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Special votes: National loses two seats, one each to Labour, Māori Party

Nov 06, 2020

The National Party has lost another two MPs on the final election result - with Labour and the Māori Party picking up an extra seat each.

Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer has made it into Parliament, bringing the party's MPs to two.

The Electoral Commission declared the official results today, which sees three electorate changes since election night.

The special votes, which are those that are not on the printed electoral roll, or are not taken at a voting place, can be returned and counted up to 10 days after election day.

Results on election night had Labour at 64 seats, National at 35, ACT at 10, the Greens 10 and the Māori Party with a sole electorate seat, but the counting of what was estimated to be nearly 500,000 special votes has delayed final results until today.

Labour's Priyanca Radhakrishnan has won Maungakiekie off National's Denise Lee by 635 votes.

Northland Labour candidate Willow-Jean Prime has beaten National's incumbent Matt King with a majority of 163 votes.

In Whangārei, Labour candidate Emily Henderson has beaten National's Shane Reti by 431 votes, but Reti stays on in Parliament making it in on the list.

All other electorate candidates leading on election night have been confirmed as winning their seats.

Overall seats in Parliament have changed with Labour picking up one - the seat filled by Henderson. National loses two with both Lee and King being tipped out of Parliament.

The Māori Party picks up one more seat, which goes to co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer who comes in on the list.

ACT and the Green Party remain unchanged on 10 seats.

Candidates who lost their seats have until Wednesday to ask for a judicial recount but chief electoral officer Alicia Wrights says in 2014 recounts only led to a change of about 10 to 15 votes.

The final enrolment rate was 94.1 per cent, up from 92.4 per cent in 2017.

Special votes have historically been left-leaning. In 2017 after special votes were counted National lost two seats, Labour lost one, with the Green Party picking up two. In 2014 National lost two seats, with Greens and Labour picking up one each.

The recreational cannabis referendum count was very close before specials as well, but it has not succeeded, although following today's results the numbers narrowed significantly to 50.7 against legalisation and 48.4 percent in favour.


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