7.00 - Drinking red (naturally) wine. A 2011 Mt hector Pinot Noir. Very nice it is too - likely the last nice thing I may experience for the next couple of hours. We're doomed, I tell you, doomed! And if we're not doomed, we may be in even bigger trouble. Imagine if the person who scheduled the NZ Inc. announcement for the same day as Dotcom's Big Disappointment gets a hand on the levers of power ...
So I am NOT anticipating a good night. I expect John Key's corrupt, incompetent government to be returned for another three years. This prospect is, of course, terrible. The only thing worse might be if it includes ACT.
Still, every cloud has a silver lining. The next few months should see the slow motion destruction of John Key's reputation and his government's exposure as a bunch of miserable, self-serving conniving liars as Dirty Politics continues to corrode. By 2017, even the most vindictive lefties and stalwart Tories will be desperate to see National put out of its misery.
So let's get on with it ..
7.01 - Nothing too bad so far. Other than Mike Hosking. Which is quite bad enough, really.
7.04 - Will this be a 2005 election, where Labour start miles behind and slowly fights its way back, or like 2008 and and 2011, where Labour starts behind and stays behind?
If it is like the last two, we can put the myth of the mighty Labour vote in South Auckland to bed once and for all - whatever happened in 2005 must have been a once-off.
7.05 - Mike Hosking officially says something stupid, wondering if Labour 'might' increase their share of the vote from 19% of early votes. took him just five minutes. Which is probably an improvement.
7.10 Early numbers show the Nats on 50.9% with 3.5% counted ... Are they about to dip under 50%? that's a pretty quick falling away. A percent off for every percent counted. Long may it continue!
7.13 - Nats on 50%, falling fast. Dare I say they will end up on 40%?
7.16 - A majority of the 7.2% of votes counted reject John Key! There is hope for the nation!
7.19 - The conservatives are hovering about 4.6%. In the interests of democracy, I'd rather the they got 5.1% rather than 4.9%. I hate to see votes wasted, even when they are for ridiculous parties. I'd much prefer to see then get no votes at all, of course.
7.23 - If this is going to be a 2005 election, then National could be in trouble. In 2005, Labour started very far behind (just like tonight) and dragged it back at 1% per 10% counted. If that happens tonight, then Labour will be comfortably above 30%. Of course, that didn't happen in 2008 and 2011, so the odds are it won't happen ...
7.24 - Mike Hosking must have almost choked on that grudging praise for Cunliffe - "A better opponent" than anticipated! Piss off, Mike!
7.29 - National on 48.6, so falling away nicely. But where is it going? Labour seem stuck on 23.5%.
19.31 - 431 people in Epsom have voted for Christine Ranking (thus far)? Oh dear.
19.37 - Mike Hosking is a national embarrassment.
19.42 - Has everyone stopped counting? We've been stuck about 15% for yonks.
19.50 - Just piss off, Mike Hosking, with your inane right-wing, biased unprofessional bleating.
19.56 - Ahahahahahaha. One of Hosking's studio commentators just tried to mention Nick Hager. Hosking immediately tried to cut him off and then terminated the conversation. What a dick.
20.04 - Count, New Zealand!
20.08 - Percentage counted is starting to move again. 18.2% in. Unfortunately, National are still stubbornly above 48%. Have they not read the script?
20.10 - Greens are in ‘Desperate trouble’ according to Hosking. I think I might be complaining, tomorrow, when the hangover clears. They've actually just topped 10%, so building nicely.
20.17 - Insanely, National's vote is going UP as more votes are counted. Only very marginally, from about 48.4% to 48.5% - but it is still abhorrent and wrong and entirely at odds with the Laws of Electoral Physics.
20.20 - Labour might FINALLY be about to trip over 24%. EDIT - That was based on TV1 figures. But the official Election Results website still has them stuck below what TV1 is showing.
20.27 - According to the Election results website, National's share of the vote is climbing. It's now at 48.57. This is MADNESS!!
20.28 - 48.71%.
20.29 - 48.75%
20.32 - 48.81% ... Then 48.79% ... THE TIDE HAS TURNED!!
20.33 - Unfortunately, Labour are also going backwards. 23.70%.
20.34 - National 48.83. Damn it, I said THE TIDE HAS TURNED!! Listen to me, New Zealand.
20.35 - National collapse to 48.75%. Mwahahahahaha! The rout commences! I'm going to stop doing this now ...
20.40 - So, a quarter of the votes have been counted. National are sitting on 48%. Labour are mired on 23.5%. The Greens and NZ First are both about 9-10%. Mana will get 2 MPs on current figures. Ditto Maori. Obviously, that's good news for one party but not for the other. Singletons for ACT and UF.
I'm prediciting the Labour and the Greens may get another 3%. But hopes (or fears) of a grand coalition of the left are looking very faint.
20.43 - And no sooner do I post that than National's share of the vote goes up and Labour's goes down ... 48.84% versus 23.75%. The horror! The horror!
20.49 - National hit 49% of the party vote. (And then immediately drop back to 48.96% .. I feel like I'm being toyed with!)
20.51 - Michelle Boag sounds sane compared to Mike Hosking.
20.52 - National plummet to 48.90%!! They are being driven from the field in total disorder!!
21.00 - We have a third of the vote in now. National are still riding very high at 48.9% of the vote. Labour are sinking, slowly. And everything else is as it was 20 minutes ago, when we had a fifth in. Once we get up to half way, I think we may see a bit of movement in the left vote. Upwards movement, I mean. But by that point, the amount of vote left to effect a change with will be very, very small.
