Majority slashed but Simpson back
Nat MP ready for what lies ahead: ‘There’s nothing like a crushing, humiliating defeat to focus your thinking’
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.
Labour candidate Nathaniel Blomfield came within “striking distance”.
MP Scott Simpson thanks voters at the zipline in Coromandel the day after the election.