2005 New Zealand general election
All 120 seats (plus 1 overhang seat) in the New Zealand House of Representatives
61 seats were needed for a majority
|Turnout||2,304,005 (80.92%) 3.94%|
Results for the election.
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The 2005 New Zealand general election on Saturday 17 September 2005 determined the membership of the 48th New Zealand Parliament. One hundred and twenty-one MPs were elected to the New Zealand House of Representatives: 69 from single-member electorates, including one overhang seat, and 52 from party lists (one extra due to the overhang).
No party won a majority, but the Labour Party of Prime Minister Helen Clark secured two more seats than nearest rival, the National Party of Dr Don Brash. With the exception of the newly formed Māori Party, which took four Māori electorates from Labour, most of the other parties polled lower than in the previous election, losing votes and seats.
Brash deferred conceding defeat until 1 October, when National's election-night 49 seats fell to 48 after special votes were counted. The official count increased the Māori Party share of the party vote above 2%, entitling them to three rather than two seats from the party vote. With four electorate seats, the election night overhang of two seats was reduced to one, and as National had the 120th seat allocated under the party vote, National lost one list seat (that of Katrina Shanks) that they appeared to have won on election night.
The election was a strong recovery for National which won 21 more seats than at the 2002 election, where it suffered its worst result in its history, and the highest party vote percentage for the party since 1990. Despite its resurgence, National failed to displace Labour as the largest party in Parliament. National's gains apparently came mainly at the expense of smaller parties, while Labour won only two seats less than in 2002.
On 17 October, Clark announced a new coalition agreement that saw the return of her minority government coalition with the Progressive Party, with confidence and supply support from New Zealand First and from United Future. New Zealand First parliamentary leader Winston Peters and United Future parliamentary leader Peter Dunne became ministers of the Crown outside Cabinet, Peters as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dunne as Minister of Revenue. The Green Party which had supported Labour before the election received no cabinet post (see below), but gained several concessions from the coalition on matters such as energy and transport, and agreed to support the government on matters of confidence and supply.
The total votes cast in 2005 was 2,304,005 (2,164,595 & 139,510 Māori). Turnout was 80.92% of those on the rolls, or 77.05% of voting age population. Turnout was higher than in the previous 2002 election (72.5% and 76.98% respectively), and the Māori roll turnout at 67.07% was significantly higher than 2002 (57.5%).
In the election 739 candidates stood, and there were 19 registered parties with party lists. Of the candidates, 525 were electorate and list, 72 were electorate only and 142 were list only. All but 37 represented registered parties (on the list or in the electorate or both). Only 35 candidates from registered parties chose to stand as an electorate candidate only. 71% of candidates (523) were male and 29% (216) female; the same percentages as in 2002.
Labour had achieved a third term in office for the first time since 1943.
|Party||Party vote||Electorate vote||Seats|
|Eligible voters and Turnout||2,847,396||80.92||3.94||2,847,396||80.92||3.94|
The election saw an 81% voter turnout.
The results of the election give a Gallagher index of disproportionality of 1.11.
