Minor Political Parties

Don’t forget to vote next Saturday if you are eligible to vote. Did you receive your voting package last week? The envelope contains a list of all parties and candidates as well as your voting card which you take to the polling booth.

Are the minor political parties important? That depends on how many votes they get. In the last election, National won 45% of the vote and Labour won 34%. National was able to form a government because it had the support of two minor parties, the Maori Party and ACT.

In the same election, the Green Party won 7% of the party vote. This gave them 9 seats. This was enough for a coalition with National but the Greens do not usually agree with National Party policies. The Greens are closer to Labour but 34% and 7% is only 41% and this is not a majority.

Election Vocabulary

Minor parties are the smaller ones. They probably cannot win a majority of the votes.
A majority is more than half.
There is only one candidate from each party in an electorate.
There are 63 general electorates and 7 Maori electorates. This is a total of 70 electorates.
A poll before elections is often a telephone vote
You go to a polling booth to vote
In a coalition government, a smaller party or parties supports the main party
You are eligible to vote when you are 18 years old, and are a Permanent Resident or a New Zealand citizen and have lived in NZ for 1 year or more

How do you know what party and candidate to vote for?
Nearly all political parties and candidates have a website.

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