2 Dec 2013

Labour win not a reflection on Govt, says candidate

9:10 am on 2 December 2013

The National candidate defeated in the Christchurch East by-election insists voters still support the Government's post-quake efforts, despite Labour's Poto Williams retaining the seat with a large majority.

Ms Williams convincingly won the seat, taking more than 60% of the 13,300 votes cast, and more than double those of her nearest rival.

She said she was truly humbled by the win, and that all the hard work that paid off in the by-election would continue in Parliament. She said she would strongly advocate for constituents and try to get results for them.

Poto Williams.

Poto Williams. Photo: LABOUR PARTY

National's Matthew Doocey lost by more than 4600 votes in Saturday's poll.

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe said it was a crushing victory and the Prime Minister John Key should be very worried.

He said voters have said what people in Christchurch and New Zealand are thinking; that they deserve better than the National Government.

However Mr Doocey believes voters have a lot of admiration for the Government's role in the city's rebuild.

He told party members he'd had encouraging feedback in an electorate that has never voted in a National Party member.

"People overall in Christchurch East knew the support and are very thankful to the Government in rebuilding Christchurch and Canterbury."

Matthew Doocey.

Matthew Doocey. Photo: NATIONAL PARTY

Gerry Brownlee, the MP for Ilam, says Mr Doocey has performed "splendidly" in contesting a seat that has been held by Labour since 1922.

He says the result was as expected.

Mr Brownlee, says the result doesn't worry him.

"I acknowledge they've won a seat that they've always held, that was expected, but to sort of say on such a small turn out that it represents anything other than voter apathy is questionable."

Labour's Poto Williams won 8119 votes, more than double the 3506 votes for National's Mr Doocey. David Moorhouse of the Green Party came in third, with 926 votes.

Mr Moorhouse said it was a strong achievement to lift the vote for a Green candidate to almost 7% in what is a strong Labour seat.

Voter turnout on Saturday was 13,318, less than half the number of voters in Christchurch East at the general election in 2011.

The by-election was held following the decision of Lianne Dalziel to successfully run for the Christchurch mayoralty.


Leighton Baker Conservative Party 487

Matthew Doocey National Party 3506

Ian Gaskin Independent 19

Adam Holland Independent 31

Paula Lambert Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party 56

Jenner Lichtwark Democrats for Social Credit 20

David Moorhouse Green Party 926

Sam Park Independent 75

Gareth Veale ACT Party 56

Poto Williams Labour Party 8119

The official result, including overseas and special votes, will be announced by 10 December.

Source: Electoral Commission