 5 ACT plus Peter Dunne – Right with 64, then 44 Labor, 8 Green, Jim Anderton, giving the Left 53, plus 5 Maori. 122 seat Parliament.” Third on the ACT NZ list is Roger Douglas, Treasurer in David Lange’s Labour government in the 1980s famed for his free-market reforms, who could well be back in cabinet.

9.45pm. National vote edges down enough to cost them a seat, so make that National 59 and ACT NZ 5.

9.37pm. We’re likely looking at an overhang of two, so 61 will be a majority with an independent Speaker. Current figures suggest National 60 and ACT NZ five, although the former are fading a little.

9.33pm. Little change in Te Tai Tonga with a big advance in the vote, so the Maori seats are firming up as five Maori Party and two Labour Party, with a very remote possibility that Labour might yet make that 4-3 with Te Tai Tonga.

9.30pm. Big advance in the Ohariu count, but the vote has changed very little, so Peter Dunne should be home.

9.28pm. National Party down to 46.7 per cent with 56 per cent counted, so the prospect of majority government is diminishing.

9.21pm. Antony sticking with his 45-35 prediction.

9.20pm. New Zealand First surely gone now, fading to 4.3 per cent with 47.4 counted.

9.19pm. Labour beginning to gain a little on the National Party as the southern Auckland vote comes in.

9.18pm. Maori seats. Labour home in Ikaroa-Rawhiti; probably done enough in Hauraki-Waikato; only slightly behind in Te Tai Tonga 44.2 to 41.8 per cent, but with 60.3 counted the Maori Party candidate is probably home. Other four seats held by the Maori Party.

9.15pm. Local observers excited the National candidate is ahead in Auckland Central, and in the hunt in Christchurch Central.

9.13pm. Silly woman on Radio New Zealand complaining that UNZF and Progressive Party are in parliament with a small share of the national vote. Of all the criticisms to make of MMP …

9.11pm. Peter Dunne back down from 33.2 to 32.6 per cent in Ohariu with 26.1 per cent. Still likely to win with Labour second on 29.7 per cent, though worth keeping an eye on. It’s probably only his own seat that’s at stake: party’s national vote is 0.9 per cent, whereas they would need at least 1.5 per cent for a second seat (more if NZ First makes the threshold).

9.04pm. National vote count up to 34 per cent, and the National vote still a strong 47.8 per cent. However, ACT NZ is looking at five seats and far the most likely result is a National-ACT coalition. Antony Green discusses talk of Peter Dunne being made Speaker.

8.58pm. Count in Ohariu up to 19.6, Peter Dunne gains a bit of ground from 32.1 to 33.2.

8.54pm. Antony: “Really looking like National 45%, Labour 35% at this stage. National plus ACT still looking at just reaching a majority.”

8.53pm. Commentators on 3News expect NZ First to lose ground when special votes are admitted.

8.51pm. Assuming NZ First don’t pull a rabbit out of the hat, it’s looking like the vote for excluded parties will be 6.5 per cent, meaning the National Party will need a bit under 47 per cent to get a majority.

8.50pm. Labour looking increasingly safe in the Maori seat of Ikaroa-Rawhiti, leading 51.3 to 41.6 with 28.2 reporting.

8.44pm. Antony confirms that the booth votes should even up the vote in the terms I suggested earlier, to about 45-35 in favour of the National Party. Booths currently coming in are very small ones. City booths later on should see Labour and the Green Party go up (from 31.3 and 6.3 at present, to the National Party’s 48.7).

8.43pm. Jim Anderton has opened up a handy lead in Wigram, 42.4 per cent to 32.4 per cent National.

8.42pm. 15.2 per cent of booths in from Ohariu, and Peter Dunne has faded a little further to 32.1 per cent, against 29.2 per cent Labour and 28.3 per cent National.

8.35pm. Maori Party still looking good in Te Tai Tonga, leaving two of the seven in doubt but favouring Labour.

8.29pm. Labour still looking good in the Maori seat of Ikaroa-Rawhiti: leading 49.7 to 43.7 with 12.9 counted (that’s 12.9 per cent of booths, not votes).

8.27pm. No great change in Ohariu with count up from 4.3 to 8.7 per cent.

8.21pm. Commentator on Radio NZ makes the point that the higher NZ First gets without crossing the threshold, the lower the vote the National Party needs for an absolute majority. At present the NZ First is almost exactly where the National Party would want it – 4.5 per cent.

8.17pm. Count in Ohariu up from 4.3 per cent to 6.5 per cent, and Peter Dunne is up from 33.2 per cent

8.15pm. Much as we saw in ACT, we appear to be in a lull between the entry of “advance” votes and booth votes in significant numbers.

