Rating the election nights

Regardless of what Winston decides, 2017 was a great election night for National, as was 2008, 2011 and 2014. That makes four in a row, which is probably not something I’ll see again in my lifetime – certainly not such unequivocal great results.

For a National supporter, prior to 2008, the last decent election night was 1990. 18 years without a decent result.

  • 1993 was technically a win but National blew the biggest majority in history and only held on with a deal for the Speaker’s seat
  • 1996 was a loss that only was redeemed by good coalition negotiations. National only got 34%.
  • 1999 was a change of Government
  • 2002 was the biggest loss ever
  • 2005 was a loss, made bitter by the fact it could have been a victory

So after one decent election night in 18 years, it’s hard to believe National has had four great ones in a row.

  • 2008 – stormed into Government (on 45%) and a National-ACT Government clearly elected on the night. 58 seats.
  • 2011 – increased party vote by 2% and 59 seats. Labour dropped to historic low. A clear National-ACT-United Government elected on the night.
  • 2014 – despite the best efforts of Dotcom and Hager National storms home with 60 MPs (was 61 on the night), Labour drops to an ever lower low.
  • 2017 – National gets 46% and 58 MPs in seeking a 4th term, the same as their first term. Stunning result. And picks up two electorate seats, only losing one.

Again this is highly unusual. Normally election nights will be less clear cut. I doubt we’ll see such a run again.

If I had to rank the four in order, they would be:

  1. 2008 – winning Government, Nikki Kaye won Auckland Central and NZ First knocked out of Parliament
  2. 2014 – won a majority on the night, stunning everyone.
  3. 2017 – despite Jacindamania, a 10% gap over Labour and 58 MPs
  4. 2011 – increased vote for National, but NZ First made it back

Now people may wonder if 2017 will become a dampener, if NZ First does decide to go with a Labour-Green-NZ First Government. And my answer is not really.

Look I’d prefer National to form the Government as I think Bill English is a great Prime Minister and would achieve a lot in another three years. But you have to go into opposition at some stage, and if Winston thinks his provincial and rural supporters wanted Labour and Greens in Government then he can deal with that. National with 56 to 58 MPs would be an incredibly strong opposition.

So while I have a preference for Bill remaining Prime Minister, I wouldn’t lose a lot of sleep if Winston goes with Labour.  In fact from a blogging point of view, it would be a lot more fun. Be a bit of disaster for the country though.

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