The massive swing to Labour in the 2020 general election had an impact in the new Whangaparaoa electorate, although Mark Mitchell has held onto what is still considered a safe National seat.
However, the party vote in Whangaparaoa electorate went red by a slim margin – 38.8 percent went to Labour and 38.1 percent National. In 2017, the party vote went to National in the former Rodney electorate by 59.6 percent, with 23.3 percent to Labour.
Mr Mitchell’s margin was also slashed – he won back his seat with a total of 20,710 votes – a margin of 7649 over his closest rival, Lorayne Ferguson of Labour. Last election, Mr Mitchell won by a margin of 20,230 votes over Labour’s Marja Lubeck.
Mr Mitchell says he is humbled by the support and confidence that people continue to put in him.
“It was a difficult campaign, not just because of Covid but also the electorate boundary changes,” he says. “It meant that half the new Whangaparaoa electorate didn’t really know who I was and I needed to put a lot of time in out there to introduce myself.”
There is a meeting of National’s caucus tomorrow, but although he is widely tipped as a leadership candidate, Mr Mitchell says now is the time to pay tribute to the many National MPs who lost their seats.
National’s full review of the election will include leadership, he says.
His focus as a local MP will be on investment in local health, education and public transport services and ensuring the Government’s commitment to Penlink is delivered.
He is also supporting the late Constable Matt Hunt’s mother in her petition for parole reform.
How Whangaparaoa voted
Mark Mitchell, National, 20,710
Lorayne Ferguson, Labour, 13,061
Paul Grace ACT, 1390
Fiona McKenzie, New Conservative, 1231
Kathryn Flay, Advance NZ, 498
John Davies, Sustainable NZ 444
Tricia Cheel, Outdoors Party, 293