I don’t think the bad news is over for National. I will go out on two limbs here and predict that they will lose Whangarei and they will also lose entitlement to a seat. Maureen Pugh’s career will be over. And Nick Smith will also be gone. He should have campaigned harder for the party vote.
Reti will be back but via the list.
Why do I say this?
Whangarei is on a knife edge with Reti ahead by only 162 votes.
Special votes tend to break left. Younger people and poorer people tend to enroll later or need special votes because they move around more frequently.
Last election Reti’s share of the electorate vote faded slightly from 46.8% to 45.2% once special votes were counted. The Labour candidate’s share went up from 18.4% to 18.8%. A similar movement this time will cause Reti’s lead to evaporate.
Similarly with the party vote the tendency is for Labour’s share to improve and National’s to go down. Last time Labour’s went up from 35.8% to 36.9% and National’s went down from 46% to 44.4%.
I have made a few guesses and put the figure through the Electoral Commission formula and the result would be that National loses a seat.
I might be wrong. But I suspect there is even more misery on the way for the National Party.