Greens, Labour eagerly await special vote results

  • 07/10/2017

The special vote count that's about to be revealed will change the number of seats won on election night and could make it easier for Opposition parties to form a Government.

There are more than 384,000 specials this time, cast by voters overseas, those outside their electorates on election day and late enrollers.

That's 15 percent of all the votes cast, and Labour and the Greens have high hopes of picking up extra seats.

Specials historically favour the left, and late enrolments could have included a large number of young people. The special votes also include 61,375 votes from Kiwis living overseas and dictation votes.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern targeted younger voters throughout the campaign, visiting several universities to drum up student support.

The Greens are confident they'll have another seat to add to the seven they won on election night.

They've calculated all they need is 0.13 percent more of the specials to bring New Zealand's first refugee MP Golriz Ghahraman into Parliament.

Extra seats for the Greens or Labour would come at National's expense as the party percentages shift. In 2014 the Greens gained one seat and National lost one.

NZ First's share of the party vote dropped, but not enough for it to lose a seat.

The real impact of the specials will be in the number of seats Labour, the Greens and NZ First can muster together.

On election night results they have a total of 61 in a 120-member parliament and National and ACT 59 - a single vote majority for the Opposition. That's much too close for comfort, and NZ First leader Winston Peters might be reluctant to go for it.

A three- or four-seat majority would be a much more attractive proposition.

The Electoral Commission will release the final election results, and the specials, on Saturday afternoon.

NZN / Newshub.