Tuesday 16 September 2008

New Zealand goes to the polls

In under two months, on November 8th, New Zealand will go to the polls and Helen Clark's Labour will be seeking it's record fourth term in office. Helen Clark is the longest serving leader of her party.

Labour holds 50 of the 121 seats.
David Farrar confirms that Parliament dissolves on Friday 3rd October, just three days before it happens automatically, and Wednesday 8th October is Writ Day which triggers the actual election. All nominations and party lists must be in by Tuesday 14 October. Following the Saturday 8th November election, official results 27 November.
The 49th NZ Parliament will convene no later than 8 January 2009, however will no doubt meet before Christmas.

There is still a massive 250,000 people not enrolled. However, in New Zealand (it's an island off the East coast of Australia) you have to enroll, but it's not mandatory to vote, unlike in Stalinist Queensland. 80% of the enrolled population voted in the 2005 national election. Anyone in prison for more than three years cannot vote, and Kiwis who have been out of the country for more than a year, or citizens who have been away more than three years - like me - cannot vote.
The governing Labour party is 18 points behind the main opposition National party, at 35%. The Nats are on 53%. The latest TV One/Colmar Brunton poll also has the Greens at 5; Act 2; NZ First 1.8%. Clark holds 31% as preferred Prime Minister, while National's John Key is at 40%.
It seems, following months of focus on what will probably be illegal donations to Labour's coalition partner New Zealand First, that no major party will want to touch them in a deal after November.

No comments: