One of National’s active supporters in Dunedin reckons the city isn’t so much red as purple.
The cover of the give-away paper DScene and story on the election result – National winning the party vote in Dunedin South and nearly doing it in Dunedin North – backs her up:
One of the benefits of MMP has been the presence of a National MP in the city.
Former MP Katherine Rich helped raise the party’s profile and present its softer side. She was succeeded in Dunedin North by Michael Woodhouse who has made an impressive start to his parliamentary career and worked hard for the people of city.
Conway Powell started turning the tide towards National in Dunedin South in 2005, built on that in 2008 and this year’s candidate Joanne Hayes carried on to win the party vote.
Boundary changes which included more rural areas and lifestyle blocks in the electorate, and demographic changes have helped cement the base. But it takes dedicated candidates and supporters to build on that and turn it into more votes.
There were special circumstances this time. It wasn’t just the National vote which went up, the Green vote did too and Labour’s went down.
But the result is an encouraging indication that the city could be changing from red to purple, though not blue – yet.