Bill and Ben Party

Last updated
Bill and Ben
LeaderBen Boyce and Jamie Linehan
Dissolved29 April 2010 (2010-04-29)
Ideology Joke political party
ColoursDark green

The Bill and Ben Party was a New Zealand joke political party formed in 2008 and voluntarily deregistered in 2010. The party's leaders were Jamie Linehan and Ben Boyce ("Bill" and Ben) of the TV3 satirical sports show Pulp Sport . In the 2008 general election the party secured 0.56% of the vote, outpolling every other party not in parliament prior to the election (New Zealand First, a party in parliament prior to the election, failed to gain representation in the subsequent parliament). [1] It gained the ninth-highest number of votes out of the 19 parties standing for election.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country has two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. It has a total land area of 268,000 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi). New Zealand is about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, and its most populous city is Auckland.

Ben Boyce is a New Zealand television personality best known as the host of TV shows Pulp Sport, WANNA-BEn and Jono and Ben on TV3. He was also the co-founder of New Zealand political party the Bill and Ben Party, which ran for government in the 2008 New Zealand general election and received over 13,000 votes, making it New Zealand's 9th most popular political party.

<i>Pulp Sport</i>

Pulp Sport was a New Zealand television show that mixed sport with various styles of comedy. The hosts Jamie Linehan and Ben Boyce acted under their respective pseudonyms Bill and Ben, performing a half hour of various sports based skits. They were usually accompanied by an anthropomorphic fox mascot.


As a joke political party, it shared a rich and varied heritage with the former McGillicuddy Serious Party and Imperial British Conservative Party, both humorous political entities that contested New Zealand general elections from the 1970s until the late 1990s.

McGillicuddy Serious Party

The McGillicuddy Serious Party (McGSP) was a satirical political party in New Zealand in the late 20th century. Between 1984 and 1999, it provided "colour" to ensure that citizens not take the political process too seriously. The party's logo, the head of a medieval court jester, indicated its status as a joke party.

The Imperial British Conservative Party was a farcical political party founded by The Wizard of New Zealand. It was dedicated to the grand traditions of British Imperialism in the face of capitalism, globalisation and the distinct lack of culture in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Elections in New Zealand

New Zealand is a representative democracy. Members of the unicameral New Zealand Parliament gain their seats through nationwide general elections, or in by-elections. General elections are usually held every three years; they may be held at an earlier date at the discretion of the Prime Minister, although it usually only happens in the event of a vote of no confidence or other exceptional circumstances. A by-election is held to fill a vacancy arising during a parliamentary term. The most recent general election took place on 23 September 2017.

On 1 July 2008 the party applied for registration with the Electoral Commission, which would allow it to contest the party vote. [2] The party was registered by the Electoral Commission on 29 July 2008. [3] On 31 July 2008 the party applied to register a logo with the Electoral Commission. [4]

The party states that it managed to secure its required 500 members for Electoral Act registration after locating the requisite number of inebriated university students outside a student drinking establishment. [5]

2008 general election

For the 2008 general election, the party chose not to apply for the $10,000 in advertising money that all political parties are entitled to. It felt this was a waste of taxpayer's money, and self-funded its advertising. This also meant that it did not qualify for a TVNZ Political Party Opening Address.

It stood on a "no policies, no promises, no disappointment" platform and had the slogan "We're putting the party back in political party". It is understood New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters took exception to one of its election signs, which used the phrase "C'mon, you voted Winston in". [6]

Winston Peters New Zealand politician

Winston Raymond Peters is a New Zealand politician who has served since 2017 as the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was previously Deputy Prime Minister from 1996 to 1998. Peters has led the populist New Zealand First party since its foundation in 1993. He has been a Member of Parliament since 2011, having previously served from 1979 to 1981 and 1984 to 2008.

In the election on 8 November, the party secured 13,016 votes (0.56% of votes), [7] allowing a refund of the $1000 party registration fee. It put the money on the bar in Invercargill as it received more votes from there than anywhere else.[ citation needed ]

Even though it was a joke political party, it out-polled all but one party (New Zealand First) that did not gain representation in the last election, including every other new party: the New Zealand Pacific Party, The Kiwi Party, The Family Party, the Workers Party and the Residents Action Movement. It gained the ninth-highest number of votes out of the 19 parties in the election, and would have earned a seat if there had been no electoral threshold. [8] It spent NZ$3,777 on advertising, $0.29 per vote, making it the most effective party in terms of dollars per vote. [9]

Due to the way that mixed member proportional representation works, had the party crossed the minimum 5% threshold required to be admitted to parliament without an electorate seat, the total number of MPs would have been reduced by about four (an "underhang"). This is because 5% of the vote would entitle it to approximately six MPs but it had only two candidates (Bill and Ben) on its party list. [10] However, the underhang would have partially been cancelled out by the Māori Party's overhang, having won five electorate seats when entitled to only three by the party vote.

2009 Mount Albert by-election

Ben stood in the Mount Albert by-election on 13 June 2009 and secured 151 votes (0.76% of the vote), coming fifth. [7] This is an improvement on the 0.38% party vote obtained in Mt Albert at the 2008 election. He out-polled the candidate from United Future New Zealand, a former MP, and every other micro party and independent candidate, including the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and The Kiwi Party.


On 17 March 2010 the party applied to the Electoral Commission to be deregistered, [11] which took effect on 29 April 2010. [12]

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  2. "Applications to register parties and a party logo". New Zealand Electoral Commission. 2008-07-01. Archived from the original on 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  3. "Electoral Commission meeting summary". New Zealand Electoral Commission. 2008-07-29. Archived from the original on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-07-29.
  4. "Applications to register a party and a party logo". New Zealand Electoral Commission. 2008-07-31. Archived from the original on 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  5. "Bill and Ben putting 'party' into party". New Zealand Herald. 2008-08-11. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  6. Glucina, Rachel (31 October 2008). "Putting the party back into political party". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  7. 1 2 Chief Electoral Office: Official Count Results: Overall Status Archived February 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. "Election Results -- Overall Status". Chief Electoral Office. November 2008. Archived from the original on February 9, 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  10. "There's one reason to support the flower pot men". 2008-11-04. Archived from the original on 2008-11-07. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  11. "Application to cancel registration of political party and logo". New Zealand Electoral Commission. 2010-03-17. Archived from the original on 2010-05-22. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  12. "Amendments to the Registers of Political Parties and Logos". New Zealand Electoral Commission. 2010-04-29. Archived from the original on 2010-05-14. Retrieved 2010-04-29.