Incumbents maintain seats
National MPs Matt Doocey and Stuart Smith retained their seats for second terms in the two North Canterbury electorates.
In Waimakariri, Doocey said voters were happy with the delivery of infrastructure to support the region’s growth – especially roads to improve long commutes to Christchurch.
The first-time MP last election achieved an increased majority and said he was very excited by the result.
The preliminary results had Doocey with 20,191 votes, well ahead of Labour’s Dan Rosewarne (10,562).
New Zealand First’s Richard Prosser had just 1,591 votes. The senior NZ First MP, who for years was Winston Peters’ number three on the list, will not be returning to Parliament.
He was shunted down the list to 15 just before the election.
The district also maintained its national majority, with National receiving 18,910 votes to Labour’s 11,241.
According to the preliminary election results, the Rangiora Borough School polling booth had the numbers right again.
Voters at the polling booth have correctly predicted the winning political party since 1984.
This year was no different, maintaining its bellwether status with an almost exact match to the overall results.
Out of the 1,653 party votes cast, National had 49.7 per cent (nationally 46%) with Labour 35.9 per cent (35.8%) and New Zealand First 7.2 per cent (7.5%).
The booth was a little lower on the Greens (3.6% versus the national figure of 5.9%).
In the Kaiko¯ura electorate, Smith finished with a generous lead over closest rival, Labour’s Janette Walker, garnering 18,738 votes over Walker’s 8,972.
‘‘It’s been an absolute privilege to be the MP for Kaiko¯ ura, and I can tell you it feels better this time, than it did last time,’’ Smith said on Saturday.
Candidates vying for the South Island’s only Ma¯ ori electorate, Te Tai Tonga, had run a ‘‘clean, respectful’’ campaign, with the bitterness between the Ma¯ori Party and Labour in northern Ma¯ori seats absent, Labour MP Rino Tirikatene said.
He was voted back with a minor decrease in the electorate vote compared with 2014, but a huge lift for party votes to Labour.
Tirikatene said he had huge respect for Green Party candidate Metiria Turei but she had underestimated the challenge of winning it.
‘‘She was an outstanding politician,’’ he said. ‘‘But she had to put everything in to winning Te Tai Tonga, and it really wasn’t her lane.’’
National MP Matt Doocey is back in the hot seat.