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David Seymour, Christopher Luxon and Winston Peters (Image: Archi Banal)
David Seymour, Christopher Luxon and Winston Peters (Image: Archi Banal)

PoliticsNovember 3, 2023

National loses two seats, meaning NZ First is crucial to forming a government

David Seymour, Christopher Luxon and Winston Peters (Image: Archi Banal)
David Seymour, Christopher Luxon and Winston Peters (Image: Archi Banal)

The special votes are in and it’s good news for Winston Peters – the National Party has lost two seats, meaning National and Act alone do not have the numbers to form a government.

The final results of the election have been released, revealing that Christopher Luxon will need to strike a deal with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters to form a government.

Meanwhile, Te Pāti Māori has taken another two electorate seats off Labour, giving them six out of seven of the Māori seats and creating an overhang. This means parliament will be made up of 122 MPs until November 25, when the Port Waikato byelection will increase that number to 123.

The Green Party has also boosted its party vote from 10.77% to 11.60%, picking up an additional 88,177 votes, meaning it gets another MP.

The National Party’s share of the party vote has decreased from 38.95% to 38.06%, giving it 48 seats, two fewer than they had on the preliminary results. Act’s total of 11 seats has not changed, which gives the pair a combined total of 59, short of the 62 seats needed to form a majority.

The overhang means that at 123 members, this will be our largest parliament ever. Port Waikato is considered a safe National seat and Labour does not plan to stand a candidate, so National will likely end up with 49 seats.

Labour’s party vote increased by 0.1%, not enough of a boost to give it another MP, so they stick with 34. Act and NZ First saw their share of votes decrease slightly, so their seats are also unchanged from election night, with 11 and eight seats respectively.

The Green Party will bring list MP Kahurangi Carter into parliament. Te Pāti Maori has added Takutai Tarsh Kemp and Mariameno Kapa-Kingi to their caucus after flipping the results of two electorates. The two MPs National has lost are Blair Cameron, who had won Nelson on the preliminary count, and list-only candidate Nancy Lu. Lu, however, will likely return to parliament on the list after the Port Waikato byelection (which National’s Andrew Bayly is expected to win, freeing up a list spot).

There was a record 603,257 special votes, 20.9% of the total votes cast. Special votes include ballots cast outside of a voter’s electorate and by New Zealanders living overseas.

A number of electorates are so close that the losing candidates are likely to request a recount, which they must do within three working days at a cost of $1,022.22.

Flipped electorates

Four electorate results have changed since election night.

Nelson: Labour's Rachel Boyack won by 29 votes over National's Blair Cameron, flipping a 54-vote deficit from election night.

Te Atatū: Labour's Phil Twyford has defeated National's Angee Nicholas by 131 votes, overturning a 30-vote deficit.

Tāmaki Makaurau: Te Pāti Māori's Takutai Tarsh Kemp has won by four votes over Labour's Peeni Henare, who had a 495-vote lead previously. This is New Zealand's narrowest electorate margin since 1899, when the Liberal Party's George Warren Russell won the Riccarton seat off the incumbent William Rolleston by one (1) vote. In 2011, National's Paula Bennett beat Labour's Carmel Sepuloni to the Waitakere seat by nine votes following a recount – the original count had Sepuloni ahead by 11.

Te Tai Tokerau: Te Pāti Māori's Mariameno Kapa-Kingi has won by 517 votes over Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis, who held a 487-vote margin on election night.

Final party vote results:

National Party - 38.06%

Labour Party - 26.91%

Green Party - 11.6%

ACT New Zealand - 8.64%

New Zealand First Party - 6.08%

Te Pāti Maori - 3.08%

The Opportunities Party (TOP) - 2.22%

Seats in parliament

National Party - 48

Labour Party - 34

Green Party - 15

ACT New Zealand - 11

New Zealand First Party - 8

Te Pāti Maori - 6

The Opportunities Party (TOP) - 0

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