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Research Results

Election results close to forecasts

27 Nov 11

Credit: One News
Election results close to forecasts
John Key gives his victory speech

Horizon’s final pre-election poll indicated National’s probable share of definite voters would be 32.6% of the 18+population or 1.06 million votes.


Preliminary results from yesterday’s general election give National  957,769 votes, or 29.2% of the total 18+ population and 47.99% of actual votes cast, 110,207 fewer than the probable vote forecast.


Horizon has been the only poll to consistently conclude that no party would govern alone as a result of the election, that New Zealand First would exceed the 5% party vote threshold to return to Parliament and National would need minor party partners to form a government.


National’s potential support, like Labour's, suffered a fall as a result of a major rise in electors’ decisions not to vote yesterday, well down on what they said their intentions were as late as Tuesday to Thursday.


In Horizon’s final pre-election poll of 3,347 people saying they would definitely vote, conducted between Tuesday and Thursday last week, the low-end probable vote forecast for New Zealand First was 7.9%.


In preliminary results the party has 6.8%. An averaged “poll of polls” result for all other published polls at November 20 gave New Zealand First 3.2% and National 51.7% (3.71% more than the preliminary result but within the margin of error for most of the polls covered).


Early in the campaign, Horizon also showed growth in votes for the new Conservative party.


The low-end of Horizon’s probable vote forecast for the Conservatives put them at 2.4%. The preliminary election result is 2.76%. The Conservatives have 55,070 votes in the preliminary final.


The final pre-election Horizon poll found 6.3% more people saying they would vote than in 2008. However, people failed to do so on the day in these numbers. This would have taken New Zealand to in excess of 2.5 million votes cast for the first time.


However, the number of actual votes cast in the preliminary count was 2,235,054, down 121,482 on the final vote count in 2008.


This indicates a turnout of about 73% of those enrolled, compared with 79.46% at the last election, or 75% of the total 18+ population.


This major fall in turnout has especially affected Labour.


The final Horizon pre-election forecast definite vote for the 18+ population for Labour was 29.1% or 950,040 votes. The preliminary result gives Labour 27.3% of votes cast, down 255,381, or 32%, of its 2008 vote of 796,880.


Labour is the election’s biggest loser of 2008 votes according to preliminary votes. National is down 95,629 on votes cast in 2008, the Maori Party down 29,093 (in line with Horizon results indicating party vote loyalty had halved), Act down 64,030 and United Future down 8,338.


Among the new parties since 2008, Mana has 19,898 votes, the Conservatives 55.070.

The Act, Mana and Maori Party votes are within the probable vote range of Horizon’s final pre-election definite vote forecast.


The mid-range probable vote forecast by Horizon for the Greens was 12.1% (preliminary result 10.62%), Maori Party 1.1% (preliminary 1.35%), Mana 3.2% (1%) and United Future 0.7% (0.61%).


National will now form a minority government with Act and United Future, giving it a majority of seats in the new Parliament. It says it will also talk with the Maori Party.