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.
I covered Saturday’s New Zealand election for The Conversation early Sunday morning. While the right coalition of National and ACT has 61 of the 121 seats on the preliminary results, enough for a bare majority, special votes have favoured the left in past NZ elections.
I expect the right to lose one or two seats after special votes are included, in which case National will depend on NZ First as well as ACT. But we’ll have to wait until November 3 to see the final results including special votes.
There are other factors that could help or hurt National. National should win a November 25 by-election that would give them an extra 122nd seat after a candidate died before the election. And will the Māori party’s overhang be extended or curtailed? Polls understated the right, though not to the extent they understated the left in 2020.
There are two UK by-elections on Thursday in Conservative-held seats and Argentine presidential and legislative elections next Sunday, which a far-right candidate is expected to win. I will have more on these elections on Thursday.
Polish election: PiS likely to lose
Poland uses proportional representation in multi-member electorates to elect its 460 members of the Sejm (lower house), with a 5% national threshold for single parties and 8% for coalitions. The 100 senators are elected by FPTP.
Poland does not have a major centre-left party. The governing Law and Justice (PiS), which was seeking a third successive term, is socially conservative, authoritarian and anti-immigrant, but economically left. The main opposition Civic Platform (KO) is socially liberal, but economically right.
Exit polls for Sunday’s election have PiS with the most seats but well short of a majority, with a potential alliance of KO and two other parties above a majority. Counting has been slow, with just 0.7% of booths counted at 11:30am AEDT, 5.5 hours after polls closed. I will update this section when there are more results.
Update 9am Tuesday: With 99.5% of precincts reporting, PiS has 35.6%, the coalition led by KO 30.5%, another liberal conservative coalition 14.4%, the New Left 8.6% and the far-right Confederation 7.2%. I don’t know the outcome in seats, but this would result in PiS losing its majority and a potential alliance of liberal conservatives and left having a majority. So the exit polls were right this time.
Strong results for far-right AfD in German state elections and national polls
German state elections in Bavaria and Hesse were held October 8. In Hesse, the AfD surged 5.3% from 2018 to 18.4%, and in Bavaria it was up 4.4% to 14.6%. These gains and other gains for right-wing parties came at the expense of the centre-left SPD and the Greens.
In national German polls, the conservative CDU/CSU is in the high 20s and AfD in the low 20s, while the governing coalition of SPD, Greens and pro-business FDP is in the mid 30s combined. The next German federal election is due in late 2025.
Canadian provincial election and Thailand
The left-wing NDP ousted a Conservative government at the October 3 Manitoba provincial election in Canada, winning 34 of the 57 seats to 22 Conservatives and one Liberal, on vote shares of 45.5% NDP, 42.1% Conservative and 10.6% Liberal. However, in Canadian federal polling the Conservatives lead the governing Liberals by double digit margins. The next Canadian election is due by late 2025.
At the May Thai election, the left-wing Move Forward won 151 of the 500 House seats and originally formed an alliance with Pheu Thai (141 seats). However, a majority of both the House and Senate was needed to become PM, and the Senate’s 250 members are military appointees. Move Forward’s leader was unable to become PM, and Pheu Thai dissolved its alliance with Move Forward to ally with the military. On August 22, Pheu Thai’s nominee was elected PM.