Decision 17: What to expect when special votes are released

The results of the 384,000 special votes will be released on Saturday afternoon, two weeks on from the 2017 election. 

Special votes include those who enrolled during the advance voting period, those who voted overseas and those who cast a vote outside of their electorate.

They make up 15 percent of the vote and are likely to impact the coalition negotiations, though New Zealand First will still be the 'kingmaker'. 

Historically, special votes tend to favour the left. At the 2014 election, National lost a seat after special votes were counted and the Greens gained a seat. The same thing happened in 2011 and 2008.

The 2017 election is unique as it saw a record number of special votes cast, as well as a boost to Labour's party vote after the rise of new leader Jacinda Ardern. 

The special votes are expected to benefit the left block at the detriment of National. National are likely to lose two seats, while Labour and the Greens are likely to each gain a seat. 

This would lift the number of seats for the Labour-Green block up to 54. That puts them inches away from National who would drop to 56 if they lost two seats. New Zealand First will be paying close attention to these numbers. 

Who are the likely winners and losers from the special votes? 

If National lose one seat, Nicola Willis of Wellington Central will be out of Parliament - after spending two weeks in MP training school. If they lose two seats, sitting MP Maureen Pugh will also be out. 

If National lose one seat, Nicola Willis of Wellington Central will be out of Parliament.
If National lose one seat, Nicola Willis of Wellington Central will be out of Parliament. Photo credit: Newshub
Maureen Pugh, a sitting National MP, could be out if the party lose two seats.
Maureen Pugh, a sitting National MP, could be out if the party lose two seats.

If the Greens gain one seat it will go to Golriz Gharahman, who will become New Zealand's first former refugee MP. If Labour gain one seat, Angie Warren-Clark of the Bay of Plenty will become a brand new MP.

Angie Warren-Clark will make it into Parliament if Labour picks up another seat.
Angie Warren-Clark will make it into Parliament if Labour picks up another seat. Photo credit: Facebook

What happens after the special votes are released? 

New Zealand First had brief meetings with both National and Labour yesterday, to set out the protocol for the coalition negotiations. Once the special votes are released, the party will take up until October 12 to make its decision.

Newshub. 

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