8 Oct 2017

NZ First to meet National and Labour today

7:14 am on 8 October 2017

Negotiations to form a new government will begin in earnest today, with both National and Labour claiming a strong mandate to form the next government.

Bill English and Jacinda Ardern

Bill English and Jacinda Ardern. Photo: RNZ

Labour and the Greens both picked up an extra seat and National dropped two in the final election result announced yesterday afternoon.

The final result has National on 44.4 percent, Labour 36.9, New Zealand First 7.2 and the Greens 6.3.

Look into the full results here.

The gap between National, and Labour and the Greens is now 1.2 percent. Both National and Labour still need the support of New Zealand First to form a government.

The National Party leader, Bill English, said his mandate to form a government had not been weakened significantly with the loss of two seats.

"Now it's a matter of negotiating the policies and structure that are going to deliver a continuing strong economy and deal with all the other issues that were raised in the election and by New Zealand First."

But Labour's Jacinda Ardern said Labour's mandate had been strengthened by the result.

She said talks with the Greens and New Zealand First would be held separately.

"We're focussed on doing it as quickly as possible, but we will do it responsibly."

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has said he will decide which party to go with by 12 October, and will meet with the National Party and the Labour Party today.

The new Parliament will have the highest number of women MPs ever - 46 women were elected, making up 38 percent of the house.

The results mean National's Nicola Willis and Maureen Pugh will not become MPs. The Greens candidate Golriz Ghahraman and Labour's Angie Warren-Clark will both enter Parliament as list MPs.

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