New Zealand election live

Live commentary on today’s New Zealand election. Guest post by Adrian Beaumont

1:32pm Sunday Conversation article up about this big win for Labour.

10:27pm Labour currently leads National by 49-27 when pollsters said they led by about 15 points. A plausible explanation was the large undecided or refused component in polls of over 10%.

The final Colmar Brunton poll had Ardern’s lead over Collins as better PM blowing out from 50-23 to 55-20. I don’t like the better PM measure, but perhaps it was an indicator of how the undecided would break.

10:23pm As I said before, these results are not final. Final results will be released November 6. In the past, there has been a shift to the left from election night to final results. If that happens again, the pollsters will look even worse.

10:20pm In comments, people have said that the Greens won their first electorate seat in 1999. Apologies for my mistake.

8:55pm In Auckland Central, the Greens lead Labour by 490 with 98% reporting. So they should get their first ever electorate seat. In Waiariki, Maori leads Labour by 294 with 92% reporting.

8:30pm Labour has steadied at 49.0% with 82% counted. There’s also still 12% of advance votes to go, where Labour is at 50.8%. Labour’s current projection is 64 of the 120 seats.

I’m CALLING a Labour majority government, the first majority NZ government since they adopted proportional representation in 1996.

7:50pm Labour down to 49.3% with 63% reporting. Likely that they’ll keep dropping as more election day votes are counted, maybe ending with around 47-48%.

7:46pm In Waiariki, the Maori candidate is now leading by 28 votes with 64% reporting. If that holds, Maori wins one parliamentary seat.

7:39pm Labour’s overall vote down to 49.5% with 57% reporting. They got 50.7% on the advance vote with 80% of that reporting.

7:35pm Labour’s lead back to 34 votes in Waiariki with 56% reporting.

7:33pm Labour’s lead over the Maori party is just one vote in Waiariki. If Maori win this seat, they’ll be in parliament, though their party vote of under 1% means they’ll only get one seat.

7:22pm One theory for this difference is that people who took coronavirus more seriously tended to be on the left, and they thought voting early was a good precaution.

7:20pm There’s clearly a difference between election day and advance voting. Labour is down to 49.9% overall, despite having 50.7% on advance votes. That’s with 47% counted.

6:55pm We’re now getting some election day votes, and it looks as if they’re a bit better for National. Labour’s overall vote is 50.4% now with 36% reporting, compared with 50.7% on the advance vote.

6:06pm The Greens are leading Labour by 396 votes in Auckland Central. They have 8% of the party vote, but winning a single-member seat would give them more security in future elections.

6:03pm In the Maori seat of Waiariki, Labour leads the Maori candidate by just 28 votes. If Maori win, they will be in parliament.

5:50 With 34% of advance votes counted, Labour is still just over 50%. Unless National does much better on election day votes, this is looking like a clear Labour parliamentary majority.

5:40 With 25% of advance votes counted, Labour leads National by 50-26, with 8% for the Greens and ACT. The Maori party is also shown as winning one electorate seat, thus entering parliament.

5:32 18% of advance votes counted, and Labour is on 49.9%.

5:28 Over 10% of advance votes have been counted, and Labour has 51%, National 26%, the Greens 8.4%, ACT 7.5% and NZ First 2.2%. Labour is currently winning 65 of the 120 seats. We’ll see if this holds up.

5:15pm AEDT With 2% of booths counted, presumably early votes, Labour has 50%, National 27%, the Greens and ACT 8% each.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is an honorary associate at the University of Melbourne. His work on electoral matters for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The New Zealand election is today. Polls close at 7pm local time (5pm AEDT). The final Colmar Brunton poll gave Labour 46%, National 31%, the Greens 8%, the right-wing ACT 8% and NZ First 3%. A Reid Research poll, conducted October 8-15, gave Labour 46%, National 31%, ACT 7%, the Greens 6% and NZ First 3.5%. A Labour/Greens government is the most likely outcome, with NZ First short of the 5% threshold to re-enter parliament. Labour could also win a majority in its own right.

The nominally 120-seat parliament has 72 single-member seats, elected by first-past-the-post, and 48 list seats. List seats are used as a top-up; parties that do well in single-member seats receive few list seats. Electors receive two votes: one for their local member and one for their preferred party.

It is the party vote that determines how many seats each party is proportionally entitled to, provided they either pass the 5% threshold or win a single-member seat. Contests between the major parties for single-member seats are irrelevant for determining overall seat entitlements. However, a single-member win by a non-major party candidate would put that party in partliament even if its party vote was below 5%.

Other than Epsom, already held by ACT’s leader, the best chance for a minor party breakthrough appears to be the seven seats reserved for those on the Māori roll. The Māori party won some of these seats between 2005 and 2014. In the first three of these elections, Māori wins caused an “overhang” because they won more single-member seats than entitled under the party vote. Parliament was expanded to accommodate these extra seats.

Over 1.7 million people have already voted, and I believe we will get the early vote results early on election night. The election night count is not final. Final results will not be released until November 6. In the past, there has been a shift of one or two seats towards left-wing parties from the election night to the final results.

There will be two referendums held with this election, one on legalising cannabis and the other on allowing euthanasia for terminally ill patients. The electoral commission will not count the referendum results on election night, and initial results will not be released until October 30.

51 comments on “New Zealand election live”

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  1. Go Jacinda! I hope you get to govern in your own right this time, though I know that’s very hard to achieve it in NZ. Thinking about it though, if you have to have a governing partner, after that massive smackdown of the QAnon whacko this week, it wouldn’t be too bad to see Winston Peters back on board again with Labour.

