If the existence or nature of this post confuses you hopefully you will find the answer over here.
7.01pm Ok here we go! I expect there won’t be too much to live blog for the first hour or so…
7.15pm Party vote currently: Nat 48%, Lab 32%, Greens 6%, NZF 4.4%, Act 3.3%, Maori 1.5%, Prog 1%, United 0.9%. Less than 4% counted.
7.24pm Party vote currently: Nat 49%, Lab 32%, Greens 6%, NZF 4.6%, Act 3.3%, Maori 1.8%, Prog 0.9%, UF 0.8%. Still less than 4% counted.
7.35pm In the pivotal electorates – Kaye ahead in Auckland Central, Wong in Botany, Wagner in Chch Central, MacIndoe in Ham W, Sio in Mangere, Bridges in Tauranga, Plimmer in PN, Hipkins in Rimutaka, Bennett in Waitakere, Robertson in Wel Central, Greensill in H-W, Horomia in I-R, Katene in TTT.
7.47pm With only 5.3% counted in Tauranga it isn’t looking that flash for Winston – Bridges has already got a margin of 1841.
7.54pm Party vote with 5.4% counted: Nat 49%, Lab 32%, Green 6.2%, Maori 2.2%, Act 3.3%, Prog 0.9%, UF 0.8%
8.07pm TVNZ is doing a news update thingy. Basically looks to me like justification for putting camera crews with each of the party leaders, although they were pretty pictures. Advanced and absentee votes are up a third on last election apparently.
8.14pm Looks like Botany isn’t going to be all that interesting – Pansy Wong has over 1800 and Kenneth Wang with 364, he’s not even second currently, with 6.5% counted.
8.18pm To be honest I find all the media projections of how many seats and what coalition arrangements at this stage really pointless. Sorry if that burst anyone’s bubble!
8.24pm Party vote with 11.5% counted: Nat 49%, Lab 31%, Greens 6.2%, Maori 2.1%, Act 3.4%, Progs 0.8%, UF 0.8%.
8.31pm Jordan Carter (who is a mate) has nearly double the number of votes of Roger Owen Douglas, which warms my heart a little.
8.34pm Ok I am going to take a brief pizza break. Let’s hope nothing interesting happens in the interim, but I’m sure you’ll all cope admirable if it does.
8.39pm I can report that That Ex-Expat makes fantastic pizza. Also, not looking good in Auckland Central for Tizard.
8.40pm Beaumont behind in Maungakiekie but not big time.
8.44pm Hughes definitely behind in Otaki, Auchinvole ahead by nearly 500 in WC-T, Bennett ahead in Waitakere but quite small count there so far?
8.45pm Party vote with 21.8% counted: Nat 48%, Lab 31%, Greens 6.3%, Act 3.5%, NZF 4.4%, Maori 2.2%, I think I’m going to stop with the Progs and UF unless they come up to 2nd MP territory. Kaye still ahead in Akl Central.
8.51pm Ham West looking bad for Labour, but Carter still beating Douglas! 😉 Mallard only slightly ahead in his seat, with 9% counted.
8.56pm WTF, Jonathan Young (Nat) is still ahead of Harry Duynhoven in New Plymouth!
8.57pm Taupo looks like it is gone to Louise Upston (Nat) and Bridges is now about 5000 ahead of Peters in Tauranga. Rick Barker also behind in Tukituki
8.59pm Robertson a little ahead of Franks in Wel Central.
9.00pm Looks like Steve Chadwick is gone in Rotorua, which is a shame because she’s been a very good local MP apparently. She’s over 2000 behind now, so that’s that probably. Wang still coming 3rd in Botany, by a margin, but Act’s party vote is holding up well (not that Wang’ll benefit, he’s not on the list)
9.05pm Wel Central close-ish, Robertson 200 ahead of Franks. Party vote with 37% counted Nat 48%, Lab 32%, Greens 6.4%, Act 3.6%, NZF 4.25%. Pillay back in front in Waitakere.
