How soon will we know the election result?

Due to large numbers of advance votes, which will be counted during the day tomorrow and will presumably be released soon after voting closes, we may get a good idea of the likely outcome soon after after 7 pm Saturday night.

But if the overall result is close, or if Greens, NZ First or TOP are close to the threshold, or if key electorates such as Northland or Epsom are close, then we may have to wait until later in the evening, or two weeks for official (final) results on 7 October.

Up to Wednesday 806,043 people had advance voted, more than the total  of 717,579 for 2014.

Cumulative Advance Votes Issued

With two days to add that looks likely to get well over a million early votes (I’ll update this post when yesterday’s numbers become available today).

It could get close to a half of votes being cast in advance this election. The total votes in 2014 were 2,416,479 – there may be more this time as we have a bigger voting population unless turnout drops.

Advance votes will be counted during the day tomorrow, so a large number of votes should be announced soon after voting closes at 7 pm tomorrow. We may pretty much know the election result fairly early.

A few people have been saying Don’t bother waiting up. Advance votes will tell you who won

As advance voting has increased advance voting totals have got closer to final results:

Party vote change 2002 to 2014 from advanced to final.png


The 2014 swing from National to Labour was close to 1.5%, and that swing the result (or at least the party with the biggest vote).

Greens improved by about 0.7% and that may swing them from under the threshold to over it.

If the total vote swings the same way for NZ First it could drop them below the threshold.

Will TOP defy polls and get close to The Opportunities Party?

There are also some key electorates. Northland will be crucial for NZ First if they miss the threshold. Epsom is crucial for ACT. The Maori Party need to win at least one electorate (they look odds on to win two).


Votes that are cast when people enrol at the same time are Special Votes, so are not counted on election night. There were nearly 300,000 special votes in 2014 that weren’t counted on election night.

There have been reports that many young people have been enrolling and voting. This could skew the special votes more in favour of Labour and the Greens.

Graeme Edgeler analysed Election 2014: The Special Votes

…adopting the same method I used last time, based solely on how special votes broke in 2011, along with the Electoral Commission’s estimate of the number of special votes at this election, I predict the following final result:

Preliminary Estimated
National 48.06% 61 47.24% 61
Labour 24.69% 32 25.05% 32
Green 10.02% 13 10.50% 13
New Zealand First 8.85% 11 8.52% 11
Māori Party 1.29% 2 1.38% 2
ACT 0.69% 1 0.68% 1
United Future 0.22% 1* 0.21% 1*
Conservative 4.12% 0 3.92% 0
Internet MANA 1.26% 0 1.38% 0
121 121

This underestimated changes in overall percentages. The final results and percentages:


If the advance voting totals are close, or if the election night votes are close, then we may have to wait another two weeks to find out the final result.

If any parties are in doubt due to close electorate or threshold results governing and coalition negotiations may not be able to seriously begin until after October 7 when final results will be announced.

And remember that the party with the most votes may not be able to form a government, so the advance vote ‘winner’ or the election night ‘winner’, may not end up being the winner by votes, and may or may not lead the next government.



    • Gezza

       /  September 22, 2017

      • Gezza

         /  September 22, 2017

        That the one, patz?

        • Patzcuaro

           /  September 22, 2017

          No, one is of Peters sitting in an armchair telling voters to hurry up so the winner can kiss his ring and the other is a take off of road runner & coyote, English is the coyote and Ardern the roadrunner.

          How do you get the pictures to come up?

          • Gezza

             /  September 22, 2017

            Ben told me. I was having the same trouble. Before you hit post, delete “mobile” from the url.

      • NOEL

         /  September 22, 2017

        No where on the form is there place for a tick in a box next to “None of the trough feeding clowns”, defaulting to not voting is then the only option.

        • Gezza

           /  September 22, 2017

          There’s nothing wrong with giving up & staying home. But there’s nothing virtuous about it either.
          It effectively means you are leaving it up to other people to vote & make the choice of who forms your government for you.
          It’s vote-bludging.
          Do you really want to be a bludger?
          Have a think.
          Get back to me.

  1. How soon will we know the election result? — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition