New Zealand election minus seven-and-a-half weeks

Right likely to win October 14 NZ election. Also: right likely to win October 22 Argentine election and a UK by-election in an SNP-held seat.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The New Zealand election will occur on October 14. The 120 MPs are elected by proportional representation with a 5% threshold that is waived if a party wins one of the 72 single-member seats; these single-member seats include seven seats for electors on the Māori roll.

The 48 “list” seats are used to ensure proportionality; parties that win many single-member seats win few list seats. Electors have two votes: one for their electorate and one for their party, and it is the party vote that matters most. There can be more than 120 MPs (an “overhang”) if a party wins more single-member seats than their total entitlement given their party vote.

Current polls give the two main right-wing parties (National and ACT) high 40s support, and they are well ahead of the two main left-wing parties (Labour and the Greens), who have high 30s to low 40s. Three recent polls have the populist NZ First above the 5% threshold needed to win seats, while the Māori party is expected to win seats even if below the threshold by winning Māori-roll electorates.

A National and ACT government is the most likely outcome, but the right may need support from NZ First. Support for Labour has dropped recently, with the July 24 resignation of Labour MP Kiri Allan as Justice Minister after being arrested for careless driving and resisting police unhelpful.

Far-right candidate tops vote in Argentine primary

Legislative and presidential elections will be held in Argentina on October 22, with a November 19 presidential runoff if no candidate wins at least 45%, or at least 40% and is at least 10% ahead of their nearest opponent. Primary elections to choose the parties’ candidates occurred on August 13. As voting is compulsory, the overall vote shares for the parties are seen as good guides to the outcome of the October vote.

Far-right candidate Javier Milei’s party topped the primary poll with 30.0%, followed by the conservative Together for Change with 28.3% and the centre-left incumbent Union for the Homeland with 27.3%. Milei is an admirer of Donald Trump and has called climate change a “socialist lie”.

Argentina has been suffering from over 100% inflation. If these results were repeated in October, the centre-left candidate would finish third, and the runoff would be between two right-wingers. Even if the centre-left candidate makes the runoff, it’s likely a right-winger will win.

UK by-election to come in SNP-held seat

Former Scottish National Party MP Margaret Ferrier broke COVID rules in 2020 and was suspended from parliament for 30 days. An MP can be recalled if suspended for at least ten days. It takes at least 10% of registered voters in a seat for a successful recall. The recall petition closed on July 31, with 14.7% signing it, so Ferrier was recalled.

Ferrier won’t contest the resulting by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West. As parliament is in recess until September, the by-election won’t be before October 5. In 2019, the SNP defeated Labour in Rutherglen by 44.2-34.5 with 15.0% Conservatives and 5.2% Liberal Democrats.

Briefly: US, Spain, Ecuador and Guatemala

Despite his indictments, Trump remains way ahead in the Republican national presidential primary polls. The primaries will begin in early 2024, and a general election rematch between Trump and Joe Biden in November 2024 remains very likely. I covered the US elections for The Conversation in June, and little has changed since.

There’s still no resolution to the July 23 Spanish election, in which the two main right-wing parties (People’s and Vox) won 170 of the 350 seats and the two main left-wing parties (Socialists and Sumar) won 152. With the right short of the 176 needed for a majority, mostly left-wing regionalist hold the balance of power. The Junts party (seven seats) is seen as the kingmaker.

At Sunday’s Ecuadorian presidential first round election, the left-wing González (with 33.6%) and the son of a tycoon, Noboa (with 23.4%) advanced to the October 15 runoff. This election was called early by the current conservative president to avoid impeachment, and the winner will only serve 1.5 years before a regular election in early 2025.

An anti-corruption campaigner won Sunday’s Guatemalan presidential election by more than 20 points over his runoff opponent.

21 comments on “New Zealand election minus seven-and-a-half weeks”

  1. Thanks Adrian, interesting as ever.

    USA: “Despite his indictments, Trump remains way ahead in the Republican national presidential primary polls.”

    Or perhaps that should read “Because of his indictments, Trump remains way ahead . . .”

    Trump is the master of ‘divide and rule’ and fostering a sense of injustice. Though quite why his political opponents are so hapless and unable to change the narrative, is somewhat beyond me.

