An Electoral Commission is due to report tomorrow on its MMP review. On TVNZ’s Q+A, Labour’s Lianne Dalziel and Mana leader Hone Harawira predicted the Commission will recommend lowering threshold for getting MPs into parliament from 5% to 4% of the party vote. National has argued it should be kept at 5%. On Q+A, NZ First leader Winston Peters took the same side. Lowering the threshold would create “instability” and “chaos”. Mr Peters said. “If you’re good enough, you should make 5%.” Ms Dalziel argued a 4% threshold that would avoid thousands of wasted votes, as happened to New Zealand First in 1999 (when it got 4.23% of the vote) and 2008 (when it got 4.07%).
The review will also make a recommendation on “coat-tailing”, or bringing a proportional number of MPs into Parliament if a party wins at least one electorate seat. Coat-tailing was potentially crucial for National at the last election. The party did not actively contest the Auckland seat of Epsom, clearing the way for ACT leader John Banks to win the seat. However, ACT’s share of the nationwide party vote was so low (1.07%) that Mr Banks was not able to bring anyone on ACT’s list in with him.