Audrey Young

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Election results to declare new Govt

Prime Minister John Key and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples hongi. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Prime Minister John Key and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples hongi. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The final election results will be declared this afternoon, but even if National loses an MP after special votes, it should be able to form a Government.

The question will be by how much of a cushion, and Prime Minister John Key should know that later in the day after the Maori Party council meets.

It is likely to approve the party backing a confidence and supply agreement so long as it is has the freedom to oppose the Government on issues for which it does not represent the Government.

If that happened, Mr Key could be ready to sign an agreement with the Maori Party as soon as tomorrow.

On provisional results, National won 60 seats and requires 61 to govern.

With the support of the solo MPs John Banks for Act and Peter Dunne for United Future, National can just afford to lose one MP.

If National lost two MPs today, and that is highly unlikely, it would be short of a majority and would need the support of the Maori Party, which has three MPs.

The Maori Party's last hui is to be held this morning.

National could well lose two electorate seats in the final results, Christchurch Central and Waitakere, but that would affect the number of National's list and constituency MPs, not its overall numbers.

If National dropped an MP on special votes, then list MP Aaron Gilmore would not be re-elected to Parliament.

If National picked up a seat in special votes, list candidate Paul Quinn would be re-elected to Parliament.

Likewise if Labour were to pick up both Christchurch Central which was tied and Waitakere electorate which was won on the night by National's Paula Bennett on special votes, and all other things were equal, it would not affect the number of MPs Labour was entitled to.

But because Labour's candidates for those seats, Brendon Burns and Carmel Sepuloni, are not already returned on the list, their election to constituencies would push out list candidates Raymond Huo and Rajen Prasad from Parliament.

However a judicial recount is on the cards in both electorates.

The special votes comprise overseas votes, people out of their electorates on polling day and late enrolments.

On election day the Electoral Commission estimated special votes to be 240,247 (10.7 per cent of the total) including 19,527 from overseas.

The results will be declared at 2 pm today.

- NZ Herald

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