NZ Labour boosted in new election count

Ben McKay
·3-min read

New Zealand Labour's whopping election triumph has received a further boost with the release of final results from the Electoral Commission.

The inclusion of special votes bolstered the margin of Jacinda Ardern's October 17 election success, ticking Labour's overall vote share above a majority.

Labour received 50.01 per cent of the votes in the poll, the party's best result since 1938.

"I have to say, receiving that news this afternoon, I was incredibly humbled by that mandate," she said.

"It is extraordinary to have that level of support from New Zealanders. With that comes significant responsibility. It's our job now to get on with the plan."

It is the first time any party has received a majority of votes in 69 years.

The Electoral Commission finished counting this week, adding on special votes accounting for 17 per cent of the overall tally.

Special voters come from a variety of places, but are typically overseas or out-of-electorate voters.

The final results released on Friday mean the 53rd New Zealand Parliament will see 65 Labour members take their seats in the 120-strong House of Representatives.

They will be supported by 10 Greens MPs after the left-wingers signed a cooperation agreement with Labour, striking a deal which sees two Greens ministers join the government.

The opposition will consist of 33 National MPs, the centre-right party's lowest tally since the 2002 election.

There are also 10 ACT MPs and 2 from the Maori Party.

National's ranks have been devastated by the result, starting the 2017 term with 56 MPs and beginning this one with 22 fewer in parliament.

The opposition has cycled through four leaders since Ms Ardern became PM, and ran a chaotic and unsuccessful campaign under latest leader Judith Collins.

An hour after the results were released, deputy opposition leader and campaign chair Gerry Brownlee announced he would step down from his leadership role.

"It's time to think about the three years ahead. I want Judith to have the strongest and most complementary support beside her as leader," he said.

National will meet on Tuesday and spill its leadership positions, though Ms Collins is expected to retain her position.

The Maori Party were the other big winners from the release of final results, gaining an extra MP from election night predictions of one, with Debbie Ngarewa-Packer joining Rawiri Waititi.

Ms Ngarewa-Packer said she was "shocked but thrilled".

"The Maori Party succeeded against all odds and swam against the tide, our people have sent a message that they want strong Maori voices who will fight for transformative policies," she said.

Ms Ardern was expected to win the election, but the scale of the success has shocked Kiwi political observers.

The Electoral Commission also confirmed results in two referendums conducted alongside the 2020 election.

New Zealanders voted against legalising marijuana but to make euthanasia legal.

NEW ZEALAND'S 53rd PARLIAMENT

Labour - 65 seats (up from 46 at the 2017 election)

National - 33 seats (down from 56)

Greens - 10 (up from 8)

ACT - 10 (up from 1)

Maori Party - 2 (up from 0)

New Zealand First - 0 (down from 9)