National on 48% versus Labour's 32%. Which looks shocking for Labour, but I remember last time round Labour started 10% behind and pulled it back 1% per 10% of the vote coming in, to sneak ahead in the final few results.
This time, they are too far behind, but if that formula holds true the final result for the two big parties might look like National 43% and Labour 37% - pretty close to my earlier guesstimate. The Greens look okay at 6.2%, and should add a bit to that.
Freakily, it looks like NZ First might be in with a shout of reaching 5%. How can this be?
UPDATE - National up to 49%, Labour down to 31%, Greens slipping, NZ First creeping up ... this is not what should be happening. Still, right now it is all rural types who vote National and - unlike us leftie uban types - can't make it to a polling station on the day itself. So my formula should be vindicated as the evening progresses.
8.58 - Finally a slight shrinkage in the National lead, down to 47% of votes in. This trend should continue, leaving them as the largest party in parliament, but bperhaps not by a decisive margin. Where will Winston be seems to be the crucial question now.
9.06 - Labour move up to 32%. Creeping up, National creeping down, who big will the gap between them be?
9.40 - Labour up to 33%. National + ACT perhaps less than 50% of total vote. Starting to get confusing and messy. Bit unjust, perhaps, that NZ First is polling more than ACT but looks like it is completely gone, where as ACT might have a decisive influence. Oh well, that’s the system.
9.58 - National still trending down, but slowly. Labour trending up, but slowly - 45% to 33%. Gap is 12%. Nats + ACT + UF looking possible, but still some big numbers coming in. A propos of nothing, New Zealand elections lack any sort of epic quality. It's all over in a couple of hours. At least in Britain, you might have to wait until 3a.m. which gives you time to get properly excited / upset / drunk.
10.04 - National are now well over 200,000 votes clear of Labour. You can repeat "Silver and Bronze beats Gold, it's all about plurality," but you can't deny that it feels wrong to contemplate defying such a gap. To do so might, in the longer term mean the end of M.M.P. Perhaps Winston could weasel his way back into the Beehive on an anti-M.M.P. ticket ...
10.12 - I reckon there’s 3% of shift left in the remaining vote, at most - Labour up to 34% or 35% at the outside, and National down to 44%. Which might leave National just short of a Nat-ACT-UF totality, but Labour unable to do anything, even with the Greens and the Maoris.
10.20 - Bloody Hell, does that mean Phil Goff in charge of Labour? How depressing, Just when they need a proper leader for 2011 when National get serious about wrecking the place.
10.29 - Thing is, I pledged (1) to do a streak if Roger Douglas got into parliament. Fortunately, I didn’t specify it had to be a public streak. Though it is a cold night. ACT haven't just undone my modesty, they've undone the whole election - everything else turned out more or less as predicted, but their robust performance meant that no coalition formulation Labour could come up with could overcome the rightwing bloc. Which is sad, because it means we could be in for a grisly six years or so, unless Keyism comes hideously undone, quickly. ANd Labour are smart enough to find someone who isn't Phil Goff to lead them.
10.34 - Shit. Pompous Chris (2) will be twiddling his moustache and spluttering "I told you to dump Helen!" over this. And Hide's success will establish the idea that you have to be a publicity seeking tit to suceed as the leader of a minor party. The bads just keep piling up!
11.09 - I pour myself my first alcoholic drink in about four years, to toast Key's success and fortify myself for the squeals of rightwing joy. Interestingly, posting comments on The Standard, the 'capcha' anti-spam thingy requested that I type in the words 'society' and 'suffers.' Could this be an omen?
11.30 - Clark announces her resignation. That's probably the biggest shock of the night, really. I thought she'd hang on a bit longer.
1 - 'Forget the Obama Drama - New Zeland (sic) Election Night!' discussion thread started by la la (that's me) on the MSN News forum, 8th of November, 2008. (http://uk.msnusers.com/News/general.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=2521835&LastModified=4675697389884986541&all_topics=0)
2 - The Policy Blog, cyberspatial home of Chris Trotter (http://www.policy.net.nz/blog/). Trotter made a lot of noise about how Labour should ditch Clark before the election, described pervious on lefthandpalm: http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2008/03/trotter-struts-frets.html.