Big election night win for Labour

Labour did 2-3% better than polls suggested and got 49.1% of the advance and election day votes, equating to 64 of 120 seats. Special votes are still to be counted but they shouldn’t change the overall result much, although it may alter total seats won slightly and may change one or two electorate results.

This is a very good result for Labour, the party’s best result since 1946, and is the first time one party has won a majority of seats under 24 years of MMP (while they got just under half the total votes about 8% of votes will not count for small parties who got under the 5% threshold). This unprecedented result is largely thanks to Jacinda Ardern’s popularity, her and the Government’s handling of Covid, and also Grant Robertsons management of the economy to date.

National did 2-5% worse than polls suggested and had a disastrous outcome, having 26.8% of the vote before official counting and specials. The also got hammered in electorates, losing 15 of them, including Gerry Brownlee, Nick Smith and Chris Bishop (they all get in via the list but Brownlee and Smith and a few others must be seriously considering their political futures).

The other parties got results similar to recent polls. One possible explanation for the shift from National to Labour is that a number of normally National supporters voted Labour to increase the chances of Labour getting a sole majority to significantly reduce the leverage of the Green Party.

Notable election night outcomes – Green MP Chloe Swarbrick has also defied polls and currently leads Labour’s Helen White in Auckland Central by 492 votes. If this result stands after the final count it is a major achievement for Swarbrick and the Greens.

And Māori Party candidate Rawiri Waititi is ahead by 415 votes in Waiariki. If this result survives the final count it gets the Māori Party back into Parliament. Tamati Coffey is the only Labour MP to lose his seat (in a Labour landslide) but will keep his job in Parliament via the list.

As expected David Seymour retained Epsom and ACT got 8% of the votes, which means Seymour will be joined by nine other ACT MPS. That’s a big turnaround of ACT fortunes, in part due to Seymour’s sterling efforts and in part due to National’s poor term and leadership turnover.

A few months ago the Green Party looked like they may struggle to make the threshold, but they fought strongly and came out of election night with 7.6% of the vote and 10 MPs, plus the bonus of their first electorate in fifteen years. They will be celebrating, but may also be disappointed that Labour won’t need them to form a government. They are likely to still be included in some form of governing arrangement but won’t anything like the policy leverage holding the balance of power would have given them.

So for now it looks like a five party Parliament.

The polls were right and Winston Peters was wrong. There was no late surge, and NZ First ended up on 2.7%, with Shane Jones a distant third in Northland. Peters looked and often sounded like a last century politician and was dogged by the SFO investigation of donations. Is this the end of Peters as a politician? Is it the end of NZ First? We will have to wait and see.

No small parties came anywhere near the threshold, with only the Maori Party succeeding by winning one electorate (probably) but will get no other MPs.

Full interim results here: 2020 General Election and Referendums – Preliminary Count

David Farrar has put together an interim list of MPs here: The provisional Parliament.

Also of interest from him:

Interesting to see the difference in support between advance and election day results. This makes the polls for Labour and National look even less accurate.


I’m quite happy with this result. Labour have underperformed on things like housing, poverty, social welfare and tax reform and climate change, but did very well dealing with crises, especially the Covid pandemic, and Grant Robertson has managed the economy reasonably well (the full impact of Covid is yet to be seen).

National had a poor term, a bad year dumping two leaders, and a terrible campaign. They were always going to struggle against Ardern but they made a mess of things regardless. They have a lot of soul searching and rebuilding to do over the next three years.

I’m happy to see ACT in as a party rather than a sole MP, and I’m happy to see Greens surviving and in the mix as well, but without too much influence.

I’m very happy to see Chloe Swarbrick and Rawiri Waititi hopefully win electorates. This is good for smaller parties generally, and should serve as a warning to Labour that they didn’t get everything their own way (they showed some arrogance in the Auckland Central campaign).

And I have no problem with Winston Peters and NZ First dropping out of Parliament. While he has done some good things I have never been a fan of Peters, I just don’t like how he does politics.


Electoral Commission: 480,000 special votes to be counted (in 10 days’ time). Voter turnout est. to be 2.88m or 82.5% of those enrolled, cf 79.8% turnout in 2017.

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76 Comments

  1. Fair comment and a warning on Maori issues, but Labour also got a green slap in Auckland Central.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  18th October 2020

      Exaggeration…Labour encouraged candidate/party vote split in some Maori seats.(according to JT).
      Davis still Dep P.M-Labour cleaned up the other Maori seats.

      Reply
  2. duperez

     /  18th October 2020

    As the dust settles the experts will study the various polls over the duration and see where the term ‘rogue’ should reside.