  2. Cat I don’t know if Ardern will get a majority but her return looks certain with at worst a Greens alliance. The three way alliance with Winston Peters, which must have been so difficult for her, looks over. Peters is gone. Apart from his low polling struggling to get over the 5% threshold, he is engulfed by a finance scandal, where it looks like the NZ First “investment” fund has been run as a slush fund.

  3. “Is it just me, or do they count and report votes a lot quicker than we do?”


    Much faster than the Americans, too!

    …especially Iowans lol

  4. As a dual-citizen and member of the Labo(u)r Party in both countries, this a delicious result. Especially after the ludicrous character assassination attempts by the Murdoch-Tory media in AU, and the attempted dumb-populism politics of Judith Collins.

    National Party will be in the wilderness for a while. The libertarian-propertarian wing will find themselves heading to ACT, the conservative uglies maybe towards the New Conservative Party. Whilst will be left will be a corporatist shell, with most of the middle-class already in the left-leaning big tent of Labour.

    Greens have put up a reasonable showing so far as well, and may have even increased their vote a percent or so, although they have some distance to go to their 2011/2014 hey-day of gaining over 10%. Labour will almost certainly not need them anymore for confidence and supply, but in any case the Labour pitch is probably broad enough to cover many social liberal and even environmental concerns, which is, of course, a positive outcome from a Green policy perspective.

    Lessons for Australia? I’ll leave that for discussion. But from what I’ve seen the relationship between Labour and the Greens in Aotearoa is a lot better than what it is sometimes in Australia.

  5. How are NZ First going? Clearing 5%? Ardern’s job would be a lot simpler if she does not have to negotiate three ways with Winston Peters and the Greens. If Peters is gone then it will be a much simpler negotiation for Labor, even if still in minority.

  6. I’ve been loosely watching Whangarei due to a friend being from there. Looks like Labour is winning the electorate and list there despite normally being a National stronghold, so I don’t think the current vote is biased towards Labour friendly areas.

  7. Up to 30% counted now and Labor is still headed for 65 seats and an absolute majority. Nationals 34 and Greens 11. Peters’ NZ First is on 2.3% and out of parliament. Looking excellent for Ardern, Who is polling over 60% in her own seat.

  8. From the Guardian live blog.

    At the moment 8.2% of the party vote is sitting with parties that won’t win any seats, including 2.4% for Winston Peters’ New Zealand First. Those votes are effectively ignored when seats are allocated, so Labour only needs to win a majority of the 91.8% cast for Labour, National, Green and ACT. If you change the denominator, Labour’s vote is currently 54.7% of the threshold-eligible party vote.

    If you assume no change in the proportion of the vote going to parties that won’t win seats, Labour’s vote would have to drop to 45.9% to not win a majority of the threshold-eligible party vote. That seems implausible.

  9. Such a great result for Labour over there.

    It looks like a shift to the left is getting big enough that we might see a democratic system that could actually work towards the benefit of it’s constituency.

    Go NZ!!!

  10. This can only be described as a thumping victory for Ardern and an absolute hiding for the NZ Nats.

    Quite a strong result for the NZ Greens too, especially considering the high support for NZ Labour and the popularity of their leader.

    Well done Kiwis! Good night for the Greens and Labo(u)r on both sides of the ditch.

  11. Am rather overwhelmed with these results as I prepared to be disappointed. I watched the election broadcast via twitter and it was so good to see commentators genuinely enjoying themselves . Was pleased to see my vote helped Hamilton West change to the goodies, which will shock the National burgers I know.
    The country is definitely moving in a more progressive direction.
    Jacinda was gracious as usual and , credit where due, Judith ‘Crusher’ Collins gave a good concession speech.

  12. Greens won Coromandel in 1999, when they were similarly nervous about breaking the 5% barrier. (This would’ve been just after they broke away from Alliance.)

    Rawiri Waititi (Maori candidate in Waiariki) ran for Labour there in 2014, and lost to the Maori Party. Labour then won the seat in 2017 with a different candidate, and now Waititi’s beaten them as a Maori. Confusing much?

  13. I wonder how much the last week of campaign’s focus being on the Greens talk of the wealth tax, shifted votes from National to Labour to avoid a coalition government?

  14. 10:23pm As I said before, these results are not final. Final results will be released November 6. In the past, there has been a shift to the left from election night to final results. If that happens again, the pollsters will look even worse.

    Don’t think they look all that bad? They correctly identified the winning party, and I think tended to have Labor support in the upper 40s. Overstating the second-place share doesn’t seem like a cardinal sin.

  15. Probably a greater undecided vote coalescing with Ardern considering her polling pre-Covid!

    Am interested in your thoughts, Adrian about the US considering the historically low undecided numbers and polarisation pre and post Covid. Perhaps a DEM landslide taking the senate and increasing state house and executive control of redistricting, and possibly electoral commissions and automatic enrolment!

  16. Another smashing victory for Progressives in New Zealand!
    Congratulations to Labour and Jacinda Ardern for showing the way to the rest of Australasia and indeed the world.
    But we know that the real international test is coming in November. The true turning point that will leave the disastrous Neoliberalism and its current demented Authoritarian-Nationalistic-Clownish version behind is the USA election. Trump must be defeated and the Democrats must win majority in both Senate and the H. of Reps…. That will ensure that change, real change will happen….
    According to opinion polls: so far, so good!…. 🙂

  17. WB “10:23pm – As I said before, these results are not final. Final results will be released November 6. In the past, there has been a shift to the left from election night to final results. If that happens again, the pollsters will look even worse.”

    Interesting – that’s opposite to what happens in Australia. I wonder why that is? In Australia, the progressive vote is whittled away by postal and other late-counted votes in the days following an election. I’m guessing in Australia the Labor 2PP reduces by about half a percent after election night.

    Trump and his followers hate postal voting, so things work differently in the USA as well.

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