NZ Port Waikato by-election live

National very likely to win today’s by-election as new New Zealand government formed. Also covered: a far-right party wins the most seats at the Dutch election.

9:57am Sunday With all election night votes counted, National won 76.9% in the by-election with NZ First a very distant second on 15.2%. Animal Justice was fourth with 1.6%.

5:31pm This is likely to be my last article for the year for this site. I will see you next year when the US presidential primaries start in January.

5:15pm Over 6,800 votes have been counted in Port Waikato, and National has over 5,400 or 80%. So this one’s over already. Of the 123 total seats, National will hold 49, and there will be 34 Labour, 15 Greens, 11 ACT, eight NZ First and six Māori. So National and ACT add to 60 seats, two short of the 62 needed for a majority.

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.

Polls close at 5pm AEDT today for a New Zealand by-election in Port Waikato. A candidate’s death after nominations closed caused the postponement of the Port Waikato election from the October 14 general election. National held this seat at the 2020 Labour landslide, so they are expected to easily win the by-election. National’s only significant opposition will come from NZ First, as none of Labour, the Greens or ACT are contesting.

The winner of this by-election will be seated in addition to the 122 elected on October 14. The October 14 results were 48 National, 34 Labour, 15 Greens, 11 ACT, eight NZ First and six Māori. National and ACT combined had 59 seats, short of the 62 needed for a majority. A National win in the by-election would still leave these two parties two short of a majority. So National needed NZ First as well as ACT to form a government. On Friday, three weeks after election results were finalised, these three parties agreed to form a governing coalition.

For the general election, recounts were conducted in three seats, with the winning candidates unchanged. The most important recount was in a Māori-roll seat, which the Māori party had won by four votes over Labour. On the recount, they extended their winning margin to 42 votes. The overall results of the October 14 election were unchanged, with Māori winning six electorate seats, causing a two-seat “overhang” (as there are 122 total seats, not the normal 120).

Far-right party wins most seats at Dutch election

The 150 members of the Dutch lower house are elected by national proportional representation without a threshold. Wednesday’s election was held over a year early owing to a collapse in the previous governing coalition that was led by the conservative VVD.

The far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) won 37 of the 150 seats (up 20 since the March 2021 election), an alliance between Labour and the Greens 25 seats (up eight), the VVD 24 (down ten), the socially left but anti-immigrant NSC 20 (new), the centrist D66 nine (down 15), the agrarian BBB seven (up six), the Christian Democrats (CDA) five (down ten) and the Socialists five (down four). D66 and the CDA were part of the last government.

While the PVV easily won the most seats, they have under half the requirement for a majority (76 seats). They are not at all guaranteed to be part of the next Dutch government. It took ten months after the 2021 election to get a new government. This is the first time the PVV has won the most seats. There was a surge to the PVV in late polling, but polls still understated them.

Poland, the US, Switzerland and Israel

Polish President Andrzej Duda is aligned with the Law and Justice (PiS) party. He was re-elected in 2020 for a five-year term in a runoff by a 51.0-49.0 margin. By initially selecting the PiS parliamentary leader as PM-designate, Duda delayed the formation of a non-PiS government until early December following the October 15 parliamentary election that PiS lost. Polish presidents can veto legislation, and it requires a 60% majority to override this veto, which the parties opposed to PiS don’t have.

A US by-election occurred last Tuesday in Utah’s second federal House seat. With 83% counted, a Republican held by a 56.9-33.9 margin over a Democrat. In 2020, Donald Trump beat Joe Biden in this seat by a 56.7-39.5 margin. The previous Republican member won by 59.7-34.0 in 2022.

I previously covered the October 22 Swiss election, in which the right-wing SVP gained nine lower house seats at the expense of the Greens and Green Liberals. After November runoffs, results for the malapportioned upper house are 15 of 46 seats for the conservative Centre (up two since 2019), 11 Liberals (down one), nine Social Democrats (steady), six SVP (steady), three Greens (down two) and one Green Liberal (up one).

Since the current war began, support for Israel’s right-wing government has crashed into the low-40s out of 120 Knesset seats, down from the mid-50s before the war and 64 seats at the 2022 election. But the next election isn’t due until late 2026.

New Zealand election results finalisation

National likely to need NZ First as well as ACT after final NZ results released. Also: results of the Argentine legislative elections.