    Was the movement of votes to Act, to support Green, away from National, or to Labour to do with deep philosophical reasons? Or for gut reasons? The feel good ‘we survived covid-19,’ reaction. The ‘National don’t deserve my vote for the way they’ve looked this year?’ and a move to Act with NZFirst being seen in the same state as National. And Green getting votes to be a brake on Labour?

    Whichever party got in, whatever any combination, the post covid-19 economy was going to have to be dealt with, is going to be the be the challenge.

    Ironic that out of it all maybe the policy issue that had a most significant specific impact could have been the gun issue. In the overall activities, challenges and living of a country that that could be the case says something about how we’re evolving.

    Support across the boards is likely to be flakey and mobile in future elections. The landscape has changed.

    Reply
  3. Fight4nz

     /  18th October 2020

    A slap for dirty politics. Let’s hope that lesson has been learned.

    Reply
  4. Fight4nz

     /  18th October 2020

    JJH disappeared? His contract finished?

    Reply
    • John J Harrison

       /  18th October 2020

      Fight4nz, why would my contract be finished ?
      With ACT being the election winner I feel my efforts for the party are self – evident.
      Contract extended for a further 3 years.
      Better still, reving up the Maori Caucus to walk if their intellectual heavyweight, Kelvin Davies does not get the Deputy PM position.
      With his charm and intellect we are in for a three year comedy show as he supports his leader in navigating our country through a depression whilst demanding “ Maori Values “ when negotiating with our creditors.
      At least ACT will provide a rigorous voice for Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

      Reply
      • Fight4nz

         /  18th October 2020

        Had noted your absence for seemed a week or two?
        I’ll concede a creditable 2nd place to Seymour. In fact probably 2nd equal, with Chloe and the Greens, and the resurrection of the Maori Party at least as extraordinary.

        Reply
  5. David

     /  18th October 2020

    Stunning result if you look at where Labour were the week before Ardern,s ascendency and look at where they were 9 short months ago.
    Know quite a few National voters who voted Labour knowing they would win but wanting to make sure the Greens wernt needed. The Greens did surprisingly well.
    If Ardern keeps governing the way she has then there will be an easy 3rd term, she just needs to continue to not legislate.
    Anyway Labour/National run the place pretty similarly so nothing much will change.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  18th October 2020

      There had better be change.

      The recession has not really bitten yet and dealing with it will be an enormous challenge.

      Expecting big things from Labour this term.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  18th October 2020

      I think it is too soon to say nothing much will change. We have no idea what is in the hearts and minds of all the new Labour MPs or how the Covid disaster will play out.

      We have an electorate consumed with its own safety above all else and a media devoted to centralised power.

      Kelvin Davis has set the pace for shooting himself in the foot. He may be the first of many.

      Reply
  6. This is a shame if accurate (I haven’t seen it).

    Reply
    • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who last night secured another term, has hinted that, as deputy leader of the Labour Party, Kelvin Davis is likely to become deputy Prime Minister.

      New Zealanders from all sides of the political spectrum criticised Davis for being “unkind” and called his poem “dopey” and “ill-advised”, with “no humility, no mana”.

      In stark contrast to Ardern, unfortunately.

      Reply
      • I didn’t listen to what he fondly imagines to be a poem; 10 minutes of excruciating ‘rhyme’, lack of proper scansion and appallingly bad delivery was 9 minutes and 30 seconds too much. Be warned, it seems impossible to turn this drivel off.

        It was childishly bad; a total embarrassment and a crime against the English language.

        He makes McGonigall look like a great poet.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  18th October 2020

          hes was probably a bit pissed- who wouldnt be after the hammering they gave national
          Its was Chaucer compared to one party who had (almost) successive party leaders on Dancing with the Stars to show their derriere
          Then there is this deputy leader

          Reply
          • I take it that you have never read any Chaucer.

            To the best of my knowledge, no ACT leader has ever written drivel like that (it wasn’t even doggerel) and subjected people to 10 minutes of it.

            Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  18th October 2020

        Poor little hurt righties with hurt feelings…6 more years in the blue wilderness

        Reply
    • Tau may not have seen Davis’ speech before tweeting that.

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  18th October 2020

      I think Davis’ comments in context of the occasion were stupid and ill-considered.

      For Rawdon Christie though, here is the news. If there is nothing uglier than gloating your mechanisms need to be recalibrated. What Judith Collins and Duncan Garner did to Lees- Galloway was far uglier. Were the motives behind each as ugly?

      Davis’ effort will draw reasonable criticism of him and his naivety. The only others who suffer by the remarks beside Davis, are those like Christie who was affronted that a winner could not handle success with grace.

