Electoral Referendum Act 2010

  • repealed
  • Electoral Referendum Act 2010: repealed, on 11 June 2012 (being on the close of the day that is 6 months after the date on which the result of the referendum was declared), by section 5(1).

Schedule 2
Description of voting systems

s 8(2)

1 Purpose of schedule
  • The purpose of this schedule is to provide an outline of the key features of the voting systems that are options in the referendum. If the majority of votes in relation to Part A of the referendum voting paper supports change to another voting system, further work will be needed to develop the detail of the preferred voting system indicated by votes in relation to Part B of the referendum voting paper.

2 Assumptions common to alternative voting systems
  • (1) Parliament has 120 members.

    (2) The principles for determining the number of members of Parliament who represent Māori electorates will not change.

    (3) The principle of a fixed number of general electorate seats for the South Island will not change.

3 Mixed member proportional representation voting system (MMP)
  • (1) Parliament is made up of members who are elected by their respective electorates and members elected from party lists.

    (2) Each voter has 2 votes,—

    • (a) a vote for a party; and

    • (b) a vote for his or her preferred candidate in his or her electorate.

    (3) Each electorate elects 1 member of Parliament on a first-past-the-post basis.

    (4) The party vote is counted on a nationwide basis.

    (5) A party may be eligible for a share of the list seats if the party gains 5% or more of the party vote or wins 1 or more electorate seats.

    (6) The list seats in Parliament are allocated so that the total number of seats a party holds is in proportion to the number of party votes the party received, taking into account the number of electorate seats the party holds.

    (7) A party's list seats are allocated to its candidates in the order in which they appear on the party's list (excluding those who win an electorate seat).

    (8) A party may win a greater number of electorate seats than the number of seats to which it would be entitled by reason of the party vote result. In that case, the party keeps the electorate seats. In order to maintain proportionality, the number of list seats in Parliament increases by the difference for that term of Parliament. The extra seats are commonly known as the overhang.

4 First-past-the-post voting system (FPP)
  • (1) Parliament is made up of members who are elected by their respective electorates. There are no list members.

    (2) Each voter has 1 vote.

    (3) Each electorate elects 1 member of Parliament.

    (4) The winning candidate in each electorate is the one who gains the most votes.

5 Preferential voting system (PV)
  • (1) Parliament is made up of members who are elected by their respective electorates, and has no list members.

    (2) Each electorate elects 1 member of Parliament.

    (3) Voters rank the candidates in their electorate in order of preference by, for example, marking candidates 1, 2, 3, and so on.

    (4) To win, a candidate must have 50% of the total votes cast plus 1 vote.

    (5) The candidate with the most first-preference votes might not have more than 50% of the total votes cast. In that case, the votes for the candidate with the lowest number of first-preference votes are redistributed according to the second preferences of the voters for that candidate. Redistribution of preferences continues until a candidate attains more than 50% of the total votes cast.

6 Single transferable vote system (STV)
  • (1) Parliament is made up of members who are elected by their respective electorates, and has no list members.

    (2) Each electorate elects several members of Parliament.

    (3) Voters rank the candidates in their electorates in order of preference, for example 1, 2, 3, and so on. Alternatively, voters may vote for the order of preference decided in advance by a political party.

    (4) To win, a candidate must receive a minimum number of votes. The minimum number of votes is determined by a formula based on the number of seats allocated to the electorate.

    (5) Any candidate who receives more than the minimum number of first-preference votes is elected. If vacancies remain, the first-preference votes received by the elected candidates that are above the minimum required for their election are redistributed according to the second preferences. The redistribution starts with the largest surplus of votes.

    (6) If there are still vacancies after the distribution of surplus first-preference votes, the lowest-polling candidate is eliminated and all that candidate's votes are redistributed in line with the voters' second preferences, and so on. Any surplus votes from an elected candidate that were transferred to the lowest-polling candidate are redistributed in line with voters’ third preferences.

    (7) If no candidate receives the minimum number of first-preference votes, the lowest-polling candidate is eliminated and all that candidate's votes are redistributed in line with the second preferences of the voters, and so on.

7 Supplementary member voting system (SM)
  • (1) Parliament is made up of members who are elected by their respective electorates (they win electorate seats) and members returned from party lists (they win supplementary seats).

    (2) Of the 120 seats in Parliament, 90 would be electorate seats and 30 would be supplementary seats.

    (3) Each electorate elects 1 member of Parliament on a first-past-the-post basis.

    (4) Each voter has 2 votes,—

    • (a) a vote for a party; and

    • (b) a vote for his or her preferred candidate in his or her electorate.

    (5) The supplementary seats are allocated to parties in proportion to the number of party votes received by that party.

    (6) A party’s supplementary seats are allocated to its candidates in the order in which they appear on the party’s list, excluding those who win an electorate seat.

    (7) Only the supplementary seats are allocated in proportion to the number of votes received by a party’s candidates or to the party vote. A party's share of supplementary seats is not affected by the number of electorate seats.