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Live. Hello, I'm Erin Bell,

this is ABC News 24. Welcome to

our coverage of the New general election. Shortly we'll our coverage of the New Zealand

be bringing you live coverage

of the count from our broadcast

to the ABC's partner TVNZ. We'll also cross

Antony Green who's in Auckland. Well polls are about

to close across New Zealand in a vote tipped to see the centre

right National Party right National Party of Prime

Minister John Key re-elected for its second term. New Zealanders are also voting in a

referendum on the voting system. Voting is not referendum on the country's

compulsory across the Tasman but reporting a good turn but electoral workers are

out. Throughout our coverage we'll out. Throughout our

we'll have analysis from Luke

Malpass from the Centre of

Independent Studies who's with me in the studio. But now as let's go to TVNZ's coverage of

the 2011 New Zealand election. Michael Parkin, recordin Kristy is in Parnell.

purt Dunne in Wellington. Daniel is with United Futures

also have cameras with New Zealand Firt leader Winston

Peters. Here at the sel vision

centre I won't be doing all the talking. Simon is here to take charge of the results. I'll be

keeping you up to date with the

official count. I'll have

referendum and general election

results and I'll be calling on

a cup of experts to help me

make sense of them. What are

you looking for tonight in

particular? It's Do or die time

for three parties ACT, New Zealand

for most is will New Zealand

First make it back to

parliament, will they get over

that 5% threshold. If they do

John Key to form a government. it will make it more tricky for

Probably not enough to shift

things in the end but it will make parliament a more

interesting place. With me is

John Jo Hanson, what's top of your list? Winston John Jo Hanson, what's on the

top of your list? Winston is

the pattern for all that follows tonight, whether he

gets over the hurdle or not.

But in terms of putting it historical context there's

basically been two analogies flowing. One is this is the

flipside of 2002 where we've got one party, one of the major parties facing possible collapse of its vote and of

course Labour is fighting hard

to prevent that from

Anybody with 3 on it for Labour

tonight is good. For me I've

always seen the election as

more akin to 1987 with the

crisis context means that the

incumbent government is going

have done a competent job and so that's - I'm looking at

those two analogies. Plenty of

big issues and we'll be

drilling down into some of the

small ones, Mark. That's right small ones,

and as the vote count gathered

speed we'll be looking for

numbers analyst. What will you expert analysis. Richard is our

be looking for Our party votes

as they come to see to as they come to see to which

party gets more vote s is I'll be looking at the minor parties

to see which get over 5% and of course whether New Zealand

First in particular makes it. And of course Coran you're

zone tonight. I wouldn't working in a different time

zone tonight. I wouldn't miss it for the world. I've got one

of the good jobs because I will take that party vote, both the

actual vote as it comes in and the projections from Richard as

well and then we'll look to see

how many seats that translates

to in the House. Of course to in the House. Of course can

one party form a government,

could it be National? On

polling that's what it shows.

through? We'll look at all Could a centre

those scenarios and delve down

to who the Coalition partners

could be, who might be able to

form that Government. We should

be having a lot

that's what the experts are

looking for. What about the

voters? Petra is hosting a

party upstairs. Well here I am

up on TVNZ's roof top where

will be talking to a up on TVNZ's roof top where we

will be talking to a selection of voters. We have an excellent

group of voters who voted acrosds when and how they made up their

minds. You drew the good straw,

I think. I'll have my own I think. I'll have my own share

of guests throughout the night.

