5 Nov 2012

MMP review recommends threshold changes

6:31 pm on 5 November 2012

The Electoral Commission is recommending changes to thresholds for parties getting into Parliament under MMP including abolishing the one-seat threshold.

The commission's final report on its review of the Mixed Member Proportional voting system has been tabled in Parliament and its key recommendations are largely unchanged since it released a proposals paper in August this year.

The Electoral Commission says the party vote threshold should be lowered from 5% to 4% and the 'coat-tails rule', or one-seat threshold, should be abolished.

That would mean a party that won an electorate seat could not bring in extra list MPs unless it reached the party vote threshold.

If the one-seat threshold is abolished, the commission says the provision for overhang seats should also go.

The commission says a referendum would not be required to implement the changes and if Parliament agrees with its recommendations, they could be put in place in time for the 2014 general election.

Justice Minister Judith Collins says the Government will carefully consider the report and consult with other parties in Parliament.

The Labour and Green parties support the threshold changes, but ACT opposes them.