Poto Williams has held the Christchurch East seat for Labour in today’s by-election.
With 100 percent of the vote counted Williams had 8,119 votes for a majority of 4,613 over National’s Matthew Doocey on 3,506.
In third place the Greens David Moorhouse picked up 926 with Leighton Baker of the Conservative Party in fourth on 487. ACT’s Gareth Veale only received 56 votes behind a number of independent and the same as the ALCP.
The total vote was a very low 13,318.
Earlier with 3100 advance votes counted, Williams had collected 2035 of these with National adistant second on 743.
The by-election was triggered when Labour MP Lianne Dalziel resigned to successfully contest the Christchurch mayoralty.
Dalziel held a comfortable majority in the electorate which was severely hit by the Christchurch quakes.
Last election just under 29,000 votes were cast giving Dalziel a majority of around 5300, there was some interest in whether National’s stronger support in the party vote might translate to more support in the by-election.
However this did not happen and the traditional low turnout for by-elections continued as well.
Labour will be pleased their heavy campaigning in the electorate paid off and will give some confidence to the caucus and members heading into election year. They will be hoping the increased support translates into party votes in the Canterbury area next year after it lost heavily in this area in the last election.
National will not be too concerned. Labour has held the seat for a very long time and no Government in modern history has taken an opposition seat in a by-election. However the failure to increase its share of the vote may set off a few gentle alarm bells.
result for ACT appears to confirm the belief of many it is
dead as a political