Labour Party Wins New Zealand Election – Shipley Concedes Defeat

Prime Minister-elect Helen ClarkNational Party Prime Minister Jenny Shipley has conceded defeat in New Zealand’s general election. A centre-left coalition government led by the Labour Party’s Helen Clark is set to take office.

The Labour Party has won 38.9% of the national vote and the left-leaning Alliance party has won 7.9%. Together, they will form a government, although they may need the support of the Green Party which has won 4.9% of the vote.

Under New Zealand’s voting system there are 60 electorate seats where members are chosen using the first-past-the-post system. Voters have a second vote similar to the Australian proportional voting system. The political parties register lists of candidates nationwide. The final composition of the 120 seat parliament is determined in accordance with the proportion of the vote achieved by each party nationwide. A minimum 5% of the national vote is required before parties are allocated seats.

At this stage of counting, the final result is unclear. The Greens have polled 4.9% of the vote, but have not won a seat. If they manage to increase their vote to 5%, they will receive 6 seats in the House of Representatives. If this happens, Labour and the Alliance will need Green Party support to form government. The Greens have committed themselves to support a Labour government.

Winston Peters, the leader of New Zealand First and renegade former member of the National Party, was struggling to hold his own seat of Tauranga, although late counting showed him in the lead.

New Zealand Election
Party % Vote Seats
Labour
38.9%
52
Alliance
7.9%
11
Green
4.9%
0
National
30.7%
41
ACT
7.0%
9
United
0.5%
1
NZ First
4.2%
6

Due to an extraordinary feature of New Zealand’s electoral laws, the following party web sites are off-line until the day after the election:

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