during the Mana By-Election at Cannons Creek School on November 20, 2010 in Wellington, New Zealand. The Mana seat was vacated by former Labour Pacific Island Affairs Minister Winnie Laban, who announced her resignation from the New Zealand Parliament in August. Eight candidates will contest the by-election.

If Labour and National both get 40%, who gets into parliament?

Right now the polls suggest Labour and National are sharing about 80% of the vote. If they draw level at 40% each, who will get into parliament and who will get thrown out? And what about the Greens?

We’re not saying they’re going to get 40% each. But that does seem to be the number both major parties are heading for at this stage in the election campaign. If 40% is where they end up, Labour would have three times as many new MPs as National. It would also have nearly twice as many women MPs. At 40% each it doesn’t look like any high-profile MPs would lose their spots, but if National dropped any further that would quickly change.

In a 120-seat parliament, 40% translates into 48 MPs. Under MMP, the votes for parties not getting any MPs are discarded and the percentages are recalculated. Out of this, parties getting 40% would probably end up with two more MPs each, bringing their total to 50.

The Labour lineup

For Labour, 50 MPs is 22 more than they have now. There would be a swing to Labour in the electorate seats as well as overall, but none of its candidates ranked very low on the list are likely to win an electorate seat, so that wouldn’t disrupt the list. If Labour gets 50 MPs, it will be the top 50 people on its list, minus five. That’s because there are five Labour MPs in Māori electorates who are not on the list at all (Kelvin Davis is now on the list). On this basis, here’s what the Labour caucus would look like:

  • All 28 MPs standing for re-election would be returned. The lineup is here.
  • The new MPs (in list order) would be Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Jan Tinetti, Willow Jean Prime, Kiri Allan, Willie Jackson, Ginny Andersen, Jo Luxton, Deborah Russell, Liz Craig, Marja Lubeck, Paul Eagle, Tamati Coffey, Jamie Strange, Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki, Kieran McAnulty, Angie Warren-Clark, Helen White, Greg O’Connor, Steph Lewis, Duncan Webb, Lemauga Lydia Sosene, Janette Walker.
  • The caucus would have 25 women and 25 men. About 60% of it would be Pākehā.
  • 21 of them would be first-time MPs (Willie Jackson has previously been an Alliance MP).
  • If Labour does less well than 40%, cut from the bottom of that list above.
  • If it does better than 40%, start adding these names: Anna Lorck, Romy Udanga, Rachel Boyack, Sarb Johal, Naisi Chen, Shanan Halbert. That crop adds considerably to the ethnic diversity of the caucus. Romy Udanga (ranked 47) is competing with National’s Paulo Garcia (ranked 50) to be the first Philippines-born New Zealand MP.

The details of Labour candidates are here.

What about National?

If National gets 50 seats in the new Parliament, it will have eight fewer MPs than now. It’s harder to say exactly who will be in and who out, because some popular electorate MPs may hold out against the trend. I’ve assumed that if National falls to 40% of the popular vote it will also lose some electorates, especially in the cities. On this basis, here’s how the National caucus would likely shape up:

  • The top 40 names on the list, all of whom are MPs now, would be returned. The full list is here.
  • Three sitting MPs are ranked lower but are standing in “safe” National-held seats and should return: Todd Muller, Alistair Scott, Stuart Smith. That takes the tally to 43.
  • Seven new candidates should enter parliament because they are also standing in “safe” National-held seats (in list order): Simeon Brown, Andrew Falloon, Chris Penk, Erica Stanford, Tim Van de Molen, Lawrence Yule, Hamish Walker. That’s the 50.
  • The caucus would have 36 men and 14 women. About 80% of it would be Pākehā.
  • MPs to lose their place in parliament would be: Sarah Dowie, Nuk Korako, Maureen Pugh and Shane Reti (if he were to get beaten by NZ First’s Shane Jones in Whangarei).
  • In this scenario, high-profile candidates to miss out would include: Wellington Central’s Nicola Willis, because she’s too low on the list; and Harete Hipango (Whanganui) and Denise Lee (Maungakiekie), because they’re contesting National-held urban seats that would swing to Labour.
  • List MPs who would lose their seats if the vote was lower than 40% are (starting with the most at risk): Chris Bishop, Jo Hayes, Parmjeet Parmar, Jian Yang, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Melissa Lee, Brett Hudson. If National dips even a few points under 40% it will lost almost all its ethnic diversity.

Find out more about the National candidates here.

What about the Greens?

Here’s which Green Party candidates get into parliament, with each additional percentage point of the overall party vote:

  • 5%: James Shaw, Marama Davidson, Julie-Anne Genter, Eugenie Sage, Gareth Hughes, Jan Logie. All are sitting MPs.
  • 6%: Add Chlöe Swarbrick (new).
  • 7%: Add Golriz Ghahraman (new).
  • 8%: Add Mojo Mathers, Barry Coates (both sitting MPs).
  • 9%: Add Jack McDonald (new).
  • 10%: Add John Hart (new).
  • 11% (the same as last election): Add Denise Roche (sitting MP), Hayley Holt (new). No sitting MPs would miss out.
  • 15% (the peak the party has reached in polling this year): Add Teall Crossen, Teanau Tuiono, Leilani Tamu, Matt Lawrey, Elizabeth Kerekere.

Find out more about the Green Party candidates here.

Note: The final allocation of seats according to party votes is subject to the detail of the final vote, as it applies to all parties, and this will not be available on election night. These calculations are a guide.

NZ First is yet to publish its list. We look forward to exploring that when it does.


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