The table below shows the results of the 2005 general election:
|Unsuccessful: Charles Chauvel1, Lesley Soper1, Louisa Wall1, William Sio1, Brendon Burns, Hamish McCracken, Denise MacKenzie, Max Purnell, Thomas Harpur, Leila Boyle, Dinesh Tailor, Phil Twyford, Jennifer McCutcheon, Chris Yoo, Michael Wood, Linda Hudson, Stuart Nash, Tony Milne, David Talbot, Marilyn Brown, Anjum Rahman, Eamon Daly, Judy Lawley, Michael Mora, Erin Ebborn-Gillespie, Ailian Su, Ghazala Anwar, Paul Gibson, Kelly-Ann Harvey, Camille Nakhid, Ola Kamel, Andrea Bather|
Georgina te Heuheu
|Unsuccessful: Katrina Shanks1, Fepulea'i Aiono, Ravi Musuku, Moira Irving, Mita Harris, Michael Leddy, Conway Powell, David Round, Gilbert Stehbens, Kenneth Yee, Paul Goldsmith, Malcolm Plimmer, Nicola Young, Tim Macindoe, Allison Lomax, Weston Kirton, Rosemarie Thomas|
|New Zealand First||Winston Peters|
|Unsuccessful: Susan Baragwanath, Jim Peters, Dail Jones1, Craig McNair, Edwin Perry, Bill Gudgeon, Brent Catchpole, Joe Williams, John Foote, Fletcher Tabuteau, Alan Heward, Kristin Campbell Smith, Bryan Lundy, David Fowler, Brendan Stewart, Brett Webster, Bob Daw, Murray Strawbridge, Moetu Davis, Toa Greening, David Mackie, Anne Martin, Julian Batchelor, Chis Perry, Lindy Palmer, Brian Roswell, Matua Glen, James Mist, Howard Levarko, Paul Manning, Timothy Manu, Kevin Gardener, Graham Odering|
|Unsuccessful: Nándor Tánczos12, Mike Ward, Catherine Delahunty, Russel Norman1, Steffan Browning, David Clendon, Lucinda Highfield, Jonathan Carapiet, Roland Sapsford, Mojo Mathers, Mikaere Curtis, Paul Bruce, Jeanette Elley, Muamua Strickson-Pua, Richard Davies, Lois Griffiths, Natalie Cutler-Welsh, Jane Pearce, Lawrence O'Halloran, Richard Green, Claire Bleakley, Irene Bentley, Craig Carson, Nicola Harvey, Moea Armstrong, Steve Bayliss, Laura Beck, Sarah Brown, Terence Creighton, John Davis, Katherine Dewar, James Diack, Ruth Earth, Kathryn Elsen, Graham Evans, Nicholas Fisher, Robert Guyton, Daniel Howard, Philippa Jamieson, Stephen Lee, Alan Liefting, Mary McCammon, John Milnes, Michael Morris, Noel Peterson, Paul Qualtrough, Jacob Rawls, Raewyn Saville, Ian Stephens, Richard Suggate, Peter Thomlinson|
|Māori||Unsuccessful: Atareta Poananga, Simon Wi Rutene, Glenis Philip-Barbara, Robert Consedine, Pakake Winiata, Te Whiti Love, Angeline Greensill, William Maea, Monte Ohia, Te Orohi Paul, Bronwyn Yates, Charles Joe, Teremoananuiakiwa Tahere, Malcolm Peri, Anthony Ruakere, Ratapu Te Awa, Brett Cowan, Josephine Peita, Anne Fitzsimon, Abraham Hepi, Ngahiwi Tomoana, Tureiti Moxon, Aroha Reriti-Crofts, John Harré, Rangi McLean, Tell Kuka, Bill Puru, Mere Rawiri-Tau, Richard Orzecki, Maraea Ropata, Robert Hosking, Daryl Gregory, Rangi Tawhiao, Andre Meihana, Solomon Matthews, Adell Dick, Georgina Haremate-Crawford, Raewyn Harrison, Cecilia Hotene, Alice Hudson, Reimana Johnson, Rahuia Kapa, David King, Aaron Makutu, Kelvin Martin, Merehora Taurua, Frances Waaka, Henrietta Walker|
|United Future||Judy Turner|
|Unsuccessful: Marc Alexander, Larry Baldock, Murray Smith, Paul Check, Janet Tuck, Bernie Ogilvy, Graeme Reeves, Russell Judd, Hannah Baral, Joy Lietze, Neville Wilson, Richard Barter, Stephen Taylor, Ian McInnes, Ross Tizard, Fiona McKenzie, Andrew Barr, John Walker, Ram Parkash, Ralph Kennard, Jayati Prasad, Vanessa Roberts, Gerald Telford, Robin Loomes, Robyn Jackson, Anthony Gordon, Gregory Graydon, Martyn Seddon, Bernard McClelland, Beth Stone, Robin Westley, Rosemary Drake, Gordon Hinton, Michael Satur, Diane Brown, Steven Dromgool, Andrea Deeth, Mark Peters, Mary Moffat, Dennis Wells, Milton Osborne, Garry Pedersen, William Pickering, Adam Archer, Neil Linscott, Barry Hayes, Janita Stuart, Dianne Wilson, James Rudd, Peter Mountain, Stuart Robertson, John van Buren, Jeffrey Leigh, Matthew Collier
