Now that was a party

Oh what a night. I don’t think I have hugged or been hugged by so many people before. The Young Nats President even managed to lift me off the ground with his hug which was atruly remarkable President.

It is hard to put into words what the emotion was like. A mixture of elation and relief. It has in fact been 18 years since there has been a “clear” victory for the centre-right on an election night.

John Key did a magnificent speech. Funniest line was thanking his kids but then telling them there is no puppy. He was literally surrounded by a dozen DPS – I wonder if he had that many at the beginning of the night!

At Sky City, the party was great. So many good good people, and very kind people. It was almost scary how many people read the blogs religiously and can quote back to you things you said.

And huge cheers for the three new electorate MPs of Paula Bennett, Nikki Kaye and Pesata Sam Lotu-Iaga. Labour lost in Auckland every seat that was losable, and only the hard hard core in West and South Auckland remains.  And outside Auckland Labour has just one seat left in the North Island, excluding red Wellington – in Palmerston North. The South Island is the same with Laboru reduced to holding Christchurch and Dunedin only.

Funniest moment was talking to a few of John’s staff, and one of them asked whether their imminent transfer to the 9th floor meant they would get to take over The Standard. It was hilarious as they started fighting over who would be all-your-base and who would be Irish Bill etc 🙂

Afterwards we went to the Viaduct and carried on there for many hours. I don’t quite recall all the details of the evening but as I got woken up at 7 am this morning and found myself having slept on, not in, the bed I guess I just made it home, but only just.

In a fit of stupidity I agreed a few days ago to do some radio with Kerre Woodham this morning and an interview for Sunday with TVNZ. I may come across somewhat incoherently.

Once again I can’t describe how absolutely great it feels to have won, and won well. A clear victory on the night is a rarity under MMP and one to be treasured.

My thoughts do go out to a number of people, even though our politics differ. I’ve had more than enough experience being on the losing side, to empathise with those who supported Labour and/or the left. It is bitter to spend so many hours working for a party you believe in, and for it not to happen. But that does not mean your effort was wasted – the work of activists and supporters is what makes politics good.

Parliamentary staff have a tought time of it. They all lose their jobs – win or lose. Everyone who works for an MP has their job expire in a month. Now those on the winning side are more likely to get rehired, but it is tough to work for a party that loses – as you lose your job as well as your Government. And there are many good people in Parliament working for Labour.

Finally some sympathy for defeated MPs. If you were a Minister you lose your job, your house, your car, your income as well as being in Government.  That is not easy, to say the least. This weekend will be a weekend for celebration, but also a time to thank them for their service.

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