9.08pm Shipley on one of the telly stations, I’ve lost track of which one. One of my guests has pointed out she’s the only female PM to have lost an election to date, let’s hope that stays true, but it’s not looking that great right now.
9.11pm Duncan Garner didn’t have any sound at the Nats HQ, and we were all quite glad about that when he tapped Christine Rankin – argh! Sadly the sound is back now.
9.15pm Ok I’m going to take a few of my Pivotals off the watch list: Bridges is hugely ahead in Tauranga, Rotorua is gone to National, Mangere is solid for Labour’s Sio, Taupo has fallen to Upston (National), Wong is over 3000 ahead of the Labour candidate in Botany (Wang is third).
9.20pm Wellington Central is still surprisingly close…
9.21pm Otaki has tightened up hugely, 15-ish votes in it with nearly 50% counted! National candidate Young still ahead in New Plymouth, is Duynhoven on the list?
9.23pm Gap is closing a little between National and Labour. Really needs to be no more than 10% imho, currently 14%. Act’s vote holding up, Greens is well under the anticipated polling.
9.26pm Otaki widening out again with 51% counted. It’s looking like Otaki, WCT and Akl Central are going to be very tight.
9.27pm Some woman who sounds like Michelle Boag (but is not because Boag is on the other channel) is trying to talk up Auckland Central as a rock solid safe Labour seat, when National have in fact been talking for months about taking it, and everyone left-of-centre has been quietly worrying.
9.29pm Maungakiekie very close, 80 votes in it last I checked. Very slow count though.
9.31pm Duynhoven is still behind in New Plymouth, not a massive amount but quite big.
9.33pm Auckland Central still very close, has Tizard been in front at all though? Franks back ahead of Robertson with 51% counted, but again very tight.
9.35pm Labour now at 33%, National nearly down to 46%…
9.36pm National is definitely slowly sliding, Labour slowly gaining, and I note that some of the counts in the big South Auckland seats are very slow. Maungakiekie also very slow.
9.38pm Someone asked in comments about the importance of losing electorates for Labour – basically they clustered a whole lot of these marginal seats just below winnable on their list. So if they win the electorate (Chch Central, Auckland Central, Rimutaka, no doubt others) then that’s one less List MP, which potentially changes the shape of the caucus. It’s also a psychological thing I guess – National has not won Auckland Central in my memory.
9.40pm Here at my place we are all yelling our disapproval at the telly as John Boscawen comes on TV3. Urgh.
9.42pm Ok new list of marginals: New Plymouth, Waitakere, Maungakiekie, Akl Central, Chch Central, Wel Central, WC-T, Te Tai Tonga. The gap between Peter Dunne and Charles Chauvel in Ohariu is not actually huge either… Hughes still over 500 behind in Otaki, Lees-Galloway now over 500 ahead in PN, Labour candidate Hipkins nearly 500 ahead in Rimutaka (Ron Mark no where to be seen).
9.49pm I’m sure you all wanted to know this – the baby is sleeping soundly, snoring away, despite the noise from our place and a whole lot of fireworks outside. This result for the Greens is really disappointing. Either they have to come up a lot of the polls were just miles out.
9.50pm Te Tai Tonga is not looking great for Okeroa, Maori Party’s Angeline Greensill is over 300 ahead.
9.51pm National still going down and Labour still going up, but very very very slow. Which suggests this isn’t going to be like 2005. Must check the returns in the big South Auckland seats.
9.54pm National now under 46%, Labour over 33%…
9.55pm On current returns Greens looking at 2 new MPs (8 total) – Catherine Delahunty and Kevin Hague.
9.56pm John Campbell has just gone on about how fascinating Mangere is when Field is hugely behind Sio and it’s all over rover.
