All 120 seats in the House of Representatives
61 seats needed for a majority
The next New Zealand general election to determine the composition of the 54th Parliament of New Zealand will be held no later than 13 January 2024, after the currently elected 53rd Parliament is dissolved or expires.
Voters will elect 120 members to the unicameral New Zealand House of Representatives under the mixed-member proportional (MMP) voting system, a proportional representation system in which 72 members will be elected from single-member electorates and 48 members from closed party lists.
At the 2020 election, the centre-left Labour Party, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, won an outright majority in the House, resulting in the first time under MMP that a party has been able to form a government without needing a coalition. Nonetheless, Labour formed a co-operation agreement with the Green Party. The main opponent to the Labour government is the centre-right National Party, led by Christopher Luxon, along with ACT New Zealand and the Māori Party.
The 2020 election resulted in a majority for the Labour Party, winning 65 seats, allowing them to continue the Sixth Labour Government unrestricted in the 53rd Parliament. Their coalition partner from the 52nd Parliament, New Zealand First, did not receive enough votes to pass the five percent threshold or win in an electorate, kicking them out of Parliament. Confidence and supply partner the Green Party received 10 seats, up two, becoming the first minor party ever to increase their share of the vote following a term in government. In the opposition, the National Party lost 23 seats, giving them a total of 33, and ACT New Zealand went from one seat to ten. The Māori Party won a Māori electorate and gained an additional list seat after losing representation in the 2017 general election.
New Zealand uses a mixed-member proportional (MMP) voting system to elect the House of Representatives. Each voter gets two votes, one for a political party (the party vote) and one for a local candidate (the electorate vote). Political parties that meet the threshold (5% of the party vote or one electorate seat) receive seats in the House in proportion to the percentage of the party vote they receive. 72 of the 120 seats are filled by the MPs elected from the electorates, with the winner in each electorate determined by the first-past-the-post method (i.e. most votes wins). The remaining 48 seats are filled by candidates from each party's closed party list.If a party wins more electorates than seats it is entitled to under the party vote, an overhang results; in this case, the House will add extra seats to cover the overhang.
The political party or party bloc with the majority of the seats in the House forms the Government. Since the introduction of MMP in 1996, no party had won enough votes to win an outright majority of seats, until the landslide 2020 Labour victory, which gave them 65 seats. When no party has commanded a majority, parties have had to negotiate with other parties to form a coalition government or a minority government.Some 2022 polls indicate that the Māori Party could be kingmaker in 2023, being prepared to give a majority to either Labour or National. The Māori Party may not be prepared to be in a coalition with both ACT and National after comments by David Seymour of ACT objecting to "co-governance" with Māori.
With 120, or 121 seats with an overhang of one seat, a party or coalition, such as a minority government with a confidence and supply agreement, requires 61 seats for a majority in Parliament. With two extra overhang seats in Parliament 62 seats would be required, but this has only happened once; in 2008. The Maori Party had two overhang seats in 2008, and one in 2005 and 2011. While other parties have returned to Parliament with less than 5% of the party vote by winning an electorate seat (eg ACT in 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2017), this did not result in overhang seats.
Electorate boundaries for the election will be the same as at the 2020 election, with 65 general electorates (49 in the North Island and 16 in the South Island), and 7 Māori electorates. Boundaries are due to be redrawn in 2024, after the 2023 census.
Unless an early election is called or the election date is set to circumvent holding a by-election, a general election is held every three years.The previous election was held on 17 October 2020.
The governor-general must issue writs for an election within seven days of the expiration or dissolution of the current parliament. Under section 17 of the Constitution Act 1986, parliament expires three years "from the day fixed for the return of the writs issued for the last preceding general election of members of the House of Representatives, and no longer." The writs for the 2020 election were returned on 20 November 2020;as a result, the 53rd Parliament must dissolve no later than 20 November 2023. Writs must be issued within seven days, so the last day for issuance of the writs is 27 November 2023. Writs must be returned within 60 days of their issuance (save for any judicial recount, death of a candidate, or emergency adjournment), which would be 26 January 2024. Because polling day must be on a Saturday, and ten days is required for the counting of special votes, the last possible date for the next election to be held is 13 January 2024.
However, it is expected that the next election will be held in late 2023.Since the 2014 election, the trend has been to hold the election on the second-last Saturday in September (the 2020 election was originally planned for this date but was delayed four weeks due a COVID-19 outbreak in Auckland). If this trend were to continue, the election will be held on Saturday 23 September 2023.
In August 2022, the Electoral Commission began recruitment of electorate managers for the 2023 general election and indicated that the roles would conclude on 3 November 2023.
Political parties registered with the Electoral Commission can contest the general election as a party. To register, parties must have at least 500 financial members, an auditor, and an appropriate party name.A registered party may submit a party list to contest the party vote, and can have a party campaign expenses limit in addition to limits on individual candidates' campaigns. Unregistered parties and independents can contest the electorate vote only.