4:06pm I’ve done an article for The Conversation on the final NZ results that also includes swings from the 2020 election result and a look at the polls.

1:39pm A National win in the Port Waikato by-election would give Nat + ACT 60 of the now 123 seats, still two short of the 62 needed for a majority. So National will definitely need NZ First.

12:14pm National have dropped two seats and the Māori party have won two electorate seats in which they narrowly trailed Labour on election night. This means an overhang of two seats, with the combined right of National and ACT getting 59 of the 122 seats, three short of the 62 needed for a majority. One win by the Māori party was by just four votes.

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 electoral commission said on election night there were an estimated 567,000 “special votes” remaining to be counted or 20.2% of all votes. Unlike Australia, no counting updates are provided after election night until final results are released at 12pm AEDT Friday, three weeks after the election.

On the preliminary figures, National won 50 of the 121 seats and ACT 11, with National and ACT at 61 seats, enough for a majority. In my article Tuesday for The Conversation previewing the final results, I expect National and ACT to fall below a majority, meaning that National would also need NZ First to form a government.

Final results should be posted here when available. The winner of the November 25 Port Waikato by-election, expected to be National, will also be seated in addition to those elected on October 14.

Mike Johnson elected US House Speaker

Right-wing Republican Mike Johnson was elected US House Speaker by a 220-209 party-line vote on October 25, with all Republicans in favour and all Democrats supporting their leader Hakeem Jeffries. This vote concluded three weeks of chaos after Kevin McCarthy’s ouster, in which Republicans had unsuccessfully nominated Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan and Tom Emmer.

While the US presidential election is not until November 2024, there will be a few state elections and a federal by-election next Tuesday. I will cover these elections then and provide live commentary as results come in Wednesday AEDT.

Combined right wins Argentine lower house, but fails in Senate

In the October 22 Argentine presidential election, the centre-left Sergio Massa won 36.7%, the far-right Javier Milei 30.0% and the conservative Patricia Bullrich 23.8%. A centrist candidate won 6.8% and the far-left 2.7%. The runoff between Massa and Milei will be held November 19. Bullrich endorsed Milei on October 25.

Despite the 53.8% combined right vote, Massa is ahead in early runoff polls, although they were taken before Bullrich’s endorsement. Massa is the candidate of the incumbent Union for the Homeland (UftH) coalition.

In concurrent legislative elections, 130 of the 257 Chamber of Deputies seats were elected by proportional representation in multi-member electorates based on the 24 provinces. UftH won 58 seats (down six since the last time these seats were contested in 2019), Milei’s Liberty Advances (LA) 35 and Bullrich’s Together for Change (TfC) 31 (down 25). The other 127 seats were elected in 2021. Total seats are 108 UftH out of 257, 92 TfC, 39 LA and 18 others. The combined right of TfC and LA has a majority.

In the Senate, eight provinces held elections with the winning party taking two senators and the second party one. This is more like first past the post, and UftH benefited from the right split, winning 13 of the 24 seats (up one since the last time these seats were contested in 2017) to seven for LA and two for TfC (down ten). A regionalist party won the remaining two seats. The other 16 provinces held Senate elections in 2019 and 2021. Total senators are 36 UftH out of 72, 23 TfC, seven LA and six others.

Switzerland and Slovakia

Switzerland uses PR in multi-member electorates based on the cantons (states) to elect its lower house. At the October 22 election, the right-wing SVP won 62 of the 200 seats (up nine since 2017), the Social Democrats 41 (up two), the Centre 29 (up one), the Liberals 28 (down one), the Greens 23 (down five) and the Green Liberals ten (down six). The upper house is heavily malapportioned, with runoff elections in November to fill 15 of the 46 seats.

Instead of a single PM or president, Switzerland has a seven-member federal council, which is currently two SVP, two Social Democrats, two Liberals and one Centre. This composition is likely to be retained when the full parliament votes on December 13.

I covered the September 30 Slovakian election in early October. On October 25, the pro-Russia but economically left Smer formed a government with the support of Hlas (a breakaway from Smer) and the nationalist SNS.

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.

New Zealand election live

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

Live Commentary

9:42pm Nat and ACT combined have dropped to 61 of the 121 seats with 93% counted. “Special votes” that are counted in the three weeks after the election night count is complete will favour the left and probably cost the right a majority, meaning they will need NZ First to govern. Also Maori is just behind Labour in two seats; if they won both there would be a bigger overhang. But Nat will almost certainly win a by-election that was postponed from Saturday after a candidate died.

