The Maori Party will hold the balance of power after next year's general election, if online predictions market iPredict Ltd is correct.
Owned by Viclink, the commercial arm of Victoria University, iPredict enables users to trade on their predictions on a broad range of future political and business events that pay real money if their prediction comes true.
According to its weekly snapshot iPredict found the Maori Party would be kingmaker between Labour and National after the 2011 general election.
Forecast party vote shares were: National 43.8 percent (down from 45 percent last week), Labour 35.4 percent (steady), Greens 8.3 percent (up from 7.6 percent last week), New Zealand First 4.1 percent (up from 3.9 percent last week), Maori Party 3.1 percent (down from 3.4 percent last week), Act 2.3 percent (steady) and United Future 0.4 percent (down from 1.0 percent last week).
Several key electorate races would be close.
Act would be in Parliament because leader Rodney Hide was favoured to win Epsom. He had a 52 percent probability of retaining the seat.
United Future Leader Peter Dunne was not forecast to be re-elected in Ohariu, where National was favoured with 37 percent probability. Mr Dunne and Labour both had 32 percent probability of winning the seat.
The Maori Party could get another seat with candidate Na Rongowhakaata Raihania having a 52 percent probability of winning the Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate.
Based on the data National would have 56 MPs, Labour 46, Greens 11, Maori Party 6 and Act 3. There would be 122 MPs, requiring a government to have the support of 62 MPs on confidence and supply.
National and Act would have a combined 59 MPs and Labour and the Greens a combined 57 MPs.
National nor Labour could govern without the support of the Maori Party but if it abstained on confidence and supply National and Act could govern.
The closest a combination of parties could come to forming a government without the Maori Party would be National, Act and United Future, with a combined 60 seats in a 121-seat Parliament under the assumptions Act won Epsom, United Future won Ohariu and the Maori Party lost Ikaroa-Rawhiti, iPredict said.
When the snapshot was taken, the market expected Labour to win Saturday's Mana by-election (92 percent probability) with 47 percent of the vote, followed by National with 35 percent of the vote.
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