|Unsuccessful: Muriel Newman, Stephen Franks, Graham Scott, Ken Shirley, Kenneth Wang, Gerry Eckhoff, Lindsay Mitchell, Bronwyn Jacobsen, Simon Ewing-Jarvie, Jo Giles, Willie Martin, David Olsen, Hamish Stevens, Andrew Jollands, Hardev Singh Brar, Lech Beltowski, Ian Beker, Christopher Brown, Kevin Gill, John Waugh, Dianne Dawson, Kevin Murray, Stephen Langford-Tebby, Gavin Middleton, John Fraser, Frances Denz, Elizabeth Barkla, Nigel Chetty, Scott Clune, Michael Collins, Tetauru Emile, Andrew Falloon, Michael Heine, Kerry O'Connor, David Seymour, Helen Simpson, Philip White, Alan Wilden, Andrew Stone, Barbara Steinijans, John Riddell, Carl Peterson, Andre Peters, Julie Pepper, Thomas McClelland, Alexander Mann, Michelle Lorenz, Nigel Kearney, Nicholas Kearney, Mark Davies, Stephen Cox, Raymond Bassett, Brian Davidson, Rebekah Holdaway, Shirley Marshall, Patrick O'Sullivan, Garry Mallett|
|Progressive||Unsuccessful: Matt Robson, Grant Gillon, Megan Woods, John Wright, Sione Fonua, Vivienne Shepherd, Ngov Ly, Fatima Ashrafi, Barry Wilson, Fale Leleisiuao, Russell Franklin, Paula Gillon, Philip Clearwater, Trevor Barnard, Raghbir Singh, Brenda Hill, Fiona Beazley, Russell Caldwell, David Reeks, John Maurice, Seyed Kazemi Yazdi, Heka Heker, Veronique Stewart-Ward, Zemin Zhang, Julian Aaron, Sukerna Amirapu, Annette Anderson, Sukhdev Bains, Peter Banks, James Boyack, Ian Donald, Lewis Holland, Karandeep Lall, Jacqueline McAlpine, Claire Main, Philippa Main, James Palmer, Max Panirau, David Parkyn, Elizabeth Patchett, Talatala Po'e, Pavitra Roy, Elspeth Sandys, Anthony Sharrock, Barry Silcock, Karen Silcock, David Somerset, Petronella Townsend, Martin Vaughan, Jennifer Wilson|
|Destiny||Unsuccessful: Richard Lewis, David Jesze, Elaine Herbert, Hayden Solomon, Nigel Heslop, Etuate Saafi, Anita Breach, Charles Te Kowhai, David Knight, Hawea Vercoe, Neils Jensen, Sophie Hemahema-Tamati, Rodney Gabb, James Te Wano, Stephen Sinnott, Frances Williamson, Kerin Roberts, Peter Johnston, John Kotoisuva, Karen Penney, Colin Ranby, Tala Leiasamaivao, Paul Hubble, Roberta Maxwell, Tony Harrison, David Daglish, Jason Thomson, Maru Samuel, Stephen Brown, William Sadler, Patrick Morton, Ned So'e, David Isaachsen, Mason Lee, Stanley Green, Patrick Komene, Anthony Ford, Maureen Vincent, Albert Wipani, Brian Ane, Tauha Te Kani, Douglas Keven|
|Legalise Cannabis||Unsuccessful: Michael Appleby, Michael Britnell, Judy Daniels, Paula Lambert, Irinka Britnell, Kevin O'Connell, Paul McMullan, Steven Wilkinson, Judy Matangi, Jason Baker-Sherman, Peter Green, Neville Yates, Phillip Pophristoff|
|Christian Heritage||Unsuccessful: Ewen McQueen, Derek Blight, Nicholas Barber, Betty Jenkins, Mark Jones, Joy Jones|
|Alliance||Unsuccessful: Jill Ovens, Paul Piesse, Andrew McKenzie, Julie Fairey, Kane O'Connell, Leonard Richards, Jim Flynn, Victor Billot, Margaret Jeune, Robert van Ruyssevelt, Thomas Dowie, Christopher Ford, Quentin Findlay, Kelly Buchanan, Joseph Hendren, Gail Marmont, Alexander Protheroe, Gregory Kleis, Sandra Ethell, Colin Pounder, Robert Harrison, Peta Knibb, Marvin Hubbard, Shirley Haslemore, Norman MacRitchie, Eric Gamble, Lynda Boyd, Jocelyn Brooks, Nicholas Corlett, Nicolas Scullin|
