New Zealand PM John Key Wins Third Consecutive Election; National Triumphs, Labour Humiliated; “A Victory For Those Who Kept The Faith”

New Zealand’s National Party government has won its third consecutive election, increasing its vote and trouncing the Labour Party.


Echoing Paul Keating’s true believers speech, Key said of his win: “This is a victory for those who kept the faith.”

As counting drew to a close tonight, National had won 48.1% of the vote, an increase of 0.8%. It appears certain to win 61 seats in the 120-member House of Representatives, an increase of two.

The Labour Party has polled 24.7% of the vote, a loss of 2.8%. It will hold 32 seats, a loss of two. Opposition Leader David Cunliffe has conceded defeat but indicated that he will stay on as leader of the party.

The Greens have polled 10.0%, a loss of 1.1%. They will hold 13 seats, a loss of one.


Parties on the right have increased their vote. Winston Peters’s New Zealand First polled 8.9%, an increase of 2.3%, and will hold 11 seats, up three.

Under the New Zealand voting system, electors vote for individual local members in single-member electorates, but also cast a second party vote that is used to determine the final proportion of seats allocated to each party. There are 64 local electorates with other MPs referred to as List members.

Ten parties have polled less than 4%, thus failing to meet the threshold of eligibility for seats.

To secure his majority, Key will probably negotiate with the other centre-right parties, as he has done previously. However, by any measure, he has taken National to a stunning victory. Even if Labour, Greens and NZ First combined forces, they would still have fewer seats than National.

Labour’s Helen Clark won three consecutive elections in 1999, 2002 and 2005, but she did not increase the Labour vote in her third victory.

The Labour Party’s vote in today’s election is its lowest since 1925. The party faces an uncertain future.

  • Listen to Key’s victory speech (10m)
  • Listen to Labour leader David Cunliffe (11m)
  • Listen to New Zealand First leader Winston Peters (3m)

October 4, 2014 UPDATE:

Final counting of the New Zealand election has seen John Key’s National party fall just short of an outright majority, winning 60 seats in the 121-seat parliament.

Preliminary figures on election night gave National 61 seats, but the counting of 330,000 special votes has resulted in it losing one seat to the Greens.

The Greens will have 14 seats, Labour will have 32 and New Zealand First will have 11.

National’s final vote count has fallen from 48.06% to 47.04%.

Key has secured his majority by signing an agreement this week with the ACT Party and United Future. An agreement with the Maori Party is expected soon.

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