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Overwhelming support to keep MMP

Published: 4:09PM Saturday December 10, 2011 Source: ONE News

As expected New Zealanders have endorsed MMP as their preferred voting system.

The official election results out today saw 57.77% vote to keep MMP and of those who wanted a change, 46.66% preferred the first passed the post system.

Keep MMP spokesperson Sandra Grey said is now firmly here to stay but their campaigning has shown a public wish to revise aspects of the system.

"An independent review of MMP means we can now get on with updating our voting system without throwing the baby out with the bathwater," she said.

Grey said the group will now turn its attention to helping people achieve "the tweaks to MMP that they want".

She said she hopes voters who still supported First Past the Post would take part in the review of MMP so New Zealand can have a system with enduring support over generations.

"Younger voters strongly supported MMP, and today's result was an affirmation of their desire to have a voting system that gave them real choice - with a vote for someone to represent them locally as well as the party they most support.

"Voters in 2011 have done a tremendous service to future generations, who will go to the ballot box every three years knowing their votes truly count."

Campaign criticism

But MMP opponents see the result a different way and say it was "an undercooked debate".

Jordan Williams from Vote for Change said the Prime Minister didn't lead an intelligent discussion.

"I think if the referendum had been held the day after the election when it became clear that Winston Peters was back in Parliament, we would have had quite a different result," he told ONE News.

And the Electoral commission rejects claims that there was not enough education information about the referendum.

"I certainly think that the information that the Electoral Commission produced and made available was very comprehensive," Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden said.

The Electoral Commission expects to announce on Monday the process and timetable for the review of MMP that is required as a result of the referendum outcome.