Support for the Green Party plummeted in both the Tauranga and Bay of Plenty electorates this election.
Party votes for the Green Party fell 43 per cent in the Tauranga electorate to 1208. The party vote dropped 38 per cent to 1352 In the Bay of Plenty electorate.
Tauranga Green Party candidate Emma-Leigh Hodge said she was pleased the party got over the 5 per cent threshold to return to Parliament but was disappointed by the drop in support for the party overall.
It had been a volatile campaign, and she believed the close race between National and Labour had resulted in voters "returning to the mothership" of major parties, she said.
She felt this, rather than the fallout that followed former Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei's disclosure about benefit fraud, had caused the fall in support for the Green Party.
The election result left room for the possibility of a change of Government, if Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First could find common ground, Ms Hodge said.
Although the Green Party and New Zealand First had their differences, the parties did share similar views on some policies such as their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, she said.
She was hopeful the party might have another MP in Parliament once the special votes had been counted.
Ms Hodge received 1471 electorate votes compared to the 1816 votes gained by 2014 Tauranga Green Party candidate Ian McLean.
The Opportunities Party (TOP) Tauranga-based list candidate Vanessa Lee was optimistic about the party's chances in the next election.
The party received 982 party votes in the Tauranga electorate and 1066 votes in the Bay of Plenty electorate. Nationally, the party received 2.2 per cent of the vote.
She said the party had been successful in changing political debate in New Zealand and encouraging thousands of Kiwis to "care, think and vote".
The party had also managed to promote evidence-based policies, she said.
"2020, we'll be back."
Meanwhile, United Future Tauranga candidate Ben Rickard said the future of his party was uncertain after Saturday's election result.
Mr Rickard received 61 votes, and the party received 34 party votes in the Tauranga electorate. Nationally, the party obtained just 0.1 per cent of the vote.
Mr Rickard said the result was "always on the cards" after leader Peter Dunne decided not to run in Ohariu.
"It removed any profile we had."
It appeared the "Jacinda affect" had also impacted on their campaign, with minor parties losing votes to the major parties.
He said it was too early to tell whether the party would contest the next election. The decision would be up to the board.