Saturday, October 01, 2005

Final election tallies

Final election results are in, and the Maori Party improved its party vote percentage from1.98% on election night to 2.12 percent. The effect of this was to reduce its overhang from two seats to one, so the new Parliament will have 121 members.
Its improvement was at the expense of the Green Party, whose share of the vote went up from 5.07% to 5.3% - not enough to get Nandor Tanczos back in the House.
Labour's total went up 0.36% to 41.1%, leaving it with 50 MPs, while National slipped back 0.53% to 39.1% and lost an MP, giving it 48.
National can't form a government, but Labour can, if somewhat untidily.
With Jim Anderton in coalition, Labour has 51 seats and can rely on the 6 Greens for confidence and supply. While the Greens want to be in Cabinet, that could result in United's 3 MPs and NZ First's 7 voting with National and Act - which means Labour would need the Maori Party's 4 votes on every issue.
A more likely scenario is NZ First abstaining - Winston Peters can go on holiday again, like he did in the last Parliament, until election season rolls around again.
Where does this leave the Maori Party? Learning the ropes. Labour doesn't intend any major reform this time around, but may have to look hard at its Maori and treaty policies to ensure nothing will bite it. The Maori Party needs to identify some policy objectives and try to get them through, so it can go back to its voters next time and show the notiuon of an independent Maori voice in Parliament counts for something.

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