7 Oct 2017

National still 'significantly the largest party'

5:51 pm on 7 October 2017

Video - National Party leader Bill English says negotiations with New Zealand First will proceed at some pace this week.

Watch Mr English's standup near Queenstown here:

Mr English said today's result confirmed a the National Party was in a strong position as the largest party.

With special votes factored in the party now 56 seats, down two from election night, with 44.4 percent of the party vote.

Check out RNZ's live coverage here and an infographic with the full final results.

Mr English said this put his party 10 seats ahead of Labour, and it was still ahead of a Labour-Greens combination.

And he said losing two seats did not weaken the party's negotiating position.

Nicola Willis and Maureen Pugh will now not become MPs.

"It would have been nice to have kept those two seats and the two excellent MPs that are represented, but it doesn't fundamentally change the equation - National is significantly the largest party, it's confirmed that result now, so we've got a good strong basis ... for discussions to form a government.

"Now it's a matter of negotiating the policies and structure that are going to deliver a continuing strong economy and deal with all the other issues that were raised in the election and by New Zealand First."

Mr English said there was no need to change the MMP voting system.

National Party leader Bill English at a news conference at Lake Hayes near Queenstown.

National Party leader Bill English at a news conference at Lake Hayes near Queenstown. Photo: RNZ / Peter Newport

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