iPredict’s weekly election update #7 had good news for those of us political tragics at the blue end of the spectrum:
John Key will lead a National/Act/UnitedFuture government with 62 seats and a two-seat majority in a 122-seat Parliament after the next General Election, this week’s snapshot of New Zealand’s prediction market, iPredict, suggests. Were the Maori Party to continue supporting this National-led government, the government would have 67 seats and a 12-seat majority. . .
. . .Forecast party vote shares are: National 44.5% (down from 45.6% last week), Labour 35.4% (up from 34.4% last week), Greens 7.8% (up from 7.5% last week), New Zealand First 4.1% (down from 4.6% last week), Act 3.6% (up from 2.8% last week), Maori Party 2.5% (down from 2.7% last week) and UnitedFuture 1.1% (up from 0.3% last week).
But I think there’s a mistake in the writer’s understanding of MMP:
For the first time, UnitedFuture Leader Peter Dunne is forecast to be re-elected in Ohariu, with 37% probability compared with 35% probability for National to win the seat and 30% probability for Labour. . .
. . . The result in Ohariu does not affect the likelihood of a National-led government, with National having 56 seats if Mr Dunne wins his seat and 57 seats if he does not.
It’s the party vote not electorate seats which determine the number of MPs a party has in parliament. If National got 44.5% of the vote it would get that percentage of seats in parliament regardless of whether or not it won Ohariu. Winning the electorate seat would mean it would have one less list seat and so would end up with the same number of MPs.
If Dunne lost the seat the party votes for United Future would be redistributed among all the other parties. That’s not many but if he commits to supporting a National led government rather than a Labour one it would give the centre-right one more seat if he wins than if he doesn’t.
The iPredict website is here.
UPDATE: Comments from Matthew and Graeme below show iPredict was right, I hadn’t taken into account National getting an extra list seat if UF didn’t get an electorate or 5% of votes.