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Tuesday, 21 May 2019 06:41 pm

Polls right – National gets its biggest MMP win

Nov 9th, 2008 | By | Category: Latest News, News

By Paul McBeth and Sandra Dickson

NATIONAL has won the largest share of the party vote since MMP was introduced, as it trounced the Labour Party and looks set to form a coalition government.

In her concession speech, outgoing Prime Minister Helen Clark announced she was stepping down as leader of the Labour Party after a 15-year reign.

She congratulated John Key in his victory, but did not think the coming years in government would be easy with the weakening global economy.

Prime Minister-elect John Key paid tribute to Miss Clark’s concession, and thanked her for contribution to the country.

He told the crowd that New Zealand the potential to excel on the global stage: “This is not as good as it gets.”

Against the backdrop of worldwide economic meltdown, he pledged his government would “support those who cannot support themselves”.

The National Party won more than 45% of the vote, translating to 59 seats in Parliament. The unofficial results are pointing to a coalition government with United Future and the Act Party.

The Labour Party won nearly 34%, or 43 seats. Minister Harry Duynhoven (New Plymouth) and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters (list) were both voted out of Parliament.

National won three marginal seats, and reduced the majorities of a number of safe Labour electorates.

The surprise of the night was the flat support for the Maori Party, which secured five of the seven Maori electorate seats.

Parekura Horomia retained Ikaroa Rawhiti, while Nanaia Mahuta kept Hauraki Waikato, keeping Derek Fox and Angeline Greensill out of Parliament.

Rahui Katene won Te Tai Tonga in a close race with Mahara Okeroa, which unless it is overturned when the special votes come in, means Mr Okeroa is out of Parliament.

Act surprised Otago University Professor Marian Simms with its strong polling that will see five MPs in Parliament, including Sir Roger Douglas’ return, while the Greens’ vote (6.4%) did not reflect in the results, as they increased their MPs from six to eight.

The first media outlet to call the election for National was the Scoop website, which stopped posting after their 9.12pm prediction.

Clint Smith, of the Standard website, says Miss Clark’s announcement was surprising, but “probably the right decision”.

The top contenders for Miss Clark’s spot are David Cunliffe and Phil Goff, with Mr Goff declining to speculate on his chances last night, saying it was up to the Labour caucus.

Professor Simms is not convinced Mr Key’s administration will last more than a term, with the global economic meltdown weighing heavily.

“It will be a rocky road ahead for any government,” she says. “I predict it’s a one-term government.”

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