Specials

November 27th, 2011 at 1:43 pm by David Farrar

There are 220,720 specials, which represents 11% of the total votes cast. If no special are invalids, this is what impact they could have. At present the seat allocation is:

  • 120 – National (last one in – Aaron Gilmore)
  • 121 – NZ First
  • 122 – National
  • 123 – Greens
  • 134 – Labour

If National gets only 44.6% of specials, then that drops overall vote from 47.99% to 47.81% and National drops to 59 seats, with the extra seat going to NZ First or Greens most likely. This would mean National/ACT/United have 61/121 seats and have a majority.

The great irony is this scenario eventuates is that if Labour had now won Te Tai Tonga, then there would be no partial asset sales. If Rahui Katene had held that seat for the Maori Party, then Parliament would be 122 MPs (as it would be an over-hang seat) and 61/122 would not be enough. So a huge irony in that Labour winning a seat has made it easier for National to govern.

For National to lose two seats, would be very unlikely. This has not happened under MMP with a specials count. It would need this scenario.

National to get just 41% of specials, NZ First to get 8% of specials and Greens 14% of specials. This would make the total vote for each to be 47.4%, 11.0% and 6.9% respectively and they get 58, 14 and 9 seats each.

Hard to see National getting just 41% of specials. If that did eventuate, then the Maori Party would hold the balance of power, but as I said no party has ever lost two seats on specials.

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37 Responses to “Specials”

  1. Andrei (2,537 comments) says:

    shakes head re-reads post, tries to reconcile it with understanding of MMP, overhang seats and the Sainte-Laguë algorithm thinks – shakes head again

    No making sense of this is not a going concern – fuzzy head from last night? My head or DPF’s responsible for this state of confusion?

    FPP was so much simpler

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  2. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    DPF,

    What percentage of the specials would the Nats need to get 61 seats?

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  3. badmac (139 comments) says:

    What percentage does Winney need to lose a seat ie if he gets 0% of specials does he go from 8 to 7, or is their no hope!

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  4. badmac (139 comments) says:

    Also, you may be going to do a separate post, but the referendum results are so far just the advance votes. Are they a good indication ie if the advance pool was a poll, is it representative and what would be the poll size and margin of error?

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  5. Portia (204 comments) says:

    Is 61/121 enough if Lockwood is still speaker?

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  6. pdm (842 comments) says:

    badmac I am with you. iven that most of Winston Firsts rise from oblivion came in the last week it seems likely his share of the specials will be minimal – perhaps only a maximum of 2%.

    If that is the case what would the impact be on his allocation?

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  7. Eomar (1 comment) says:

    Portia – who the speaker is no longer matters for voting in the house, as the party whips vote for the speaker as well.

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  8. davidp (3,572 comments) says:

    Portia>Is 61/121 enough if Lockwood is still speaker?

    That is what I have been wondering. If Maori decide not to enter a coalition then I wonder if Sharples would take the job?

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  9. James Stephenson (2,136 comments) says:

    @Portia & davidp – the Speaker has a vote just like any other MP.

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  10. Portia (204 comments) says:

    James – no he/she doesn’t

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  11. Portia (204 comments) says:

    Davidp – that would be an inspired choice. At least on the face of it – I don’t know how much knowledge he has of Parliamentary procedure; perhaps Tariana would be a better choice. It would upset Lockwood though.

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  12. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Portia

    ..The Speaker’s vote is included in any party vote cast and the Speaker votes in a personal vote, though without going into the lobbies personally – the Speaker’s vote is communicated to the teller from the Speaker’s chair.

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  13. aitkenmike (94 comments) says:

    Portia – Yes S/he does. It ensures proportionality is maintained.

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  14. shady (251 comments) says:

    Maybe I missed it – or are misinformed, but aren’t the wasted votes – ie. Conservates 2.9%, Marijuana Party etc – redistributed according to percentage of vote to the parties that did get in?

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  15. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    The racist Maori Party is up for sale to the highest bidder. Was there ever any doubt?

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  16. Graeme Edgeler (3,280 comments) says:

    Maybe I missed it – or are misinformed, but aren’t the wasted votes – ie. Conservates 2.9%, Marijuana Party etc – redistributed according to percentage of vote to the parties that did get in?

    No. They’re just ignored. Seats are allocated based on the votes of parties that made it, percentages are irrelevant (except for 5% threshold).

    Is 61/121 enough if Lockwood is still speaker?

    Yes.

    The Speaker had no normal vote under FPP, only a casting vote. After we introduced MMP, the House changed standing orders so that the Speaker gets a normal vote, but no casting vote (a tie is a loss).

