Could 2020 see just two parties left in Parliament?

Julian Lee at Stuff writes:

This year’s election spelled the lowest representation for minor parties in Parliament since MMP was introduced in 1996. The Māori and United Future parties were eliminated and New Zealand’s typically most prominent third party, the , barely crossed the 5 per cent threshold.

Three minor parties have made it to Parliament this year – the lowest number yet. There have been five or six minor parties in Parliament since MMP began in 1996.

This year’s election saw 17 minor party MPs in Parliament – the same number as 1996, when the public was still unsure how the system worked.

Compare that to the 2002 election, when six minor parties took out 41 seats in Parliament, a third of the total number of seats.

Actually there were more than 17 in 1996. The number of MPs from “minor” parties has been:

  • 1996 – 39
  • 1999 – 32
  • 2002 – 41
  • 2005 – 23
  • 2008 – 21
  • 2011 – 28
  • 2014 – 29
  • 2017 – 17

As for the two remaining minor parties, there is no guarantee the Greens will survive the next election given this year’s result, nor is there any guarantee NZ First’s Winston Peters will contest the next election at age 75.

This leaves the potential for a 2020 election without minor parties. A 2020 Parliament of National and Labour.

If NZ First does decide to install a Labour – NZ First Government supported by the Greens, then there has to be a decent chance both NZ First and the Greens could get wiped out in 2020.

Look at what happened to the Alliance after one term in Government. The pressures of having to actually compromise in order to govern tore the party apart.

And as previously blogged 19 of the top 20 seats for NZ First are National held seats and there would be a considerable backlash against them for putting Labour and Greens into power.

So a real upside of NZ First deciding to go with Labour and the Greens, is that both NZ First and Greens could end up being wiped out in 2020.

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