8.10pm. Peter Dunne of United Future NZ is down on raw figures from 45.9 per cent to 33.2 per cent in Ohariu with 4.3 per cent counted. He may have suffered from the redistribution which changed the name of his seat from Ohariu-Belmont. At the moment it’s a tight three-horse race: Dunne 1197, National 1032, Labour 1001.

8.03pm. Antony: “The advance votes tell us National will win. But did the gap between National and Labor tighten at the end of the campaign? If it did, then it might be closer. Will Labor plus the Greens come close to National plus ACT? It doesn’t look like Peter Dunne or Jim Anderton will do anyhting other than elect themselves.”

7.58pm. No change in Maori seats: the Maori Party leads in five, but trails slightly in Ikaroa-Räwhiti and Hauraki-Waikato.

7.50pm. Antony on the advance vote: “in 2005, Labor rose from 36.8% to 41.1% at the end of the count, National from 43.5% to 39.1%, Green 4.8% to 5.3%, NZ First 6.1% to 5.7%, United NZ 3.0% to 2.7%, Maori 1.6% to 2.1%.” Does that mean the current raw figures of National 49, Labour 31.5, Green 6, NZF 4.5 should be adjusted to National 44.5, Labour 36, Green 6.5 and NZF 4?

7.48pm. Winston Peters now getting thrashed in Tauranga, and NZ First national vote has faded a little to 4.6 per cent with 4.6 per counted.

7.45pm. ACT NZ on 3.3 per cent so far, and I imagine would go higher with big Auckland booths, compared with 1.5 per cent (two seats) in 2005.

7.41pm. TVNZ projecting a slight National Party majority with 63 seats out of 123, the remainder going 40 Labour, 8 Greens, 6 Maori, 4 ACT New Zealand, one each for Progressive and United Future New Zealand. Even if the National Party is reined in a little from here, they could surely rely on backing from ACT NZ.

7.34pm. Antony (hell, just read his blog): “Models are looking better for Labor than the raw vote, but still not enough to prevent a change of government.”

7.30pm. Antony reckons we’re in for “quite a wait” to see if the National Party wins a majority – but if those are the stakes, it seems there’s very little prospect of any kind of Labour government being formed.

7.28pm. However, Labour leads 730-632 in Ikaroa-Räwhiti. Maori leads of varying sizes in the other five.

7.26pm. Antony projects five of seven Maori seats going to the Maori Party, but the first one I’ve looked at is the one reckoned Labour’s best chance of hanging on (Hauraki-Waikato), and Labour’s lead is only 490-475.

7.24pm. Antony Green reports: “Early models are matching votes up in line with current percentages, which would point to a National majority government.”

7.19pm. Very early results provide hope for NZ First: they’re bobbing around the threshold mark, and Winston Peters leads in Tauranga 236 votes to 224.

7.18pm. National vote with 3 per cent counted: National 49, Labour 32, Green 6 per cent, NZ First 4.5 per cent.

7.17pm. Jim Anderton comfortably ahead in Wigram with 2 of 64 booths reporting.

7.15pm. Peter Dunne only slightly ahead in Ohariu, with 2 of 46 booths reporting.

7.12pm. Antony Green says the “first advance votes” are in line with the polls: National high 40s, Labour mid-to-high 30s, Greens 7 per cent, NZ First 3.8 per cent.

7.10pm. It doesn’t look like they’re providing booth-level figures for tonight’s count either, which pretty much leaves us completely in the dark. In 2005 the early count looked diabolical for Labour to the untrained eye, but that was because rural booths were coming in early. If any media outlets are making the effort to match booth results, I would be pleased if someone could bring it to my attention.

7.02pm. Curses to the NZ Electoral Commission, which claims to have CSV files of booth-level results from 2005 on its site – but all the links are broken. Let’s hope it gets a lot better from here.

