The National Party celebrated a landslide victory this weekend gaining 48.1 percent of the vote and affirming Prime Minister John Key’s mandate to lead the government once more. With 61 seats in parliament the National Party can govern alone, setting a historic precedent since the introduction of the MMP voting system in 1996.
But Key confirmed at a press conference after the election that the political landscape would largely remain the same, and that he had no intentions to change policy plans for the government after the win.
“It’s incredibly important that National stays connected with its supporters and connected with the New Zealand public. I don’t intend to take the party veering off to the right. We’ve held the centre-ground for the last six years.”
When questioned on how the majority win came about, Prime Minister Key referred to the “Moment of Truth” publicity endorsed by the Internet-Mana alliance, causing many voters to shun opposition parties altogether.
“I do think that a lot of middle New Zealand sort of rejected their notion of a group of foreigners looking at having a very heavy influence on an election that is New Zealand’s election.”
The opposition Labour Party barely managed to scrape in 25 percent of the vote, leaving Labour leader David Cunliffe’s future in peril. Cunliffe said that he intended to remain as party leader, but only after a leadership vote confirming this mandate.
The Green Party and New Zealand First also managed to get into parliament occupying considerable seats in the opposition alongside Labour, with New Zealand First gaining a few seats and the Green Party remaining steady, with a minor loss at the polls.
The Conservative Party and the Internet-Mana coalition were the biggest losers of the 2014 elections, as neither managed to send representatives to parliament.
The voter turnout was surprisingly low considering the ambitious elections campaigns across all parties in the run-up to the elections; with only 77.04 percent of the eligible electorate taking to the polls, the numbers were only slightly higher than the record-low participation numbers of 2011.