      How about those who suffered in the Lees-Galloway situation? And the intent?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  18th October 2020

        Bizarre and rather creepy. Collins did nothing, Ardern sacked him. All following political attacks on a Nat.

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  18th October 2020

          You know that Collins did not do nothing regarding that. Saying that means you did not see what happened or, with due respect, your mechanisms need to be recalibrated too.

          Reply
          • I suppose that if she hadn’t passed the information on, she’d have been vilified for not doing so.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  18th October 2020

              She told the Garner show on TV…as breaking news after a planted question.
              She could have said ‘ None of your business’ to Garner ( which was a reply to questions about Nationals polls)
              Ardern never revealed anything about Fallon until Collins did so herself.
              Why is simple timeline so hard for you to understand

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  18th October 2020

            Saying that shows you are incapable of arbitrating sensibly when the Left is sinning.

            Reply
            • duperez

               /  18th October 2020

              Okay, all right. My incapability sees Davis being silly and Collins being nasty and vindictive. His being, albeit it pointless, generalised party put the boot in and hers being a hit job.

              She showed the same attitude today. She’s in a backbencher’s electorate, makes policy on the hoof and announces it then gets peed off when the backbencher, apparently reflecting the way they’ve been treated, at the sends you out message to caucus colleagues which was leaked to the media. Collins today said it cost them about 100,000 votes.

              Her inclusive leadership, don’t trust the troops style led to it. She blames them. Taking responsibility? Laying blame. Compared to Collins Davis is a dumb puppy. In my arbitrary opinion.

        • Duker

           /  18th October 2020

          No first public announcement by Ardern of what they knew about Fallon… first news was from Collins herself. Who paid back double with a public outing of Lees Galloway
          Surely she had a party and campaign as job One, not someone elsesmarital infidelity.
          Facts get in the way of your delusions again.

          Anyway Collins is now the Phil Goff of National ( got a similar party vote to his 27%)
          Pale ..stale and female.
          “One party member said at the yacht squadron last night: “I’m told by people in the know that [internally] this campaign was even more of a shambles than 2002.” Newsroom

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  18th October 2020

            When the Falloon story was leaked in detail to the media it wasn’t Dirty Politics but when Collins answered a direct question from the media without revealing anything it was. Yeah, right.

            Reply
            • But of course. The fact that she gave no identifying details proves that it was dirty politics…oh, wait….

  7. Blazer

     /  18th October 2020

    I did notice Golriz kept a low profile during the Greens campaign.
    Making Davis deputy again is not a big deal.Just keep him away from the media as they did last term.

    Looks like Mitchell will make a play for LOTO….possibly with Willis as dep.

    This election is a harbinger of youth and vitality becoming a force to counter age and experience.
    A much needed force for real change and one National has not really embraced.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  18th October 2020

      Interesting table from Kiwiblog:
      Party Demographics
      Labour National ACT Greens Total
      Female 55% 31% 40% 70% 48%
      Male 45% 69% 60% 30% 52%
      20s 2% 3% 10% 10% 3%
      30s 22% 17% 20% 20% 21%
      40s 38% 37% 40% 40% 38%
      50s 31% 29% 30% 30% 30%
      60s 8% 11% 0% 0% 8%
      70s 0% 3% 0% 0% 1%
      European 52% 91% 70% 50% 64%
      Maori 23% 6% 30% 30% 20%
      Pasifika 17% 0% 0% 10% 10%
      Asian 6% 3% 0% 10% 5%

      Gender differences are large, age not so much. I imagine some older Nats will soon go.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  18th October 2020

        Who is the Nats 70 yr old ?
        Their website is locked down, logon acess only…the Stalinist airbrushing has begun

        Reply
  8. lurcher1948

     /  18th October 2020

    Chuck Bird has just been on National party Magic talk moaning about Kelvin’s little winning poem so in the words of the defeated Judith Collins” manners manners” don’t always come across as a bitter old man on talkback besmirching the PM Jacinda Ardern and her family and marriage relationship

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  18th October 2020

      I really don’t know why your Lefty Luvvies are embarrassed about Kelvin’s contribution. In the spirit of their Te Tiriti partnership he is just reflecting his traditional cultural values: when you beat ’em, you eat ’em.

      Reply
  9. duperez

     /  18th October 2020

    When the oracles on talkback radio go spare from tomorrow, (the hosts that is), the wisdom they throw out will be founded on how the future will be, laced with doubt and warnings of doom and gloom.