9.57pm Shawn Tan has now officially got more votes in Mt Roskill than I got in Epsom for the Alliance in 2002 😉
10.05pm The ex-expat has just explained to me that what John Campbell was just saying about swing votes means that National are further ahead at the moment than they were at the same in 2005. It’s good to have her interpreting.
10.06pm The big rural South Island seats are all finals now, all National, no surprises there.
10.07pm Now we’re all gossiping about student association people we have known, as we reflect on Chris Hipkins (ex VUWSA) looking safer in Rimutaka. New Plymouth only 200 votes in it, 97% counted. I’ve just checked and Duynhoven is not on the list so he could be gone. Which I guess is good for renewal!
10.12pm The ex-expat is working out who is likely to be out for Labour, definitely Dave Hereora at this time.
10.13pm Winston is on telly, I think he’s going to conceded Tauranga but not the party vote. He looks a bit toasted.
10.15pm Kaye is now over 1000 ahead in Auckland Central, looks like Tizard won’t make it on the list (although we are still doing the numbers). But my that Jordan Carter is still ahead of Roger Douglas in Hunua. Waaaaaaay behind Paul Hutchinson of course, and Douglas looks like he’ll get in on the list, but I’m trying to find a silver lining damnit!
10.18pm Winston has tears in his eyes, awwww! (I mean that sincerely, he reminds me of my Dad when he does that). He is so much less grumpy than usual on election night. Maybe losing agrees with him? What ever will he do next? “For a while we’ll be free now” he just said. I’m not sure who the “we” is. Looks like Winston is conceding the party vote too?
10.20pm New Plymouth has closed up again – National candidate is only 100 ahead. Winston has promised to rebuild and comeback. Arl has pointed out he should have done his “last word” with a sign 😉
10.24pm Labour is over 33.5% and National nearly down to 45.5%. Still closing too slowly. Dunne is back alone (but I think we knew that already really). NZF has fourth biggest party vote but isn’t back in Parliament.
10.26pm Rimutaka final gives Hipkins the seat, the counts in the big urban seats are significantly behind though, Pillay and Bennett going back and forth in Waitakere. Arl reckons Winston looks relieved. Reid Katene is still ahead in TTT. Final for Auckland Central gives it to Kaye by a bit under 2000 votes – Denise Roche (Greens candidate) got 3695.
10.29pm Tizard is out of Parliament, O’Connor could be too – at 37 on the Labour list and about 700 behind Auchinvole in WCT with 98% counted.
10.35pm Ok by our calculation based on the party vote at the moment, Labour’s list will get in to about no. 36 which is Stuart Nash. Carmel Sepuloni is no 35 and would be a fantastic MP, she should be in on this! O’Connor, Tizard, Burton, Okeroa, Gallagher, Hereora, Wall, Soper would be out in terms of this list calculation, plus Duynhoven because of losing his seat. Labour’s party vote may come up of course…
10.38pm Can I just say what a great job The ex-expat is doing with the list numbers. Wellington Central final is for Robertson, phew!
10.40pm The ex-expat tells me that Stephen Franks is definitely not in on the National list. Even in the midst of the deep gloom there is some glimmer of light. Occasionally.
10.42pm Jeanette Fitzsimmons on the telly now. Peter Dunne was on before and they kept cutting away from him to do more exciting things. Sad individual that I am I found that oddly satisfying.
10.44pm Five Act MPs would mean Roger Douglas, John Boscawen and David Garret join Roy and Hide. Fitzsimmons is hopeful Kennedy Graham will get in on specials, and just put the boot in about people voting for tax cuts.
10.46pm Looks like the Maori Party with take Te Tai Tonga – Katene 600+ votes ahead of Okeroa.
10.47pm TV3 have called it for National, Hooton is saying that Key has “options” (no pun intended I presume!)
10.49pm Gap closing between National and Labour infinitesimally slowly. Glaciers move faster than this. Looks like it’s still going to end up more than 10 points apart, which means National in charge for sure.
