3 Nov 2023

Special Votes: National and ACT lose majority in largest ever Parliament

3:49 pm on 3 November 2023
Christopher Luxon at at AUT's Millennium campus in Rosedale, Auckland

Photo: RNZ / Nick Monro

Special votes have given Te Pāti Māori two more electorates, the Greens an extra list seat, while National loses two MPs.

It means National and ACT lose their majority and will need NZ First to form a government.

Labour gets the same number of MPs total, but its wins for Rachel Boyack in Nelson (29 vote margin) and Phil Twyford in Te Atatū (131 votes) mean two who expected to get in on the list - Shanan Halbert and Tracey McLellan - look set to lose their places barring further resignations from sitting MPs.

Despite the wins of Takutai Kemp - by just four votes - and Mariameno Kapa-Kingi (517 votes) in Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Tai Tokerau, Te Pāti Māori's slightly larger share of the party vote means the number of overhang seats only increases by a further one seat compared to election night.

This means 122 seats total, increasing to 123 after the Port Waikato by-election - making for the largest New Zealand Parliament in history.

With National and ACT on 59, they will need Winston Peters' New Zealand First to reach the 62 needed for a majority to form a government in the larger Parliament - giving Peters greater bargaining power in coalition negotiations.

National's losses in Nelson and Te Atatū mean its candidates in those seats - Angee Nicholas and Blair Cameron - are out.

The Greens bring in Kahurangi Carter as an additional list MP.

ACT and New Zealand First's results are unchanged.

Party votes:

  • National: 38.06 percent
  • Labour: 26.1 percent
  • Green Party: 11.6 percent
  • ACT: 8.64 percent
  • NZ First: 6.08 percent
  • Te Pāti Māori: 3.08 percent

The turnout for special votes was larger than initially expected, with 603,257 special votes cast (20.9 percent of the total 2,883,412 votes cast) compared to the roughly 570,000 the Electoral Commission projected.

This makes for a turnout of 78.2 percent of enrolled voters, which compares to 82.2 percent in 2020 and 79.8 percent in 2017. However, enrolment was up to 94.7 percent, marginally higher than previous years.

With some of the final electorate results so close, recounts are possible - with applications required to be filed by next Wednesday, 8 November.

  • Updates: Final election 2023 results released after special votes counted, ballots checked
  • Boost in Electoral Commission funding could speed up counting, but not by much - Graeme Edgeler