We'll have politicians and

insieckts and impressions. commentators to share their

First up Mike Williams, former president of the Labour Party

and Roger Sourie. What are you

hearing about the turn out from

the party people? I had a good

cruise around and there are two

sort of extremes. One is 2005

where there was a very heavy turn out and

where it was very light. I went

to the places which

for Labour, South Auckland West Auckland and the turn out

seems to be somewhere in

between those two extremes. I

don't think you're getting the heavy rush that occurred in

2005, neither do I think you're

getting the heavy stay at home that occurred in 2008. Rorge, what sort of feel are you getting about today? Two

things. One is there was a substantial increase in early

votes. You have a huge number

of people have voted early and

I think that when those votes

come through for New Zealand

early vote then it's not going First can't get over 5% in the

to get it on the day obviously a lot of those people

are elderly, a lot of rest home

votes taken early. What I'm

hearing from the National Party

is that in the strong blue

seats there's been a very good turn out and people there are

very happy with the turn out that they've been getting. Mike, historically do

early voters favour one side or the

the other? It's not

guide as you ask. I've got

these written dout down. Early votes

votes overstated National by 3% last niem and

Labour by 3%. New Zealand First it actually overstated New

Zealand First by 0.5%. So it's

not a good guide but it's a

rough guide. Before we move on,

no results in so nothing to

help you, what are you picking, Mike? Well I've Holmes' program there are two

possible outcomes to this

election. One, National wins it

or two, polls are proved to be incorrect. That's my

expectation. I'd like to see Labour push up over the 30, given a certain oddities could result in a given a certain oddities that

could result in a very interesting result but that's the the excitement of elections. I'm glad I'm not involved

anymore but I'm glad I'm here. Roger. National got 45% of the vote last time, I think

they will go over that. Whether they go over 50 who

I think Labour will be under

30. I'm interested in a couple

of seats. I think National will pick up Palmerston north and

Newland. Our workers out are saying there's

are saying there's some interesting moods out there

over the last couple of weeks

as well. We'll see how accurate you are as the night progresses. The first

referendum results are coming

in so let's take a look at these. You had two referendum decisions to make today. The

first was whether or change to a different voting

system. Some third of a

system. Some third of a million

votes were counted at 2pm this

afternoon. We expect to have the conclusion of all

advanced votes by about 8:30.

So with just under 43,000 votes

counted thus far the keep MMP

vote is sitting at just aurnt over 51.1. 3.7% of the over 51.1. 3.7% of the vote informal. We'll keep a close

eye on this. The second

question is which alternative system would you choose and the early count here shows well,

first part the post doing very,

very strongly on the left-hand

side there. Preferential voting at 7.7. Single transferrable at 7.7. Single transferrable vote 10.5. Look at the informal

votes, 33%. First past the vote, clearly I would say chosen those voting chosen those voting for

change. We're going to take A break more on the referendum and the

first results on the collection.

And some early comments, And some early comments, I

suppose, on the role that early votes that have been ke

count ed there by 2:00 today.

51% saying keep the way it

is. I'm surprised it's so low

to be honest. There hasn't been

a concerted campaign to change

the electoral system back to

first past the post or

supplementary member. Lit be interesting to see how developing throughout the evening because all the

previous polling suggested MPP

would be retained comfortably.

If it's that close at

of the night a lot of people

who decided not to back a

campaign to change the

electoral system will probably

be feeling a bit disappointed. And what about

those results there for the party votes, party votes, any surprises

there so far? B no, no surprise

so far. About a medium turn

out, it's interesting, if Mike

Williams is correct. and south Auckland in particular if there's a high

turn out that would tend to

advantage the Labour Party and

once we start getting results through we'll see what happens but I think happens but I think Roger was correct when he said

particularly for New Zealand First's vote if they're not

over 5% from the

over 5% from the advanced votes, he's right, there were

an awful lot of advanced votes this time, then it will be

difficult to see over that important 5% threshold. How big a role does

that play, those early votes,

in indicating how things are

going to pan out through the

evening? Not an awful lot. Being the Being the last two elections where there has been a big

increase in early votes and

there's been a big increase

this year so no, I don't think

we can read too much into

that. We'll be heading back

into that coverage shortly. We'll be taking a look at some

of the key facts for today's

New Zealand election, we'll

look at those now. There are look at those now. There are 70

electorates, 63 of those are

general electorates and 7 more are Maori leck - electorate s.

