Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cook Islands election

The Cook Islands went to the polls yesterday in a snap-election, and returned the ruling Democratic party to government. The election was called after the government lost its majority in a byelection. Rather than allowing them to take their electoral medicine and a new government to form, the Queen's Representative (their equivalent of the Governor-General) dissolved Parliament - effectively overturning the byelection results (though it seems that that candidate kept their seat in the end).

While there are around 500 special votes and late registrations to be counted (against a total turnout of 7,300), and five seats with a majority of less than ten, I don't think the result will change much. The largest three of those seats with the tighest majorities (and thuse the most likely to change on the specials) are all held by the opposition Cook Islands Party, so if they change it will strengthen the government's position. By contrast, the two seats currently narrowly held by the government are relatively small, and have differences of 8 or 9 votes (from total electoral populations of 220 - 230), so seem unlikely to change flip. It looks like the Democratic Party will get to remainthe government.

Preliminary results are here. Final results will be released next week.