The NZ Herald reports:
Cabinet minister Paula Bennett is on the verge of losing her Waitakere electorate seat.
Sources report that Labour’s Carmel Sepuloni is ahead by fewer than 10 votes after the counting of special votes.
Paula will be gutted to lose, if the speculation is correct, as she does love to be the MP for Waitakere. However that is the nature of politics.
If Carmel does win the seat, that will be a morale boost for Labour. She remains in the caucus and they lose either Raymond Huo or Rajan Prasad. Losing Huo will hurt them a bit as he is a major source of revenue for them. I can’t think of any downside to them losing Prasad.
Such a close result would almost inevitably result in a judicial recount, which could take until Christmas.
A judicial recount is absolutely sensible when so close. I doubt it would take until Christmas. They are not like electoral petitions.
A recount is also likely to be sought in Christchurch Central, where Labour’s Brendon Burns and National’s Nicky Wagner were in a dead heat on election night and are understood to be within 100 votes of each other after the coutnting of 3717 special votes.
It was not known last night who was leading.
May also go to a recount. It will be a huge morale blow to Labour to lose Christchurch Central, if they do. Labour have held this seat continuously since 1946. To have National hold both Auckland Central and Christchurch Central would be remarkable.