Since the 2020 election, four parties have been deregistered: Mana on 5 May 2021,Advance New Zealand on 19 August 2021, Sustainable NZ on 15 December 2021, and New Zealand TEA Party on 21 September 2022.
|Party||Leader(s)||Founded||Ideology||2020 result||2020 seats|
|Labour||Jacinda Ardern||1916||Social democracy||50.01%||65|
|Green||Marama Davidson / James Shaw||1990||Green politics, social democracy||7.86%||10|
|ACT||David Seymour||1994||Classical liberalism, conservatism||7.58%||10|
|Māori Party||Debbie Ngarewa-Packer / Rawiri Waititi||2004||Māori rights||1.17%||2|
|NZ First||Winston Peters||1993||Nationalism, populism||2.60%||0|
|Opportunities (TOP)||Raf Manji||2016||Radical centrism, environmentalism||1.51%||0|
|New Conservative||Helen Houghton / Ted Johnston||2011||Conservatism, right-wing populism||1.48%||0|
|Legalise Cannabis||Maki Herbert / Michael Appleby||1996||Cannabis legalisation||0.46%||0|
|ONE||Ian Johnson / Kariana Black / Allan Cawood||2020||Christian fundamentalism||0.28%||0|
|Vision NZ||Hannah Tamaki||2019||Christian nationalism||0.15%||0|
|Outdoors||Sue Grey / Donna Pokere-Phillips||2015||Environmentalism, conspiracism||0.11%||0|
|Social Credit||Chris Leitch||1953||Social credit, economic democracy||0.05%||0|
|DemocracyNZ||Matt King||2022||Anti-vaccine mandate||—||—|
|Name||Party||Electorate/List||Term in office||Date announced|
|Jacqui Dean||National||Waitaki||2005–present||20 May 2022|
|David Bennett||National||List||2005–present||26 July 2022|
|Ian McKelvie||National||Rangitīkei||2011–present||26 July 2022|
|Name||Party||Electorate/List||Term in office||Date announced||Notes|
|Gerry Brownlee||National||List||1996–present||2 August 2022||Represented Ilam from 1996 until losing at the 2020 election.|
Several polling firms have conducted opinion polls during the term of the 53rd New Zealand Parliament (2020–present) for the next general election. The regular polls are the quarterly polls produced by Television New Zealand ( 1 News ) conducted by Kantar Public (formerly known as Colmar Brunton) and Discovery New Zealand ( Newshub ) conducted by Reid Research, along with monthly polls by Roy Morgan Research, and by Curia (Taxpayers' Union). The sample size, margin of error and confidence interval of each poll varies by organisation and date.
The use of mixed-member proportional representation allows ready conversion of a party's support into a party vote percentage and therefore a number of seats in Parliament. Projections generally assume no material change to the electorate seats held by each party (ACT retains Epsom, Greens retain Auckland Central, Māori retains Waiariki, etc.). Parties that do not hold an electorate seat and poll below 5% are assumed to win zero seats.
When determining the scenarios for the overall result, the minimum parties necessary to form majority governments are listed (provided parties have indicated openness to working together). Actual governments formed may include other parties beyond the minimum required for a majority; this happened after the 2014 election, when National only needed one seat from another party to reach a 61-seat majority, but instead chose to form a 64-seat government with Māori, ACT and United Future.
|Source||Seats in Parliament||Likely|
|Taxpayers' Union–Curia |
2–11 Oct 2022 poll
|Roy Morgan Research |
Sep 2022 poll
|1 News–Kantar Public |
17–21 Sep 2022 poll
|2020 result |
17 Oct 2020 election
Electoral reform in New Zealand has, in recent years, become a political issue as major changes have been made to both parliamentary and local government electoral systems.
New Zealand is a representative democracy in which members of the unicameral New Zealand Parliament gain their seats through 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 an electorate vacancy arising during a parliamentary term. The most recent general election took place on 17 October 2020.
The 1996 New Zealand general election was held on 12 October 1996 to determine the composition of the 45th New Zealand Parliament. It was notable for being the first election to be held under the new mixed-member proportional (MMP) electoral system, and produced a parliament considerably more diverse than previous elections. It saw the National Party, led by Jim Bolger, retain its position in government, but only after protracted negotiations with the smaller New Zealand First party to form a coalition. New Zealand First's position as "kingmaker", able to place either of the two major parties into government, was a significant election outcome.
In New Zealand politics, Māori electorates, colloquially known as the Māori seats, are a special category of electorate that give reserved positions to representatives of Māori in the New Zealand Parliament. Every area in New Zealand is covered by both a general and a Māori electorate; as of 2020, there are seven Māori electorates. Since 1967, candidates in Māori electorates have not needed to be Māori themselves, but to register as a voter in the Māori electorates people need to declare that they are of Māori descent.
An electorate or electoral district is a geographical constituency used for electing a member (MP) to the New Zealand Parliament. The size of electorates is determined such that all electorates have approximately the same population.
