After a three week wait since election night, the final result has been released today. Explore the outcome with the Herald’s interactive election graphics and charts.
Our interactive map of New Zealand electorates shows which have flipped from one party to another. The map can also be filtered to rank electorates by tightness and party by first selecting the “grid” option then the various filters at the bottom of the map.
Today’s results will reveal the shape of our next parliament and show all parties where they stand. It will confirm whether National and Act, which secured 38.95 per cent and 8.98 per cent of the preliminary votes respectively on election night, need NZ First to form a government.
They will also confirm the winning electorate MPs. Some electorates are tight, like Te Atatū, where National’s Angee Nicholas is leading by a margin of only 30 votes.
National’s Blair Cameron is leading the Nelson electorate by 54 votes and Vanessa Weenink, also National, has a tight 83-vote lead in Banks Peninsula.
The official result is being released today, three weeks after election night, because the Electoral Commission needed time to count the estimated 567,000 special votes.
The commission has also spent the last three weeks counting all votes a second time and validating the votes. The result released on October 14, election night, was preliminary because it only included about 80 per cent of the votes cast. Special votes were not counted then.
The three weeks it takes the commission to count the votes is a trade-off for having a system that makes it very easy for people vote. Anyone eligible can vote from anywhere in the country at any time during the voting period, regardless of whether they are enrolled or not.
On election night, the right bloc (National and Act) received 47.99 per cent of the ordinary votes. The left bloc (Labour, Green Party and Te Pāti Māori) received 40.23 per cent. New Zealand First got 6.46 per cent and 5 per cent of votes went to parties that did not end up receiving representation in election outcome.
Traditionally, special votes have favoured more left-leaning parties due to the demographic characteristics of the voters. Many special voters tend to be younger and more transient – a population that often supports left-wing parties. Think students who move flats regularly and may not have updated their enrolment details to their new address.
In 2017, there were 419,669 special votes - which is 16.2 per cent of the vote. By the time the official result was declared, National’s initial seat allocation was reduced by two while Labour and the Greens both gained one seat each.
In the 2020 election, 493,967 people cast valid special votes - accounting for around 17.1 per cent of the total vote count. Once again, special votes leaned left and after they were included in the final count, National had two fewer seats than the election night result predicted.