It is somewhat ironic that analysis of the overseas New Zealand votes has shown that the Green Party’s increase of one seat in Parliament is owed to Labour, due to discrepancies between the New Zealand voters and the overseas New Zealand voters. This is despite the fact that once the special overseas votes were counted the Greens gained one seat at National’s expense.
The analysis between home support and international support for each party was conducted by Kea New Zealand.
Kea’s press release states, “Overseas voters changed Parliamentâ€™s makeup because they differed markedly in how they supported the three largest parties in the new Parliament.”
National had a ratio of votes 2:1 (52.3% versus 27.8% respectively) over main political opponent Labour which is the main reason why Labour lost one seat.
The turnout for overseas voters was record breaking (excluding war time votes; and having 28,000 in 2005 and about 17,000 in 2002), with Kea running a campaign overseas to make sure “Every Vote Counts”. “We are pleased with the impact of our campaign, given that it was mounted on a small budget by a non-profit organisation,” says Ivan Moss, the Chief Executive of Kea New Zealand.
Mr Moss claims that, “Every Vote Counts directly reached well over 20,000 people and was responsible for initiating at least 7,000 voting enrolments.”
32,000 people cast special votes originating from different countries rather than New Zealand.
Mr Moss says, “But we remain concerned that overseas Kiwis have the lowest enrolment rate of any group of eligible New Zealand voters. The 60,000 who enrolled to vote this year is only about 12% of the estimated 500,000 New Zealanders overseas who are eligible.”