27 Nov 2011

Government will have similar look to last term, says Key

1:48 pm on 27 November 2011

National Party leader John Key says the new government he will form will have a very similar look to the last one.

National secured 48.06% of votes in the election, giving the party 60 seats in Parliament. John Key says his party has the support of ACT and United Future, which each won one seat.

Mr Key wants to work with the Maori Party, which has three of the seven Maori seats, but says they have to consult their supporters before signing up to any deal.

John Banks will be the only ACT MP in Parliament and says he is keen for a Cabinet post.

Mr Key says he has not had that specific conversation with ACT and will not say at this point whether Mr Banks will be offered a ministerial warrant.

He says he does not envisage a formal support deal with the Greens, which secured 10.6% of the party vote, but there are some areas of common ground.

John Key says the result of the election shows how difficult it is for a political party to govern without any allies.

"It's a huge challenge when you're very much on your own under MMP and that's essentially what happened. We've got support obviously of United Future and ACT and hopefully the Maori Party, but they're small caucuses and it took a huge effort to lift our vote and hold it there."

National Party campaign manager Steven Joyce says Mr Key spoke with all three parties on Saturday night about being part of the next government.

Mr Joyce told Morning Report's election special that further discussions have yet to take place.

He says he is delighted with the election result which was achieved despite challenging times, including the Canterbury earthquakes.

The party's target was to get 48%, although Mr Joyce says it was conscious that 45% has been the "high water mark" for any party in previous MMP elections.

He says the strong vote for National has given the new government a mandate to proceed with its programme of partial asset sales.

National Party president Peter Goodfellow is thrilled with the result, saying no one dared hope the party would crack the 50% mark and that 48% was the aim.