Make Your Vote Count

A guide on how to make the most of your vote in 2017

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Anyway you look at it, this is shaping up to be one of the closest elections we’ve seen in a long time. Many of you are still deciding where to best place your vote for a fair and flourishing future, and have asked for our analysis of which parties are most likely to:

1. Adopt the policies in our People’s Agenda;
2. Get seats in parliament; and
3. Be able to form a government.

The answer to the first question is clear, the parties most aligned with our People’s Agenda are Greens, Māori, TOP and Mana. Of the two major parties, Labour is more aligned with the policy priorities of our crowd-sourced agenda than National.

In terms of which of these parties are likely to win seats in Parliament, they are Labour, Māori and Green. It is highly unlikely, on current polling, that TOP will win any seats in Parliament. It is possible that Mana will win one seat.

On the third question – which parties are most likely to be able to form government, here are the most likely scenarios based on some excellent analysis from Dominion Post journalist Vernon Small, Both Stuff and RNZ’s Poll of Polls, as well as our own:


1.  National-NZ First (with or without ACT and Māori Party)

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With National polling at, or slightly above, 40 per cent, the only real route to power for National is via a deal with NZ First. On current trends it is increasingly unlikely that they’ll have the numbers, even then, without the support of another minor party. Winston Peters could allow ACT and/or the Māori Party to be brought into such a deal, but he's no fan of either. Both ACT and the Māori Party have also said in the past that they wouldn’t be willing to work with NZ First.

2.  Labour-NZ First (with or without Greens and Māori Party)

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The numbers for this scenario are much the same as a National-NZFirst coalition. And again, on current trends, it is becoming less likely they would have the numbers alone. If the Māori Party and the Greens have seats in Parliament one or both could guarantee support to Labour without being part of the government. But it won’t be easy to get the Māori Party and NZ First inside the same tent and although neither the Greens nor NZ First have ruled out working together, they do have some major differences in policy.

3.  Labour-Green (with or without Māori Party)

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For this to work, Labour would need to get around 44 per cent, and the Green Party above the 5 per cent threshold. Based on the trends in polling this doesn’t look likely. The Māori Party and Green Party together are more likely to have the numbers to carry Labour across the line than just Labour-Greens but this is still a stretch on current polling numbers.

4.  Single Party Majority

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In this scenario, either National or Labour would be able to form a minority government with commitments of support from smaller parties to its right and its left. For Labour this could be NZ First and the Green Party, for National it could be ACT and NZ First.

This would be an option only if either National or Labour polls around 43 or 44 per cent on election night and their minor party support partners either win an electorate seat (in the case of ACT or get over the 5% threshold (in the case of the Greens and NZ First). In either case it would also require some dexterous negotiating to get either NZ First and ACT, or NZ First, the Greens and potentially the Māori Party all on board.


Of these scenarios, the government most likely to adopt the policies the ActionStation community has campaigned together for over the past three years, and the policies in our People’s Agenda, is a Labour-Green-Māori coalition.


If that is the government you want for New Zealand (it may not be, and that’s cool, our movement is built on a shared vision for the future, even when we don’t agree exactly on how to get there) here’s how you can vote to improve the chances of getting it:

Party vote Labour, Green or Māori


Remembering that the Green Party need to get over 5% of the Party Vote to get back into parliament and be able to either form government with, or provide support to, a progressive Labour government.

Electorate vote Labour in most electorates, except:


Te Tai Tokerau – where you may want to consider voting MANA

The two candidates most likely to win the TTT seat are Kelvin Davis (Labour) and Hone Harawira (MANA). As Kelvin Davis is the Deputy Leader, he is number two on the party list and therefore guaranteed to get a seat in Parliament regardless of this electorate. If Hone Harawira wins this seat, then MANA will have one seat in parliament, and be likely to support any effort to adopt the policies in our People’s Agenda.

Epsom – where a vote for National’s Paul Goldsmith would decrease the likelihood of ACT getting in

ACT scored the lowest of any political party in our analysis of their policies and vision against our People’s Agenda. ACT currently have one seat in Parliament, with a not insignificant amount of influence with David Seymour as Under-Secretary of Education.  If all of the people who voted Labour or Greens for their electorate vote in Epsom, voted for the next highest ranking candidate Paul Goldsmith from National, then ACT would lose the seat. As they are also polling well below 5 percent, this means it would be highly unlikely they would enter back into Parliament.

Waiariki – where you may like to vote for Te Ururoa Flavell

The top two candidates running for this seat are Te Ururoa Flavell (Māori Party) and Tamati Coffey (Labour). It is also the seat where the Māori Party are polling likely to win. Winning this seat would secure the Māori Party’s future in Parliament.

Te Tai Hauāruru – where you might choose to vote for Māori Party’s Howie Tamati

Polls show Howie Tamati is on track to win Te Tai Hauāuru at 52 percent of the electorate vote. He is polling well ahead of Labour's Adrian Rurawhe, who is on 39 percent. This is therefore another seat which could secure the Māori Party’s future in Parliament.

The Māori Party are unlikely to get above 5 per cent of the party vote, but if they win either Te Tai Hauāruru or Waiariki, any party votes placed for them will count towards extra seats in Parliament.

Stock shot by Chameleons Eye.

Stock shot by Chameleons Eye.


Some of you will have already decided to vote for other parties, and that’s great. That’s democracy and the diversity of this movement is a large part of our strength.

After this election – no matter who is in government – we will need to come together, as we always have done, to hold the new government to account. A transparent and accountable democracy is about much more than elections, and our movement is here for the long run, whoever is in power.

But elections are a critical opportunity for us to vote in politicians and parties who will be more responsive to the changes we want to make. A different kind of Government could mean that we collectively move from resisting what we don’t want to re-imagining and rebuilding what we do want.

This year, you can enrol and vote at the same time at any advance voting place anywhere in the country.

We encourage you to vote early, and #VoteTogether.

Together we have power. Every vote counts. Be the difference this election!


If you have further questions, please check out our FAQ or email

In our FAQ section, you will find the answers to the following:

  • How many votes does a party need to win?
  • How does a party win seats and get into Parliament?
  • Isn’t there a possibility the Māori Party will work with National? 
  • Why have you not included Conservatives, United Future or other parties?
  • How do you know which parties are more or less likely to win seats?
  • How accurate have polls been in previous elections?
  • Aren’t polls inaccurate because they rely on landlines?