The Northland by-election delivered a 4,000 vote majority for Winston Peters which is being described as a hiding for National.
But how could our candidate, Mark Osborne, counter all of the left plus some of the centre and centre right who might, or might not, not have understood the consequences of their voting?
One against too many others united in opposition to him was too much.
Given what he was up against and how little time he had, he did well, but sadly not well enough.
I’m not pretending this is anything but bad for National. The party will be doing serious soul-searching and must learn from this.
But National isn’t the only loser.
After the knee-capping by Labour leader Andrew Little, that party’s candidate wasn’t expected to do well but just 1,315 votes must be galling for Willow-Jean Prime.
What does the result say for the left as a whole? The Green party didn’t stand and Mana scraped up only 55 votes.
This wasn’t a win for the left who have lost any moral high ground they might have had from which to criticise National for not campaigning to win electorates.
Previous Labour leaders struggled against Russel Norman who did a better job in Opposition and now Little will have to counter a stronger Peters.
What does this result do for Northlanders? They’ve now got an MP who doesn’t live in the electorate and who will be distracted by his party-leadership responsibilities.
They’ve got two and a half years to work out whether that’s what they need.
And New Zealand, after nearly getting a majority government on election night is back to where it was in the last term with National dependent on Act and the votes of at least one other party to pass legislation.
Ah well, that’s politics and today we’ve got sport to enjoy – Go the Black Caps.