Three years ago the map of the South Island was blue except for red dots in Christchurch and Dunedin.
Now Damien O’Connor has reclaimed West Coast-Tasman there’s a big red splash over there. However, Kate Wilkinson won Waimakiriri for National from Labour’s Clayton Cosgrove so that seat is now blue.
Ian Lees-Galloway held on to Palmerston North so Labour still holds just two provincial seats.
But O’Connor is the one who chose not to stand on his party’s list because it was dominated by a “gaggle of gays and unionists” and people on the Primary Production select committee tell me that Lees-Galloway has no sympathy for nor understanding of farmers.
Labour is still very much a big-city party and it didn’t do very well there last night either, especially in the South Island.
Michael Woodhouse pulled Labour’s majority in Dunedin North back to 3,304 compared with 7155 in 2008. He was up against a new candidate in David Clark but National’s Party vote of 8,276 was only a few hundred behind Labour’s 8,863.
In Dunedin South National did even better, with a party vote of 13,190 compared with Labour’s 11,429. National’s candidate Joanne Hayes with 11,892 votes nearly halved Labour MP Clare Curran’s majority.
Three years ago when she was a new candidate Curran gained 6,449 votes and had a majority of 6,449, this time she dropped to 15,759 and a majority of 3,867 in what is one of the reddest electorates in the country.
In Clutha Southland Bill English won 19.726 votes, a majority of 14,915 and the party vote was 18,427 for National compared with 4,710 for Labour.
In Invercargill Eric Roy has a majority of 5,766 and National gained 15,089, nearly half of the 30,382 party vote.
Jacqui Dean held Waitaki with 21,404, a majority of 12,963 (up from a majority of 11,039 in 2008) and National gained 19,544 party votes from a total of 35,622. Labour got only 7,627.
In Rangitata Jo Goodhew’s majority dropped a little which is probably a reflection on the strong support for Allan Hubbard and dismay over the statutory management of
South Canterbury Finance the Hubbards. She won 18,410 votes, a majority of 6,006 compared with 21,759 and a majority of 8,112 three years ago. National attracted 18,064 compared with 18,441 in 2008. Labour dropped from 13,230 to 9,113 in the party vote.
In Selwyn, Amy Adams gained 22,669 votes and National got 20,749 party votes.
If the election was a referendum on how the government has handled the earthquake recovery then Christchurch is supportive.
National’s Nicky Wagner and Labour’s Brendan Burns are drawn in Christchurch Central. Kate Wilkinson took Waimakariri and National got a party vote of 18,764 compared with Labour’s 7,746; and Gerry Brownlee held Illam with a majority of 11,935 and National’s party vote was 17,672 compared with Labour’s 5,723.