Na­tional re­turns its ma­jori­ties

Eastern Courier - - FRONT PAGE - PJ TAY­LOR

As the na­tion woke on Sun­day to an amaz­ing MMP re­sult in the gen­eral elec­tion, in which both cen­tre-right and cen­tre-left po­lit­i­cal al­liances are claim­ing vic­tory and the ne­go­ti­a­tions to form the next gov­ern­ment com­mence, there hasn’t been a no­tice­able swing away from the in­cum­bents in East Auck­land elec­torates.

The par­lia­men­tary seats of Paku­ranga, Botany and Hunua have stayed safe Na­tional-held elec­torates, with clear ma­jori­ties in the party and can­di­date votes.

Across Auck­land, like in the pre­vi­ous three gen­eral elec­tions, Na­tional has held the ma­jor­ity of party votes and the elec­torates.

Na­tion­ally, the MMP sce­nario plays out - with 46 per cent of the elec­tion night re­sult, Na­tional is in a clear lead as the high­est­polling party, with a pro­jected 58 seats.

Yet it’s in the po­si­tion of po­ten­tially be­ing with­out a coali­tion party to get them to the 61 seats needed to be a ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment, even with the ACT Party’s one, un­less New Zealand First and its leader Win­ston Peters and his cau­cus agree to work with Bill English and his Na­tional team.

Those dis­cus­sions, as English sig­nalled in his speech late on Sat­ur­day night, start soon, while Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern and Green Party leader James Shaw also ex­tended re­spect­ful in­vi­ta­tions to Peters to dis­cuss form­ing a grand coali­tion rep­re­sent­ing the call for change of gov­ern­ment.

Be­fore 300,000 spe­cial votes are counted, Labour has 35.8 per cent and 45 seats, the Greens have 5.8 per cent and seven seats, and would also need NZ First’s 7.5 per cent and nine seats to join them to have a cen­tre-left led gov­ern­ment.

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