Jacinda Ardern looks to secure second Labour term amid cannabis, euthanasia referendums
It’s the Colmar Brunton poll that is watched most closely, but all of them are delivering the same message – though the numbers have tightened between National and Labour, it’s Jacinda Ardern’s election to lose.
But there is a catch. New Zealand uses a mixed-member proportional representation (MMP) system, in which voters tick a box for a local electorate candidate and a separate box for which party they support.
Massey University politics professor Richard Shaw says that up to 30 per cent of Kiwis vote tactically – that is, they might for example vote for their local National candidate, but also give Labour a tick for the party list seats because they approve of Ardern.
There are 72 electorate and 48 list seats in the 120 member parliament – but if a party (such as NZ First, on current polling) doesn’t win an electorate seat, and doesn’t win over 5 per cent of the “list” vote, their share of the vote for the 48 list seats will be distributed among the parties that win over the 5 per cent – and bump up the other the major parties number of list seats.
At this stage, the hot top for the result looks like a Labour-Greens coalition government, NZ First to just miss out, and National and ACT to sit on the opposition benches