The Wairarapa selection for National lats night was a great evening.
A fairly quick drive up, where the company and driving was of equal quality!
The Masterton Town Hall was packed with 185 voting delegates and a fair few observers up from Wellington. I reflected how great it is to have 185 local members voting to select their candidate, with not a single vote beign cast by people outside the electorate. This is a big contrast to the Labour selection earlier in the week which had only five or six people voting on the selection panel.
One of the nominees, Richard Townley (only 24 and already an experienced candidate who stood against Mallard in 2002), is a mate of mine and another John Hayes, is the father of Emily who is also a friend (and an employee) so I was quite glad I didn’t get a vote!
Each candidate spoke for ten minutes and answered a question from the Leader and the President, and then onto the vote.
There was a huge air of ecitement when the scrutineers came back and announced that there would be a second ballot, as no candidate had got over 50%, and so the lowest polling candidate, Keyvn Harris, dropped out. People like close elections!
This meant it was between Richard and John.
We had another round of voting, and then as we had run out of guest speakers, several jokes from the Chairman while the votes were counted.
Then just as the jokes were heading south, we had the scrutineers and candidates return, to be told John Hayes had won. Lots of applause, very gracious concession speeches from the Richard and Keyvn, and a lot of work ahead for John to win the seat.
All in all a great political event. I love selections.