|Family Rights Protection||Unsuccessful: Tafe Williams, Tapu Po-Wihongi, Christine Reid, Lale Ene-Ulugia, John Ulberg, Anne Kerisome Zekaria Strickland, Siniva Papali'i, Amelia Fepulea'i, Tangata Greig, Te Paeru Browne-Knowles, Papali'i Malietoa, Edward Ulberg, Etevise Fuiava, Souvenir Sanerivi, Manogitulua Livapulu-Head, Kearlene Ulberg, Christie Greig, Rafaele Vaifale|
|Democrats for Social Credit||Unsuccessful: Stephnie de Ruyter, John Pemberton, David Wilson, Richard Prosser, John Steemson, Katherine Ransom, John Kilbride, Graham Atkin, Heather Smith, David Tranter, Edgar Goodhue, Malcolm Murchie, Ross Weddell, David Espin, Ross Hayward, Bruce Stirling, Karl Hewlett, Ronald England, Kelly Pemberton, Robert Warren, David Wood, Mary Weddell, Allen Cookson, Barry Pulford, Hessel van Wieren, Alida Steemson, Edward Fox, Coralie Leyland, John Rawson|
|Libertarianz||Unsuccessful: Bernard Darnton, Julian Pistorius, Timothy Wikiriwhi, Susan Ryder, Peter Cresswell, Colin Cross, Helen Hughes, Russell Watkins, Peter Linton, Michael Webber, Robin Thomsen, Philip Howison, Michael Murphy, Faustina White, Andrew Bates, Richard Goode, Luke Howison, Christopher Robertson, Peter Osborne, Barry Cole, Donald Rowberry, Willem Verhoeven, Elliot Smith, Nikolas Haden, Terence Verhoeven, Keith Patterson, Kenneth Riddle, Robert Palmer|
|Direct Democracy||Unsuccessful: Kelvyn Alp, Paul Teio, Dilip Rupa, Patrick Fahy, Michael Francis-Roberson, Simon Guy, Gary Burch, Kevin Smith, Kevin Moore, Kyle Chapman, Rex Newey, Gregory Trichon, Alona Covich, Eugene Opai, Seira Perese, Tin Yau Chan, Helen Koster, Craig Stratton, Alastair Anderson, Anton Foljambe, Robert T Atack, Leanne Martinovich, Grant Burch, Howard Ponga, Edward Sullivan, Colin Punter, Mel Whaanga, Jason Anderson, Jason Orme, Barry Scott, Scott Burch, Craig Guy|
|99MP||Unsuccessful: Margaret Robertson, Ramasmy Ramanathan|
|One NZ||Unsuccessful: Ian Brougham, Richard Fisher, James White, John Porter, Janet Walters, Lanya Murray|
|Republic of NZ||Unsuccessful: Kerry James, Wayne Hawkins, Debra Potroz, Jack Gielen, Steven Hart, Gilbert Parker|
- These party list members later entered parliament in the term as other list MPs elected resigned from parliament.
- These party list members later resigned during the parliamentary term.
Changes during parliamentary term
2005 New Zealand general election - changes during the term parliamentary term
|Party||New MP||Term started||Seat||Previous MP|
|Green||Nándor Tánczos||6 November 2005||List||Rod Donald1|
|Labour||Charles Chauvel||1 August 2006||List||Jim Sutton|
|National||Katrina Shanks||7 February 2007||List||Don Brash|
|Labour||Lesley Soper||15 February 2007||List||Georgina Beyer|
|NZ First||Dail Jones||15 February 2008||List||Brian Donnelly2|
|Labour||Louisa Wall||4 March 2008||List||Ann Hartley|
|Labour||William Sio||29 March 2008||List||Dianne Yates|
|Green||Russel Norman||26 June 2008||List||Nándor Tánczos|
|National||(vacant)||31 August 2008||Rakaia||Brian Connell3|
1 Rod Donald died before being sworn in as MP.
Taito Phillip Field, Labour MP for Māngere, quit the Labour party after being threatened with expulsion on 16 February 2007. He continued to serve as an MP, and formed the New Zealand Pacific Party in January 2008.
