Editorial by Alan Tristram
After the handover of significant concessions to John Banks, John Key’s Nats also took a knock in the final results of the general election, losing a seat.
The final figures show the ruling National Party dropping from a predicted election night figure of 60 seats to a final 59 seats. Cabinet Minister Paula Bennett was ousted in Waitakere by Labour’s Carmel Sepoloni.
The final figures include around 240,000 special votes, covering the various categories of postal, absent and polling day enrolment votes.48.0% to 47.3%, reducing the National Party
Meanwhile, in Christchurch Central, National’s Nicky Wagner broke the deadlock with Labour’s Brendon Burns, securing the seat by just 45 votes.
National was down to a majority of just one — until the Maori Party came to the rescue with a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement.
Without Maori Party support in the 121-seat Parliament, National plus the single members representing ACT and United Future would have just 61 seats, a bare majority.
ACT extracted big concessions from Key — the most contentious being an agreement to trial privately-run — but largely state-funded — “charter” schools in areas such as South Auckland. is arguably Act’s biggest advance in terms of translating policy into action.
And the loss of Waitakere made it more likely that Prime Minister John Key would have to bring the Maori Party into government with some form of Coalition agreement.
The seat lost by National has in fact been gained by the Greens, their vote rising from 10.6% on election night to 11.1% on the final figures, its numbers increasing from 13 to 14 members.
The fourteenth Green MP will be Mojo Matthews, who makes history by being the first profoundly deaf MP elected to Parliament.
Final figures for the electoral system referendum have also been released. New Zealanders have voted to retain MMP, 57.8% of formal votes opting to retain MMP, or 56.2% of all votes cast with 2.8% of referendum ballots informal. There will now be an independent commission to investigate possible changes to the detail of how MMP will work in the future.
Final turnout was 74.2%, down from 79.5% in 2008 and the lowest turnout in decades.