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Greens Get One And Nats Lose One In Final Election Results

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

By Maggie Tait of NZPA

Wellington, Nov 22 NZPA - The Greens have added a ninth MP to their caucus while National lose one on today's final election results announcement.

There were 270,965 special votes -- that is people who voted in advance, from outside their electorate or overseas.

The results were released by Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden this afternoon.

The Greens picked up about 0.3 percent, or about 70,000, more party votes.

That gives them a ninth MP -- Kennedy Graham. He has been attending Caucus and preparing to become an MP as it was always likely he would make it in. The Greens traditionally do well on special votes.

Likewise, National's Cam Calder will not be too surprised to lose his spot as the 59th National MP.

Dr Graham, adjunct senior fellow at Canterbury School of Law and a senior lecturer at Victoria University, lives in Ilam in Christchurch with wife Marilyn Moir Graham. He is former National MP Doug Graham's brother.

"It's a very exciting moment, and no doubt it only comes once, at least in the sense of being elected in for the first time," he told NZPA.

The result ended two weeks of "suspended animation".

Dr Calder said the most important thing remained for him that National was in government with a healthy majority.

"I'm sanguine. It's always been a possibility that this would be the case," he told NZPA.

He had no indication there would be any openings with current MPs resigning.

"None at all. Que sera sera."

Dr Calder is a medical doctor working in clinical research and he has other interests he will continue with.

"I will continue supporting the National-led Government in whatever way I can and I am confident the policies we have will provide opportunities to all New Zealanders."

No electorate results were changed by the specials or the final recount, but it got very close in a few.

The most marginal seat on election night was New Plymouth, which National's Jonathan Young won by 314 votes over the incumbent, Labour's Harry Duynhoven. That margin was reduced to 105 today.

The next most marginal seat was Waimakariri, held by Labour's sitting MP Clayton Cosgrove by 518 votes over National's Kate Wilkinson. That was reduced to 390 today.

On election night, Labour held Rimutaka by 625 votes. That went up to 753 today, increasing Chris Hipkins majority over National's Richard Whiteside slightly.

The Maori Party hold Te Tai Tonga by a greater majority than on election night at 1049 compared with 684 votes --- Rahui Katene over Labour's Mahara Okeroa.

Labour hold Christchurch Central by 935 (up from 880) votes -- Brendon Burns over Nicky Wagner.

There is a 122-seat Parliament -- an overhang of two because the Maori Party won more electorate seats than was reflected in party vote support.

The final results put National on 44.93 percent support (down from 45.45 on provisional results) giving them 58 seats; Labour 33.99 percent (33.77) and 43 seats; ACT 3.65 percent (3.72) and five seats; Maori Party 2.39 percent (2.24) and five seats; Progressive 0.91 percent (0.93) and one seat; and United Future 0.87 percent (0.89) and one seat.

ACT, Progressive and United Future all gained entry into Parliament through winning an electorate seat.

Percentage of special votes was slightly up this election to 11.4 percent of total votes, compared with 10.8 percent in 2005.

In 2002 the turnout was 77 percent, in 2005 it was 80.9 percent and 2008 down slightly to 79.46 percent.

"The number of people who voted in the 2008 election increased over 2005 but there was also an increase in the number of people enrolled," Mr Peden said.

While 5 percent more people enrolled there was only a 3 percent increase in number voted.

Of special votes, 32,500 were cast overseas and 267,000 were advance votes.

Results must be declared by November 28 and aggrieved parties have until Wednesday November 26 to seek a judicial recount.

Mr Peden said after the last election, 22 cases were referred to police where people voted more than once or for other offences. He did not yet have figures for this year.

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