New Zealand

National wins just short of overall majority


Prime Minister John Key’s National Party increased their tally in the House of Representatives by two in Saturday’s general election, giving them 60 of the 120 seats with 47.99% of the vote, just short of an overall majority.

Nevertheless the result was a first under the MMP voting system for which voting in the referendum on the same day decided to keep by 53.74% in favour to 42.62% seeking a change.

Phil Goff the Labour leader has accepted responsibility for their poor showing in the election. The Labour Party slumped to just 27.13% of the vote and 34 seats, a loss of nine seats. Goff is expected to stand down as party leader.

John Key has set meetings with ACT (One seat), United Future (One seat) and the Māori Party (Three seats) to form what they call ‘confidence and supply agreements’ with the smaller parties. This may give them some ministerial posts outside of the Cabinet whilst agreeing to support the government on most items of business but with the right to disagree on others.

A Cabinet meeting will be held tomorrow (Monday) and Key has suggested that Parliament will meet before Christmas to deal with some minor issues. A Cabinet reshuffle is expected shortly.

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