    Not reflecting on their past wisdom so much I imagine:
    “The second and much more interesting bit is that Chloe Swarbrick won’t win it [Auckland Central.]

    Coming third already she will stay third, and as a result if the Greens need her to win, it’s over.”

    https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/mike-hosking-breakfast/opinion/mike-hosking-electorate-polls-shows-mmp-is-done-after-20-years/ – Hosking, 21 Sep 2020. 🤔

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  18th October 2020

      Tsk, tsk. No gloating, dups.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  18th October 2020

        I am not gloating that he was wrong. Pointing out fallibility. Some people hold him up in the same as those who wave the Bible and believe every word as the Truth as it is writ, was written, 100% literally. (Even it has been rewritten many times by translators and scholar over hundreds of years.)

        Reply
      • Duker

         /  18th October 2020

        Not gloating with Hosking …hes the ‘all wrong of NZ political commentators’…

        Reply
  10. Corky

     /  18th October 2020

    Where’s Gezza? Not like him to miss the fun.

    Reply
  11. David

     /  18th October 2020

    Be interesting to see how Ardern manages a large caucus of 1st term MPs. Managing expectations of everyone is going to be tough with no one else to blame, her skillset doesn’t lie here and Hipkins is hardly a good enforcer.
    She still has a very rubbish cabinet which will hinder her.

    Reply
  12. lurcher1948

     /  18th October 2020

    I miss Gezza,i hope he’s just having a break and nothing worse,

    Reply
  13. David

     /  18th October 2020

    Just going through the bio,s of some of the new Labour MPs…what a bunch. Union this, teacher of that and just a dearth of any private sector life so poor Ardern is again burdened by yet more of the same types of people.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  18th October 2020

      I guess things could be worse….David.

      Reply
      • Yes, we could have 4 year terms like the US.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  18th October 2020

          4 years of Seymour…..unbearable…what next…. is he going to be shot out of a…canon?

          Reply
          • seer

             /  19th October 2020

            “..is he going to be shot out of a…canon?”

            Feet first,hopefully.

            Reply
          • Canon ???

            Do you mean a cannon, perchance ?

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  19th October 2020

              Yes, well spotted I mean’t cannon.

              I certainly will not miss you and your hopelessness.

            • How some people do dislike other people being so much better informed and educated than they are, poor old Blazer.

            • Blazer

               /  20th October 2020

              I must start watching the…’News’!

              ‘I saw it somewhere ,don’t ask me…where,or when’! 😉

            • Poor Blazer, it must be terrible to have such a bad memory that you can’t remember where or when you saw something. You can have the news on demand if you need to remember when and where it was.

              Have you tried ginseng ?

  14. Alan Wilkinson

     /  19th October 2020

    Doing the laundry often gives time for reflection and insights. The incidence of stupid in the community is clearly increasing. Until recently no-one ever put soap in the hot tub. Now they do it despite the new sign on the wall beside it saying please don’t put soap in the hot tub because it messes up the hygiene chemicals. (As well as looking horrible.)

    Fewer and fewer people have any knowledge or contact with reality. Expect stupid people to elect stupid politicians. And it will get worse. Even without AI knowledge about reality is being put into computers and forgotten there.

    I had direct experience of this in MSW. In 1987 when we built their new computer system the department was full of expertise which was laboriously programmed into the system. When I was called back in 2000 no-one in the department knew anything. All their core expertise was in the computer system and remnants in the contracting company which supported it.

    So most of the population will come to know everything about social media and shopping but nothing about anything else. The big question is whether that matters?

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  19th October 2020

      Yep, talkback has been a goldmine today.

      Example:

      ” I voted for Jacinda because I became sick of Judith attacking her.”

      The scary bit is the situation isn’t going to get better with the new generation.

      Also on talkback…teachers telling pupils who are the bad political parties…and who are the good ones. And asking what party the pupils think their parents will vote for.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th October 2020

        A friend went into a cafe yesterday and was shocked to see every table occupied and without exception everyone had their nose in their phone – almost all female. Many posting selfies and exciting social media accounts of what they were eating and drinking. Her reaction was that they are now hopelessly addicted to their social media activities.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  19th October 2020

          Crikey, Alan. These are the people who will be looking after us in the old peoples home. I hope we aren’t euthanised

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  19th October 2020

            A rest home doesn’t figure in my exit plans, Corks.

            Reply
          • Fight4nz

             /  19th October 2020

            Don’t worry Labour won. You’ll be looked after despite everything. Well for 3 years anyway.

            Reply
            • seer

               /  20th October 2020

              Sister Morphine from Elderly Care Services will arrive with the big syringe.