9:16pm Had to work on the Voice article. With 88% counted in NZ, National and ACT are down to 62 of the 121 seats. The election day vote has been worse for National than the advance vote.

7:11pm National may be doing worse on election day votes than advance, and have dropped back to 52 seats, with Nat and ACT at a combined 64 of 123 with 38.0% overall counted including 86.4% of advance votes.

6:15pm Nat and ACT keep climbing and are now at 65 of the 123 seats with 27% of overall votes and 73.5% of advance votes counted. It’s looking like the late polls badly understated the right this time after understating the left in 2020.

6:02pm With 66% of advance votes and 24% overall counted, Nat and ACT are now up to 64 of the 122 total seats.

5:50pm With 56% of advance votes counted and 21% overall, Nat and ACT combined are still holding at 63 of the current 122 seats.

5:35pm Maori now winning just three electorate seats, down from six previously. That means total number of seats falls back to 120, and Nat and ACT are currently winning 63 combined.

5:28pm Results so far reflect advance or pre-poll votes, of which 32% has been counted. Percentage counted is of the total number of polling places, so the left parties will hope the current count is skewed to smaller booths that count quickly in rural areas.

5:18pm With 5% counted, Maori party is winning six electorate seats, causing a three-seat overhang. However, Nat and ACT are still winning 63 of the 123 new total seats.

5:11pm First results, with 2% counted, would give the right 63 of the 120 seats.

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.

Polls close at 5pm AEDT for the New Zealand election. As in Australia, early voting has been available since October 2. However, I believe early votes are counted in NZ on election day, and so they will be released fairly quickly. Results from the NZ Electoral Commission will be available here.

I had a final preview for The Conversation on the NZ election on Thursday. There was a late Morgan poll, conducted September 5 to October 8, that showed the left parties (Labour, Greens and Māori) leading the right parties (National and ACT) by two points, but with 7.5% for NZ First it would make NZ First the kingmaker. 

In other news, it may well be the case that no Republican candidate for US House Speaker can win the 217 Republican votes needed to become Speaker without any Democratic support. It’s now ten days since Kevin McCarthy was ousted, and there’s no resolution in sight.

I will be writing about the Voice and the NZ election for The Conversation, so I won’t be following the NZ election throughout the night.

New Zealand election minus one day

A brief and somewhat inexpert guide to tomorrow’s election in New Zealand, where late polling has complicated expectations of a conservative victory.

Tomorrow is election day in New Zealand, with the conservative National Party under Christopher Luxon favourites to depose a two-term Labour government that Chris Hipkins has led since succeeding Jacinda Ardern in January. Polls suggest the best Labour can hope for is a balance of power position for populist veteran Winston Peters and his New Zealand First party, between Labour and the Green Party on the left and National and Act New Zealand on the right. This would replicate the situation when Peters unexpectedly threw in his lot with Jacinda Ardern and Labour after the 2017 election. Labour’s landslide re-election under Ardern in October 2020 decimated National and evicted New Zealand First altogether, but National has enjoyed a recovery under Luxon’s leadership while Peters has benefited from a familiar wave of anti-major party sentiment.

Labour has been a been a long slide in the polls ever since, which appeared to be briefly arrested when Hipkins came to the leadership in January but resumed thereafter. However, polls from the last week have recorded movement back to the left: Reid Research has National down from 39.1% to 34.5% since mid-September and Act steady on 8.8%, with Labour up from 26.5% to 27.5% and Green up from 14.2% to 14.9%; 1News-Verian had Labour up two from a week previous to 26% and Green up one to 14%, with National up one to 37% and ACT down one to 9%; and an Essential Research poll for The Guardian had Labour up from 26.9% to 30.3% since a month and Green down from 11% to 10.6%, with National down from 34.5% to 34% and ACT down from 10.3% to 7.9%.

New Zealand First has consistently been polling in the range of 6% to 8%, putting them over the threshold of 5% that entitles parties to shares of the 120-or-so seats in parliament proportionate to their share of the vote. That would leave the party blocs of left and right needing upwards of 46% to secure a majority of seats without help from New Zealand First, which would come down to about 43% if New Zealand First failed to clear the bar, putting a vote share of nearly 5% out of contention. The latest polls generally have both blocs short of the former figure, although National and ACT are at 46% between them in 1News-Verian. A caveat in all this is that the pollsters had a bigger failure in 2020 than the one they had suffered in Australia the previous year, though because the winner was called correctly it attracted notice. Three final week polls gave Labour an average lead over National of 46.3% to 31.4%, when the actual result turned out at 50.0% to 25.6%.

