Former Prime Minister Sir John Key told Newstalk ZB that the election result was an emphatic one and a victory for Bill English.

While he said the numbers might not have been there to form a Government on election night, it was still a win for Bill English.

Key said despite some earlier speculation English might not have what it took to keep National's support base strong, the numbers have proven them wrong.

The former Prime Minister also remained confident despite Winston Peters holding out on a decision that the New Zealand First leader would go with what the majority wants.


"Whatever you think of Winston he is a politician that understands democracy is underpinned by what the majority wants."

"Mathematically it's possible he could make Jacinda Prime Minister, but the reality is the majority wanted a National government.

"The moral mandate is with Bill English."

He said the strongest reason people chose a party was the economy and he believed the "time for a change" argument wasn't strong.

"In terms of actually changing the government, that mood is not there."

Key said history showed Peters had always gone with the biggest party, as he recognised New Zealand's democracy was underpinned by what the majority want.

"The reality is the majority of New Zealanders wanted a National Government...if they wanted change, both a lot of National MPs would have lost their seat...or the party vote would have disappeared and it didn't."