Sunday, October 18, 2020

New Zealand election results

 First; to note that in the Australian Capital Territory, Labor seems set to return to government. The Greens, however, are the biggest winners, going from 2 to at least 5 seats. Regardless, the Greens plan to continue to support the Labor government, amd Labor is sitting on 10 seats to 8 for the Liberals with 2 seats yet to be counted/finalized. 

New Zealand still has some ballots to count, in particular, the roughly 16% of so of ballots cast as 'special ballots'. However, of the ballots counted so far, the results are as follows:

64 - Lab - 49.1%
35 - Nat - 26.8%
10 - ACT - 8.0%
10 - Grn - 7.6%
0 - NZF - 2.7%
1 - Mao - 1.0%

As such, New Zealand First, receives 0 seats.

Labour's win is the first Majority won under MMP-PR in New Zealand. Their 49.1% of the vote is also the largest share of the vote won by any party since 1951, before the advent of strong 3rd parties. No party since the advent of the party system in New Zealand has done this well when more than one other party has taken more than 1% of the vote. The next closest result is way back in 1908, when party lines were much more informal, where the "3rd party" took 3.1%

Their win in the electorates however, is less unprecedented. Labour itself took 45 electorate seats in 2002, whereas they look set to wni only 43 this election. National was reduced to 26 electorate seats, but, itself took only 21 back in 2002. Even if you compare pre-PR results (which you should not do) you find that Arden only won 60% of electorates, while election in 1990 (two elections before the switch) saw the winner take a nice 69% of the seats. 

The result, however, is still quite impressive. While I am 100% certain it has happened before, and will again, the only PR Majority I can personally recall off the top of my head happened in 1968 in Sweden; and, not to toot my own horn, but I have quite a few elections filed in my brain to pull data from. These kind of wins are rare, and, while I'm certain it will happen again, at some point in time, in New Zealand, chances are I may have died of old age by then. 

Unlike this historic victory, National's loss is not as historic as some may think. In 2002 they took only 20.9% of the vote, and had been reduced to 27 seats in Parliament; vs 52 for Labour and 41 for the other parties. The opposition benches, this time, will be mostly National, as they have 35 seats compared to 21 for the other parties. 

New Zealand First, however, did see a historic low. The 2.7% of the vote pushes the party to its lowest ever vote share. Leader Winston Peters, who has lead the party since its founding, may decide to retire from politics. He has, after all, been involved in politics for the past 50 years. ACT, which, though standing for nothing now, once stood for the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers, did set a record with 8% of the vote. The highest ever for this party, and second only for a Business-Libertarian party in the country to the 12.3% taken by the proto-ACT party, the New Zealand Party, in 1984.

Regardless, this will go down in history as record setting.

The only problem now is if, now that Labour and only Labour sets the agenda and delivers the results, thus taking 100% of the fault if things go wrong; if such a government can convince people to re-elect them.

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