By Jamie-Lee Bracken
The fascination over the 2017 general election continues as the fate of New Zealand’s next government lies in the hands of Winston Peters.
Following the general election, which took place on September 23, no government was announced, after neither the National or Labour parties managed to secure enough seats in Parliament to govern under MMP.
The electoral commission has since released the preliminary results for this years’ election.
On election night, National gained 46 per cent of votes giving them 58 seats in Parliament. Labour gained 35.8 per cent of votes, giving them 45 seats. Under MMP, a party needs 61 seats in Parliament to be able to take over as a Government.
At the time of print, the results of the special votes – around 15 per cent of the total vote – had not be returned.
But with those votes likely to see more seats snapped up by the Labour and the Greens, Leader of NZ First, Winston Peters, has found himself as the key player in this election.
National leader, Bill English and Labour leader, Jacinda Ardern will have to cut a deal with Peters to ensure they are the one who ends up in power for the next three years.
To add to the shock of this years’ election, the Maori Party is now out of parliament after the majority of the votes went to Labour not the Maori Party in all seven Maori electorates.
Meanwhile, Gareth Morgan’s, The Opportunities Party, failed to muster up the five per cent needed to make it into Government, securing just over two per cent of the country’s votes.
Voter turnout was up this year from 77.9 per cent in the 2014 election, to 78.8 per cent.