Election 2023: Bombshell final election results cause big upset for National, ACT and force major change to Parliament numbers

Christopher Luxon's preference for National and ACT to govern alone has been scuppered by the final election results, with New Zealand First needed by the right bloc to form a Government.

The Electoral Commission on Friday afternoon revealed the official results for the 2023 general election. This included 603,257 special votes, of which 78,030 were overseas votes. 

These results put the National Party on 48 seats compared with 50 on election night. Those two fewer seats mean National and ACT only have 59 seats as a bloc.

Te Pāti Māori has picked up two more electorate seats – Tamaki Makaurau and Te Tai Tokerau – taking its total haul to six. The only Māori electorate it hasn't won is Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, which was contested by Meka Whaitiri. She left Labour to run for Te Pāti Māori, but is now out. 

As Te Pāti Māori has more electorates than the number of seats it is entitled to from its party vote, it will cause an overhang in Parliament, taking the total number of seats in Parliament initially to 122 seats.

This means a Government will need 62 seats in Parliament to form a Government. That's three more than National and ACT have. 

One further seat will be added to Parliament after the Port Waikato by-election in November, taking the total to 123 seats.

It thwarts any dream National and ACT had of governing together and means New Zealand First will be needed by the pair in any governing arrangement.  

The Green Party has also picked up an additional seat on the final results, taking it to 15 seats. There were no changes for Labour (34 seats), ACT (11) or New Zealand First (eight).

On an electorate level, Labour's Rachel Boyack has won in Nelson by 29 votes. On the preliminary results, National's Blair Cameron was ahead here. National's lead in Te Atatu has also evaporated, with former Labour minister Phil Twyford winning by 131 votes. 

All other electorate candidates who were leading on the night have been confirmed as winning. That includes National's Vanessa Weenink in Banks Peninsula and Helen White in Mt Albert.

Final results (preliminary results in brackets) 

  • National: 38.06 percent / 48 seats (38.95 percent / 50)
  • Labour: 26.91 percent / 34 seats (26.90 percent / 34) 
  • Greens: 11.60 percent / 15 seats (10.77 percent / 14)
  • ACT: 8.64 percent / 11 seats (8.98 percent / 11 seats) 
  • New Zealand First: 6.08 percent / 8 seats (6.46 percent / 8 seats)
  • Te Pāti Māori: 3.08 percent / 6 seats (2.61 percent / 4 seats) 

The Electoral Commission said that there were 2,883,412 votes cast overall, including 603,257 special votes. The turnout of people who were enrolled to vote was 78.2 percent.

Parties can apply for a judicial recount. Any applications for a recount must be filed in the District Court no later than November 8. 

If there are no applications for a recount, the Electoral Commission will return the writ to the Clerk of the House of Representatives on November 9, allocate list seats in the presence of scrutineers and declare the election of list members in the Gazette.