Election Follow-Up: The Result that Wasn’t

James K

James is a government policy analyst, and lives in Wellington, New Zealand. His interests including wargaming, computer gaming (especially RPGs and strategy games), Dungeons & Dragons and scepticism. No part of any of his posts or comments should be construed as the position of any part of the New Zealand government, or indeed any agency he may be associated with.

Related Post Roulette

6 Responses

  1. Maribou says:

    It’s sort of amazing to me how little influence the Maori party has (I seem to remember them having more a decade ago but maybe I’m imagining it). Did the Maori electorates go for one or the other party or did they split on the same lines as the country as a whole?Report

    • James K in reply to Maribou says:


      Labour hold all seven Maori electorates now. At their height, the Maori Part held five of those seats, but were down to one in 2014 (their other seat was a list seat).

      Zooming out a bit, this seems to be a pattern with the Maori seats. Labour holding them is the ground state, but every so often they do something to alienate Maori voters, leading to a new party forming to contest the seats. Eventually Maori voters bury the hatchet and return to Labour. Labour also employed some strategic measures to undermine the Maori Party this election.

      However, news came out today that the Maori party intends to fight on. Te Ururoa Flavell has resigned leadership of the party, but Tariana Turia (one of the founders of the Maori Party) is coming out of retirement. So there’s still a chance the Maori Party regains seats in 2020, but it will be hard.Report

  2. Richard Hershberger says:

    New Zealand First is a centrist party? I know nothing about them apart from the name, but based on that I would have taken them to be rightist. What is the story behind that?Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

      from the previous post:

      New Zealand First led by Winston Peters. They held 10 seats in the last Parliament. New Zealand First’s policy stance might be best described as Trumpian, except that Peters is an extremely experienced and capable politician (he’s been in Parliament longer than I’ve been alive, almost continuously), so it might be better to think of Peters as a politically-competent Trump (or alternatively think of Trump as a poor man’s Winston Peters). New Zealand First may not get 10 seats this time (though it’s hard to say as they tend to outperform their polling a little), but given how close the left and right are in size right now there’s a good chance Peters will hold the “Kingmaker” role in this election, with his seats able to determine which party wins the election. Convention suggests that Peters should negotiate with whichever party is largest first, but how that will shake out in practice is anyone’s guess.


    • @richard-hershberger

      There are two reasons I call New Zealand First a centrist party:
      1) It makes sense with our coalitional politics. New Zealand First is willing to support either National and Labour governments (and has supported both in the past), so voting for them doesn’t clearly support the right or the left.
      2) New Zealand First really doesn’t first in our left-right spectrum very well. It heakerns back to what our right wing looked like before Rogernomics in the 1980s (and the fiscal crisis that precipitated Rogernomics). It’s conservative, but highly interested in economic intervention. For example, here’s an analysis of New Zealand First major policies. As you can see, they split between National and Labour.

      This is probably a good time to point out that “centrist” and “moderate” aren’t necessarily the same thing.Report