Party vote by electorate
Analysis of results
Going into the election, Labour had assurances of support from the Greens (six seats in 2005, down three from 2002) and from the Progressives (one seat, down one). This three-party bloc won 57 seats, leaving Clark four seats short of the 61 seats needed for a majority in the 121-seat Parliament (decreased from the expected 122 because the final results gave the Māori Party only one overhang seat, after it appeared to win two overhang seats on election night). On 5 October the Māori Party began a series of hui to decide whom to support. That same day reports emerged that a meeting between Helen Clark and Māori co-leader Tariana Turia on 3 October had already ruled out a formal coalition between Labour and the Māori Party. Māori Party representatives also held discussions with National representatives, but most New Zealanders thought the Māori Party more likely to give confidence-supply support to a Labour-dominated government because its supporters apparently heavily backed Labour in the party vote.
Had Turia and her co-leader Pita Sharples opted to join a Labour-Progressive-Green coalition, Clark would have had sufficient support to govern with support from a grouping of four parties (Labour, Green, Māori and Progressive). Without the Māori Party, Labour needed the support of New Zealand First (seven seats, down six) and United Future (three seats, down five) to form a government. New Zealand First said it would support (or at least abstain from opposing in confidence-motions) the party with the most seats. Clark sought from New Zealand First a positive commitment rather than abstention. United Future, which had supported the previous Labour-Progressive minority government in confidence and supply, said it would talk first to the party with the most seats about support or coalition. Both New Zealand First and United Future said they would not support a Labour-led coalition which included Greens in Cabinet posts. However, United Future indicated it could support a government where the Greens gave supply-and-confidence votes.
Brash had only one possible scenario to become Prime Minister: a centre-right coalition with United Future and ACT (two seats, down seven). Given the election results, however, such a coalition would have required the confidence-and-supply votes of both New Zealand First and the Māori Party. This appeared highly unlikely on several counts. New Zealand First's involvement in such a coalition would have run counter to Peters' promise to deal with the biggest party, and Turia and Sharples would have had difficulty in justifying supporting National after their supporters' overwhelming support for Labour in the party vote. Turia and Sharples probably remembered the severe mauling New Zealand First suffered in the 1999 election. (Many of its supporters in 1996 believed they had voted to get rid of National, only to have Peters go into coalition with National; New Zealand First has never really recovered.) Even without this to consider, National had indicated it would abolish the Maori seats if it won power.
The new government as eventually formed consisted of Labour and Progressive in coalition, while New Zealand First and United Future entered agreements of support on confidence and supply motions. In an unprecedented move, Peters and Dunne became Foreign Affairs Minister and Revenue Minister, respectively, but remained outside cabinet and had no obligatory cabinet collective responsibility on votes outside their respective portfolios.
The governing Labour Party retained office at 2002 election. However, its junior coalition partner, the Alliance, lost most of its support after internal conflict and disagreement and failed to win parliamentary representation. Labour formed a coalition with the new Progressive Coalition, formed by former Alliance leader Jim Anderton. The Labour-Progressive coalition then obtained an agreement of support ("confidence and supply") from United Future, enabling it to form a stable minority government. The National Party, Labour's main opponents, suffered a major defeat, winning only 21% of the vote (22.5% of the seats).
The collapse of National's vote led ultimately to the replacement of its Parliamentary party leader Bill English with parliamentary newcomer Don Brash on 28 October 2003. Brash began an aggressive campaign against the Labour-dominated government. A major boost to this campaign came with his "Orewa speech" (27 January 2004), in which he attacked the Labour-dominated government for giving "special treatment" to the Māori population, particularly over the foreshore and seabed controversy. This resulted in a surge of support for the National Party, although most polls indicated that this subsequently subsided. National also announced it would not stand candidates in the Māori electorates, with some smaller parties following suit.
The foreshore-and-seabed controversy also resulted in the establishment of the Māori Party in July 2004. The Māori Party hoped to break Labour's traditional (and then current) dominance in the Māori electorates, just as New Zealand First had done in the 1996 election.
