NZ First's leader Winston Peters is set to be the kingmaker this election, despite National coming close to retaining power without him.

With the provisional results in, National is at 46 percent, with Labour sitting at 35.8 percent.

The results suggest Winston Peters' New Zealand First party will be able to form a government with National with a strong majority - or a government with Labour (supported by the Greens) with a thin majority.

Things could change by the end of the two-week period for specials to be counted, but, for now, Peters is back to the position he's held in most polls this term: kingmaker.


Not all kiwis are thrilled with the idea of their future potentially relying on Peters' preference.

Peters said NZ First wouldn't rush out to make any decisions tonight until he had spoken to the full NZ First Party board.

He said they would be making decisions based on the national interest.