Can National win 50% of the Vote?

Labour are doing their level best to give National 50% of the vote on November the 26th, which is a little unusual as Labour are not often this helpful. Labour and history are usually against National, but with the drone Goff leading and the crippled campaign managers underpants stealing strategy, National are only up against history.

Nat Lab
1951 54% 45.8%
1954 44.3% 44.1%
1957 44.2% 48.3%
1960 47.6% 43.4%
1963 47.1% 43.7%
1966 43.6% 41.4%
1969 45.20% 44.2%
1972 41.5% 48.4%
1975 47.6% 39.6%
1978 39.80% 40.4%
1981 38.80 39%
1984 35.90% 43%
1987 44% 48%
1990 47.82% 35.14%
1993 35.05% 34.68
1996 33.87% 28.19%
1999 30.5% 38.74%
2002 20.93% 41.26%
2005 39.10% 41.1%
2008 44.93% 33.99%

So the odds of National getting to 50%, or even 48% assuming vote wastage, is unlikely. This is not too much of a problem in 2011, but it does become a problem if ACT and the Maori Party fail, and National have no coalition partners.

[UPDATE: Added links and fixed errors in table. Thank you commenters]


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  • Err check your figures Cameron. For instance 1972 was Labour 48.4 National 41.5%. You seem to be an election out.

    • Yes good spotting, i mixed seat percentages with vote percentages…confused myself. Correct now.

      • Kimbo

        …er, pedant alert!

        I still think you are out for 1978. Like 1981, Labour won a slightly larger percentage of the popular vote, but as it was FFP, Natioanl’s more even distribution saw them win more seats.

        Also in 1972 I think you have them round the wrong way. That was the year of Big Norm Kirk’s landslide. Also, I think you are also wrong for 1984. Labour won by a landslide, which would be difficult to achieve with on a 0.2% diference in the popular vote. I seem to recall they got about 43%.

        Also that figure for 1957 seems a bit off. Labour won the seats on a wafer thin majority, 41 seats to 39. That is one hell of a difference (3.9%) under FPP between the popular vote and seats won if you have it right.

        Ok, I’m off. Got some trains to spot!

        • I keep transposing figures…should be fixed now and i’ve added links

          • Kimbo

            …and you did have it right on the 1957 percentages.

            My grand father died before I was born, but, leaving aside his good points (and he did have many, according to my family), he was an inveterate Labour voter who spent what little he earned (and he did work hard – but not smart) on beer, cigarettes, and the TAB – and blamed the Tories for his financial plight.

            However, when “that wowser bastard” Arnold Nordmeyer came out with his Black Budget in 1958 (necessary in part to fund the “baby bonus” – Clark had nothing new with election bribes like interest-free student loans), Labour didn’t get his vote in 1960!

  • Jeff

    These figures don’t seem right to me.I wonder where you got them from.
    The biggest anomaly is 1975 the year of the Muldoon landslide.
    The chart says National 41.50% Labour 48.4%.Surely not.
    Also 1984 the year of the Lange landslide
    The chart says National 38.80% Labour.39%
    Also 1990.the year of the big win for Bolger.
    The chart says National.44% Labour.48% Something awry about all these figures.

  • Cadwallader

    Under FPP losing parties sometimes got more votes but less seats.

  • Jeff

    That is so Cadwallader but not variations such as these;

    The biggest anom­aly is 1975 the year of the Mul­doon land­slide.
    The chart says National 41.50% Labour 48.4%.Surely not.
    National had a 21 seat majority in 1975 with 7% less of the vote than Labour.No way.

  • If National get enough to govern alone, will they govern alone?

    I would still think it very important to have two or three coalition partners to ensure strong relationships are maintained instead of turning them into “opposition”.

    • Roflcopter

      They did it in 2008 with the Maori Party, I think it’ll happen again.

    • gazzaw

      Absolutely. In all likelihood allies will be needed in 2014.

  • Richard McGrath

    In the 2002 election, if you factor in the 77% voter turnout, Bill English only garnered 15.9% of the available vote. So he’s not Mr 21%, he is in fact Mr 16%. What an achievement for a leader of the natural party of government!

    You’re right though, Cam, National will be destined to years in opposition if it doesn’t ensure the survival of some of its coalition partners.

  • statlerandwaldorf

    “In the 2002 elec­tion, if you fac­tor in the 77% voter turnout, Bill Eng­lish only gar­nered 15.9% of the avail­able vote”

    And you dickwads didn’t even contest ’cause you couldn’t get it together to write out and send the cheque in time.

  • Richard McGrath


    Yes, Mr Anonymous, I plead guilty to an innocent oversight, a simple human error – quite different to the deliberate malice of people like Helen Clark who not only damaged the country but, as Cam points out in another thread, destroyed her own party.

  • Chris

    National will certainly need allies in 2014 because when the so-called partial asset sales balloon into total asset sales the public will balk.

  • Chris

    Richard McGrath: “You’re right though, Cam, National will be des­tined to years in oppo­si­tion if it doesn’t ensure the sur­vival of some of its coali­tion partners.”

    You’re absolutely right, but National should still be okay because you need to factor in how the idiots in Labour will never learn how to use MMP strategically and will continue to split the left vote by trying to hold themselves out as playing “fairly” and “cleanly”. Only trouble is that “fair” and “clean” are two things they’re not, and I’d to that politically naive and just downright stupid. While National does need to maintain good relations with smaller parties, Labour’s failure to learn the basics gives them a bit of wriggle room.