7.00pm. A quick guide for beginners. New Zealand has a proportional representation electoral system, which normally means the non-local observer need look no further than the national vote. However, mixed-member proportional brings the complication that minor parties must clear one of two hurdles to win seats proportional to their vote share: either they must win 5 per cent of the national vote, or win at least one constituency seat. The minor parties in play are:

  • The Green Party, who current polling suggests are sure to clear 5 per cent. Notwithstanding party leader Jeanette Fitzsimons’ win in Coromandel in 1999, they will probably need to.
  • New Zealand First, closely associated with its troubled leader Winston Peters and presumably in big trouble. Peters lost his constituency seat of Tuaranga in 2005, but his party scored 5.7 per cent of the national vote despite a 4.7 per cent swing. In spite of everything, Peters might have some hope of recovering Tauranga with the retirement of one-term National Party MP Bob Clarkson.
  • The Maori Party, believed likely to capture most of the seven dedicated Maori electorates (it currently has four), potentially causing a significant overhang (see below).
  • ACT New Zealand, the free-market party led by Rodney Hide, who retained his seat of Epsom in 2005 with 42.3 per cent of the vote against the National Party’s 33.7 per cent.
  • United Future New Zealand, led by Peter Dunne, who is very likely to be re-elected in his seat of Ohariu.
  • Progressive Party, led by veteran Jim Anderton who polled 46.6 per cent in his seat of Wigram in 2005.

In normal circumstances, the parliament will consist of 63 general electorates, seven Maori electorates and 50 list seats. However, these numbers can be increased in the event of an overhang, which occurs if a party wins more constituency seats than it would normally get from its share of the national vote. This is almost certain to be true of the Maori Party, which might win as many as seven seats despite having a national vote of between 2 and 3 per cent according to the polls. The Progressive Party constituency seat is also likely to be won from a negligible national vote that wouldn’t account for a seat. Taken together, that could lead to an overhang of between two and five seats, for a total of up to 125 seats rather than 120. As such, attention here will be focused on the national vote; Tauranga, Epsom, Ohariu and Wigram; and the Maori electorates.

6.10pm (NZ time). Welcome to my live coverage of the New Zealand election count. I’m getting in early here to advertise the fact that I’m doing this – polls in New Zealand do not in fact close until 7pm.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

557 comments on “New Zealand election live”

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  1. [You’re right – racism sexism and bigotry doesnt go away just because a bi-racial has been elected POTUS]

    Something a lot of people caught up in the euphoria seemed to have forgotten.

    I also think it’s funny the way the Australian media has been referring to the USA as “The country with a history of racism”
    “A country that only recent gave blacks equal rights”

    When exactly did we give Indigenous people the right to vote? When did we start counting them as people instead of plants and animals? And what is the disparity between their lifestyles and those of non-indigenous Australians? Questions that I think are relevant regarding the success of Barack Obama, though I do know there are significant differences between African-Americans and Australian Aborigines.

  2. MHW and OZ

    Puhlease, you both make me laugh so hard…………… If you fall off that high horse you may break something….maybe your fragile holier than thou attitude which would be a good thing.

    Obama has been elected but does not take office until next year. It is almost a given that his election will begin to change USA society attitude. And with changing attitude comes changing situation for those who are hanging out for it.

    I think GP is right. Positive discrimination fixes nothing. Never has, never will.

  3. Elf, simple question. Why do statistics demonstrate women, African Americans and racial minorities are under-represented in high paying positions proportionately?

    Do you think it’s because they’re less qualified for the positions due to their sex or race?

  4. [Positive discrimination fixes nothing. Never has, never will.]

    Using the election of Barack Obama as proof as to why affirmative action is not necessary is stupid.

    For every Barack Obama there are thousands of African-Americans living on the other end of society. Obama never “rose up” out of that. That has nothing to do with being on a “high horse”, it’s a fact.

  5. Itep
    Honestly, that question has as many barbs as any I have come acorss and there is no way to answer that in one sentence. However I will ask you this. What proportion of positions are held by women, afro-americans and minorities? You see if you cannot answer that question then you are just jumping on a band wagon. Without knowing the current situation, accurately and factually, it is a pointless argument.

  6. OZ

    Go back and read my posts. I in no way said Obama was proof affirmative action didn’t work. What I said was that to downplay the importance of Obama’s election (as you did) was stupid and that positive discrimination does not work.

    If you read my posts again you will see I am actually saying what you said in 505. I am fully aware that Obama is not the result of positive discrimination…hence my stance.

  7. No 505

    Affirmative action is not necessary Oz. At the end of the day, if an employer wants to hire whites only, or blacks only, then they are only doing themselves a disservice by ignoring a significant portion of the labour market.

    But even still, affirmative action doesn’t work in resolving the disparate living standards of different ethnic groups. You solve that problem by giving people an education and opportunity, not by enforcing arbitrary employment quotas based entirely on skin colour rather than intellectual capacity.

  8. Further to what GP has said. Does anyone know the statistical proportion of minority groups graduating from College/University vs the proportion of those groups in high paying jobs?

    Maybe the important thing is to try to get these groups into higher education? Just a thought.

  9. [Affirmative action is not necessary Oz.]