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  17. Nicholas O'Kane (168 comments) says:

    Yes, 61/121 is enough if Lockwood stays speaker.

    How many special votes in Auckland central, Waitakere, Waimakariri and Crhistchurch Central? And what are the chances of these seats switching?

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  18. Portia (204 comments) says:

    My mistake. Just went and looked it up too. I was thinking pre-MMP when the casting vote didn’t necessarily help the Govt. Still very tight though – would want key man insurance for Peter Dunne in particular

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  19. MarkyMark (2 comments) says:

    It will be interesting to see how much the 10% specials differ from the 90% already counted.

    No doubt there a more transient lot and younger on average. One might reasonably expect the greens to do well and Winston not.

    I had to cast a special vote for no other reason than I had moved electorate since the last election and because I enrolled in the last month it was too late to print my name in the booklet.

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  20. Paul1 (33 comments) says:

    Well, Horizon still believes that their polling is accurate.

    http://horizonpoll.co.nz/page/192/election-results-close-to-forecasts

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  21. Fisiani (1,023 comments) says:

    Assuming National retain 60 seats then effective No 61 is Paul Quinn (Hutt South) and No 62 is Paul Foster-Bell (Wellington Central)
    One is a hard worker, one is not.
    One is an asset to National, one is not.
    One has cabinet Minister potential, one has not.
    One has spent 6 months doorknocking, one has not.
    One is articulate, one is not.
    One is energetic, one is not.
    One has a great future, one has not.

    One should step aside.

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  22. Joseph Carpenter (213 comments) says:

    I wonder if this time around the specials might not so strongly favour the Greens and left wing parties. Given they will be mostly from overseas – Australia & UK/Europe mainly – where in recent years they’ve had direct experience of the Greens in power and the end stage results of socialism generally up close and personal, they might not be so keen as they were in the past for these policies.

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  23. s.russell (1,589 comments) says:

    In both 2005 and 2008 National’s % of the vote dropped by about 0.5% when specials were counted. Given the high turnout in South Auckland I suspect the drop might be a little more than that this time. Fortunately, National stays at 59 seats even down to 47.0%, so looks like 1-seat majority is safe.

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  24. Enzo (44 comments) says:

    The Maori Party favours partial asset sales so Labour winning Te Tai Tonga has little or no impact on that issue.

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  25. IDUNNO1983 (4 comments) says:

    What kind of percentage would the Nats need to get in the specials to MAINTAIN 60 seats?

    What kind of percentage would the Nats need to get in the specials to INCREASE to 61 seats?

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  26. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    “The Maori Party favours partial asset sales so Labour winning Te Tai Tonga has little or no impact on that issue.”

    I don’t think they do, but will accept it, most likely, in order to be in government. I don’t think it’s a dealbreaker by any means, but they are not in favour of it per se.

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  27. flipper (3,940 comments) says:

    Key electorates…..
    Specials are as follows: Ch Ch Central 3717, Akld Central 6660, Waimakariri 2446, Waitakere … 3413, Epsom 5692, Ohariu 2306 and Wton Central 5446.

    Any reason to believe they will not split the same way as the ordinary counted votes?

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  28. Someone Else (140 comments) says:

    National’s website is down. WTF?

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  29. emmess (1,418 comments) says:

    According to this
    http://blog.theyworkforyou.co.nz/post/62923022/overseas-special-votes-party-vote-split-nz-election
    Both National and the Greens got substantially more last time.
    Also, I noticed that when the count was about 90% National’s seat count dropped from 61 to 60 but Greens had been sitting of 13 for most of the night, so my question is how close are National to going up again at the expense of probably Labour?

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  30. alwyn (410 comments) says:

    flipper @9.56
    The number of special votes you list are not those FOR an electorate. They are the number of votes cast IN an electorate and could be for any electorate at all.
    Even the (former?) Labour MP Carmel Sepuloni doesn’t seem to understand that. She is quoted in the Dom/Post this morning as being hopeful because she says there are 3,400 special votes to count in Waitakere. At the moment nobody has any idea of the number of specials that apply to Waitakere.
    If you look at any of the Maori seats you will see that there are no special votes at all. That is because all the Maori polling place share space with a General electorate and special votes cast are counted as being cast in the General electorate.

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  31. Graeme Edgeler (3,280 comments) says:

    Assuming National retain 60 seats then effective No 61 is Paul Quinn (Hutt South) and No 62 is Paul Foster-Bell (Wellington Central)

    Paul Quinn: the National Party’s Judith Tizard?