120 members of parliament will

be elected with 50 as list MPs who don't receive votes personally but are elected based on the number of votes

their party gets. Under the

mixed member proportional

system each voter casts a vote

for the political party they

support and one for the MP they

want to represent their electorate. Voting is not

compulsory in New Zealand but

electoral workers are reporting a good turn out a good turn out there. The Prime Minister John Key who led the party to victory in 2008. And now we actually have

Antony Green in Auckland on

standby there to chat to us about about how things are going and

Antony, I'm here with Luke Malpass, he's a New Zealand

analyst at the Centre for

Independent Studies, tell us

how are things panning out so

far? These are only early

figures, with 51 % saying keep figures, with 51 % saying keep

MMP. It's expected that the keep keep MMP option will win the referendum. They're only

counting the advanced votes for

those tonight. And advanced

figures tend to favour National. If keep MMP is well

ahead in referendum then it

should win the referendum and

those first figures people

haven't chosen what haven't chosen what system they'd prefer. In the last they'd prefer. In the last hour they received something like

300,000 advanced vote. They've

been counted over the last 4

hours and they will be put hours and they will be put in in each of the advanced

counting centres and they counting centres and they come

in over the first and they will give us an overall figure for the

overall figure for the nation. They tend to favour National

against Labour by 3 or against Labour by 3 or 4%. If you're correct for you're correct for that by

about 8:00 New Zealand time,

6:00 your time that will give us a

us a rough estimate of what the

overall figures will be. The

thing to watch for quha is the National vote, above or below

50% because that's going to be

the critical figure. Can

National get 50%, can they win half the seats in the

parliament and the other figure

to watch is New Zealand First.

while but if they can get above We won't see much of them for a

5% then they will be a problem for National and John

Key. Where are the key spots

that we could be having a

for tonight? Where are the that we could be having a look

areas to watch? Well, normally

seats don't matter Zealand because it's a seats don't matter in New

proportional system but there proportional system but there

are three seats to watch.

Epson, which is an inner

Auckland seat. It's a very safe

National Party, or normally

by ACT, would be but is currently held

by ACT, a small right wing

economic rational group that is

east to the right of National.

If they can win that seat where

they've got Auckland mayor Don

Banks and their member then will get access to list seats Banks and their member then ACT

and stay in parliament. If

epson sbt won by ACT, epson sbt won by ACT, National

win epson then ACT don't go

into parliament. In the into parliament. In the past more than half National voters

have switched to vote for ACT

in the electorate. in the electorate. That's one

of the key things we have to

watch. Another thing to

for is Oharu in Wellington held

by Peter Dunne. He's been in

parliament for 3 decades.

Represented Labour, represents

his own party. If he holds his seat he is another potential partner

partner for national and one of

the Maori seat s held by the the Maori seat s held by

Mana party, if they win that

parliament, they will create seat they will be in the

parliament, they will create a

potential overhang and it puts another Maori parliament into the parliament and one more likely to be favourable to

controversial member Winston Zealand First with quite

Peters, what are your

expectations to happen with the New Zealand First party? It's

very hard to know. He's got 5%

in two polls, and he's got less

than 5 nckt in the two of the

final polls. It's going to be absolutely critical he must be

above 5%. There's no leeway on

this. It's the can exact number

of votes. If he's above 5%

tonight he's a strong chance.

Some of the early figures in the advances tend

one of the key figures we'll be

watching. If he gets over 5% he

immediately get 6 seats and 3

of them come from National.

