Parliament where Bill or Ben holds the balance of power
There have been calls for the removal of our 5% threshold to allow for a more democratic government which will reflect the will of the people.
If the 5 percent threshold was removed in our MMP system and the Maori Party went with the Left, the Bill and Ben Party would hold the balance of power today – and if it had chosen the Left it would have been a hung parliament.
Here’s how. The following shows the number of seats each party would have held, with the current seats in brackets. That’s assuming of course that the votes held – which is a huge assumption. Interesting though.
New Zealand National Party - 55 seats (59)
New Zealand Labour Party - 41 seats (43)
The Greens - 8 seats (8)
New Zealand First Party - 5 seats (0)
Māori Party - 5 seats (5)
Act New Zealand - 4 seats (5)
Jim Anderton's Progressive - 1 seat (1)
United Future New Zealand - 1 seat (1)
The Kiwi Party - 1 seat (0)
The Bill and Ben Party - 1 seat (0)
So, National would have lost some seats to NZ First and Katrina Shanks and Stuart Nash would have been out of Parliament.
Now lets look at the party groupings if the Maori Party was to side with the left
National, ACT, United Future, Kiwi Party - 61 seats
Labour, Progressives, Greens, New Zealand First, Māori Party - 60
Bill and Ben - 1
In order for a party to get a seat without a threshold, it must have an elected MP or get 0.5% of the vote. Bill and Ben got 0.51% of the vote and had it chosen Labour there would have been hung parliament due to 215 odd Bill and Ben voters.
Bill and Ben’s policy is to promise to promise nothing, and that although realising that by promising no promises they are actually making a promise, that’s the only promise they are going to make. Promise.
Imagine having them choosing our government if the Maori Party was to go left. Any other option by the Maori Party would have led to a National – led Government.
hat tip Graeme, who beat me to it.