10 Dec 2011

Final results in close electoral seats

9:06 pm on 10 December 2011

National candidate Nicky Wagner has taken Christchurch Central and Labour candidate Carmel Sepuloni has won Waitakere in the final count of votes from last month's election.


Ms Wagner and Labour candidate Brendon Burns were tied on 10,493 votes on election night but final results issued on Saturday afternoon have given the National candidate a lead of 45 votes.

Ms Sepuloni was 349 votes behind National's Paula Bennett on election night but on the final count leads Ms Bennett by 11 votes.


Both Mr Burns and Ms Bennett say they will apply for a recount.

Burns blames earthquake for defeat

Mr Burns attributes his narrow loss to National in Christchurch Central to the high number of Labour supporters forced to leave the electorate by the earthquakes.

He says, in communities like Avonside, which last time voted solidly two to one in his favour and where the four election booths of 2008 had all gone.

He says 800 votes have disappeared because the people have largely disappeared.

Mr Burns says a lot of his time was also taken up with helping those affected by the quakes, leaving less time for campaigning.

Ms Bennett says she always knew the Waitakere was a tough seat to hold for National and says the close result reflects that.

New MPs celebrate despite prospect of recount

Labour's Carmel Sepuloni says she is celebrating her win on Saturday despite the prospect of a recount.

She says she's relieved to have won Waitakere and it is "an absolute privilege" to have finally got the mandate to advocate and act on behalf of the constituents of Waitakere.

Meanwhile, Nicky Wagner agrees with Mr Burns that February's earthquake forced many Labour voters out of Christchurch Central electorate and she believes there is a good chance her majority could go up in three years time.

"The areas that have been hard hit that are red are in the Avonside/River Road sort of area and they won't be there in the future, she says. "So, yes, it will look different physically and geographically and I hope it will be more and more true blue as time goes by."