New Zealand and Polish elections reviewed

National and ACT likely to fall below a majority once special votes counted in New Zealand, while exit polls suggest PiS likely to lose in Poland.

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.

11 comments on “New Zealand and Polish elections reviewed”

  1. Those Polish exit polls line up pretty well with published opinion polls over the final week of the campaign, except Third Way overperformed on the day while far-right Confederation underperformed. On balance, a terrific result for KO/Left/Third Way, and a let-down for PiS/Confederation.

    This result, if confirmed by the actual count, should see Polish relations with the rest of the EU/NATO improve considerably, and Polish friction with Kyiv dissipate rapidly. Putin would be one observer very disappointed with this result. 🙂

  2. NZ will regret handing over the country to the Kiwi Scomo and his fantasy land where he can cut debt, get a budget surplus, add billions of spending for jails, cops, hospitals, get rid of public housing and cut taxes for landlords & the super-rich and somehow not wreck the economy.

  3. JahlinWoodicsays:
    Monday, October 16, 2023 at 5:43 pm
    Happy that at least NZ voted for change, even if Australia did not.

    JahlinWoodic, even better news that it looks like Poland has voted for change – in their case, away from a democratically dubious, mildly Eurosceptic and increasingly Ukraine-unfriendly PiS government, to an impeccably pro-democracy, pro-Europe and pro-Ukraine KO/Lewica/TD government. Not as happy about the direction of NZ’s change, though.

  4. Daniel Noboa won the presidential election in Ecuador. He is a member of the centrist National Democratic Action but I guess that makes him the right wing candidate in the runoff as he was running against a leftist. He is the heir to a banana empire. But he is only 35 which makes him the youngest President in Ecuador’s history and will make one of the youngest leaders in the world.

  5. A blogger I respect quoted this by Max Weber in Politics as a Vocation that may be helpful to those who might be in dismay about the NZ Election.

    “Politics is a strong and slow boring of hard boards. It takes both passion and perspective. Certainly all historical experience confirms the truth –that man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible. But to do that a man must be a leader, and not only a leader but a hero as well, in a very sober sense of the word. And even those who are neither leaders nor heroes must arm themselves with that steadfastness of heart which can brave even the crumbling of all hopes. This is necessary right now, or else men will not be able to attain even that which is possible today. Only he has the calling for politics who is sure that he shall not crumble when the world from his point of view is too stupid or too base for what he wants to offer. Only he who in the face of all this can say ‘In spite of all!’ has the calling for politics.”

    Such a devastating result for NZ Labour after only 3 years of their greatest success, it can and will eventually get better from here for them.

  6. Pole living in NZ here. Voted in both. Quite happy with the change. Could’ve been better in both cases but overall steps in right directions for both! Pretty happy

  7. Candidates announced for the Port Waikato by-election:

    Nine candidates. It’s basically a two-horse race: National and NZ First are running, while Labour, the Greens and ACT aren’t.

    Apart from the Animal Justice Party, it’s hard to find much sanity in the soon to be also-rans. Two different religious conservatives, two different anti-vax conspiracist weirdos, and a TERF. Oh, and a minor independent who ran in East Coast at the general election (and the 2022 by-elections in Tauranga and Hamilton West, and Selwyn for Labour back in 2014). Probably less than 10% for the whole lot.

    An oddity that comes up sometimes with by-elections under MMP: both the National and NZ First candidates are sitting MPs, and will remain so whatever happens. Whichever party wins the by-election gets an extra list MP to replace the one that gets shunted into the electorate seat – that’ll be either Nancy Lu (National #20) or David Wilson (NZ First #9).

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