This is a truly remarkable result. Not in my wildest dreams did I think that Labour would gain a majority. I thought the good old kiwi habit of wanting to share the love around would prevent this from being achieved.
The electorate map is now a sea of red. Can I claim bragging rights by pointing out that I predicted that National could go down to 25 electorate seats. They ended up with 26 with Whangarei being, remarkably, still a possible loss.
I thought that Hamilton East, Hamilton West, Invercargill, Northcote, Otaki, and even Upper Harbour could be vulnerable. Only Invercargill stayed blue.
In the most satisfying result Gerry Brownlee was defeated in Ilam. Christchurch is now completely red.
The Greens also did well. Chloe Swarbrick winning Auckland Central. It seems that a more senior leadership role for her is just a matter of when. The party gained 10 MPs. This is especially significant given that it is the only support party to increase its MMP share in the following election in the country’s history.
I do hope they manage to get one more seat so that Steve Abel can make it. He is just the sort of representative that we need in these times of climate change.
The big issue will be should Labour seek to govern alone or should they enter into a coalition or arrangement with the Greens or the Maori Party?
There is one problem. The Maori Party seat is not in the bag yet and specials need to be counted. Last election Tamati Coffey improved his majority by 418 votes after special votes were counted. Rawiri Waititi’s current majority is 415. This could be close. I can’t see Labour wanting to negotiate any support agreement until the result is known.
The Green negotiation will be more complex. My personal preference is that they enter into a formal coalition. The Greens will give the Government much needed focus on climate change and transport.
Overall this election was a significant move to the left. No pressure but Labour and the Greens have the mandate to achieve dramatic and fundamental change.
Micky Savage and the first Labour Government changed New Zealand for the better.
Jacinda Ardern and the sixth Labour and hopefully Green Government now have the mandate to do the same.
Let’s keep moving.