New Zealand's new parliament turns red: the 2020 election results at a glance
Labour is celebrating a landslide victory tonight after winning 49% of the vote. The result means Labour could govern
alone — the first time
this has happened since New Zealand introduced a mixed member proportional (MMP) electoral system in 1993.
In her victory speech, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the result gave Labour “the mandate to accelerate our
[COVID-19] response and our recovery. And tomorrow we start.”
Earlier, National Party leader Judith Collins, whose party only won 26.8% of the vote, promised to be a “robust
opposition” and “hold the government to account for failed promises”.
You can read the analysis of the results by our five political experts here
In the new parliament, Labour will have 64 seats — three more than the 61 needed to form government. National has 35,
the Green Party ten, ACT ten and the Māori Party is expected to return to parliament with one seat.
The numbers are a reversal of the 2017 results, when Labour polled 36.9%, National had 44.4% of the vote and New Zealand
First leader Winston Peters became the kingmaker.
New Zealanders had to wait almost a month before Peters announced he would form a coalition with the Labour Party,
becoming deputy prime minister. The Green Party joined the coalition in a confidence and supply arrangement.
In this election, NZ First was ousted from parliament, after the party failed to reach the 5% threshold and neither of
its candidates managed to win an electorate seat.
Five parties gained seats in parliament. The Māori Party is expected to win one of seven Māori electorate seats and
return to parliament even though it only achieved 1% of the party vote. None of the other minor parties won electorate
seats or reached the 5% party vote threshold.
Compared to previous elections, record numbers of New Zealanders voted early in 2020. A day before the election, almost 2 million people
had already cast their vote.
Voters also voted on two referendums: whether the End of Life Choice Act 2019
should come into force and whether the recreational use of cannabis should become legal
Referendum votes will be counted after election day and preliminary results
will be released on October 30
. We’ll cover the outcomes then.
2017 election results
In 2017, the National Party won 44.4% of the votes and on election night, then prime minister Bill English celebrated victory
But NZ First won 7.5% and held the balance of power. It was the third time for NZ First leader Winston Peters to become
the veto player in the government-formation process.
After almost four weeks of negotiations, he opted to go into coalition with Labour, with the Green Party in a confidence
and supply role. For the first time under New Zealand’s MMP electoral system, the new government was not led by the
party that had won the largest number of seats.
Jacinda Ardern became prime minister
in an extraordinary period in New Zealand’s political history. Just three months earlier, Ardern had been the deputy
leader of a Labour Party polling in minor party territory.
, New Zealand Editor: Politics, Business + Arts, The Conversation
; Liz Minchin
, Executive Editor, New Zealand, The Conversation
; Michael Lund
, Commissioning Editor, The Conversation
; Veronika Meduna
, New Zealand Editor: Science, Health + Environment, The Conversation
, and Wes Mountain
, Multimedia Editor, The Conversation
This article is republished from The Conversation
under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article
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