It's a rather complex system, there's strategic there's strategic voting going

on by vorts, there's a question

of who gets to 5%, who wins individual electorate and big is the parliament at the individual electorate and how

end of the process. Thanks very

bringing us up to speed. We'll

throughout the program be crossing to you later

throughout the program for further analysis. Let's return this means for New Zealand here with the two parties. happens if the National Party with the two parties. What

don't get the votes they

need? Right, well if National

don't get a majority - if Labour shores up and gets over 30% and if John Labour shores up its party vote

Banks win loses epson and if

Peter Dunne loses and if New

Zealand First get over 5% it's

of government likely there will be a change

of government tonight. So if

National those four things happen and

really anyone's guess. So at

the end of the night it could

look like easy 51% win to

National but if they just get

under and some of the little seats don't come through

bringing more members into

parliament then you could see a

centre left bloc form that

would be able to command the

numbers of the parm. I

understand that that coverage TVNZ coverage has returned so let's return there now to

that. Remembering today that

when you voted you had two votes, one for your electorate

MP and

prefer and it is of course the

party vote that determines how

many seats a party gets many seats a party gets in parliament. So at the ticker on

the bottom of your screen now

we'll take off the referendum we'll take off

count, show you the party vote.

Here is the share of the vote

with only 2% counted. The with only 2% counted. The party

vote count for the main 8 parties showing National at 50%

of that vote thus far. Labor rr

at 26. Early votes tend to

favour National. The numbers

will update automatically. They

lead from the left lead from the left to the right-hand side of the screen.

50% for National down to ACT 1.2. The moory party also at 1.2 and New Zealand First at

6.7 versus the Greens 9.9. At

of what's happening in the the bottom you can keep track

electorate raz race as I said. Those eshly votes where

are they from and tell us more about how they favour? What I

would say is that is no at long way from where the rolling

average of polls has had the parties. It is true that the

advanced votes favour National but I wonder whether this time

we've got a record number of advanced votes, I think

330,000. It was up was it on last time. I'm wondering it will fascinating whether this is a wondering it will be

than normal. Look, absolutely little bit more representative

it's a tiny traction counted

but I'm just wond erg whether

such a large sample of large

votes may be more representative. New Zealand

First at First at 6.7. Well where they

need to be right off the kick

off because, you know, off because, you know, we've

seen in previous elections

their vote tends to degrade

their vote tends to degrade and

as Mike Williams said earlier,

you know, they tend to be over

represented in that advance

vote which is really comprises

of people who are out of the

electorate on the day, so they

vote in the 17 days before the

general election as well as

hospitals, maternity wards and

such like. Alright, later on

when those numbers have setled

down a bit we'll into seats in parliament. It those party votes translate

will be several hours before we

know the final outcome but

Richard Arnold our numbers guy

is watching these results. is watching these results. The

earthquake has forced many people to relocate, make it harder to estimate? I'm people to relocate, will it

I am worried about is the votes not too worried about that what

to National. Let's unfolded to see how this

works.. Here's the vote as it

went through the evening from

7:00 until midnight. Starting

out at almost 50% of the

If we take this early bias out

we can see in fact that we can see in fact that they

were about 45% and they stayed

there all the way through.

Labour grazing 30% at the

beginning they were 3 or 4%

higher by the end of the higher by the end of the night.

So we can expect to see something of the same this

time. But who's ahead, well just like in an opinion poll

when you've got a smaller

sample you can put a margin of

do that here, this shaded area

shows us our uncertainty about

the prediction. These margins

of error don't overlap so we

can see National is clearly

ahead of Labor - Labour and they had the greatest share on

the night last time. We can do

the same thing for the minor

parties. Here they all parties. Here they all are and

this dotted line here you will

see that's the 5% see that's the 5% threshold they're all trying to get above. The Green parties sat that level all the way through. New

