NZ Election 2008 Results

These results may change slightly but here are the almost definitive results in percentage terms and equivalent seats. The official table for this is over here and the seats should stay the same but may be small changes in the total numbers over the next day or so.

Update: the seat numbers changed on 22nd of Nov with National down 1 to 48 and the Greens up 1 to get 9 seats.  The linked table is more up to date than the screenshot below. Will update that soon.

Another useful source to view is the 49th New Zealand Parliament on wikipedia which is being updated even as I write this.

The government looks like it will include National, Act and United Future at the very least (65 seats) with some potential to include a role for the Maori Party which has 5 seats of their own.

This is another historic moment as we have seen two giant political figures step out and one Halloween monster step back in.

Winston Peters NZ First didn’t make the 5% party threshold and he has conceded defeat and is out of Parliament after nearly 30 years.

Helen Clark after being PM for 9 years has announced she is stepping down from the Labour Party leadership after conceding defeat to John Key and the National Party. I hope Helen gets full credit for her work she has has been a great leader.

The Halloween monster is of course Roger Douglas of Act who gets a seat. All the cartoonists and satirists will be very pleased about that especially after his fire & brimstone speech earlier in the evening. It was like the time-warp from the Rocky Horror without the fun music. Rogernomics revisited is too hardline for most voters and is definitely not helpful for Key.

To be fair – Rogers demeanour may have had something to do with being asked for comments on Winston Peters stepping down by TV3. Peters entered Parliament in 1978 after defeating Roger’s brother Malcolm Douglas on a legal appeal /recount for the Hunua seat.

Consequently the smart move is to counterbalance Act (5 seats) with the Maori Party (5 seats) and continue to insist on a more centrist rather than right wing government.

John Key is sending all the right signals. It also appears that the convention in the National Party is for the leader to appoint Cabinet Ministers in a much more direct way.

If Key acts decisively to get rid of the dead wood in his front bench then he has a hope of repositioning the National Party as a more long term centre right option. To do this he needs to dump Lockwood Smith, Murray McCully, Nick Smith and Maurice Williamson at the very least.

The idealogues in Act – especially Douglas needs to be kept at bay as well. To help with this task there are a number of new National Party MP’s that have been elected. Tim Groser as Trade Minister will be a huge asset for example. Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga in Maungakiekie also looks to be an excellent new MP.

Auckland Central has changed from being safe Labour to being a National Party seat. The Green Party vote very well there (15.4% of party votes) but even so the sitting Labour MP (Tizard) seemed complacent and arrogant to many former supporters.

Tizard is number 38 on the Labour list probably because she was expected to win the electorate vote. I don’t know the exact calculations but it seems like she is gone if the list counts down after the electorate seats and only 22 from the list make it in.

I did hear some sugestion that failing to get Tizard in was a failure of tactical voting in Auckland Central because too many Greens (3,695) voted for the Green candidate who could never win. There were plenty of grumbles from existing Labour Party voters unhappy with Tizard and her personal vote was clearly down.

In Mt Albert the Green Party got 10.4% of the Party vote including mine.  Overall though the Greens got around 6.5% of the party vote. It is less surprising that the Green Party polls much higher in the city seats but most polling had them at 8-9% so this is down but they do get at least 2 more seats in parliament.

In my view the Greens benefited from the social desirability bias especially in the city seats. It is more acceptable to say you are intending to vote Green even if you don’t follow through on the day.

NZ First had the flip-side of this effect. It was very uncool to say you intended to vote NZ First and so the polls had them at 2% but on the day they got 4.2% which meant that they under polled.

It is possible if more people had realised that NZ First actual support was at 4.2% then some voters might have helped get them over the 5% threshold. In essence NZ voters have to consider whether their preferred party will get more than 5% otherwise those party votes are wasted.

The other factor for the Greens would have been the credit crisis and perhaps more short term thinking along the lines of how can we afford the ideals of climate change and the like. Despite the good showing by the Greeens we now have the Act Party with increased influence and they are extremely cautious on climate change to say the least.

Perhaps the best result from this election is the elimination of uncertainty in the political system.

We have a result that is as definitive as it can be under MMP. Given the uncertain economic climate it is going to be tough making unpopular decisions in government but Key is making all the right noises.

As an ex money market trader this might even prove to be a bonus on the banking side of things.

If they can also get some support from the Maori Party then perhaps they will have a buffer for the road ahead and be able to keep some of the dead wood away from the rudder.