Ma­jor­ity slashed but Simpson back

Nat MP ready for what lies ahead: ‘There’s noth­ing like a crush­ing, hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat to fo­cus your think­ing’

Hauraki-Coromandel Post - - News - Chris Steel

Vot­ers had their say in the 2020 Gen­eral Elec­tion on Satur­day with a big swing to Labour and Jacinda Adern, of­fer­ing the party the first op­por­tu­nity to gov­ern alone un­der MMP.

In the Coro­man­del elec­torate, sit­ting Na­tional MP Scott Simpson re­tains his seat, but with a nar­rower win­ning mar­gin.

Simpson has held the seat since 2011 and this year’s pre­lim­i­nary re­sults give him 19,241 votes of 41,180 cast. But his win­ning mar­gin dropped from 14,326 in 2017 to 4206 in 2020.

Labour’s Natha­nial Blom­field who re­ceived 15,035 votes said re­duc­ing Simpson’s mar­gin by 10,000 votes put the seat “in strik­ing dis­tance”.

At 76 on the Labour list he won’t be brought in as a list MP.

Simpson said he was com­ing to terms with the new po­lit­i­cal land­scape that lies ahead.

“For me and my party the na­tion­wide re­sult was not as we would have wanted. New Zealan­ders have spo­ken and I, for one, com­pletely ac­cept the de­ci­sion that’s been made.”

He con­grat­u­lates the new Gov­ern­ment and said “there is a very big job ahead for you dur­ing the next three years”.

Simpson said the Covid en­vi­ron­ment has changed the po­lit­i­cal land­scape in a way never seen be­fore.

It made tra­di­tional cam­paign­ing vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble and was the is­sue most front of mind for the vast ma­jor­ity of vot­ers, he said.

“Un­forced er­rors within my own party didn’t help,” he said. “There’s noth­ing like a crush­ing, hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat to fo­cus your think­ing. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us but I’m

con­fi­dent we’ll be com­pletely fo­cused on re­build­ing for 2023.”

He said he was hum­bled by the gen­er­ous sup­port of lo­cal vot­ers.

“Be­ing the mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Coro­man­del is some­thing I have never taken for granted.”

Simpson joined the Na­tional Party in Welling­ton on Tues­day for the first cau­cus meet­ing, which he said would be a “mix of emo­tions”, say­ing good­bye to many good peo­ple and meet­ing new ones.

Re­sults may have been con­firmed about the make-up of Par­lia­ment but the re­sults on two im­por­tant ref­er­en­dum ques­tions about recre­ational cannabis use and the End of Life Choice leg­is­la­tion won’t be known for a few more weeks.

Be­ing the Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Coro­man­del is some­thing I have never taken for granted.

Scott Simpson

Labour can­di­date Nathaniel Blom­field came within “strik­ing dis­tance”.

MP Scott Simpson thanks vot­ers at the zi­pline in Coro­man­del the day af­ter the elec­tion.

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