New Zealand First they were

and We put their margin of error on

and about 9:30 in the and about 9:30 in the evening last time we could call that

New Zealand First were not

going to make it into parliament. So we will try to

do the same thing for you

tonight. Thanks, rismed. Just

before we move on, the

referendum, obviously you can't

predict the result but as a stast stition looking at

tonight's votes would it be a

big enough samp to give us an indication of the outcome? If

this was an opinion poll margin of error would be 0.2%,

that would be a very accurate

result. The problem is we don't

know who these advanced vorts

are and how they differ from

everyone else in New Zealand so

I'm not willing to put my head

on that particular block and make a prediction. Looking at

our live results and we can see the

the referendum results I think

we've got coming up. we've got coming up. 159,000

votes, we're almost at the

halfway stage of the advanced votes,

If we add in the preferences

they will come up as they will come up as first past

the post sitting around 32 and

the informal vote over a

You did not have to answer both

questions therefore so a number

of votes may have been left

blank or in some ways

spoilt. Let's look at the ticker

ticker itself over to what's

happening with the ticker. With

7% of votes counted National at 50% of

should I say there, we've got

in the lower level of the

ticker is the various seats you

can see Robert snth leading Wellington central with 1%

counted. Very, very low numbers

there but in terms of the

overall count 3.1% of the national vote counted, national vote counted, nation wide vote counted. The numbers not having changed a lot when

we add the seat count that translated into the number seats. New Zealand First on 8

seats. So that's how the party vote translates into seats in parliament. Now parties have to

get 5% of the vote. That's right. Unless they win an

electorate seat. So that's the

out clause really and that's

how Peter Dunne has survive ed

and that's why we're looking at

epson and why the famous cup of

tea happened because that's the

only way ACT is able to get

back because they're not going

to breach the 5% threshold. New Zealand First the only other

party besides the Greens who will get close to where Winston is such a pivot in the election result in the election result because

if he doesn't get over the 5%

there is going to be a much

higher wasted vote from last election and that's really

going to drive down the numbers

that National will that National will need to

govern alone. If he gets over

the hurdle for the National

Party is significantly Party is significantly higher

and will be closer to 49 - it

will more likely to be 8. We'll leave

between the party vote and the seat count during the

night. Sit one thing to win

seats in the house but it's

only the start of forming a

government. Coran Dan can tell

us about that. So much is going to hinge tonight to hinge tonight on whether or

not it looks like this naidge whether National can get across

the line or they can't. Lit be

about coalitions, who can about coalitions, who can do

deals, how they will form that

government. Here we government. Here we had the party vote, the nation party vote, the nation wide party vault. National came in at 44.9, at 44.9, Labour well back at

34. The Greens the only other party across that 5% threshold. Let's see how it translated

into votes in the house in

2008. National at 2008. National at 58 still

wasn't able to govern alone,

they needed 62 seats because we

had this overhang, 2 extra

seats in parliament could well

happen again tonight given the Maori Party may win Maori Party may win more electorate seats than they are entitled to as per their share

of the party vote. So we had

the Greens on 9, ACT on a the Greens on 9, ACT on a 5, Maori Party on 5. here National with 58 they did

the deal with ACT that would

have put them across the line

but they also did a deal with

the Maori Party, and United

Future. Gave them a bit buffer either way and it's

possible even if National do

make it across the line tonight

that they will still look for

some sort of coalition deals

with those parties should with those parties should they be returned. OK, we're going to

look at if first of the results

coming in. Bear in mind this is

early days, in is about 4% of

the vote. The first seat is

epson and who didn't want to win, Paul

gold Smith is leading at the

moment. Not by much from John Banks and David Parker. Any surprises National will be watching that

ep Epsom seat. It caused ep Epsom seat. It caused them

such a headache and Jao to ask

was it worth it. At the no. The thing is it is early, early, yirl. Like in early, yirl. Like in Auckland

Central you saw a snap shot of

the potential fit fall for

Jacinda Ardurn. The Jacinda Ardurn. The difference between her and Nicky Kay is

comprised of Denise comprised of Denise Roche votes. Speak of the Green party we're going to cross to

Helen. No, we're going upstair s to Petra on the s to Petra on the roof. I'm

with Steph and Bill who are

second time voters because last

election we talked to

first-time vorts and we found

they were influenced by they were influenced by their parents. As a second time voter

