Institutional Change and Legislative Vote Consensus in New Zealand


  • I would like to thank Indridi Indridason for providing many helpful comments on this study at various stages of its development, and several UC Riverside Political Science faculty for their assistance. I would also like to thank the three anonymous LSQ reviewers, the New Zealand Parliamentary Information Service and Minister Peter Dunne, as well as participants at the recent Southern California Political Institutions conference in Los Angeles, the Western Political Science Association meeting in Portland, and the Southwestern Social Science Association meeting in San Diego, for providing a number of useful suggestions. All errors in this study are my own.


In this research note, I discuss results from a recent study assessing the impact that New Zealand's electoral and legislative system reforms had on levels of vote consensus achieved in the House of Representatives. Using a new legislative vote data set spanning from 1987 to 2007, I find evidence that the institutional changes fostered an increase in consensual legislative vote outcomes. I also provide a brief theoretical explanation of the developments and address a few issues concerning the measure of consensus used and the interpretation of the data.