MMP means Labour could still govern
Because New Zealand is using Mixed member proportional (MMP) as the voting system in General Elections, there is a real prospect that the underdog political parties could form the next Government.
Basically when a voter goes to the polling booth they have two choices: one for the MP to represent their area and one for the party they support. Based on the percentage of party vote, that calculates the amount of seats each party gets. And currently, New Zealand is under rule from a Labour-led Government which includes other minor parties as New Zealand First, UnitedFuture, and others to a smaller extent.
Labour got more support than National did in the 2005 election and managed to get a coaltition together to control the majority of seats.
Because of MMP, the other minor parties play a much bigger role; coalitions are vital to power.
Let’s look at that scenario though. If Labour did have confidence of the house albeit National had the biggest party vote share, I suspect there would be quite an upset (except those who support Labour, and other left-wing parties). Mainly because the swinging voters wanted a change from left-wing to right-wing, yet the socialists were able to crawl back to power. Labour could still manage to get a coalition together with at least New Zealand First, Greens, and Progressives. The latter will win at least one seat, and with the Greens polling as high as 11% – New Zealand First looks unlikely to make it into Parliament again – it could be possible.
November 8 will show us. And, if you live in New Zealand, make sure you’re able to vote on election day.