The people have spoken.
Every party except Labour and the small parties had a pretty good night.
The Greens picked up three electorate seats although I suspect they will be disappointed their party vote was not higher.
Te Pati Maori performed well in the electorate contests and are currently ahead of Labour in four of the Maori electorates and two of the others are close. Meka Whaitiri had the ignomy of being punished for being seen as a Labour MP even though she was no longer one. At one stage of the night Parliament looked like it was going to have a significant overhang.
At this stage National Act have a majority although I do not think that this will last.
There are apparently 570,000 special votes and these tend to go left.
In 2017 Labour and the Greens picked up a seat each after the counting of special votes. In 2020 Labour and Te Pati Maori picked up one seat each after special votes were counted. And in 2014 the Greens picked up one seat from National after specials were counted. That phone call to Winston may be required although the Port Waikato by election should provide a buffer to National.
I had been hoping that this election would resemble 2005 more than 2014. Clearly this was not the case.
In Auckland we struggled badly. All electorates took hits. In South Auckland the turnout was disastrously low.
National’s three year campaign of gloom and its enormous war chest took its toll on a population that was really tired from the Covid lockdowns and the recovery.
As for Labour it is time to rebuild. Hipkins’s future must be in doubt and the need for new blood is clear.
The one and only positive event was that Greg O’Connor caused Nicola Willis’s credibility to be severely dented by beating her in the Ohairu electorate.
I expect National and Act to engage in a flurry of changes. Expect a mini budget and a series of short legislative tweaks to sentencing law, the RMA, the reintroduction of 90 day fire at will and maybe to add to the sense of chaos something for the base like the wind back of self identification laws.
This could get really ugly. Stand by ..