21.04 - Colin Craig doesn't like "the system" - presumably he means MMP. Does he actually believe he would be doing better under First Past The Post?
21.06 - Internet Mana have just vanished from the Election Results website 'Sets' column. Davis must be sneaking ahead. I think Harawira will get there in the end, but it is carnage out there. Carnage.
21.10 - National only getting 62 seats, down from 62 a moment ago. Unfortunately, that's at least 10 too many. Labour finally creep up to 31 seats. 31.
21.12 - Election Results website has half the results in. Nothing has changed. National still just under 49%. Labour just under 24%. Yes, you read that right. Twenty four per cent. Greens and NZ First both under 10%. Conservatives and IMP heading to the dustbin of history.
21.16 - It's 2011 all over again. Only with (thus far) less voting for the left.
21.18 - 55.9% counted and Labour mustering up some courage and edging up to the big bad 24% mark ...
21.22 - Whatever the final result in Te Tai Tokerau, I did say that linking up with Kim Dotcom was a very bad idea. I'm rather sad that I'm being proven right.
21.24 - National currently able to govern alone, assuming the Conservatives don't enjoy a late surge.
21.25 - Labour teeters on the edge at 23.96% of the vote! Come on! You can do it!
21.26 - 24%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Next goal! Matching Phil Goff's 27.48%!!
21.27 - 24.02%! The Long March has started! Onwards to victory!
21.30 - Labour negatively surge to 23.95% A cunning flanking move that will leave National nonplussed!
21.36 - On a more serious note, Labour seem to have moved decisively across the 24% boundary. Yay!! Almost 1 in 4 voting New Zealanders was not totally repelled by Labour!! And National are sinking like a very light, floaty stone, all the way down to 48.67%! This is massive and John Key really must resign. Right now.
21.36 - Some (comparatively) serious movement with the Labour numbers now. 24.19%. Cunliffe might just get enough to hang on.
21.42 - National now definitely trending downwards. Labour moving upwards. Too little, too late, with 75% counted. How could the left have screwed this up so badly?
21.54 - greens building, slowly. They need to get to 12%, or 13% for respectabilty. I think they will make it, because once the conservative wasted vote is taken out, they'll have a bigger share of the leftovers, and specials and so on.
22.07 - Well, at least we can discard the comforting myth of the 'big urban centres coming in late.' Guess what? Whoever swung it for Labour late in the day in 2005 isn't there any more. If they were, they'd have shown up tonight. They've managed to do worse than in 2011 and they had almost everything going in their favour. And. They. Blew. It.
22.14 - If ... IF ... Hone survives in Te Tai Tokerau ... Perhaps he'll realise the link up with the Internet Party was utterly stupid. He could have done it by himself. Perhaps - just perhaps - he might have brought another MP with him. He could have looked to being the main party of the Maori seats. But. He. Also. Blew. It.
22.26 - So, should David Cunliffe resign? I don't care. This isn't about Cunliffe. If every single vote that was lost between 2011 and 2014 was lost because of Cunliffe, it was hardly important. There is a deeper issue here than who fronts at PMQs. Cunliffe is perfectly adequate (as Shearer was perfectly adequate, and Goff was perfectly adequate) but he is leading a party that is intent on self destruction.
Arguing with the leftier left for the last three years over on the Standard, I've become unhappily convinced there is a curious self destructive urge on the left. They are so possessed by hatred of the middleclasses that they have lost sight of the real enemy.
Please, just accept, that middle classes are people too, and Social Democrats are as viable members of the Labour party as Socialists. Stop fighting them. Look where it has got you. 24%. Outstanding.
YOU CAN NOT WIN WITH OUT THE CENTRE.
There are enough sane, decent, middle class, who can be united with the working class to win every election. They are not the enem.
Remember the 99% vs the 1%?
22.35 - Laila Harre gets to oversee the destruction of another party. Three hours ago I had respect for her. Now she's successfully destroyed two leftwing parties.
22.38 - On a more positive note, ACT have only 0.68% of the vote. Over 99% of New Zealanders are not insane.
22.42 - Labour make a late surge to 24.5%!!! It ain't over until the fat lady sings!
22.46 - OMG!! I'd completely forgotten about the contest in Palmerston North, between Iain Lees Galloway and Jono Naylor. It turns out that - against the odds - I've managed to be on the winning side in at least one election in 2014. Normal service will be resumed shortly, I'm sure ... Lees-Galloway won, comfortably, and given the current state of theparty must be wondering if he might be in charge in 2017. It isn't a ery broad, or deep, talent pool.
22.49 - Cunliffe stayed put for ages. He must have been watching the percentages to see if he could survive. What was his 'hang on' figure?????????????????????? Surely not 24.5%??
23.03 Obviously, it was 24.5%.
23.10 - National currently on 61 seats, but that's including (I think) the conservatives in the equation and not including special votes. They might still get pushed down below 50% ... It is a measure of how disappointing this night has been that the idea of National being denied the chance to govern alone feels like a victory.
23.19 - Judith Collins retuned with a majority of almost 5000. The icing on tonight's cake of shit.
23.37 - Bloody Hell. Keys forcing me to crack open the scotch.
23.44 - Actually, with more time to consider the strategic situation, the return of Collins to the front bench is the best outcome we can hope for … Should make 2017 a walk in the (red) park.
23.47 - As if the night could not get any worse, I've jsut realised Mike Hosking has been proven right all down the line. Disaster for Labour. Disaster for Mana. Disaster for the Greens. Triumph for Hosking.
23.50 - Mana polled 5 times as much as United Future. The Conservatives polled EIGHTEEN times more than United Future. guess which party gets an MP?