Poll Bludger contributor Adrian Beaumont, who has been following the campaign more closely than I have, had an update yesterday in The Conversation that offered the following on what to expect from the count:

We’ll only have a clearer picture once polling booths close at 7pm (5pm AEDT) on Saturday, when all ordinary votes cast at early voting centres or on election day will begin to be counted. There are also “special votes”, usually cast by voters outside their home electorate (similar to absent votes in Australia). In the past, these have benefited parties on the left, which can take another one or two seats over the preliminary results. If past practice is a guide, however, there will be no updates to the published results after election night until the official results (which include special votes) are released on November 3.

UK Rutherglen by-election live

A by-election today in an SNP-held seat, and two on October 19 in Conservative-held seats. Also covered: New Zealand polls ahead of the October 14 election and McCarthy ousted as US House Speaker.

11:54am Friday HUGE win for Labour in the Rutherglen by-election, crushing the incumbent SNP by 31 points. This could set up big gains for Labour in Scotland at the next UK general election. The Tories lost their deposit (5% is needed to retain a deposit).

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.

Polls close at 8am Friday AEDT for a UK by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.  I explained in August that former Scottish National Party MP Margaret Ferrier was recalled after breaching COVID rules.  In 2019, the SNP defeated Labour in Rutherglen by 44.2-34.5 with 15.0% Conservatives and 5.2% Liberal Democrats.

There will be two by-elections in the Conservative-held seats of Mid Bedfordshire (MBeds) and Tamworth on October 19.  MBeds MP Nadine Dorries announced she would resign after Boris Johnson quit parliament in June, but delayed this until late August.  Tamworth MP Chris Pincher was accused of sexual misconduct and resigned before a recall petition.

At the 2019 election, the Conservatives won MBeds by 59.8-21.7 over Labour with 12.6% Lib Dems.  They won Tamworth by 66.3-23.7 over Labour with 5.3% Lib Dems. A mid-September poll had MBeds tied between the Conservatives and Labour.

On September 20, Conservative PM Rishi Sunak announced a weakening of green targets.  Most UK national polls give Labour a 15-20 point lead over the Conservatives, but an Opinium poll taken last week had Labour just 10 points ahead.  The swing to Labour and against the SNP in Scottish polls since the 2019 election should enable Labour to win Rutherglen.

NZ election: October 14

The New Zealand editor of The Conversation commissioned me to write about the October 14 election, so I haven’t been covering it here.  My two NZ articles for The Conversation were published September 14 and 28.

NZ polls close at 5pm AEDT on election day.  Owing to the clash with the Voice referendum, I won’t be providing live commentary on election night, but will do a wrap of the NZ and Polish results on October 16.

I have been doing graphs in my Conversation articles since July.  The graph below shows the lead or deficit of the right coalition (National and ACT) over the left coalition (Labour, Greens and Māori) in all polls since March.  There are trend lines for each pollster.

The only poll added since last week’s Conversation article was the weekly Verian poll, which gave the right coalition a 4.8-point lead, down from 7.1.  That means NZ First, with 6% in this poll, would be needed for a right government (threshold is 5%).  While the overall trend since March is to the right, there has been a drop in the right’s lead since mid-September, when they had an 8.4-point lead in the Verian poll.

Position vacant again: US House Speaker

Republican Kevin McCarthy was ousted as US House Speaker Wednesday AEDT by a 216-210 vote, with all Democrats and eight Republicans in favour.  The election of a new Speaker requires a majority of all candidate votes, with abstentions and “present” votes not counting.  McCarthy will not contest this election.  The House adjourned until next week.

Right-wing Republicans were furious with McCarthy when he agreed a debt limit deal with Joe Biden in late May.  I said he was more like a pussycat than a tiger.  The final straw was passing a budget resolution with Democratic support last Saturday.

Polish election: October 15

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 is 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.

Polls suggest PiS is ahead, but not by enough to win an outright majority.  There are two other parties who would probably ally with KO.  It’s possible the far-right Confederation will be the kingmaker.

