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Research Results

Don’t know voters and minor parties will determine who governs

22 Oct 11

Credit: Act
Don’t know voters and minor parties will determine who governs
An Act- John Banks win in Epsom electorate currently leaves National unable to govern alone

New Zealand is currently heading for a close election result.


Which main party will have an opportunity to form the next Government may depend on the New Zealand First and the Mana parties, and who 6.9% of undecided voters support.


An October 19-21 RadioLIVE-Horizon poll of 2,200 registered electors who intend to vote shows the current National-Act-Maori Party-United Future coalition could end up with 60 seats in a 122 seat Parliament.


62 seats would be needed to have a one seat majority.


A win by John Banks in Epsom for Act, Peter Dunne retaining Ohariu Belmont and the Maori Party keeping its four seats are all crucial to ensuring National can try to form a government.


Even then National may need an agreement with the Mana or New Zealand First to govern.


Weighted by age, gender, ethnicity, personal income, region and party vote 2008, the poll has a maximum margin of error at a 95% confidence level of 2.2%.


Horizon is the only polling company publishing results for don’t know voters.

Horizon’s results are for


  • Decided voters
  • Undecided voters with a preference

who are

  • Registered to vote and who
  • Intend to vote.


The poll finds


  • National has 36.8% of registered voters (down 2.7% since September 22)
  • Labour 25.7% (-1.1%)
  • Green Party 11.6% (up 0.9%)
  • New Zealand First 6.2% (- 1.1%)
  • Mana Party 2.3% (+ 0.3%)
  • Act 3.4%  (down 1.4% from September and down from a high of 5.3% in May shortly after Don Brash became leader)
  • Maori Party 1.7% (+0.7%)
  • United Future 0.4% ( 0% in September)
  • Conservative Party of New Zealand 2.2% (new party, first time measured)
  • New Citizens 0%
  • Other parties 1.2%


National has highest voter loyalty76.2% of its 2008 voters still support it. It has picked up 19.9% of Act voters and 9.1% of Labour voters (while Labour has picked up 7.6% of National’s).


The Greens have 68.7% voter loyalty and are gaining 2008 voters from the Maori Party (23.1%) and Labour (14.6%).


Labour has 63% voter loyalty, losing 14.3% to the Greens, 9.1% to National and 3.7% to New Zealand First.


The Maori Party has 30.8% voter loyalty, losing 23.1% of its 2008 voters to the Greens and 19.1% to Mana.


Assuming John Banks wins the Epsom electorate seat for Act, Peter Dunne retains Ohariu-Belmont, the Maori Party retains its four electorate seats and Hone Harawira retains Te Tai Tokerau, a 122 seat Parliament  would result, with a two Maori Party seat overhang, comprising:


National 50

Act 5

Maori party 4

United Future 1

Current governing coalition: 60 seats


Labour 35

Green 16

NZ First 8

Total: 59 seats

Mana 3


Horizon Research says a great deal depends on the support New Zealand First attracts at November 26.


Horizon polls have had the party at 6% or higher since November 2010. (Note the poll’s margin of error is +/- 2.2%).


Other factors affecting the result include the number intending to vote. At October 21, Horizon finds 77.4% saying they will definitely vote. At the 2008 election 95% of the eligible 18+ population was enrolled to vote (2.99 million people) and 79.46% of them voted.


A full analysis of the Horizon party vote polling can be downloaded in Excel.


The poll was conducted between October 19 and 21, 2011.


Results of this survey may be used with accreditation to Horizon Research Limited 



For further information please contact:


Grant McInman


Horizon Research

Telephone: 021 076 2040