Voter turnout not high despite record enrolment

Last updated 18:06 09/11/2008

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Voter turnout at yesterday's election was among the lowest in decades despite record-breaking numbers of people enrolling to vote, according to early estimates.

Preliminary results from the Electoral Office estimated 2,345,104 votes were cast this year, including 240,000 special votes. That would eclipse 2005's count of 2,304,005.

However, of the record 2,979,366 people enrolled to vote – nearly 95 per cent of those eligible – 634,262 failed to show up on polling day.

That was more than 100,000 extra no-shows than last election.

The estimated 78.69 per cent of enrolled voters turning out to vote would be the second-lowest proportion recorded since 1987.

Voter turnout for the 2005 election was 80.92 per cent of enrolled voters.

The National Party secured 951,145 votes (45.45 per cent) and Labour 706,666 (33.77 per cent).

In contrast, the Residents Action Movement received just 405 votes (0.02 per cent) and the party with the least support was The Republic of New Zealand Party with 298 (0.01 per cent).

The Official Results process began today with all votes being recounted and special votes included, before the final numbers are released on November 22.

-NZPA

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