David Shearer has won a bigger share of the vote in Mt Albert than even the great Helen Clark did just 7 months ago. That’s a great win for him and a huge victory for Labour over National. It shows, incontrovertibly, that the salad days are over for this Key government. It’s all downhill from here.
Shearer won 46% more of the vote than Lee. Clark got 30.45% more of the vote than Musuku.
Jackson James Woods is surprising pundits with a better than expected 0.045%
For comparison, at the general election last year Helen Clark, sitting PM and MP for the past 27 years won 59.29%. National’s Ravi Musuku won 28.84%. The Green candidate, Jon Carapiet, won 5.94%.
Looks like National would have been better sticking with Ravi but style won over substance in November for Key, hardly surprising they tried the same tactic with Lee.
But let’s not take away from David Shearer here. Beating the performance of Clark just blows expectations out of the water. At the start of this campaign, everyone (rightly) attributed a lot of Clark’s vote to personal support and pointed out that the party vote in the seat had been much closer. Key genuinely expected his golden girl to win. For Shearer to not only win but absolutely thump Lee speaks to his quality as a candidate as well as the competent, dedicated team around him.
It also speaks to the growing disquiet in Auckland over the direction this government is taking on a range of issues from local issues like Waterview and the supercity to national issues like education, ACC, and their lack of action on the economy. As much as this is a win for Shearer and Labour, it is a vote against Key and his government.
Norman has done OK but not as well as might have been hoped. I would say his misstep was right at the beginning of this campaign when he attacked Shearer, in quite personal terms, rather than Lee. It was a brash, and ill-judged move. That hurt Labour supporters, who genuinely consider the Greens the closest of allies. It caused Labour to react with a message that a vote for Norman could see Lee slip through the middle. It’s probably the first time the Greens have seen the Labour campaign organisation turned against them and they’ll have to go away and lick their wounds, and perhaps reflect that their real opponents are the ones in blue.
Turn out is well down on the general election. 33,000 votes were cast then, 21,000 votes today (of which 1100 are specials still to be counted). It’s not unexpected for turn-out to be low in a by-election. But perhaps a lot of National base voters simply stayed home rather than vote for Lee, perhaps the worst electorate candidate for a major party in recent history.
Oh and John Boscawen got 943 votes, 4.7%. Oops, forgot to look at him until now.
Update: Lee and her campaign are refusing to talk to the media. Key hasn’t even shown up. Word is Lee won’t bother with a concession phone call, she made that to Radio New Zealand three weeks ago 😛