Image: Alice Webb-Liddall
Image: Alice Webb-Liddall

FoodOctober 16, 2020

How to make the perfect election night party spread

Image: Alice Webb-Liddall
Image: Alice Webb-Liddall

Hosting an election night party but still stressing over what to serve? Don’t worry, we’ve got you.

Election night parties are mostly shambolic. Between the people who want to sit in front of the TV and watch numbers roll across the screen for hours and those who just came to delete some beverages, sometimes the food table is the only place where unity is achieved: a political sanctuary. If you’re hosting an election night party, it’s your duty not to fuck that up.

Here at The Spinoff we want your election night to go as smoothly as possible. Whether you’re hosting an upmarket shindig or a rager in your uni flat, your guests will be too full of delicious morsels to start fighting over conflicting political ideologies.

Orange man cookies

If you say orange man three times in a mirror the ballooned election mascot will appear behind you with his dog to tell you where the nearest polling booth is. If you have a gingerbread man cookie cutter lying around and some orange food colouring, these are the perfect nonpartisan sweet treat, certain to appeal to both sides of the political spectrum.

Mashed potatoes

New Zealand’s parliament is the world’s third-oldest continuous democracy (according to the World Economic Forum). To celebrate the impressive ancient institution that governs our fine nation, why not make a bowl of mashed potatoes, the third-best form of potato.

A pumpkin-shaped bucket of individually wrapped lollies

It’s spooky season, but why wait until the 31st to break out your fake cobwebs? There’s nothing scarier than watching your favourite political party get demolished on election night. Who cares about the trick or treaters in two weeks’ time who won’t get any candy? You deserve it more than they do for sitting through this extended hell election. Word is these kids didn’t even vote.


To please even the most vegan of your friends, serve up a nice lemon-baked Akaroa salmon, or a buttery kahawai. Wait – fish is an animal? Oh. Never mind. 

M&Ms, sorted into individual bowls by colour

Blue = National, red = Labour… you get the gist. Whichever colour is gone first will win the election! 100% success rate, I swear on Advance NZ’s Facebook page. I personally always eat my M&Ms in order of worst to best colour, which means brown first. So if nobody turns up to my party be prepared for every political colour to merge in the world’s first all-party brown coalition government.


If you’re one of the people who managed to get their hands on a sourdough starter during lockdown 1.0, and have kept it alive until now, a loaf of crusty bread would be the perfect end to this delicious spread. Sourdough really has been the food of the year in 2020, so give your precious fermented slop one last run at being the bread it was destined to be before you go away for two weeks over Christmas and leave it to die a smelly death in your pantry.

Party-specific spread quickfire round:

National Party: Blue corn chips paired with a stiff Tom Judith Collins and a side of sapasui (talofa).

Labour Party: The reddest food there is – beetroot. Just don’t be alarmed the next day when your bowel movements start voting Labour too.

Act: Carrots to help you Seymour.

Green Party: Kale harvested from the Green School’s crystal garden.

New Zealand First: A pack of Dunhills, washed down with a stiff whisky.

Māori Party: Fresh kaimoana gathered from the foreshore and/or seabed.

Tea Party: Seems obvious.

The Opportunities Party: Carrot TOP pesto. If you somehow sit between Act and TOP you can use the leafy greens left over from your carrots to make this delicious dip.

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party: Weed salad. This one’s already legal.

Heartland New Zealand Party: A bloody Angus steak from a proud New Zealand farmer.

Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

Get The Spinoff
in your inbox