What should the MMP threshold be?

In my By the numbers blog at Stuff I look at the issue of what the party vote threshold should be for MMP. I note:

One of the most important issues is what percentage of the vote should a political party need to get, to gain list MPs in Parliament. Currently the threshold is 5 per cent. You can also qualify through winning an electorate seat, but I plan to discuss that issue in a seperate post.

There are basically four options for the threshold. They are to:

  • (A) – Increase it
  • (B) – Keep it at 5%
  • (C) – Reduce it
  • (D) – Abolish it
In general terms, the higher the threshold, the fewer parties will be in Parliament, and fewer parties will be needed to form a government. The lower the threshold, the more parties there will be in Parliament, and more parties will be need to agree to form a government. Also the higher the threshold, the more wasted votes you get.
Over at Stuff I look at what would have been the impact on the last six elections, based on the scenarios of a 7% threshold, a 4% threshold and no threshold.

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