Preliminary election results give no certainty as to which party will lead the next government.
Prime Minister Bill English led National to 46% support, an astounding result for a party seeking a fourth term in office.
But that 46% is only 50 seats which is not enough for a majority government.
Labour’s 35.8% was far more than its supporters could have hoped for before its leadership change but even further away from a majority. It would need both New Zealand First and the Green Party.
This means that Winston Peters, and it is the leader not his party who counts, has almost all the say on what happens next.
NZ First got only 7.5% of the vote. Polls before the election showed that its supporters were fairly evening divided on whether Peters should choose National or Labour should it be in the position to do so.
A criticism of First Past the Post was that voters in marginal seats had too much power.
But MMP has given more power to fewer people by allowing a minor party to choose the government and half of its supporters will be disappointed regardless of whichever it is.
Is this really what New Zealand wanted?