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New Zealand 'kingmaker' starts coalition talks with National, Labour

08 October 2017, 01:18 | Kristopher Drake

New Zealand 'kingmaker' starts coalition talks with National, Labour

Special vote breakdown: The highest number ever saw Labour rise from past slump

Since the preliminary results National lost two seats to the Labour-Green bloc - an increase which Labour leader Jacinda Ardern believes will keep their position at the negotiating table afloat.

New Zealand's major political parties will be meeting on Sunday, with the small nationalist party that holds the balance of power after the September 23 election expected to hold talks about the formation of the next government.

New Zealand has adopted a Mixed Member voting system, which gives voters two votes: one for a political party and one for their local electorate MP. She will also strengthen Labour's presence in the Bay of Plenty.

A National/NZ First government would have 65 seats, while a Labour/Greens/NZ First government would have 63 seats.

Meanwhile, the turnout as a percentage of enrolled electors was 79.8 percent, the highest since 2005, while the final enrolment rate is 92.4 percent.

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

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Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said her alliance's two extra seats improved its position in negotiations with New Zealand First. "The results released today push us closer towards the change of government that so many New Zealanders want", said Shaw.

61 seats are required for a majority in the NZ parliament and while the results aren't made official until 12 Oct at least the parties know where/how they stand now. "Not since 1969 has the National party finished ahead of the Labour opposition at four successive elections, and I want to thank everyone involved in this historic achievement".

This is the third time Peters, 72, has held the balance of power after an election and he has previously formed coalitions with both National and Labour. NZ First's 7.2 percent is down from 9 percent in 2014.

The maverick politician has said that he will not make any final decision on which party he will put in the coalition government until the final vote tally is released this Saturday.

He expected coalition negotiations to start "quite soon", as Peters has nominated a deadline of October 12, next Thursday, as the date by which he will choose which way to jump.



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