The final results are in, and the Maori Party has gained an extra seat at the expense of National. The actual effect is to reduce their overhang, so Parliament reduces from 122 to 121 with National losing a seat.
Commisserations to Katrina Shanks who was an MP-elect for two weeks. It must be gutting to be so close, and a real shame Wellington have a third National MP.
Also commisserations to Nandor who didn’te make it back, as many were picking.
No changes to electorates on specials with small majorities increasing a bit. Clarkson beat Peters by 730 in the end. A great result.
So Parliament is now:
NZ First 7
United Future 3
61 seats is a Government as that would make votes 61 to 60. Even if National could get NZ First and United Future to support them that is only 60/121 so Helen Clark will be forming the Government, and I expect very soon.
Labour/Progressive is 51 seats. Add on chief poodles the Greens on supply and confidence and they have 57 seats.
Now if NZ First do abstain then each s&c vote will have 114 votes and need 58 votes to pass. They are still one short. So they do need Maori Party or United Future to formally pledge support. Helen will not be pleased it was Maori Party instead of Greens or Labour who picked up a seat off National. Either Maori Party will also abstain on s&c votes (meaning one then needs 56 votes out of 110) or either they or United Future will agree to vote for the Government.
Goes without saying that Winston is quite capable of changing his mind on supply and confidence abstentions. Relying on Winston to stay in office is always a bad thing.
Now actually passing legislation is another issue. NZ First will not abstain on that. You need 61 votes so ways Labour can pass votes (on bills National and ACT opposse) is:
Labour/Prog/Green/Maori = 61
Labour/Prog/Green/NZF = 64
Labour/Prog/NZF/Maori = 62
Labour/Prog/NZF/UFNZ = 61
Basically Labour/Prog always need either Greens or NZ First to vote with them. They are stuck if they can’t get ooe of those two. If they can get both they are sweet.
NZ First is slightly mopre valuable than the Greens. With NZF in favour you can make 61 with UFNZ”s three seats. But if you only have the Greens, then you need the Maori Party four seats as the three from UFNZ is not enough.
So what does Clark have to do. Well if I was her I would sign up United Future on supply and confidence and have NZ First and Maori Party abstain.
Then for actual bills, you need to either get Greens and Maori Party to both vote for them (stuff like handing money out) or you need NZ First and United Future (stuff like tougher law & order).