The 4% solution

The Electoral Commission considered all submissions on the 2012 review of the MMP voting system and has developed a set of proposals for change.

These have today been released as a Proposals Paper, and the public is again invited to make comment on the proposals being suggested.

  • The one electorate seat threshold for the allocation of list seats should be abolished.
  • The party vote threshold for the allocation of list seats should be lowered to 4%.
  • Candidates should continue to be able to stand both in an electorate and on a party list at general elections.
  • List MPs should continue to be able to contest by-elections.
  • Political parties should continue to have responsibility for the composition and ranking of candidates on their party lists.
  • The provision for overhang seats should be abolished for parties that do not cross the party vote threshold.
  • On the basis of current information, it would be prudent to identify 76 electorate seats (in a 120 seat Parliament) as the point at which the risk to proportionality from insufficient list seats becomes unacceptable. New Zealand is unlikely to reach that point before 2026.
  • The gradual erosion of lists seats relative to electorate seats risks undermining the diversity of representation in Parliament. Parliament should review this matter.

The Proposals Paper is available online here.

Alternately, you can call 0800 36 76 56 to be sent a hard copy of the Proposals Paper.

Comment on the Proposals Paper must be received by 5pm on Friday 7 September, and can be made online, or by post to:

MMP Review
Electoral Commission
PO Box 3220
Wellington 6140

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