Capital leans left as the country ticks blue

Greg O'Connor, left, and Paul Eagle at Oriental Bay, Wellington, on Sunday, after both were elected to Parliament for ...
ROSS GIBLIN\STUFF

Greg O'Connor, left, and Paul Eagle at Oriental Bay, Wellington, on Sunday, after both were elected to Parliament for the first time.

As New Zealand swung right, Wellington swung left.

In Rongotai, Labour's Paul Eagle blitzed National in both candidate and party votes in the preliminary count, reversing the 2014 results when Labour won the seat but lost on party votes.

In Ōhāriu, former police union boss Greg O'Connor took the seat and, though National won more party votes, Labour closed the gap by more than 3000.

Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson won the candidate vote again, but Labour also won the party vote for the first ...
MAARTEN HOLL/STUFF

Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson won the candidate vote again, but Labour also won the party vote for the first time since 2005.

Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson almost doubled his National rival Nicola Willis's electorate vote in Wellington Central, and Labour won the party vote for the first time since 2005.

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Only in Hutt South, where National's Chris Bishop won the seat over Labour's Ginny Andersen, did the swing go right in Wellington.

National's Chris Bishop, with partner Jenna Raeburn on Sunday, bucked the Wellington trend by winning both the ...
ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF

National's Chris Bishop, with partner Jenna Raeburn on Sunday, bucked the Wellington trend by winning both the electorate and party votes in Hutt South.

Eagle, who will now have to step down as Wellington's deputy mayor, said on Sunday morning he was "humbled" by the results in Rongotai, where he increased Labour's party vote by more than 2500 over 2014.

"[Wellingtonians] are interested in politics, and interested in the direction where New Zealand needs to focus," he said.

O'Connor faces a nervous wait while special votes are counted, as he has a preliminary lead of only 679 candidate votes ahead of National's Brett Hudson. But  it was a favourable swing for Labour, "from losing by 700 [in 2014] to winning by 700".

Mana MP Kris Faafoi stormed to victory on electorate and party votes. As a Labour whip, he will welcome new MPs O'Connor ...
MAARTEN HOLL/STUFF

Mana MP Kris Faafoi stormed to victory on electorate and party votes. As a Labour whip, he will welcome new MPs O'Connor and Eagle to Parliament on Monday.

"I would like to think it is because people in Wellington are nationally-aware. They are aware of the effect of policies," he said.

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Robertson, who believed his candidate vote would increase with special votes, said: "I do think Wellington is a liberal place. It's a place [where] people know about issues of policy and social justice."

Labour whip Kris Faafoi, who easily won both the candidate vote and the party vote in Mana, said all new candidates were expected at Parliament on Monday morning, to go through processes such as security and "lots of dos and don'ts".

"There's a lot more administration, and your life does change."

LABOUR'S WELLINGTON SURGE:

Wellington Central:
2014 party votes: National 14,689; Labour 9306. Candidate votes: Paul Foster-Bell (Nat) 11,540; Grant Robertson (Lab) 19,807.
2017 preliminary party votes: National 10,348; Labour 11,829. Preliminary candidate votes: Nicola Willis (Nat) 8637; Grant Robertson (Lab) 15,694.

Rongotai:
2014 party votes: National 12,606; Labour 11,754. Candidate votes: Chris Finlayson (Nat) 9223; Annette King (Lab) 18,840.
2017 preliminary party votes: National 9768; Labour 14,222. Preliminary candidate votes: Chris Finlayson (Nat) 8636; Paul Eagle (Lab) 16,983.

Ōhāriu:
2014 party votes: National 18,810; Labour 8771. Candidate votes: Brett Hudson (Nat) 6120; Ginny Andersen (Lab) 12,859; (Peter Dunne, United Future, 13,569).
2017 preliminary party votes: National 15,697; Labour 11,713. Preliminary candidate votes: Brett Hudson (Nat) 13,807; Greg O'Connor (Lab) 14,486.

 - Stuff

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