Steph, were you influenced by

your parents the first time you

vote snd I don't think I was. I was kind of just went with what

I thought was right time around and I did it again this time. Did you vote differently first time to

second time? Only in the electorate, the party vote was

still the same. So you were a

Labour voter first time and this time your electorate seat? I was in the Epsom

electorate so it was kind of

the lesser of two evils trying

to keep ACT out. It's a

strategic vote. Who did you vote in in electorate? Paul gold gold Smith in the

national. He's in the lead at the goes well by the end I think

lit be good. And what about

you, who did you vote for first time? Labour. This

Greens. And why did you change your

your vote? Were by your parents the first time

you vote snd No, not so much. you vote snd No, not so much. I

sort of, yeah, did my own sort of research and came up with my own conclusions. I guess the

reason I voted Greens this

was just I'm passionate about

the environment and I think

they're turning into a

legitimate political party now,

not just an not just an activist organisation. You Epsom. Who got your candidate

vote? Paul gold Smith. Snchts

that a - Is that a protest vote? Yes, it's keeping the ACT

party out. Joining me party out. Joining me now two people paying close attention

to that referendum results,

Sandra Gray for the pro-MMP

faction, Jordan Williams who wanted to see change. Doesn't

look like change is going to

happen on these results. It

will be rr interesting. will be rr interesting. You

mentioned that the advanced votes normally favour the right

or the conservative side and

that second to last week, of

course, Winston Peters suddenly

his profile raised and we found

that the support for MMP

quickly reduced in the last

week of the

the first poll where the

support for MPP was below 50%.

It's going the be really interesting the difference

between the final count and of course the advanced votes course the advanced votes we

get now. Do you buy into the Winston Peters factor on Winston Peters factor on this one? No, I think what we have

seen with thele poing consistently over consistently over the last three or four weeks three or four weeks is what we're seeing with these we're seeing with these early votes this is encouraging to this is encouraging to see but I wouldn't say that that is the

result that we're going to see

in the end. Perhaps the only part of the result I think we

are seeing is we are seeing a lot of people who wanted to

keep MMP doing an informal vote

in the second half. They're

choosing to vote for no choosing to vote for no other system and I think system and I think that's what's reflected there, not confusion. It's supporters of

MMP making their mark on MMP making their mark on the ballot paper. It shows that

there was no momentum at all

around any other alternative

system. It was an undercooked debate. It wasn't until right

at the end where the reason I

became involved in the campaign

was to ensure there was genuine

debate with some of middle options and you'd think

if MMP polls the highest tonight you'd think that supplementary member or single

transferrable vote, a system

much closer to MMP than first

past the post would be leading

in those alternatives. Unfortunately because we haven't had that proper debate,

because the key and senior politicians didn't lead an intelligent debate we're

probably going to

past the post win the second

question. We've gone from one

extreme voting system to the other. It's a shame I think we didn't have the proper debate

and have the real engagement about supplementary memberer or STP. We did have a proper

debate. For two years our

groups have been promoting MPP.

What we've seen is no will What we've seen is no will for change. When we had the last

referendum on the electorate system it was driven by system it was driven by voters. the last election. It's the last election. It's a different process and I think -

don't be mistaken, some people

do genuinely like first do genuinely like first past

the post. They like it the post. They like it for a

lot of reasons and it's a lot of reasons and it's a valid choice for them however as we see lots of nds like multiparty government. This is 80% government. This is 80% of

those early votes counted in

the ref ren dumb. 53.7

keeping. This is 80% of the

votes that we're going to get tonight. tonight. It is very encouraging

at this stage and certainly we

are seeing this in the polls.

We're also seeing let's put

first past the post in the polls. I polls. I think what's going to

hold you back as well, Jordan,

is that and you've got the

choice of keeping MMP or change

and that 42 point whatever, it

seems that some New Zealanders

are simply with that whole

ballot paper, 3.5 of them in

that sample are just