On a night of remarkable electorate swings, it feels like Chloe Swarbrick’s win in Auckland Central is one of the most remarkable.
It was a night where a red tide swept through previously blue fortresses, Labour pulling off remarkable wins up and down the country. For a night of such incredible swings to Labour to include a Green Party candidate winning a blue-ribbon seat like Auckland Central is also unbelievable.
It was Labour’s only bloody nose on an otherwise overwhelmingly successful election.
A lot of things had to go right for Swarbrick’s victory. She had to pull off a brilliant campaign, and she did. Labour had to field a relatively weak candidate, which it did, and National had to both have a weak candidate and a bad night. They clearly did.
There were stories of booths running out of special votes as young people swarmed to vote for Swarbrick, which means her margin is likely to get bigger.
It cannot be undersold what a remarkable win this was.
That said, it now remains to be seen if the Greens are going to be left in a weaker position with Labour able to govern alone. Swarbrick’s win was incredible, and the Greens over-performing the polls astounding, but it could all be for naught.
And if Labour is feeling vindictive about Swarbrick running so hard and winning, then it could deliver utu through very muted concessions.
The other thing that Swarbrick’s victory did, and the election result as a whole did, is put the cannabis referendum back in play.
After a dire yes campaign, some momentum was gained in the last few weeks, and with the way the election went, you’d have to assume there’s a much stronger chance of legalisation getting over the line, giving us potentially one last twist in a wild ride of an election.
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