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  32. Grizz (586 comments) says:

    I have been looking at the number of special votes cast. In 2008 there were 270000 special votes cast. However only 7.5% of the were ruled invalid (largely because the voter was not enrolled) meaning only 250,000 were accepted. Curiously there were 32,000 overseas votes. Overall special votes in 2008 were just over 11% of all votes casts. However this dipped below 10% after disallowed votes were removed.

    In 2011 there are only 19,000 overseas votes. As National have traditionally done well with overseas votes, will this effect them? If 7.5% of of specials were disallowed this time this would give a total of only 200,000 special votes. The other question is what demographic chose not to cast specials. Was it shared out equally amongst voter groups or will it affect National more than usual or vice versa. There will be some tense people walking around over the next few days.

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  33. Grizz (586 comments) says:

    I suspect many specials are cast by people who are unsure or cannot confirm if they are on the electoral roll. They just rock on up to the polling booth expecting to cast their vote. A good chunk of these have not got their shit together and have not formally enrolled and so are unable to vote. However their validity at the time is unknown and with the validation process of special votes, their vote is subsequently disallowed. Curiously, the three South Auckland electorates have the highest number of disallowed votes.

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  34. jocko (111 comments) says:

    Re the dead heat on the night in Christchurch Central.
    In the seat counts there seems always to be 60. But how is that for a dead heat?
    What are the consequences for the List marginal appointees if Labour hold or National wins that seat.
    Who on respective Party Lists comes in/goes out…disregarding any other effects of the Specials?

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  35. MarkC (2 comments) says:

    @IDUNNO1983: Unlikely that National will pick up another seat. It all depends on how the other party’s share of the special votes changes, but if those stay the same, National would need ~56% of the specials to get another seat.

    There is a 4 way race for the last two MMP seats.

    Labour currently has the 119th seat allocated, and National the 120th seat allocated.

    To calculate which parties get those two seats, calculate this:
    L / 67
    N / 119
    NZF / 17
    G / 27

    Whichever two of those calculations is highest (baring large changes) gets the last two seats.
    Based on the counted election night vote, the numbers are (using 100*%age of the vote):
    L / 67 = 27.13 / 67 = 0.4049
    N / 119 = 47.99 / 119 = 0.4033
    NZF / 17 = 6.81 / 17 = 0.4006
    G / 27 = 10.62 / 27 = 0.3933
    … Labour and National have the last two seats.

    Could NZ First increase their share to 6.86% of the total vote (~7.4% of the specials)?
    L / 67 = 27.11 / 67 = 0.4046
    N / 119 = 47.96 / 119 = 0.4030
    NZF / 17 = 6.86 / 17 = 0.4035
    G / 27 = 10.61 / 27 = 0.3930
    … Labour and NZ First would then have the last two seats (note: higher % votes for NZ First means less % votes for the other parties: their percentages adjusted down slightly).
    National would lose a seat and NS First gain one.

    Could the Greens increase their share to 10.87% of the total vote (~13.3% of the specials)?
    L / 67 = 27.05 / 67 = 0.4037
    N / 119 = 47.85 / 119 = 0.4021
    NZF / 17 = 6.79 / 17 = 0.3994
    G / 27 = 10.87 / 27 = 0.4026
    … Labour and the Greens would then have the last two seats (higher % votes for the Greens means less % votes for the other parties: their percentages adjusted down slightly).
    National would lose one seat and the Greens gain one seat.

    Probably Labour will keep the 119th seat, but if National do well in the specials and Labour not so well, they could swap places and it might be Labour losing the 120th seat to NZ First or to the Greens.

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  36. Grizz (586 comments) says:

    Re Jocko,

    These are just preliminary results. All votes will be scrutanised to attest their validity and make sure people did not vote twice etc. If there is still just a handful in it after specials are counted, there will be a recount or two. If it still remains tight the validity of some of the votes cast may be tested in front of a judge. After all legal avenues have been exhausted and the next election has not come along and there is a tie, a believe there is a coin toss (well maybe best of 3, no 5, you get the drift). In some jurisdictions there are far more interesting methods to sort out a dead heat, such as a game of poker. I favour good old fashioned porridge wrestling.

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  37. MarkC (2 comments) says:

    If the specials go somewhat like the 2008 election, then I think this is most likely:

    L / 67 = 27.3 / 67 = 0.4075
    N / 119 = 47.5 / 119 = 0.3992
    NZF / 17 = 6.6 / 17 = 0.3882
    G / 27 = 11.0 / 27 = 0.4074

    Result: The Greens comfortably get another seat and National loses one seat.

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