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Monday, 17 December 2018 02:27 pm

Key more years, Peters party foiled, and Harawira blind-sided

New Zealand PM John Key celebrates retaining power after the general election in Auckland

THREE MORE YEARS: John Key has led National to a surprisingly easy victory. IMAGE: Stuff.co.nz

It was clear from the start that National was going to win another term but the decisiveness of the win has come as a shock to the left.

Far from the multi- headed monster coalition predicted by the polls, National can practically govern alone with its traditional partners, United Future, ACT and the Maori Party.

National will not be dependent on the polarising personality of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, who on election night TV seemed less than pleased to have lost his role as “kingmaker” this election despite winning more seats.

Far from being the suitor, courted by all, Winston is out in the cold.

However the biggest blow of the evening was dealt in Te Tai Tokerau where Hone Harawira lost to Labour’s Kelvin Davis.

With Harawira’s seat went any hope for Internet/ Mana entering parliament.

With Labour polling at just under 25%, their second worst result in an election ever, there will be some rethinking of strategy.

The surprise losers have been the Greens, whose final 10% was well below their expected 13%, and hoped-for 15% .

At 4.2% the Conservatives failed to make the 5% threshold to enter parliament.

Labour leader David Cunliffe has said he will not step down as party leader and emphasised Labour’s commitment to forming a strong opposition.

“Tomorrow we begin a three year campaign for the Government benches. That campaign and that rebuild starts now,” said Cunliffe in his speech.

After one the most eventful campaigns in New Zealand electoral history, John Key thanked those who stuck with National.

“Ladies and Gentleman, this is a victory for those who kept the faith …who refused to be distracted and a vote for National was a vote for a brighter future,” he said.

Kim DotCom has apologised to Mana leader Hone Harawira, saying he believes he cost Harawira his electorate seat.

“I take full responsibility. The brand of Kim Dotcom was poison for what we wanted to achieve,” he said.

Internet Party leader Laila Harre told disappointed party faithful that “It doesn’t finish”, adding that the people of Te Tai Tokerau have lost the “strongest fighter they have had in a generation in Parliament.”

The real question this result raises is the extent to which ordinary New Zealanders considered issues raised by the likes of journalists Nicky Hager and Glenn Greenwald when casting their vote.

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