10.51pm National plus Act currently 64 out of 122 seats. Apparently no one in my lounge wants to see the outside of John Key’s house until he is actually coming out of it, thanks very much. Cam Calder at no. 58 on the Nat list is the last in on current calculations (by the ex-expat). So their new MPs would include Steven Joyce, Sam Lotu-Iiga (regardless of the Maungakiekie result), Hekia Parata, Melissa Lee, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Paul Quinn, Michael Woodhouse (Luddite Journo will not be pleased), Simon Bridges (Tauranga), Amy Adams (Selwyn), Aaron Gilmore and Calder.
10.56pm Bennett (N) and Lotu-Iiga (N) are both over 1000 ahead now in Waitakere and Maungakiekie respectively, with over 90% counted in the first, 86% counted in the second.
10.58pm TVOne says Clark has made the phone call to Key and conceded.
10.59pm Well that’s pretty stinky. Basically Greens have done well under expectations, Act significantly over. Key would need 4 (sorry I originally put 3 by accident) more votes to get things passed each time without necessarily going to Act. Maori could provide those. But I don’t think their people would vote for formal coalition with National. Key might decide to go alone as a minority and build coalitions as he needs them, knowing Act will cover him with any right wing moves, and Peter Dunne will vote for anything centrist and he can probably swing some Maori votes for that too. It’s a huge challenge though for someone with so little Parliamentary experience, to build coalitions case by case like that. Hmmm.
11.04pm Might be wrong on this, but it looks like the 3 hard Christian parties got a combined total of 1.22 %. Off the top of my head that could be a new low for those kinds of parties?
11.07pm Gosh it would be interesting if Act ended up outiside Government, in the same way that Labour kept the Greens out and turned to the centre parties for the formal support. Rumour has it that some of the Pacific Party candidates took out personal loans to fund their campaigns and things will be very tough for them. Not sure how true that is, but if Field goes down to the Big House he may have burnt an awful lot of people on the way.
11.10pm And so discussion turns to the future of Helen Clark, most latterly our Prime Minister. Will she see out the term, and if she does will she do that as Leader? If she resigns her seat there would have to be a by-election, which could be a good mid-term pick-up for Labour, or an opportunity for an outstanding candidate from the Greens, or even National. IMHO the ranking of Goff at third on the party list indicated Clark has accepted he will be the next leader, although it may be a short term measure. Clark is now leaving her place to go to the Labour HQ.
11.17pm Now I know why I am doing this, not one of the normal Standardistas, because they probably didn’t want to expend all this effort for people to just be nasty in the comments… Let’s play nice hey?
11.18pm I’m actually not feeling very depressed. I think it has a lot to do with having friends around me that I made when National was last in power, and we were fighting their education reforms, so I know that the wheel does turn. I’m also really excited about Carmel Sepuloni being an MP. And I feel that there is a real chance here for renewal within Labour, and thus within the broader left. A chance to rebuild relationships which have thawed since the 1980s? I hope so.
11.21pm Clark arrives at Labour HQ. Lots of claps and cheers.
11.22pm Clark’s family are on stage – Arl points out they are allowed to call her Auntie Helen. The ex-expat points out Labour haven’t got that much less than what they won with in 1999 (I refrain from pointing out the Alliance is the difference there). Clark gives her now familiar warm Pacific greetings.
11.24pm “Tonight has not been our night”. I hope for Clark’s sake that she doesn’t cry, because sadly there are many people out there who will get too much joy out of it. “I do believe we are as Kiwis v fortunate to live in a democracy… the choice today has not been us but I accept the choice that has been made…”
11.26pm Clark reflects on her achievements as Labour leader, and what the party has done under her leadership. “… The NZ LP at 92 years old isn’t going to go away… yes with 43 or 44 seats in Parliament we’re a little smaller than our current 49.”
