How do minor parties do in Government?

I’d be very nervous if I was a minor party about to go into Government. The history of minor parties in Government under MMP has been brutal. Here’s what has happened.

  • 1996 to 1999, NZ First lost 9.1% or two thirds of its support
  • 1999 to 2002, Alliance lost 6.0% or four fifths of its support
  • 2002 to 2005, United Future lost 4.0% or three fifths of its support
  • 2005 to 2008, NZ First lost 1.6% or a quarter of its support
  • 2008 to 2011, ACT lost 2.6% or two thirds of its support

Also the Maori Party has been wiped out.

No minor party in Government has yet survived it, without an electorate seat.

Neither NZ First nor Greens have an electorate seat. No matter who forms the next Government, the prognosis for any minor party in it isn’t great.

Supporting a Government with confidence and supply has not been so lethal though. It is taking up Ministerial roles that does it.

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