The Electoral Commission has released its final report on the review of the MMP voting system.

The report was required by the Electoral Referendum Act 2010 and follows last year's referendum vote to retain the MMP voting system.  The Electoral Commission released a consultation paper in March 2012 and a proposals paper in August, receiving almost 6,000 submissions in total.

The final report recommends several changes to MMP.  They include:

  • abolishing the one-seat threshold for the allocation of list seats and, with that, the provision for overhang seats (which would likely being an end to small parties' preoccupation with particular seats and associated deal-making with the big parties);
  • lowering the party vote threshold from 5% to 4% (making it easier for small parties to enter Parliament); and
  • that Parliament consider fixing the ratio of electorate to list seats at 60% electorate seats and 40% list seats (maintaining MMP's proportionality as New Zealand's population increases).

The Government has tabled the report in Parliament and is currently considering its recommendations, with a view to introducing legislation enacting any reforms before the next general election (expected in 2014).

The report can be found here.