A series of opinion polls published in June 2005 indicated that the National Party had moved ahead of Labour for the first time since June 2004. Commentators speculated that a prominent billboard campaign may have contributed to this. Some said the National Party had peaked too early. The polls released throughout July showed once more an upward trend for Labour, with Labour polling about 6% above National. The release by the National Party of a series of tax-reform proposals in August 2005 appeared to correlate with an increase in its ratings in the polls.
Direct comparisons between the following polls have no statistical validity:
|One News Colmar Brunton||29 August||43%||40%||5%||7%|
|3 News TNS||1 September||39%||41%||6%||6%|
|Herald DigiPoll||2 September||43.4%||39.1%||6.6%||5%|
|Fairfax NZ/ACNeilsen||3 September||41%||44%||<5%||5%|
|One News Colmar Brunton||4 September||38%||46%||4.6%||6%|
|3 News TNS||7 September||45%||36%||5%||7%|
|Herald Digipoll||8 September||40.6%||40.1%||7.1%||5.6%|
|Herald Digipoll||11 September||42.1%||38.5%||5%||6%|
|ACNielsen-Sunday Star-Times||11 September||37%||44%||5%||6%|
|One News Colmar Brunton||11 September||39%||41%||6%||6%|
|Fairfax ACNielsen||14 September||37%||43%||7%||6%|
|3 News TNS||15 September||40.5%||38.7%||6.8%||6.9%|
|TVNZ Colmar Brunton||15 September||38%||41%||5.5%||5.1%|
|Herald Digipoll||16 September||44.6%||37.4%||4.5%||4.6%|
No single political event can explain the significant differences between most of these polls over the period between them. They show either volatility in the electorate and/or flaws in the methods of polling. In the later polls, the issue of National's knowledge of a series of pamphlets (distributed by members of the Exclusive Brethren and attacking the Green and Labour parties) appeared not to have reduced National Party support.
For lists of candidates in the 2005 election see:
Major policy platforms
The Labour Party platform included:
- student loans: writing off interest if the recipient stays in New Zealand
- health: a pledge of extra public-hospital operations
- Treaty of Waitangi: accepting no lodgements for Treaty-claims after 1 September 2008
- increasing rates-rebates
- a "KiwiSaver" program, aimed at getting first homeowners into their own homes
- sponsoring 5,000 new apprenticeships
- increasing community police-force numbers by 250.
- a "Working for Families" tax-relief/benefit programme aimed at lower to middle-income families
The National Party campaigned on the platform of (National Party Press Release):
- taxation: lowering income-tax rates
- removing references to the Treaty of Waitangi from existing legislation; and resolving all treaty claims amicably by 2010
- by 1 April 2006, make student-loan repayments and $5000 of pre-school childcare costs recoupable to mainstream New Zealanders
- "reworking" the New Zealand Resource Management Act 1991 to make development easier
- "removing excessive bureaucracy" in the education system, in particular by overhauling the NCEA, and by re-introducing "bulk funding" of schools
- abolishing early parole for violent criminals. (As of 2005 most prisoners became eligible for parole after serving one-third of their sentence)
- a return to "market rents" for state-housing tenants, including a system of paying housing-subsidies (for the poorest tenants) directly to private landlords
- increase Nationwide Maths and English standards
- welfare Reform - reduce the waste of having 300,000 working age New Zealand adults on benefits and to ensure all of those on benefits really need the help
- a "work-for-the-dole" scheme
- abolishing the Maori electorates
Postal voting for New Zealanders abroad began on 31 August. Ballot voting took place on Saturday 17 September, from 9 am to 7 pm. The Chief Electoral Office released a provisional result at 12:05 am on 18 September.
New Zealand operates on a system whereby the Electoral Commission allocates funding for advertising on television and on radio. Parties must use their own money for all other forms of advertising, but may not use any of their own money for television or radio advertising.
*Must register for funding
Police investigated six political parties for alleged breaches of election-spending rules relating to the 2005 election, but brought no prosecutions, determining that "there was insufficient evidence to indicate that an offence under s214b of the Electoral Act had been committed."
The Auditor-General has also investigated publicly funded party-advertising for the 2005 election, with a leaked preliminary finding of much of the spending as unlawful. Observers expected the release of a final report in October 2006.