Jacinda Ardern picked up a swag of special votes to sheet home her dominance in the Mt Albert seat in the 2017 general election.
Ardern built on her election night majority – and Labour’s share of the party vote in the electorate – and left National’s Melissa Lee a distant second.
In the final result announced today, the Labour leader grew her election night majority by 3329 to a huge 15,264 – one of the largest of the country’s 71 electorates and up more than 6000 over David Shearer’s winning margin in 2014.
She won a total of 24,416 electorate votes, against 9152 for Lee, taking special votes at a rate of almost three-to-one in the contest with the National candidate.
The party vote was closer, but Labour was still dominant. It won 3667 party votes from specials in Mt Albert, pushing its share to 16,742. National grew its election night tally by 2477 to 13,112.
To an electorate that has gradually changed from the first-past-the-post Labour stronghold of some decades ago, Ardern obviously held wide appeal.
In 2014, with John Key a popular Prime Minister and Labour struggling under David Cunliffe’s leadership, Labour’s local party vote reached 10,823 on the final count – 3536 behind National.
This time the Ardern factor turned that 3536 deficit into a gain of 3630 – a 7000-plus vote turnaround.
Across the country, National’s share of the party vote dipped to 44.4 per cent, costing it two seats in the final result. Labour lifted to 36.9 per cent and gained one seat, while the Greens also won an extra seat.
But as the talks with New Zealand First on the makeup of the new Government extend over the next week, National (56 seats) hold a two seat lead over the centre-left grouping of Labour (46 seats) and the Greens (8 seats). National and Labour/Greens each need NZ First’s support to form a Government.
Go to this link for the final result in Mt Albert (scroll down to electorate breakdown)