Next New Zealand general election

Last updated

Next New Zealand general election
Flag of New Zealand.svg
  2020 No later than 13 January 2024

All 120 seats in the House of Representatives
61 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Jacinda Ardern November 2020 (cropped).jpg
Chris Luxon portrait (cropped).jpg
Aotearoa New Zealand Green Leadership 2020.jpg
Leader Jacinda Ardern Christopher Luxon James Shaw
Marama Davidson
Party Labour National Green
Leader since 1 August 2017 30 November 2021 30 May 2015
8 April 2018
Leader's seat Mount Albert Botany List
Last election65 seats, 50.01%33 seats, 25.58%10 seats, 7.86%

David Seymour at ACT Selection Announcement for Leader and Epsom.jpg
Leader David Seymour Debbie Ngarewa-Packer
Rawiri Waititi
Party ACT Māori Party
Leader since4 October 201415 April 2020
28 October 2020
Leader's seat Epsom List
Last election10 seats, 7.58%2 seats, 1.17%

Incumbent Prime Minister

Jacinda Ardern

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.


Parliamentary makeup prior to the next election (as of September 2022
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Labour (64--majority)
National (33)
Green (10)
ACT (10)
Maori (2)
Independent (1) NZ House of Representatives November 2020 Map.png
Parliamentary makeup prior to the next election (as of September 2022)
  Labour (64—majority)
  National (33)
  Green (10)
  ACT (10)
  Māori (2)
  Independent (1)

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. [1]

Electoral system

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. [2] 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. [3]

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. [4] 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. [5]

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. [6]

Election date

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. [7] 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; [8] as a result, the 53rd Parliament must dissolve no later than 20 November 2023. Writs must be issued within seven days, [9] 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), [10] which would be 26 January 2024. Because polling day must be on a Saturday, [10] and ten days is required for the counting of special votes, [11] the last possible date for the next election to be held is 13 January 2024. [12]

However, it is expected that the next election will be held in late 2023. [13] [14] 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. [15]

Parties and candidates

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. [16] 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. [17]

Since the 2020 election, four parties have been deregistered: Mana on 5 May 2021, [18] Advance New Zealand on 19 August 2021, [19] Sustainable NZ on 15 December 2021, [20] and New Zealand TEA Party on 21 September 2022. [21]

PartyLeader(s)FoundedIdeology2020 result2020 seats
Labour Jacinda Ardern 1916 Social democracy 50.01%65
National Christopher Luxon 1936 Conservatism 25.58%33
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 Johnston2011 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 Cawood2020 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
Heartland Mark Ball 2020 Agrarianism 0.03%0
DemocracyNZ Matt King 2022Anti-vaccine mandate

MPs not standing for re-election

NamePartyElectorate/List Term in officeDate announced
Jacqui Dean National Waitaki 2005–present20 May 2022 [22]
David Bennett National List2005–present26 July 2022 [23]
Ian McKelvie National Rangitīkei 2011–present26 July 2022 [23]

MPs standing for re-election as list-only MPs

NamePartyElectorate/List Term in officeDate announcedNotes
Gerry Brownlee National List1996–present2 August 2022 [24] Represented Ilam from 1996 until losing at the 2020 election.

Opinion polls

Graph of opinion polls conducted; smoothing is set to span = 0.65 Opinion polling for the 2023 New Zealand election.svg
Graph of opinion polls conducted; smoothing is set to span = 0.65

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.

Seat projections

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. [25]

SourceSeats in Parliament [lower-roman 1] Likely
Taxpayers' Union–Curia [26]
2–11 Oct 2022 poll
45519123120National–ACT (63)
Roy Morgan Research [27]
Sep 2022 poll
384616164120National–ACT (62)
1 News–Kantar Public [28]
17–21 Sep 2022 poll
454912122120National–ACT (61)
2020 result [29]
17 Oct 2020 election
653310102120Labour (65)
  1. Forecasted seats are calculated using the Electoral Commission's MMP seat allocation calculator, based on polling results.

See also

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