  2. Rutherglen and Hamilton West (UK):

    Realistically, the Labour candidate would probably have to eat a baby in public during the campaign for Lab not to win this seat from SNP.

    Assuming s/he doesn’t cannibalise, and Lab run at least an average campaign, I predict a Lab win by +20% vote share over SNP.

    Other Unionist parties’ vote shares to fall, esp Conservative who will probably vote tactically for Labour even more than usual and whose stock has fallen hard in Scotland as in the rest of the UK, in the last 18 months or so.

  3. NZ:

    Although the Nationals are pulling away from Labor at the right time just before the real campaign, IMO it’s still all to play for.

    Chris Hipkins PM is no fool and no Jacinda Ardern. He’s fairly centrist. I believe he remains liked personally and if he shows a tougher leader side during the campaign (as I think he will), I think it could easily go to the wire and he could emerge PM again.

    This isn’t a prediction at all, things could go all sorts of ways. Just I think it’s all to play for, media love to exaggerate a narrative regardless of accuracy (in this case implying Lab is virtually certain to be booted out).

  4. Chris Hipkins strikes me as a very nice bloke, but perhaps Ardern left too much political baggage for him to overcome?
    BTsays: the most recent UK Poll has Labour on 50 and the Tories on 24, so in that context, Rutherglen and Hamilton West ought to be a comfortable Labour gain from the SNP

  5. Evan

    The most recent polling shows Labour just under / at 20 points ahead, but I don’t think any poll has shown them at 50% for a while now.

    Re Rutherglen and Hamilton West:

    Nonetheless the combined vote share of Lab/Con is more relevant for an SNP-held seat, though even that is limited. You really need a Scotland-only poll.

    For example, if SNP were still polling at their GE2019 levels (45%) in Westminster polling for Scotland (they’re not), then they could reasonably be expected to hold onto their 44% vote share in R & HW, making it difficult (though not impossible) for Lab to win regardless of how high Lab’s UK-wide vote share is.

    As it is, Labour are polling much higher in Scotland as well as RoUK, and SNP significantly lower.

    The SNP are looking tired and, though somewhat recovering in polls following the breaking of the various financial scandals, are still well below their peak. Hard for them to frame it as ‘SNP vs Westminster’ when the only challenger is Lab who haven’t been in power in Westminster (UK) or Holyrood (Scotland) since 2011.

    Labour should win very comfortably even without breaking sweat too much.

  6. I have to admit, I’m increasingly frustrated with the depth of analysis provided on this site. The idea that Republican budget cuts are driving Biden’s unpopularity is just lazy analysis. Where’s the evidence? What polling shows this?

  7. Anon

    A large cohort of Americans have no real idea how their country is governed and believe the President is “in charge” of everything and can do what the heck he likes and Congress is just there to approve what he wants.

    No polls required to show that.

  8. The right continues its global ascendency. At this rate, the left will be wiped out globally in just a few years. At least, we can only hope!

  9. Imagine looking at the wreckage left in the UK by the Tories and across the ditch with the lives destroyed by Robodebt and all the corruption, graft, fraud, rorts by the Liberals, and thinking “Yeah, we’ll have some of that”.

    Good luck New Zealand, you’re gonna need it.

    Argentine wanting fascism again. Maybe they’ll try to steal the Falklands again.

  10. Re Scotland

    ‘SNP dominance waning as Labour closes in on Scottish seats, poll shows .. Professor Sir John Curtice says findings suggest parties would win same number of seats in Scotland at a general election .. The research found that the SNP is still narrowly ahead of Labour .. the SNP was backed by 37 per cent of the public while 35 per cent said they intended to vote for Labour. This is the highest level of support for Sir Keir Starmer’s party since 2014’

  11. Ray – yes, that 37-35% virtual tie represents a 12.2% swing to Labour since the 2019 election. (Was SNP 45.0%, Lab 18.6%). Labour’s vote share not far off doubling in Scotland on these figures.

    A full 24+% points difference – and swings often get exaggerated further at by-elections, although Scotland is especially complicated.

  12. Bob

    Try discussing polls not blowing your (possibly angry, with good reason you no doubt feel) partisan trumpet. We can all do that, much easier than analysis.

