Home Article 2022 png election results: nine findings

2022 png election results: nine findings


2022 png election results: nine findings

PNG’s 2022 elections have received a lot of publicity, most of it bad, and deservedly so. The electoral roll was clearly out of date, there were bouts of violence, ballot boxes were stolen, and more than one key deadline was missed.

The shortcomings of the electoral process, as important as they are, should not lead us to neglect the results that the 2022 elections have thrown up.

117 seats have now been decided, with elections having apparently been declared failed in one seat. What can we conclude? Here, we highlight nine findings, five to do with parties, and four with MPs.


1. The election result for PANGU was the second most successful in PNG’s history. The most successful was also PANGU, back in 1982. Then PANGU won 47% of all the seats, but still the 33% this time round is an impressive result.

2. The two major parties both experienced positive swings, and PNC’s swing was actually larger. PNC picked up an additional 31% seats (compared to its number at the end of the last parliament), compared to PANGU’s 22%. These swings exaggerate the two parties’ performance: the number of seats available also went up, with seven new electorates and nine vacancies at the end of the last parliament. Still, both PANGU and PNC did well, and, of the two, PNC did better. But PANGU went into the election with so many more seats that it came out with more as well.

3. Of the smaller parties, the United Resources Party did really well. It almost doubled its seats, from 6 to 11, though note this takes it to just above how it started the 10th parliament, when it had 10 seats. The United Labour Party, on the other hand, lost out, going down from 8 to 3. The National Alliance lost a couple of seats, or rather a couple more: it started the 10th parliament with 15 seats, ended it with 8 and went down to 6.

4. So far 23 parties have been elected to the 11th parliament, compared to 20 at the start of the last parliament and 25 at the end of it. 12 of these are one-MP parties. (See the table at the end of the article.)

5. Independents lost out. 16 independents were elected to the last parliament, but only 10 this time.


6. There was a significant increase in the incumbency rate. 62% of incumbents were returned, the highest share ever, but still not very high. The splitting of seats helped some incumbents (as they could choose which seat they wanted to compete for), but this does seem like a change. The previous highest was 52%.

7. There was no trend increase in the number of women elected. Although there were no women elected to the last PNG parliament, there have been one, two or three in most parliaments. This time there will be two. That’s better than one or none, but it was disappointing to hear the PM say that the fact that at least one woman was elected proved that no affirmative action was needed. Rather, the fact that only two were elected proves that without affirmative action there will only ever be at most two or three women in the PNG parliament.

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Originally posted on March 14, 2023 @ 10:39 pm

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