Pro-Russia party wins most seats in Slovakia

Slovakia uses national PR with a 5% threshold to elect its 150 MPs.  At last Saturday’s election, the economically left but pro-Russia Smer won 42 seats, Progressive Slovakia 32 and Hlas 27 (Hlas was formed as a split from Smer).  The remaining seats went to right-wing parties, with two right-wing parties narrowly missing the 5% threshold. Smer leader Robert Fico is a former PM who campaigned on ending military aid to Ukraine.  Although Smer won the most seats, they will need a coalition to reach the 76 seats for a majority.

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.

UK by-elections and Spanish election minus eight to 11 days

Three UK by-elections in Conservative-held seats on July 20, and right expected to win July 23 Spanish election. Also covered: New Zealand polls and Greek election results.

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.

Boris Johnson resigned from the UK House of Commons on June 9. In this June 21 article for The Conversation that was mainly about Donald Trump’s post-indictment US polls, I said Johnson resigned as he would have been forced out by a recall petition after an unfavourable report from the privileges committee.

Johnson won his former seat of Uxbridge at the December 2019 election by a 52.6-37.6 margin over Labour with 6.3% for the Liberal Democrats. By-elections will occur in Uxbridge and two other Conservative-held seats on July 20: Selby & Ainsty and Somerton & Frome. In Selby, MP Nigel Adams resigned in protest at Johnson’s ouster. In Somerton, MP David Warburton resigned owing to allegations of sexual harassment.

At the 2019 election, the Conservatives won Somerton by 55.8-26.2 over the Lib Dems with 12.9% Labour and 5.1% Greens. They won Selby by 60.3-24.6 over Labour with 8.6% Lib Dems. These large seat wins were from overall vote shares at the 2019 election of 43.6% Conservative, 32.1% Labour and 11.6% Lib Dems.

In national polls, Labour currently has about a 20-point lead over the Conservatives, in contrast to the 11.5-point Conservative win in 2019. Labour’s lead has increased since Johnson’s resignation. Seat polls give Labour an eight-point lead in Uxbridge and a 12-point lead in Selby. The Lib Dems had huge swings in their favour at by-elections earlier this term.  These by-elections will be the first since February, and the first in a Conservative-held seat since June 2022 (when they lost two seats).

Right likely to win Spanish election

At the July 23 Spanish election, all 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies and 208 of the 266 seats in the Senate will be up for election. In the Congress, proportional representation (PR) by region is used with a 3% threshold for each region. Higher-population regions are assigned more seats, so Madrid has 37 seats. This system favours larger parties over the results using national PR. The Senate is elected using First Past the Post, with each mainland region getting four seats and islands one to three seats.

At the November 2019 election, the centre-left Socialists formed a governing coalition with the left-wing Podemos that was supported by regionalists. Podemos is running at this election as Sumar. Polling indicates the conservative People’s Party and far-right Vox are leading the Socialists and Sumar by single digit margins.

A win for the right in Spain would make it the second major European country to fall to the right after Italy last year. And in Germany the far-right AfD has been surging in the polls recently after the centre-left SPD, Greens and pro-business FDP formed a government following the September 2021 election. The next German election is due by October 2025.

NZ election: October 14

New Zealand uses national PR to elect its 120 parliamentarians with a 5% threshold that is waived if a party wins a single-member seat. With three months until the October 14 election, current polling suggests that the conservative National and right-wing ACT are leading the governing Labour and the Greens. While the left parties had a boost in support after Chris Hipkins replaced Jacinda Ardern as Labour leader and PM in January, that boost has faded. The Māori party are potential kingmakers with a recent Morgan poll giving them a record 7%, and they can avoid the 5% threshold by winning a Māori-only seat.

Second Greek election another disaster for left

After no party won a majority in the May Greek election, a second election was held June 25. National PR with a 3% threshold was used, but with a bonus seat system that had been removed at the May election. The conservative governing New Democracy (ND) won 40.6% (down 0.2% from May), the left-wing Syriza 17.8% (down 2.2%), the centre-left PASOK 11.8% (up 0.4%) and the Communists 7.7% (up 0.5%). Three far-right parties cleared the 3% threshold.

Twenty bonus seats were awarded to the party winning the most votes and one bonus seat per half a percent between 25% and 40%. ND won 50 bonus seats and 158 total seats out of 300, enough for a majority. Syriza won 47 seats, PASOK 32, the Communists 21 and three far-right parties won a combined 34 seats.