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Tuesday, 21 May 2019 06:34 pm

Harry out in New Plymouth after 15 years

Nov 8th, 2008 | By | Category: Latest News, News

By Jessica Dixon and Liz Woods (in New Plymouth)
THE MP who once had the biggest majority in the country – New Plymouth’s Harry Duynhoven – lost the fight for his seat tonight, reflecting an overall loss to Labour.
Mr Duynhoven’s last minute comeback left him just 300 votes short of claiming his title for the sixth consecutive term. 
Mr Duynhoven says they would have liked a better result and he hadn’t thought about what would happen if he wasn’t re-elected.
“I don’t have a plan B, but I will have to start thinking about it.”
Mr Duynhoven has held the New Plymouth seat since 1987, although he missed one term in the National landslide victory in 1990. His majority in 1999 was 15,000.
New Plymouth has been named a “swing seat”, as the electorate result can tend to reflect the outcome of the overall election.
Mr Duynhoven is the Minister for Transport Safety and the Associate Minister of Energy.

Liz Woods:

MOMENTS before cheers went up at the result, Jonathan Young was feeling extremely pensive, but sighs of relief rang from the New Plymouth National HQ when it was announced he had won the electoral vote.

Harry Duynhoven was welcomed into National celebrations with the chorus “for he’s a jolly good fellow”.

“This is about democracy,” he said. “This is about where people have a choice.”

Keeping positive, Harry proposed a toast “to the democracy, to the new government, cheers!”

There was no mudslinging in the New Plymouth electorate.

“I respect this man so much it has been a pity to contend against him,” said Jonathan Young. “I want to acknowledge what you have done in this city, in our city.”

Later, back at his own headquarters, Harry Duynhoven told supporters: “Don’t discount the Labour party in this city, we are a hearty bunch. If I am not re-elected, I will not be going anywhere. This is where I come from, this is where I am.

“Lazarus only came back from the dead once, and he’s the only bloke other than Jesus who’s done it. You know, I’m not quite in that league I’m afraid.”

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  1. Who made the difference.
    The most marginal seat this election is New Plymouth – Before the specials were counted Harry Duynhoven Labour got (15239 Votes) to Jonathan Young National ( 15553 Votes) a margin of 314 . Next highest was me Rusty Kane Independent at ( 693 Votes ) because of my direct campaign against Harry combined with the swing to National the majority of my votes came of Harry’s Labour vote. So the New Plymouth Independent Seat made the difference to Labours Harry Duynhoven losing and Nationals Jonathan Young winning the New Plymouth seat. The specials would have had to be 6.1% better for Labour and worse for National for Harry to win. The margin would still be within the 500-700 votes margin I held. New Plymouth looked to be the only seat which could have seriously changed, and that never was going to happen with my intervention. Which has proved even more so to be the case now the specials have been counted. The margin being reduced to only 105 votes. The New Plymouth Independent Seat may have only come third in the vote count, but each and every vote for Rusty Kane Independent and the New Plymouth Independent Seat was very effective in deciding the outcome here in New Plymouth. It made the difference that keeped Harry out and Jonathan.

    When I dropped in on Harry on election night to offer my commiserations I received a very frosty reception. ” Harry basically kicked me out – Later when I went down to the National party rooms to congratulate Jonathan I was welcomed with open arms.

  2. I wonder why you were welcomed with open arms? Maybe Jonathan Young felt it was neccesary, as his speech to Harry Duynhoven was flamboyantly over the top and fake- and as Jonathan Young is practically a guest in New Plymouth, (i wonder if he would’ve even remained in NP if not taking the MP seat?)
    Or maybe it simply comes down to the fact that Harry Duynhoven is not a fake man.
    I was actually at both headqauters, and Harrys was nothing but welcoming to all guests, maybe you felt more welcome at Nat headqauters as their was barely anyone under 40 there.
    Lets not forget the great works Harry has done in New Plymouth- he is a man genuinly interested in global and social issues, and is passionate about New Plymouth.

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