The New Zealand electoral system has been mixed-member proportional (MMP) since the 1996 election. MMP was introduced following a referendum in 1993. It replaced the first-past-the-post (FPP) system New Zealand had previously used for most of its history. New Zealanders elect their members of parliament (MPs) with two votes. The first vote is for a candidate from an electorate. The second vote is used to elect ranked party lists.
The 2008 New Zealand general election was held on 8 November 2008 to determine the composition of the 49th New Zealand Parliament. The liberal-conservative National Party, headed by its parliamentary leader John Key, won the largest share of votes and seats, ending nine years of government by the social-democratic Labour Party, led by Helen Clark. Key announced a week later that he would lead a National minority government with confidence-and-supply support from the ACT, United Future and Māori parties. The Governor-General swore Key in as New Zealand's 38th Prime Minister on 19 November 2008. This marked the beginning of the Fifth National Government which governed for the next nine years, until the 2017 general election, when a government was formed between the Labour and New Zealand First parties, with support on confidence and supply by the Green Party.
Voting in New Zealand was introduced after colonisation by British settlers. The New Zealand Constitution Act was passed in 1852, and the first parliamentary elections were held the following year.
Te Tai Tokerau is a New Zealand parliamentary Māori electorate that was created out of the Northern Maori electorate ahead of the first Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) election in 1996. It was held first by Tau Henare representing New Zealand First for one term, and then Dover Samuels of the Labour Party for two terms. From 2005 to 2014, it was held by MP Hone Harawira. Initially a member of the Māori Party, Harawira resigned from both the party and then Parliament, causing the 2011 by-election. He was returned under the Mana Party banner in July 2011 and confirmed at the November 2011 general election. In the 2014 election, he was beaten by Labour's Kelvin Davis, ending the representation of the Mana Party in Parliament.
The 49th New Zealand Parliament was elected at the 2008 election. It comprised 122 members, including an overhang of two seats caused by the Māori Party having won two more electorate seats than its share of the party vote would otherwise have given it. The Parliament served from 2008 until the November 2011 election.
The 2011 New Zealand general election took place on Saturday 26 November 2011 to determine the membership of the 50th New Zealand Parliament.
The 2011 New Zealand voting system referendum was a referendum on whether to keep the existing mixed member proportional (MMP) voting system, or to change to another voting system, for electing Members of Parliament to New Zealand's House of Representatives. It was held on 26 November 2011 in conjunction with the 2011 general election.
The 2014 New Zealand general election took place on Saturday 20 September 2014 to determine the membership of the 51st New Zealand Parliament.
The 50th New Zealand Parliament was elected at the 2011 general election. It had 121 members, and was in place from December 2011 until September 2014, followed by the 2014 general election. The first sitting of the 50th Parliament was held on 20 December 2011, where members were sworn in and Lockwood Smith was elected Speaker of the House. This was followed by the speech from the throne on 21 December. John Key continued to lead the Fifth National Government. Following the resignation of Smith, David Carter was elected Speaker.
The 51st New Zealand Parliament was elected at the 2014 general election. This Parliament consists of 121 members and was in place from September 2014 until August 2017, followed by the 2017 New Zealand general election. Following the final vote count John Key was able to continue to lead the Fifth National Government.
The 2017 New Zealand general election took place on Saturday 23 September 2017 to determine the membership of the 52nd New Zealand Parliament. The previous parliament was elected on 20 September 2014 and was officially dissolved on 22 August 2017. Voters elected 120 members to the House of Representatives under New Zealand's mixed-member proportional (MMP) voting system, a proportional representation system in which 71 members were elected from single-member electorates and 49 members were elected from closed party lists. Around 3.57 million people were registered to vote in the election, with 2.63 million (79.8%) turning out. Advance voting proved popular, with 1.24 million votes cast before election day, more than the previous two elections combined.
The 2020 New Zealand general election was held on Saturday 17 October 2020 to determine the composition of the 53rd parliament. Voters elected 120 members to the House of Representatives, 72 from single-member electorates and 48 from closed party lists. Two referendums, one on the personal use of cannabis and one on euthanasia, were also held on the same day. Official results of the election and referendums were released on 6 November.
The 53rd New Zealand Parliament is the current session of Parliament in New Zealand. It opened on 25 November 2020 following the 17 October 2020 general election, and will expire on or before 20 November 2023 to trigger the next election. It consists of 120 members of Parliament (MPs) with five parties represented: the Labour and Green parties, in government, and the National, Māori and ACT parties, in opposition. The Sixth Labour Government has a majority in this Parliament, with Jacinda Ardern as prime minister.
Several polling firms have conducted opinion polls during the term of the 53rd New Zealand Parliament (2020–present) for the next New Zealand general election. The regular polls are the quarterly polls produced by Television New Zealand conducted by Kantar Public and Discovery New Zealand (Newshub) conducted by Reid Research, along with monthly polls by Roy Morgan Research, and by Curia. The sample size, margin of error and confidence interval of each poll varies by organisation and date.