TUMEKE! gets it right on the money: Labour win head-to-head (@ $1.85 for Lab - $1.90 Nat at close yesterday)
It was the rain. Undecideds kept away - they didn't really know who they were going to vote for anyway! It's pissing down with rain (as it certainly was almost all the day in Auckland) so why go and vote when you are unsure? Turnout at 72-73%.. Pathetic really. [UPDATE: I take it back, that figure is from TV3 and does not include special votes which should push it just past 80% - not bad for a polling day with shocking weather and 20% undecided] .Clarkson winning Tauranga! How embarassing - for him, for the electorate, for National, for Winston, for the nation.
If this was a referendum on tax cuts then it was lost (narrowly).
So, it came down to 1% but Labour have the most party votes on election night and therefore is the winning bet for Option 2. As expected... just. Are bookies ever wrong?... not this one! Centrebet, Sportingbet and Betfair all say a National PM. They could be correct only if NZ First wills it - and I don't think they will... or will they? Could Centrebet be wrong for once? I repeat now what I said in the 8:32pm comment on the eve of this Election, a mood caught quite accurately and, in hindsight, even prophetically:
Labour will end up ahead on party votes tomorrow because they have more "in the tank". Not much, but enough. It is unusual for one bookie to be out of step with the rest like this but I believe their odds reflect confident partisan National money tipping it to favour National. I believe the incumbency advantage may be the only factor left for Labour - but that is just sufficient. I could be wrong. The other (real) bookies are statistically almost always correct, and I am the one taking a punt on my on-the-ground local "feeling" to call it. That feeling says people aren't entirely happy with Labour and they deserve a short, sharp, corrective smack, but National haven't earned quite enough trust, or displayed enough competence, to replace them as our leaders. I therefore reduce my odds for Labour and correspondingly tighten them for National to display the expected close result and, as it turns out, back to exactly what it originally started at when the book opened on the 25th of July.
And on Monday 12th this justifying why I picked Hide to take Epsom:
Hide is in the ascendency as is the Party (albeit of very low base), but Labour's self-sacrificing candidate, Stuart Nash, is directing Labour voters to vote for Worth to keep Hide out! Can a Labourite vote for a Tory? Talk about psychological hurdles and leaps of faith. I'm not sure they will. Hide could turn it in the last week - it is quite possible (with or without Brash's nod). Remember that a quarter of that electorate has voted Act before.
Other party odds: Congratulations Brian Boyko, he got all the parties correct - pretty damn good... for an American! Well, 40% for Labour was pretty much bang on. National at 37% was always going to be provocative - and I paid for that - no-one else was with me on that one. NZF was a good call - close to 5%. Greens were very weak, I was expecting them to nudge over 7% - but they are reportedly weak in Auckland and 5% on the night, Worm Future did better than expected and more than I'd have liked, Maori Party not as well as I had expected but the 3% call was always on the optimistic side. Act threw me completely - 1.5% on the night and I was sure they would push out to about 3%. Brutal. I had Option 13. Hide to win Epsom at $2.20 and Worth at $1.65 - I was thinking of evening that up in the last day and never bothered to - but I was surprised to see such a comfortable margin. And Rodney deserves it too - he's worked hard for it, and was the only Act MP who could do it, taking with him Heather Roy (PQ will be howling at this point) so it is with much delight and satisfaction that I remind you all that that racist, smug little prick who wants to be in National anyway, Steven Franks, has lost his job and I think New Zealand is a better place for that. Destiny never threatened to break 1%, yucky Matt Robson won't be back. Nandor squeeking in on specials? We'll see.
And on television it was the same instability of the polls, with National ahead, Labour seemed to be tracking back - but how hard? TV3 had the turn-out count and TV1 used the % of voting booths reporting to measure "the count" - they didn't really tell us this at the time, and so TV1 always looked more advanced because of the % figure looking higher.
For the record the way the vote count unfolded on TV:
8:50 TV3: L37.6% N43.4% F5.6% G5.1% U2.8% M1.6% A1.6% P1.2% (@22% turn-out)
9:04 TV1: L38.4% N42.4% F5.7% G5.1% U2.8% M1.6% A1.5% P1.2% (@25% booths in)
9:06 TV1: L38.8% N41.9% (@37% booths in)
9:12 TV3: L38.8% N41.3% F5.7% G5.1% U2.8% M1.8% A1.5% P1.2%
9:21 TV?: L39.2% N41.1% F5.7% G5.1% U2.8% M1.7% A1.5% P1.3%
9:31 Dover Samuels conceeds
9:31 TV1: L39.3% N41.3% (56% booths in)
9:31 TV3: L39.3% N40.8% F5.7% G5.1% U2.8% M1.7% A1.5% P1.3%
9:41 TV3: L39.5% N40.6% F5.8% G5.1% U2.8% M1.8% A1.5% P1.3%
9:43 TV1: L39.7% N40.7%
9:44 TV3: L39.6% N40.5% (@58.7% turnout)
9:49 TV3: L39.6% N40.3% (@60% turnout)
9:51 TV3: L39.8% N40.2% (@62% turnout)
9:51 TV3: L39.8% N40.2%
Light aircraft threatens to crash into Sky Tower
9:56 TV1: L39.8% N40.6% (79% booths in)
9:59 TV1: L40.1% N40.2% (85% booths in)
9:59 TV1: L40.2% N40.2% (86% booths in)
10:01 TV?: L40.0% N40.0%
10:04 TV1: L40.1% N40.0% (87% booths in)
10:06 TV1: L40.3% N40.1% (88% booths in)
10:07 TV1: L40.1% N39.9%
Peters on TV to not conceed
10:16 TV1: L40.4% N40.0% M1.9% (93% booths in)
10:19 TV?: L40.3% N39.7%
10:38 TV1: L40.5% N39.8%
10:40+ TV1: L40.7% N39.7% (96% booths in)
10:40+ TV3: L40.5% N39.5% (@71% turn-out)
11:00+ TV3: L40.6% N39.4% (@72.3% turn-out) FINAL
11:00+ TV1: L40.7% N39.6% M2.0% (100% booths in) FINAL
Brash, Clark etc. on TV to not conceed
200,000 odd specials to be counted. A seat here or there could make all the difference. Will put coalition/government formation book up soon.
Oh, and did I mention how I called the election correctly?