        • The farmers who only voted Labour to keep the Greens out are in a state of shock at the thought of Labour taking the Greens on as partners again and devastating the farming industry. So are business owners who are wondering what new crippling costs Labour will pile onto them.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  20th October 2020

            How do you know this?

            How many farmers who voted Labour have you discussed it with?

            Reply
            • Try watching the news. There was a long item on 3 and they spoke to a lot of farmers. They all said much the same; that Greens are anti-farming and would destroy the industry.

            • They all said (the farmers, of course)

              That was last night, so if you saw it you have probably forgotten it by now.

            • Blazer

               /  20th October 2020

              Silly me…you sawed it on the…News!

              Bol.

            • No, I SAW it on the news.

              I see, I saw, I have seen.

              If something is sawed, it is cut with a saw.

              The news is on every night on One, Three (6pm) and Prime 5.30pm). It’s a useful way to find out what’s going on.

  15. Corky

     /  20th October 2020

    Isn’t this delicious. Labour hasn’t even formed a gummint, and they already have problems.

    How are they going to appease Righties who voted Left..while accommodating the Greens?

    If Jacinda can pull that off, she will gain my praise. But from my perspective, it looks like someone will be pissed off SHOULD coalition talks proceed.

    To add a cherry on top…Labour could govern alone if they wanted. But pragmatism says they shouldn’t.

    Stay tuned, folks.

    ps I forgot to mention tourism and hospital capacity for handling all those returned Kiwis.

    Reply
    • Fight4nz

       /  20th October 2020

      Anyone surprised by Labour talking to the Greens is an idiot. The blue vote that went to Labour is only to affect the balance of power in those talks. There are less problems for Labour as it stands.
      By the way, I thought that the Greens were fools not to talk to National? Now you say they are a pariah to National voters. Hmmm are they smarter than you?

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  20th October 2020

        ”Now you say they are a pariah to National voters. Hmmm are they smarter than you?”

        Not quite sure what you are on about, but I can’t remember saying that. Anyway, whether they are smarter than me or not, the fact is Labour has picked up many fair whether voters who will dump Labour just as fast as they did National and other parties.

        PS- let’s not for get the tens of thousands of voters who just turned up to vote in the referendums. They won’t be a round next time. The could mean a huge shift in the Maori seats.

        Reply
  16. Fight4nz

     /  20th October 2020

    National nailing it post election. Shut up those leakers!!!!
    That’s the way, it’s all about the symptoms not the causes. Just like the way they manage the economy when we are in that unfortunate position.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  20th October 2020

      ”National nailing it post election. Shut up those leakers!!!!”

      I agree that is something they should attend to, given some commentators claim National know who leaked.

      Of more concern to me is Brownlee and Smith are staying on. The people have spoken and told them to fugg off. Still, a new leader (Luxon), may give them a hint before the next election.

      And also of concern, Labours newbies. What a motley crew. Too many from outside MS New Zealand life. Posters have been saying ACT have MPs that could go off the rails. Likewise Labour. The only good thing is Labour doesn’t have to worry about any reporter asking the new Muslim MP any hard questions should he go off the reservation. The last Muslim MP,Ashraf Choudhary, was grilled regarding the stoning of woman. He was shown to have views not in accordance with the ‘Kiwi way.’ This new chap can say what he likes. He cannot be touched. Watch media make a big fuss over his swearing in.

      Now we have the head of the SIS saying they are into diversity…and have even won a award from the gay community. I kid you not….the SIS !!!!

      Reply
      • He was asked about the stoning of gays and adulterers, not women and said that he did NOT advocate the practice and want it to happen here.

        It was hardly a grilling.

        We do not have ‘reservations’ in NZ, this expression is meaningless here.

        Reply
  17. Corky

     /  21st October 2020

    Yep, as I said…the media will be all over ACT.

    l listened to HDA interview Simon Court. A very interesting and disturbing story. Just think, this happened up the road so to speak.

    Three News also interviewed ACT on the parliament steps. The reporter couldn’t help her sniveling liberal self when she asked how many ACT members owned a gun or had ‘SHOT A GUN ( oorrhh , so bad). Many put their hands up.

    Good stuff..

    https://fijionlinenews.com/new-act-mp-simon-court-was-deported-from-fiji-in-2016/

    Reply
    • I have used a gun, but I don’t own one. What a stupid question (I missed it and couldn’t be bothered to have it an hour later) Many people have used a gun at some time. What was this supposed to prove ? A man down the road is a hunter and will certainly own a gun, and I know that the farmer across the road does, he shot a dog who had killed several ewes in lamb in a vicious killing spree.

      Reply

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