With only three polling booths to report, it is clear Hone has won re-election. His majority is 761 at this stage.
Hone got 48% of the vote, which is close to an absolute majority, not just a plurality. It is down from the 62% at the general election, but still a reasonable result.
Kelvin Davis and Labour will be pretty pleased to have got 41% and reasonably close. But they will be a bit nervous about what attacks from their left they may endure from the Mana Party. They will be hoping Mana targets Maori Party voters rather than left wing voters.
Mana is now a parliamentary party, and will be in Parliament after the next election. They can now campaign for party votes and tell people a vote for them is not a wasted vote.
Mana in Parliament may be an issue for both Labour and National. Labour doesn’t want the competition for the votes, but having Mana there might help a Labour-led Government get formed. If the election is so close that the support of Mana could decide the Government, then I have no doubt Labour will do a deal. My small anarchist tendencies would almost like to see Phil Goff managing a Government of Labour, Greens, Maori Party, Mana Party and NZ First.
So today is Hone’s victory – the gamble paid off. Attention will now go on the wider Mana Party, specifically their party list. Will the No 2 be John Minto or Annette Skyes or Sue Bradford or someone else?
UPDATE: Election Night majority is finalised at 867. 1,916 specials to be commented but will not change result unless Davis picked up 73% of them which will not happen.