Nearly half of Kiwis who cast their vote ahead of tonight's election want National to lead the country for another term.

Close to 48 per cent of the total advance votes, released just after 9pm, were for the National Party.

Based on the results, National would gain 60 seats in Parliament - 41 electorate and 19 list seats.

Labour pulled 24.4 of the vote - a proportion that would give them 26 electorate seats and five list seats.


The Green Party came in third with just under 10 per cent, which would get them 13 list seats but no electorate seats.

New Zealand First pulled 9.1 per cent of the vote, theoretically getting them 11 list seats.

The Conservative Party didn't make the 5 per cent threshold with 4.3 per cent, while Internet-Mana votes accounted for 1.5 per cent.

ACT and United Future scraped 0.6 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively, but would hold one electorate seat each.

A record number of New Zealanders cast advanced votes ahead of today's general election.

According to the Electoral Commission, more than 700,000 people had already voted before the polls opened today, up from 334,000 in 2011 and 270,000 in 2008.

An Electoral Commission spokesman said this was not necessarily a reflection on overall voter turnout, given that prior to the 2011 election people had to provide special reasons in order to to cast an advanced vote.

In 2011, 3,070,847 people voted in the general election - 74.2 per cent of eligible voters - and 2,990,759 voted in 2008 - 79.5 per cent.


- Additional reporting Mathew Theunissen of the Herald on Sunday