National loses two seats in final election count

Labour and Greens gain one seat each

Venkat Raman

Auckland, October 7, 2017 (205 pm)

The National Party has lost two seats as the Election Commission announced the final results after completing count of 446,287 special votes (including 61,524 overseas votes) a few minutes ago.

The Party now has 56 seats in the next (52nd) Parliament, compared to 58 seats that were declared as Preliminary Results on Election Night on Saturday, September 23, 2017.

The position of New Zealand First Party and ACT Party has remained the same- nine seats and one seat respectively.

The next steps

Both National and Labour would need the support of New Zealand First and/or the Green Party to form the next government.

Leaders of both parties – National’s Bill English and Labour’s Jacinda Ardern – have been in contact with New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters over the past two days, although negotiations in right earnest will commence early next week.

Right now, it is mere speculation as to which way the political wind will flow.

The Mix and Match

National can form a government with the support of the Green Party and ACT securing a total of 65 seats (56+8+1); or just with New Zealand First securing the same number of seats (56+9).

Labour can also form a government but only with the support of New Zealand First and the Green Party securing 63 seats (46+9+8).

The Electoral Commission said in a press statement that the total number of votes cast in General Election 2017 was 2,630,173, of which 47% were cast in advance.

The turnout of voters was 79.8%, up from 77.9% recorded in General Election 2014 and the highest since 2005 (80.9%).

Election Details

Following is the Statement issued by the Electoral Commission:

The official results for the General Election held on September 23, 2017 have been determined in accordance with the requirements of the electoral legislation.

The scrutiny of the rolls has been completed and the master roll for each electorate has been prepared.

All votes counted on election night have been recounted and balanced and special votes have been checked for eligibility before being counted. This has been done in the presence of Justices of the Peace and any scrutineers appointed by candidates.

Comprehensive audit checks have also been completed at the national level to ensure the results are accurate.

The results are subject to any applications for judicial recounts.

The total votes cast 2,630,173 includes 10,793 party informal votes and 27,484 disallowed votes. The results are calculated using the Sainte-Laguë formula.

Special votes cast totalled 446,287 or 17% of total votes cast. That includes 61,524 overseas votes.

Declaration and Judicial Recounts

The official results were declared by Gazette Notice today. Any applications for a judicial recount must be filed with a District Court no later than Wednesday, October 11, 2017.

Next Steps for the Parliamentary Election

If there are no applications for recounts, on Thursday, October 12, 2017, the Electoral Commission will return the writ to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, allocate list seats in the presence of party scrutineers and declare by Gazette Notice the election of list members of Parliament.

If there are applications for judicial recounts the return of the writ and the election of list members will be delayed until any recounts are complete.

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Photo Caption:

From left Bill English, Winston Peters and Jacinda Ardern

(Picture by Radio New Zealand)

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