    All our opinions are valid, but don’t necessarily help analysis on a polling site for polling nerds. Keeps it pleasanter for all of us, if you don’t mind. 🙂

  13. @Nixon did nothing wrong

    Not sure about the right gaining global ascendancy – perhaps tongue in cheek comment?

    South America has swung markedly left like dominoes across the region, though Argentina may be starting to roll it back the other way – seems to happen every few years though the left-wing advances in Columbia and Peru are pretty historic (though the norm in Brazil).

    I’m referring to democracies of course, not the S American quasi-democracies which are a mix of left and right dictatorships in all but name.

    Then Europe: Poland may hang onto it’s Right-wing government, it may not. At least they hold fair votes, more than can be said for Hungary, Serbia etc.
    UK is inevitably heading for a change to a left-wing government, Australia has returned to the centre-left last year and USA has a centre-left President. In Thailand a progressive newish party won most votes. The centrist won again in France last year and Germany has a slightly left of centre coalition (with a more left-wing party leading it than its coalition partners).

    Your theory is backed up by Italy, Greece, to some extent Sweden, by Philippines and others – but really it’s swings and roundabouts as much as it ever was.

  14. Latest Northern Ireland poll.

    Northern Ireland Assembly Voting Intention

    SF: 31% (+2)
    DUP: 26% (+1)
    AP: 15% (+2)
    UUP: 10% (-1)
    SDLP: 6% (-1)
    TUV: 5% (-2)
    AON: 2% (=)
    GRN: 2% (=)
    PBP: 1% (=)

    Via @LucidTalk & @BelTel

    64 percent of Unionist voters, up 2, want the DUP to remain out of power sharing until the protocol is completely removed, so the boycott is going nowhere.

  15. Bob

    I guessed I’d get that sort of ‘friendly’ response after the vitriol of the original post.

    Oh well, we tried to be nice and use the site for what it says it’s for, but it seems even the ‘specialist’ threads get corrupted by trolls these days. This lack of regular guidance/moderation from the site owners is a bit frustrating – though to be fair William’s probably fed up of being ignored.

  16. @Bob and BTSays

    Bob’s comment was fine and indeed nuanced and witty. Thank you, Bob, it made me chuckle.

    Nixon Did Nothing Wrong’s name suggests we should expect some irony – I’m surprised Bob copped the spray on the way through while Nixon etc.’s comment was A-grade Malarkey. I suspect it was deliberately so. Yes, the troll’s pop up here from time to time but Bob’s comment was legit.

    (I come to the side threats for the analysis sprinkled with wit and banter without the abuse the open thread attracts, this is where the polling actually gets discussed.)

    Saturday is the Warrandyte By-election. The Libs will win in a canter as it is a one horse 11 donkey race. My beloved Green can’t win.

    NZ is too early to call, but Labor is clearly one out and one back at the moment.

    Argentina is in a world of pain and looks like electing a Trump without the charisma. (Trump is a troll, btw. who should end up in gaol)

  17. btsays maybe you’d be better off posting on whirlpool where all the mods are right-aligned and ensure no positive commentary of the left is allowed, if your view is that bringing up obvious, massive failures of right wing governments (Brexit, Robodebt) and wondering why any democracy would consider voting in the same type of people is considered “trolling”.

  18. Adrian you wrote:

    “A National and ACT government is the most likely outcome, but the right may need support from NZ First”.

    When did Winston Peters last support a National-led government? The first MMP election in 1996. Once bitten and never again. There is little reason to expect that Peters, if he returns to the Beehive, will have forgiven National.

    On the latest Talbot-Mills poll, Labour + Greens are on 43%, with National + the libertarians (ACT) on 44%, and 6% for NZ First (Peters) which is above the threshold, plus 4% for the Maori Party which is likely to win list seats because it will retain some Maori electorates. See:

    Assuming those are the results at the 14 October election, Peters would choose to work with Labour and the Green Party, as he did in 2017, and the Maori Party, because if he went with National then the new right wing government would have only 61 seats out of 120, whereas if he went with Labour, the Green Party and the Maori Party the new government would have 66 seats, a much stronger majority.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *