"National Shifts Gears as New Zealand Veers Right in the 2023 Election"wordpress,politics,NewZealand,election,NationalParty,politicalshift
"National Shifts Gears as New Zealand Veers Right in the 2023 Election"

“National Shifts Gears as New Zealand Veers Right in the 2023 Election”

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National on the night as New Zealand turns right: 2023 election results at a glance

The recently concluded New Zealand election has marked a significant shift in the country’s political landscape, with the National Party emerging as the clear winner. Labour, which won a single-party majority in 2020, has seen its support virtually halve in the 2023 election. The pre-election polls failed to accurately predict the rise in support for National, which, based on provisional results, can form a government with the help of the ACT party, without the need for NZ First. This outcome deviates from the anticipated three-way split.

The election saw the Greens and Te Pāti Māori make significant gains, winning crucial electorate seats. However, these gains came at the expense of Labour, whose electoral support suffered. It should be noted that the counting of special votes is yet to be completed, and Te Pāti Māori’s victories in several electorate seats will lead to an “overhang” effect, necessitating a larger majority to govern. Additionally, a by-election in the Port Waikato electorate on November 25 is expected to be won by National, potentially altering the overall picture before the official result is announced on November 3.

Despite the potential for changes in the final results, the left bloc has lost power, and the right has made a comeback. Chris Hipkins, a member of the Labour Party, conceded that they cannot form a government based on the current numbers.

Big shift in the Māori electorates

One of the notable outcomes of the election was the performance of Te Pāti Māori in the Māori electorates. The party outperformed expectations, defeating established Labour Party figures and winning four out of the seven seats. Of particular significance was the victory of 21-year-old Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke over Nanaia Mahuta, a veteran member of the Labour Party, in the Hauraki-Waikato electorate. Mahuta, who has been representing the electorate since 2008 and has been in parliament since 1996, faced a must-win race after announcing that she would not run on the Labour party list. Labour had won all seven Māori seats in 2017 and six in 2020.

Advance voting

Advance voting has become increasingly popular in New Zealand elections. In 2017, there were 1.24 million votes cast before election day, exceeding the combined total of the previous two elections. This number rose even further in 2020, with 1.97 million people casting their votes early due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the 2023 election, over 1.3 million New Zealanders participated in advance voting, higher than the numbers in 2017 but lower than the record-breaking figures from 2020.

The comeback of Winston Peters

Winston Peters, the leader of the NZ First party, has made a remarkable comeback in the 2023 election. After a disappointing showing in 2020, where his party failed to meet the 5% threshold or win an electorate seat, Peters and his party have now provisionally gained nearly 6.5% of the vote, securing eight seats in parliament. However, given the current results, the National Party will not require the support of NZ First to form a government.

The heart of Wellington goes Green

The urban electorates in Wellington have seen a significant shift towards the left, with wins for the Green Party’s Tamatha Paul in Wellington Central and Julie Anne Genter in Rangotai. Chlöe Swarbrick from the Greens has also retained her seat in Auckland Central. Previously considered Labour strongholds, the Wellington electorates experienced a change in dynamics due to Grant Robertson’s decision to compete as a list-only MP, which opened up the Wellington Central electorate to Tamatha Paul, a current city councillor. Genter, on the other hand, managed to take the seat from outgoing Labour MP Paul Eagle. The Greens also secured sizeable chunks of the party vote in both Wellington Central (36%) and Rangotai (30%).

Overall, the 2023 New Zealand election has produced a significant political shift. The National Party’s success, along with the gains made by Te Pāti Māori and the Greens, marks a change in the country’s political landscape. The upcoming counting of special votes and the by-election in the Port Waikato electorate will likely introduce additional factors and potentially alter the final outcome. Nevertheless, the results indicate a clear turn to the right in New Zealand politics.


"National Shifts Gears as New Zealand Veers Right in the 2023 Election"
<< photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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Edwards Jake

G'day, I'm Jake Edwards, the man on the street. I've been crisscrossing this great country, bringing you the human stories that make Australia what it is. From interviews with local legends to the everyday Aussie battlers, I'm here to tell your stories. So let's yarn, Australia

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