11.29pm New Labour MPs will be Rajan Prasad, Jacinda Ardern, Raymond Huo, Phil Twyford, Kelvin Davis, Sepuloni, Stuart Nash on the list, plus Curran, Robertson, Hipkins, Lees-Galloway, Burns in seats. I may have forgotten someone, sorry.
“My job as leader of the Labour Party is complete, I will be standing down, yes, and I will be expecting Labour colleagues to elect a new leader before Xmas, and I will give that new leader whoever it is… total support…” Cries of no!
I am surprised she did it now, I thought she would stand down, possibly not stand for the caucus re-election in the next week or two, but clearly she had decided this some time ago.
11.36pm Starting to think about what this means, particularly in terms of the relationship in future between the Maori Party and Labour. Turia said earlier in the night that she’ll be gone by 2011, and clearly Clark will be too, and my impression was that the rest of the Maori Party are not as opposed to Labour as Turia. So new opportunities may arise in terms of that relationship.
11.39pm In addition to a lot of Labour MPs (listed above) there are quite a few others who were standing for re-election and are out – all the NZFirst MPs (Peters, Brown, Mark, Woolerton, Stewart, Paraone), Gordon Copeland, Phillip Field of course, and Judy Turner from United Future.
11.44pm Our new Prime Minister, John Key, is walking in to Nat HQ at Sky City.
11.45pm Duncan Garner is trying to interview Key as he walks to the podium, but Key is resisting staunchly, just give it up Dunc!
11.46pm Someone is warming up the National crowd, surely that is unnecessary?!
11.47pm Key is in the room. Anth is quite keen to keep flicking channels until we find one that has a different reality!
11.49pm Key hugging people on stage, family and I think key party personnel. He approaches the podium then walks away again to talk to Steven Joyce? Bit strange. Needed someone to move the balloons! Naturally looks ecstatic. “I can’t tell you how good it is to be here!”
“… today NZ has spoken. In their hundreds of thousands across the country they have voted for change. And I can tell you there will be a new National-led Govt in NZ.”
11.51pm Repeating lines from National’s campaign, eg more ambitious. Uhoh balloons in the way again! Pesky things. Talking about state house upbringing and his belief that “this is not as good as it gets” for NZ. “Yes we face challenges but we will rise to them because as a country we have tremendous advantages; our capacity to produce food, our landscapes and scenery, and perhaps most of all the incredible kiwi ingenuity.”
11.54pm “… our collective success rests on the success of individuals.” He paused for applause but didn’t get much then. Unluckily for Key he is making one of the biggest speeches of his life in the shadow of the great oratory we saw earlier this week from the US election. “So let me say this, whether you voted for National or not, tonight, tonight, you have my pledge. I will lead a Govt that serves the interests of all NZers. And it will be a Govt that values individual achievement. And it will be a Govt that supports those that cannot support themselves. And it will be a Govt we can all be part of. Tonight I want to thank Helen Clark… she was most gracious with her comments, so it’s fair to say that Helen and I have different views about what policies are best for NZ but we share a love of this country…” He’s basically trying to be a bit like John McCain, imho.
11.57pm Spoke to Hide and Dunne earlier this evening, rang them to offer his congratulations, and while the details of any formal agreement are yet to be resolved Key can confirm he has the numbers.
11.58pm Has also spoken to Tariana Turia and indicated they will talk next week, and that he wants to work with them too. He’s going to need them to moderate the extreme perception that Act brings. Starts in to the thank yous so TV3 cuts away to discuss the coalition issues.
It’s after midnight now, the conclusion is clear, so I think I’m going to wind up my blogging there.
Feel free to come over to The Hand Mirror sometime, I’m sure we’ll be analysing this result for some time to come all over the blogosphere! Thanks for reading, and thanks to the Standardistas for the opportunity. It was a bad result for the Left, no doubt about it, but we have a good platform from which to rebuild, significant renewal within Labour, and another election in only 3 years’ time!