    Please point where I said it was. I doubt the fact that I didn’t see that will have any effect. Who am I to stop you from having a big rant about the evils of whatever you’re ranting about.

    [I in no way said Obama was proof affirmative action didn’t work.]

    You said “GP is right”. That’s exactly what he did. Maybe you should have read his post again.

  10. Many studies have found that there is a huge disparity for high earners in comparison to proportions of people by race and gender Elf. That is both in representation in the work force at higher level positions and in the pay that they receive for the same work. Taking one profession for instance, over 50% of law graduates are female, yet 85.3% of barristers and 66% of solicitors are male. Similarly, the proportion of female judges is very low. You may choose to ignore it as in inconvenient fact but it doesn’t make it go away.

  11. Itep,
    I have no wish to ignore it. However please tell me, from your obviously deep font of knowledge on this topic, how many 1st, 2nd and 3rd year practicing barristers and solicitors are women?

    You see to expect last years graduating class of 50% to automatically next year change the balance would be a nonsense. But I could guarantee to you that the % of women practicing law in the first few years after graduation has increased substantially from what it was just a decade ago.

    And subject to other factors notwithstanding, such as motherhood, this upward trend will continue. Being a women I in NO WAY want to get a job, just because of my gender. I want to get it becasue I am the best.

  12. [Being a women I in NO WAY want to get a job, just because of my gender. I want to get it becasue I am the best.]

    But do you want to NOT GET ONE because you are a women? Because that happens.

  13. OZ

    Duh….when I said GP was right I was talking about the positive discrimination as my next sentence illuminated. Just because I think he is right about one thing does not mean I am wedded to his every ideal. Grow up.

  14. OZ

    Where are you living? I have never come across that. Obviously you must have for which I feel sorry for you. Maybe you lost that job because you were not the best and not because you were a women. But of course it is much easier to tell yourself that it is a gender thing eh?

  15. No 512

    Yes, but first of all, those figures ignore the unavoidable reality that women are the child-bearing sex and thus many women will be out of the workforce for that reason. Secondly, try asking a female barrister that they should have got their job via affirmative action instead of through hard work and self-sacrifice. They’d be grossly offended. Same principle with minority ethnic groups – it is wholly offensive to suggest they are incapable of succeeding on their own merit.

    Finally, any law firm that refuses to hire female solicitors is doing themselves a disservice by ignoring 50% of educated graduates.

  16. [Where are you living? I have never come across that.]

    Ah so because you’ve never come across something it clearly can’t exist.

    Have you ever had AIDS?

    Discussing different ways to fix a problem is one thing, flat out denying the problem exists is something else entirely.

  17. Elf, the number of female graduates from law has increased rapidly over the last 10-20 years with little difference to the proportion of senior female lawyers and judges. It’s changing (very slowly) but mostly at the lower levels and not filtering through to high level positions. This has nothing to do with womens’ ability to work in higher level positions and everything to do with an inbuilt gender bias within the industry.

    In theory you’re right GP, but in practice statistics don’t show that that is true. You seem to think that everyone who is hired is hired merely on their merit which you only need to work a short time to know is untrue.

    I don’t agree with enforced affirmative action but see no problem with it if an individual workplace wants to

  18. No 520

    Oz, where’s the evidence that AA actually works? It doesn’t – it simply lowers standards and reinforces degenerative, racial victimhood.

  19. Oz…that was funny that line about AIDS!

    I am not really denying it happens OZ. It is just that for white middle class liberal males to keep suggesting that the only way women can get ahead is to “let us men” give them a helping hand ( Poor lasses, woudn’t stand a chance otherwise would we?) really makes my blood boil.

    Affirmative action (or positive discrimination) DOES NOT work. It promotes the stupid and lazy and alienates everyone else in the workforce and taints every other women with the whispers of “She got the job because shes a women”.

    Oz, if you are a WMCLM then please drop this case ‘cos you are way on the wrong track.

  20. [Oz, where’s the evidence that AA actually works?]

    I was right, nothing is going to stop you from arguing against a make-believe point.

    For the second I ask you to point where I said affirmative action is something that should be pursued.

  21. No 521

    Yes, I’ve seen the same studies regarding the legal industry and the alleged “men’s clubs”, but it is changing quite substantially at the tertiary education level. It will only be a matter of time before women assume a more prominent role in the upper echelons of the justice system (by virtue of the fact that more women are graduating in law degrees than men), just like it was only a matter of time before the United States would have its first black president.

    No, I don’t believe in every case that people are hired based on merit. But in most cases if you have the appropriate skills, whether you’re black, white, Asian or Hispanic, you’ll get the job. And that’s it should be.

