Local Government NZ, along with NZ Post, ran a simulated election amongst secondary school students alongside the general election. This is a great civics initiative and 13,000 voted.
And those who want a smaller Parliament will be delighted with the results – a Parliament of only 107 MPs!
How is this possible? It is an obscure feature called underhang – the opposite of overhang. Let us look at the results:
- National 28.4%, 36 seats, 29 elects, 7 list
- Labour 25.0%, 32 seats, 16 elects, 16 list
- Bill and Ben Party 11.7%, 15 seats, 0 elects, 15 list
- Greens 11.2%, 14 seats, 0 elects, 14 list
- Legalise Cannabis 10.5%, 13 seats, 0 elects, 13 list
- Maori Party 4.9%, 6 seats, 6 elects, 0 list
- ACT 1.9%, 2 seats, 1 elect, 1 list
- NZF 1.0%, 1 seat, 1 elect, 0 list
- United Future 0.7%, 1 seat, 1 elect, 0 list
Now the Bill and Ben Party only had two candidates (Bill and Ben!) on their party list, so there would be an underhang of 13 MPs for a Parliament of 107. This means to form a Government you need 54 votes. So what would the Government be?
You could do National 36 + ALCP 13 + Maori 6 = 55
More likely is Labour 32 + Greens 14 + ALCP 13 = 59
The electorate seat won by NZ First was actually in Tamaki, so their sole MP would be a Doug Nabbs.
They have given results for each electorate also. Below are the seats where a different party would have won the electorate vote if the kids were the real electors:
- Auckland Central – Labour
- Bay of Plenty – Labour
- Dunedin North – National
- Invercargill – Labour
- New Lynn – National
- Rimutaka – National
- Tamaki – NZ First
- West Coast-Tasman – Labour
- Whanganui – Labour
- Wigram – National
- Ikaroa-Rawhiti – Maori
It is great to see the kids encouraged to take part in mock elections and vote. The results do show though why the Greens are bonkers with their campaign to lower the voting age to include 16 and 17 year old schoold students.Tags: Election 2008, Local Government NZ, NZ Post