MMP Voting System

In New Zealand, we vote using the MMP voting system - Mixed Member Proportional.

Its defining characteristics are a mix of MPs from single-member electorates and those elected from a party list, and a Parliament in which a party's share of the seats roughly mirrors its share of the overall nationwide party vote.

Introduction to MMP

 

 

MMP is the system we currently use to elect our Parliament.

It is a proportional system, which means that the proportion of votes a party gets will largely reflect the number of seats it has in parliament.

Each voter gets two votes.

The first vote is for the political party the voter chooses. This is called the party vote and largely decides the total number of seats each political party gets in Parliament.

The second vote is to choose the MP the voter wants to represent the electorate they live in. This is called the electorate vote. The candidate who gets the most votes wins. They do not have to get more than half the votes.

Under current MMP rules, a political party that wins at least one electorate seat OR 5% of the party vote gets a share of the seats in Parliament that is about the same as its share of the party vote.

For example, if a party gets 30% of the party vote it will get roughly 36 MPs in Parliament (being 30% of 120 seats). So if that party wins 20 electorate seats it will have 16 List MPs in addition to its 20 Electorate MPs.

Coalitions or agreements between political parties are usually needed before Governments can be formed.

Last updated: 20 October 2014

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