  22. I’m not sold on affirmative action either, but I wouldn’t agree with the points GP and Elf are making about workplaces being fair on gender or racial employment grounds.

  23. No 524

    What’s make believe about my point? I have always objected to affirmative action because I’ve not seen any evidence that it actually works in resolving racial/gender disparities. Simple as that.

    [For the second I ask you to point where I said affirmative action is something that should be pursued.]

    You said I was stupid to use Barack Obama as an example against AA because others still are being negatively discriminated. Implicitly, you’re supporting AA.

  24. [But in most cases if you have the appropriate skills, whether you’re black, white, Asian or Hispanic*, you’ll get the job. And that’s it should be.]

    Male, female, Jew, Muslim, Hindu…

    What a naive view. Of course you’ll respond and demand to be showered in studies showing disproportion and then you’ll say “prove this disproportion exists because of race/sex/religion and not merit”. If I could do that, those people would be in jail.

    But seriously, extremely narrow, naive perception.

  25. No 527

    ltep, like I said, the way you solve ingrained prejudice is through education and opportunity, not reverse discrimination.

  26. [What’s make believe about my point?]

    What’s make believe is that you’re saying I’m against something when I’ve never said so.

    [You said I was stupid to use Barack Obama as an example against AA because others still are being negatively discriminated. Implicitly, you’re supporting AA.]

    Now you’re telling me what I actually meant? Someone has serious ego issues. If you actually read my first post on the topic instead of working yourself up into a rabid froth you’d understand what I actually did mean.

  27. It’s not always that simple though, particularly when you look at Indigenous Australians. That, however is severely off topic so I won’t go there.

  28. No 529

    What is with the obsession with proportionality? Just because there are X female law graduates does not necessarily mean there needs to be X female solicitors or X female judges. People have a variety of choices and not everyone studies for the purpose of practising in their chosen field of study.

    Every time this debate arises, people always refer to proportionality when that’s not the key point. The key point is whether all groups in society are able to access the same educational opportunities. I don’t believe in equality of outcome, but I do believe in equality of opportunity.

  29. Yes GP, but unless you’re assuming a greater proportion of white male upper class graduates are likely to practise in their chosen field of study that’s entirely irrelevant.

  30. Oz …. 529

    Seriously, you did not say that. LOL.
    If discrimination cannot be proved then on what basis are you saying it happens? On a hunch? Because someone you know didn’t get a job and you think they are fab? Because you read it in a book? Because your lecturer told you it did?

    I mean please, can we have some sensible discussion here?

  31. No 532

    Yes, but entrenched indigenous disadvantage has a lot to do with the failure of government policy (from both sides) over the years, rather than active negative discrimination. Whitlamite welfarism has murdered indigenous opportunity and aspirations, leaving whole communities to languish off the government teat in unsustainable, economically unviable remote villages. Those who live closer to economic centres in larger towns and cities are highly likely to be faring much better thanks to better access to education and health services.

  32. No 534

    Why does that matter? If upper class white males choose to exercise their options more than others, then why is that necessarily bad?

  33. No 531

    Well, if you believe I have misinterpreted you, actually state what you mean. As I said, you’re arguments seem very much in support of affirmative action.

  34. That’s an assumption you’re making Generic Person. There’s no reason to assume upper class white males are more likely to ‘choose to exercise their options more than others’ unless you have some logical point from which to hang it.

  35. Hi I’m back. Just thought I wold drop this. This was my call on September 13. Not perfect but not bad either.

    “New Zealand has a mixed member proportional voting system so it is inherently diffcult to win a majority in your own right. However this Government is on the nose.

    The Nationals won 48 seats the last time around, up from 27 in 2002. Labor only won 50 and had to gain support of minor parties to govern. It would be fair to say the mood of the nation will deliver Government to the Nat’s in their own right.

    Labour 45 – 50
    National 61
    New Zealand First 0
    Other Minor parties 10 – 15”

  36. Does anyone know if Helen Clark will do a JH and lose her seat? Or assuming she doesn’t, will she stay in Parliament? (Presumably resigning the Labor leadership) Or the 3rd option, do a Iemma and Keating, resigning from Parliament all together and thus forcing a by election?

  37. [Does anyone know if Helen Clark will do a JH and lose her seat? Or assuming she doesn’t, will she stay in Parliament? (Presumably resigning the Labor leadership]

    It’s virtually impossible for her to lose her seat, even if she lost her electorate, due to the electoral system. Regardless, she won her seat. She’s already resigned as Labor leader but said she “has been elected to serve her constituents” so she’ll probably chill out in the parliament.

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