National loses 2 more MPs

06/11/2020

The final election results bring more bad news for National:

National has two fewer seats and Labour and the Māori Party each have one more:

  • The number of seats in Parliament will be 120.
  • The Labour Party has 65 seats compared with 64 on election night.
  • The National Party has 33 seats compared with 35 on election night.
  • The Māori Party has 2 seats compared with 1 on election night.
  • ACT New Zealand and the Green Party remain unchanged with 10 seats each.

Electorate vote – main points

Three electorate results have changed since election night:

    • Labour Party candidate Priyanca Radhakrishnan has won Maungakiekie with a majority of 635 votes over National Party candidate Denise Lee.
    • Labour Party candidate Willow-Jean Prime has won Northland with a majority of 163 votes over National Party candidate Matt King.
    • Labour Party candidate Emily Henderson has won Whangārei with a majority of 431 votes over National Party candidate Shane Reti.
    • All other electorate candidates leading on election night have been confirmed as winning their seats.

The low party vote for National didn’t surprise me.

This was always going to be the election that Covid-19 stole and National worsened its prospects by self-sabotage. A caucus that shoots itself in the foot, stabs itself in the back and trips over its own tongue isn’t going to gain voter support.

But the loss of so many electorates, especially the provincial and rural ones, both surprises and saddens me. Generally good MPs will  be able to stand firm even if the tide swings against their party.

I am pleased that Shane Reti has a high enough place on the list to retain a seat in parliament although he lost the seat.

One new MP who withstood the red tide is Penny Simmons who has been confirmed as the MP for Invercargill.

Key statistics

  • The total number of votes cast was 2,919,086.
  • The number of special votes was 504,625, 17% of total votes (2017 – 17%).
  • 68% of votes were cast in advance (2017 – 47%).
  • 82.2% of people who were enrolled voted (2017 – 79.8%). This is the highest turnout since 1999 (84.8%).
  • The final enrolment rate was 94.1% (2017 – 92.4%), the highest since 2008 (95.3%).

A high turnout is good for democracy.

Allowing people to enroll on Election Day no doubt helped increase the enrollment rate.

The increase in advance votes might prompt a change in the law that makes Election Day campaign-free.

Labour has the numbers to change the law by itself but such changes ought to be made by consensus and passed by far more than a simple majority.


Working together for good

31/07/2020

All parties in parliament have united to pass the first multi-member Bill:

The Crimes (Definition of Female Genital Mutilation) Amendment Bill completed its third reading last night, with support from all parties in Parliament, and is set to become New Zealand law.

The bill is in the names of Jo Hayes MP (National), Priyanca Radhakrishnan MP (Labour), Golriz Ghahraman MP (Greens), and Jenny Marcroft MP (New Zealand First). It is the first time in history a Member’s Bill has been sponsored by more than one MP.

While most forms of female genital mutilation (FGM) were banned in New Zealand in 1996, through an amendment to the Crimes Act 1961 when s204A was added, this amendment will align the legislation with the World Health Organisation (WHO) classifications of all types of FGM and international best practice recommendations.

The bill is part of the work of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) New Zealand Group, who seek to better the lives of women and girls in Aotearoa. CWP New Zealand has collaborated with FGM Education to highlight the need for this legislative reform. Co-chairs Louisa Wall MP and Jo Hayes MP are grateful to have this important legislation complete all of its stages through the House before the dissolution of the 52nd Parliament.

“We are proud to have brought about this law to protect the lives of women and girls in Aotearoa. As women parliamentarians, we have listened to their concerns and are honoured to have contributed substantive legislative change to protect our wahine,” the co-chairs said.

The bill now awaits Royal Assent, this is the last formal step before a Bill passes and becomes law.

We had seen far too much of the worst of politicians and politics in the last few weeks. It is heartening to see parliament at its best, all parties working together for good.

Dare we hope that the new parliament will see more of this?


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