Something I have learnt over many decades in National is to never underestimate regional factionalism. Members and delegates often get parochial and will vote for people from their region where possible. This makes sense from a regional perspective as the more people from your area on the board, the more likely it is your local candidates will do well with list ranking etc.
So the key takeaway in terms of the board elections was that three of the four elected were from Auckland, which is where the conference was hosted. Hosting the conference is an advantage as your delegates can attend without travel or accommodation costs so local electorates will all have full delegations.
And this was probably also an influence in the vote for President – board members are more likely to vote for someone from their own region as President.
This is not to suggest someone’s region is the only influence on the vote. Of course not. Those elected to the board all all good capable people. But it would be silly to pretend there wasn’t a regional influence on the voting. If the conference had been in Dunedin, there may have been a different outcome.
The job of the board now is to unite behind the President they have just elected and work towards ensuring National has lots of members and money by 2023, and that we select some excellent candidates.