New Zealand Election 2017

So it is the morning after Election night in New Zealand. I was hoping for a different result but it seems after 21 years of MMP as a nation we still like first past the post.

Update: On 20th of Oct – Peters announced a coalition with Labour and Greens are in support. I wasn’t expecting this but happy the Greens get some Cabinet influence if not actual cabinet seats.

In retrospect making up a 20 point gap would have been superhuman even if the Greens could have kept their percentage at 10%. As it stands the Greens are at about 6% which after the special votes of 384,000 have been counted will probably get them 8 or 9 MP’s.

Labour picked up 12% which made it look much closer than it was. That is a brilliant result and will mean that Labour Opposition is much stronger going forward. Sure – it is mathematically possible for Labour and the Greens to do a deal with Winston Peters and become the government but that is exactly what is wrong with National.

Here is the full version of Rod Emmerson’s great cartoon.

National have no real heart. Just pragmatism around power and privilege and unlike the old days they have no qualms about pinching vote winning policies like “working for families”.

For once the polls were fairly accurate and so the result is not really a surprise. Winston was always going to be the kingmaker. We have been here before as Ali Ikram has noted.

Voter turnout is up to about 79% which is a good result. Having 1.2m early votes over a two week period probably helped that and also the perception that the result would be closer would have got some people off the couch.

Besides Labour having a great new leader in Jacinda Ardern and an increased number of colleagues in the house having a new 23year old MP from the Greens and Tamati Coffey for Labour will help invigorate the Opposition. I think Golriz will make it too once the special votes have been counted.

To put things in context. Labour had 7 weeks to change perceptions about their chances and Jacinda Ardern has worked a miracle. She deserves to be PM but not at the price of doing a deal with Winston. She should keep her powder dry – rebuild the opposition and demolish National by forcing an early election in say 18 months time.

PS: There will be some talk about the Greens supporting National. I don’t believe that can happen unless there is an unacceptable compromise.

To support a Blue/ Green alliance is fundamentally a conflict. You can not support mining and exploitation of minerals in national parks and be Green. Have a look at Naomi Klein book – This Changes Everything.. Being environmentally sustainable is an economic policy at root. (I know Vernon disagrees) and Klein is hard to read but climate change and economics are inextricably bound.

Update 25/9: As predicted the contrarians think Winston is going to throw a curve ball. The Nats think he will do a deal with them. I hope Greens and Labour won’t compromise at all but it will take all of the next 2 weeks to finalise as special votes equal 15% this year. The special votes tend to favour Labour & Greens but it wouldn’t take much of a swing to deliver a few surprises.

Most seem to be picking that Labour and Greens will pick up 1 extra seat each but I wonder if because of the large 15% slice in specials whether this might be more than a 2 seat change.

Prelim 2017 results I had wondered if the record early vote turnout might increase voter turnout up to 80%. It turns out it was close and up to 78.8% of those enrolled but only up about 1% over the last time.

“Special declaration votes still to be counted are estimated at 384,072 (15% of total votes). This includes an estimated 61,375 overseas and dictation votes.”

384k of votes at 15% is a larger than before so maybe that is where the impact of the early voting will come from.

This chart shows that voters wanted to change the government in all but two electorates. This will changes slightly after special votes calculated but likely to swing away from the National Party.