New Zealand First holds the balance of power after the final votes have been counted

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NEW ZEALAND’S ruling National Party has won 44.4 per cent of the votes in the country’s inconclusive September 23 election, according to the final tally, while the opposition Labour Party took 36.9 per cent.

The nationalist New Zealand First Party won 7.2 per cent of the votes, leaving it with the balance of power in the formation of the next government.

The Green Party, which has a working agreement with Labour, took 6.3 per cent of the ballot.

The results released on Saturday show that the National Party has 56 seats in the 120-seat parliament, Labour 46, New Zealand First nine and the Greens eight.

NZ First leader Winston Peters is yet to announce which party he will back. Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

NZ First leader Winston Peters is yet to announce which party he will back. Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has said he will make a decision which party to back to form a coalition government by October 12.

Peters has in past elections formed coalition governments with both the National Party and Labour.

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