2011 New Zealand general election
The 2011 New Zealand general election determined the membership of the 50th New Zealand Parliament. A referendum on the voting system was held at the same time as the election, with voters voting by majority to keep the MMP system. The incumbent National Party gained the plurality with 47. 3% of the party vote and 59 seats, two seats short of holding a majority. The opposing Labour Party, led by Phil Goff, lost ground winning 27. 5%. The Green Party won 11. 1%. The Māori Party was reduced from five seats to three.
About 2011 New Zealand general election in brief
The 2011 New Zealand general election determined the membership of the 50th New Zealand Parliament. One hundred and twenty-one MPs were elected to the New Zealand House of Representatives, 70 from single-member electorates, and 51 from party lists including one overhang seat. A referendum on the voting system was held at the same time as the election, with voters voting by majority to keep the MMP system. A total of 3,070,847 people were registered to vote, with over 2 million votes cast and a turnout of 74. 21% – the lowest turnout since 1887. The incumbent National Party gained the plurality with 47. 3% of the party vote and 59 seats, two seats short of holding a majority. The opposing Labour Party, led by Phil Goff, lost ground winning 27. 5%. The Green Party won 11. 1%. The Māori Party was reduced from five seats to three. The election date was set as Saturday 26 November 2011, as predicted by the media. Traditionally, the election date is a closely guarded secret, announced as late as possible. The date follows the tradition of holding the general election on the last Saturday of November unless the schedule is interrupted by a snap election or to circumvent holding a by-election. The Governor-General must issue writs for an election within seven days of the expiration or dissolution of Parliament. The last day for issuance of writs of election was 2 December 2011. Because polling day must be a Saturday, the last possible polling date for the election was 7 January 2012, allowing time for the counting of special votes. The Rugby World Cup 2011 was hosted by New Zealand between 9 September and 23 October 2011, and ruled out all the possible election dates in this period.
The ChristmasNew Year holiday period made the last realistic date of the election Saturday 10 December 2011, with the last working day being 25 November 2011. At the 2008 election, the National Party had 58 seats, the Labour Party 43, the Green Party 9, ACT New Zealand, Progressive Party 5, Mori Party 5 and United Future 1. These gave the National-led government a majority of 16 seats with 69 confidence-and-supply agreements. At this election, National Party leader and Prime Minister John Key announced a confidence and supply arrangement with ACT, the Māoris Party and UnitedFuture to form the Fifth National Government. The opposition parties formally constitute the Labour and Progressive parties, although only the Labour Greens and the Progressives are formally the formal Opposition parties. The Greens and Progressive Party have a formal agreement with the Opposition, but are not committed to support the government. The Labour Party and the Greens have a minor agreement with each other, each with five seats, and each with one each. The National Party and Labour Party have 69 seats in the 122-seat Parliament, with each party having one seat in the opposition, each in the Progressive Party and one in the United Future Party. After the election National reentered intoconfidence and supply agreements with ACT and Unitedfuture to form a minority government with a seven-seat majority.