The final election results released on Saturday showed what many pundits picked – that the special votes would go to the centre-left.

It is now possible to look at the overall trend of the election results, and it looks like a substantial shift against the centre-right from 2014.

Michael Appleton, who often blogs on election statistics, says the swing from the Conservatives, United Future, Act and National in 2014 to Labour and the Greens in 2017 is 6.37%.

To put that in perspective, National lost in 1984 with a 2.88% swing against it and Labour lost in 1990 with a 12.82 swing against it.

In 1999 there was a 3.37% swing against National; in 2008 a 7.11% swing against Labour.

 So since 1984, New Zealand Governments have lost power with an average 6.6% swing against them — just slightly more than the swing against the centre-right this election.

POLITIK understands that NZ First has been taking a particular interest in how voting for the two blocs – the centre-right and centre left — has swung over previous elections.

But if it was hoping that study might produce a definitive answer, then the result is probably, not really.

The problem is the disposition of the seats

After the results on Saturday, ACT had one; National, 56; Labour, 46; the Greens, 8 and NZ First 9.


A Government will need a minimum of 61 seats to govern. It would be better to have 62.

Neither bloc can reach that figure without NZ First.

Alternatively NZ First could abstain on confidence and supply votes which would mean that only 56 seats would be needed to govern. Such a move by NZ First would almost certainly force National to do a deal with ACT  to get a more comfortable 57 votes which would appal Winston Peters which is why it is now probably a less likely prospect.

Both main leaders were making their pitch to him after the results were announced.

Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern said: “Today’s result lifts Labour’s final vote to 37 per cent, and the left block of seats to 54.

“The majority of people voted for a change to the status quo.   

“This reinforces the mandate for negotiations to form a stable, durable and progressive Labour-led government, a government I would be proud to lead. “

Prime Minister Bill English said: “Voters had a clear choice at the election between the two major parties that had a realistic prospect of leading the next government. 

“They signalled very clearly that they wanted National to perform that role and we will now get on with the job of trying to give effect to their wishes.”